PUTRAJAYA - The performance of pupils in English in this year's Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) has taken a dip, says Education director-general Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud.
Only 74.4 per cent of the 356,334 government school pupils who sat for the paper scored a minimum grade of C compared to 77.3 per cent last year, he said.
The percentage of those scoring an A saw a reduction from 17.6 per cent in 2012 to 17.4 per cent this year.
Pupils from vernacular schools, however, showed an improvement in the subject, with 26.1 per cent of 109,616 candidates scoring As compared to 21.9 per cent last year, and 71.4 per cent of candidates obtained at least a C compared to 69.3 per cent last year.
Abd Ghafar said the decline in the pupils' performance in the subject was "not significant" based on the Average Subject Grade (GPMP).
The GPMP gauges candidates' performance in specific subjects and operates on a decreasing scale where a lower index value indicates better candidate achievement.
"The GPMP for English in government schools only decreased by 0.06 from last year, and from our analysis, this is not significant.
"Even so, it is important for our children to have a good grasp of English, which is why we have the ministry's policy of Upholding Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthening English (MBMMBI)," he said after announcing the 2013 UPSR results analysis here yesterday.