Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Article on NST on Scholarships for above 9As

Thanks to my blog reader for submitting this article to me.

It is a reaction in NST on the proposed scholarship by the government.

The full article quoted is as follow:-

Scholarships for the brightest 'long overdue'

KUALA LUMPUR: Parents and students alike welcomed the government announcement on Friday on the provision of scholarships to outstanding students but some raised concerns, which they felt must be addressed in black and white.

Some parents found the announcement sketchy on details and called the New Straits Times seeking clarification.

Among the questions asked were whether the scholarships were also open to outstanding students at private local universities and colleges.

Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Sidek Hassan on Friday announced that all students who scored 9As and above in the 2007 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination would be sponsored up to their bachelor's degrees at local universities, regardless of their backgrounds.

The announcement said that the sponsorship covered students furthering their studies to Form Six at government-assisted schools and matriculation centres under the Education Ministry including the Centre for Foundation Studies in Science at Universiti Malaya and the Universiti Islam Antarabangsa matriculation programme.

Students who had obtained places in Ivy League-standard foreign universities and local campuses of foreign institutions such as Monash University, Nottingham University, Curtin University of Technology and Swinburne University would also be sponsored.

Single mother of five Pat Budin, 44, said only outstanding students from underprivileged families should be given scholarships.

"Give it (scholarships) only to poor students. The rich can afford the fees. Giving it to rich kids only means they're taking up a poor kid's opportunity."

Pat, however, described the move as "long overdue". "There are many smart students who are not able to further their studies because their parents can't afford it. The government must make sure action needs to be followed and not just talk."

Fay Vallauthan, 42, said priority should be given to underprivileged students and recipients should be free to choose their field of study without having to restrict themselves to those on a shortlist.

She also called on the government to improve the standard of local universities, which she said were not up to par.

"Our graduates from universities overseas and foreign universities with local campuses come out as well-rounded individuals. They speak better and think differently. Their mentality is unlike those from local universities," the mother of three said.

An English-language teacher, who requested anonymity, felt this was a positive measure and hoped that the government could implement it without marginalising anyone.

"Ideally, the offer must be open to everyone regardless of race and status."

She then enquired: "Would a student who sat for the SPM last year and is now taking her foundation from a local private institution be entitled?"

Former SMK Ibrahim, Sungai Petani student Chong Yong Yan who obtained 11As and 1B in the examination was "extremely relieved" with the announcement.

"I was very worried for a long time even though I got 11As. I could only pray for a scholarship," Chong said, explaining that her plans for higher education in accountancy were shaky because she knew her father, a construction worker, could not afford the university fees.

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Bitbot said...

Hey this is really great news! By sponsorship, do they mean full sponsorship?

I hope it does not get more people to apply to private universities instead of public ones because if given a choice, I'm pretty sure most people would want to go to the better quality privates around.

Chen Chow said...

It should be full scholarship, but as of now, there is still no concrete information yet.

Would have to wait and see.

Chen Chow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chen Chow said...

The info would be available next week. Do read http://chenchow.blogspot.com/2008/05/jpa-scholarships-info-out-next-week.html