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Election Watch

Fine-tune bursary plan for SPM top scorers, says Ramon

Source: The Star
Date: 13 April 2012

PETALING JAYA: The announcement that bursaries and scholarships will be awarded to Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) top scorers has been well received but some opined that the plan needs to be fine-tuned to keep our best students in the country.

Asli Centre for Public Policy Studies chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said the Government has to wait for more feedback in order to fine-tune the programme and improve it further.

“It would be a pity if the 50 top SPM students are sent to top universities abroad,” said Ramon.

“In fact, they should be doing their first degree in Malaysian universities so that we can raise the standards at our own universities.”

Ramon also commented that it may be unfair to select students primarily on the number of As they achieved as the tests are based on a lot of objective assessments and suggested students be tested through essay writing tests.

Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassinhad announced that about 1,600 students who obtained 9A+ and above in SPM 2011 would be awarded bursaries to cover costs for either the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia, matriculation studies, the International Baccalaureate, A-Levels, or other foundation courses at public and selected private institutions.

While Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universitiespresident Datuk Dr Parmjit Singh lauded the initiative, he felt that it was important to also consider needy students with excellent results, especially those who might not have necessarily scored A+ for as many as nine subjects.

“If these students are not assisted and do not continue to tertiary level studies, we would have lost potential national talent,” he said.

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