Policy & Education
60:40 Ratio Policy in
Sabrina Hj Mohd Ali
Prof. Dr. Chan Yuen Fook
Firstly, What is Policy 60:40?
Refer to the ratio of science students to art
students that targeted by Ministry of
It was first introduced in 1967 by MHEPC
In order to produce quality science
graduates to meet 2020 human capital
History of 60:40 ratio policy
The 60:40 science: arts policy was first introduced in 1967 by the
Higher Education Planning Committee in order to meet projected
demand for science graduates.
The policy has since been restated and re-emphasised multiple
times: in the 1999 National Education Policy, the 2000 National
Science and Technology Policy II, and the 2001 Education
Over the years, the extent to which 60:40 targets have been
reached has varied.
Science stream enrolment reached a high of 37% in 1998 before
dropping to a low of less than 20% as is reported now.
Notably, through it all, it was never anywhere near 60% at all.
One reason given for the drop was the perceived difficulty of
What are the issues occur? &
1. Lack of interest in science among students.
2. (Ref to previous slide) One reason for the
drop was the perceived difficulty in science
The Education Ministry proposed monetary
incentives in terms of tax breaks for parents
whose children in this line.
Offering scholarships & textbook assistance
to encourage more students.
Have taken urgency approaches :
-after completion of lower secondary….
Vision 2020 played a pivotal role in
science education reform, why?
Lee, et al. (1996) found that % science to non-science
student ratios have dropped from 31:69 in 1986 to 20:80 in
Statistics from MOE – 28.73%:71.27% sc to non-science
in 2001; 35:84%:64.16% in 2004;
Siow, et al (2005) found that:
Urban schools were more able to meet 60:40 than rural
schools by accepting students with grades C and D into science
Performance of 2004 PMR maths and science examination
results have declined as compared to the preceeding three
years. (Ref: NST, Nov 7)
IMPLICATION ON 60:40 RATIO
Misalignment in the 60:40 ratio policy existed
between intended objectives and implemented
Have serious implications in realising Vision 2020
At the post secondary level and higher, science
students switched to the non-science (business,
law, management, etc);
Tertiary science-related courses are seen to be
tougher; too long; more expensive; and ROI is not so
lucrative compared to non-science courses.
Everyone gets to learn sufficients science
and there is still enough teaching-learning
time left for other subject.
Since, PMR has abolished, it is an opportune
time for curiculum to design new comman
Have to discard mindset & perception that
‘science is difficult’. We live in S&T….
Should begin to think: ‘Now everybody can
The quality of students practical work in
term of their ability to interpret, analyse
and evaluate ideas and arguments is
strongly dependent on the competency of a
teacher who teaches science practical and
also effectiveness of curiculum and