KOTA BARU: More than 452,700 Year Six pupils from 7,700 schools throughout the country begin their Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examinations today.

Education director Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof.said that although exams began on Thursday with the Chinese and Tamil papers, today's session involves all pupils from government, government-aided and private schools.

"From the figure, about 30,000 pupils are in Kelantan," he told reporters after visiting SK Zainab (2) here this morning.

Khair said he wanted to see for himself the school and its pupils as they face the examinations.

"Every school has its own way of raising the morale of students. I hope the visit by me and officers from the Education Ministry and State Education Department will lift the spirits of pupils," he said.

In Selangor, 87,229 Year 6 pupils in 790 schools commenced their UPSR examinations at 8.15am today with the Malay language papers. They will face the English language papers tomorrow, followed by Mathematics and Science on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

Selangor state education director Mohd Salleh Mohd Kassim said there is an increase of 301 pupils sitting for the exam today compared to last year.

He added that districts with the most number of pupils sitting for the examinations are Petaling Perdana (16,840), Hulu Langat (16,393) and Klang (15,343).

Salleh was met after inspecting Sekolah Kebangsaan Raja Muda in Section 4 this morning where 222 pupils are sitting for the examinations.

"So far, the examinations are proceeding smoothly across all the schools in 10 districts in the state. I visited the safe room at SMK Seksyen 7 as early as 6am and I observed that all standard operating procedures are observed by the district supervisors and chief invigilators. I hope the examinations will go on without a hitch," he told the New Straits Times.

In Negri Sembilan, 16,945 candidates from 349 primary schools are sitting for the exam today.

State Education director, Rusni Ab Jalil said 1,954 examination officers are on duty to supervise all examination centres in the state.

"This year, Negri Sembilan has 356 examination centres. We have 11,849 candidates from Sekolah Kebangsaan, 3,346 from Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina and 1,529 candidates from Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil.

"We have eight candidates who are sitting for the exam in the hospital this year," she said after inspecting the examination centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan Seremban 2B here. -- Reporting by Dawn Chan, Nur Aqidah Azizi and Sulaiman Jaafar

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UPSR candidates prepare for their exams in Johor Baru. Photo by Mohd Azren Jamaludin.