Sunday, November 29

Effort to reduce number of low-performing schools

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KOTA KINABALU: The State Education Department is making an effort to reduce the number of low-performing schools, namely band six and seven, to 32 primary schools by year-end.

Its director Datuk Jame Alip in disclosing this also expressed confidence that their targeted Key Performance Index (KPI) for the District Transformation Programme (DTP) can be achieved through the implementation of several initiatives.

The initiatives include the Literacy and Numeracy (Linus 2.0); Garis Asas Infrastruktur (GAI); Pre-school Enrolment, the International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

However, the figure was a minimum target set by the Education Ministry, and believed that they would be able to reduce more.

“Instead, the department will increase the number of schools under band one and two by performing better in the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR), as part of efforts to narrow the gap between urban and rural schools.

“At the same time, we also hope to narrow the gap between Sabah and other states,” he told reporters after officially closing a workshop to set the KPI targets for the state and district, here, yesterday.

Based on record, of the 1,064 primary schools in Sabah in 2012, a total of 35 are still under band six and seven.

“So this year, we hope to reduce the number by 1.4 per cent to 32 schools,” he said.

Touching on DTP, Jame said that Sabah and Kedah, which had been picked for the pilot project, were entering their second year of implementation.

Through the programme, a total of 158 School Improvement Specialist Coaches (SISC) have been appointed to guide teachers in teaching specific subjects, while another 44 trainers from the School Improvement Partners (SIP) would be guiding the headmasters, headmistresses and principals.

Under LINUS 2.0, it would be focusing on English literacy, he said.

“We were seventh among 16 states under the Bahasa Melayu LINUS,” he said.

Jame said through the GAI, its priority is to repair dilapidated schools.

“Infrastructure development will be given to schools which are in need of critical repairs, be it on the building, electricity and water supplies, or tables and chairs.

“Under TIMSS and PISA, Sabah’s initiative is through the Higher Order Thinking Skills (KBAT).

For preschool enrolment, the State Education Department has set a target of 90 per cent of children aged four and five would be enrolling in kindergartens or preschools.

The enrolment performance saw an increase of 13 per cent last year to 75 per cent, compared to 2012’s 62 per cent.

As of Jan 25, a total of 10, 807 children have been enrolled in kindergartens statewide.