|PUTRAJAYA, 25 JAN, 2010: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today announced that 20 schools – 14 secondary and six primary – had been accorded the status of high performance schools or Sekolah Berprestasi Tinggi (SBTs).
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said of the 14 secondary schools, 10 were fully residential schools and the rest day schools.
The 10 fully residential schools are Sekolah Tun Fatimah (Johor Bahru), Sekolah Dato’ Abdul Razak (Seremban), Malay College Kuala Kangsar, Sekolah Seri Puteri (Cyberjaya), Sekolah Menengah Sultan Abdul Halim (Jitra).
Kolej Tunku Kurshiah (Seremban), Kolej Islam Sultan Alam Shah (Klang), Sekolah Menengah Sains (SMS) Tuanku Syed Putra (Perlis), Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah (Putrajaya) and SMS Muzaffar Syah (Melaka).
The four day schools are Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) (P) Sri Aman (Petaling Jaya), SMK Aminuddin Baki (Kuala Lumpur), SMK Sultanah Asma (Alor Setar) and SMK (P) St. George (Penang).
The six primary schools are Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Seri Bintang Utara (KL), SK Taman Tun Dr Ismail 1 (KL), SK Bukit Damansara (KL), SK Zainab (2) (Kota Bharu), SK Convent Kota (Taiping), SK Bandar Baru Uda 2 (Johor Bahru).
At the same time, Muhyiddin stressed that SBTs were not elite schools which benefited only a limited number of students.
Instead, he said each school in the country had the same opportunity and a level playing field to be recognised as SBTs.
“Any school that meets the targets of excellence and criteria set (by the Education Ministry) will be recognised as a SBTs and get the same privileges,” he said.
He said the rationale in having SBTs was to raise the quality of the best schools in the country to be world class, produce outstanding students and narrow the gap between schools within the system.
He said SBTs would be given additional autonomy to pursue innovation in school management and raise the productivity of students.
As for curriculum, he said, it would be flexible in terms of teaching and learning as well as syllabi for compulsory and elective subjects, conforming to public examinations and use of the national language as the medium of instruction or multiple languages.
Beside these, Muhyiddin said the schools concerned were also given leeway in fixing the minimum periods for subjects, extending schooling hours and allowing students to complete their studies a year earlier, just like the express promotion system that was introduced previously.
In terms of budget ownership, he said a lump sum grant would be channelled to the schools at the beginning of each year and that they would have the full flexibility to spend as needed and were exempted from the ministry’s centralised procurement system.
“Every school has its own budget, but with this status, they will be given additional funds and they can use the money as needed,” he said, adding that the grant might be less than RM1 million but had not been fixed yet as this depended on the size of the SBT.
He also said management of staff at these schools would be based on meritocracy and not seniority, besides flexibility given for the paying of overtime and performance incentives.
“There will also be flexibility to re-assign under performing staff and delegation of functions based on academic and non-academic reasons,” he said.