“Have uniform admissions mechanism for intakes into public unis,” MCA tells govt

RATHER than having a separate admissions system for Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) and matriculation students for enrolment into higher learning institutions, the Higher Education Ministry (MOHE) should formulate a uniform admissions mechanism to ensure fairness and transparency.

MCA national secretary-general Saw Yee Fung said this is so that the unequal enrolment standards that have plagued many students in the past can be tackled once and for all.

“Now that the MOHE has agreed that both STPM and matriculation students have equivalent [standing], it is time to unify the intake process of [public universities], put an end to the model of admitting new students through two independent systems and directly respond to all concerns raised with policies,” Saw said in a statement on Wednesday (Nov 29).

“For too long, controversy has raged over the inequity between the two systems with calls for a fairer and more transparent and uniform method for student intake.”

Saw was referring to Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin’s explanation on the matter in Parliament on Monday (Nov 27).

Khaled had informed the august house that the government always finds ways to improve the process of enrolling students with the principle based on 90% academics and 10% co-curriculum without any inference to race, religion, or which state they are from.

According to Saw, IPTAs used to admit new students via two separate channels, namely STPM and matriculation.

“Essentially, this method was akin to comparing apples and oranges in terms of academia, examinations, and certificate of completion. In fact, these are two completely independent systems.”

Citing the fact that it is relatively more difficult to pass the STPM examination, Saw said in reality, students who apply entry into IPTAs are positioned at an “unequal and unfair starting point”.

This is why, although the government repeatedly stresses that the racial quota system has been abolished in IPTAs, as ethnic quotas still permeate in matriculation courses, many students with outstanding STPM scores are still denied entry into public universities every year, she added.

“Furthermore, when Pakatan Harapan (PH) first captured Putrajaya, the Education Ministry had increased the number of seats for matriculation students, further squeezing the opportunities for STPM holders to gain admission in to IPTAs,” she stressed.

Saw also pointed out that Royal Education Award recipient M. Nahvin’s recent advocacy to prioritise meritocracy instead of quotas in the country’s education system and for a more equitable and inclusive approach was followed up with a meeting with two MPs from the ruling coalition, namely DAP’s Raub MP Chow Yu Hui and PKR’s Batu MP Prabakaran Parameswaran who had promised to raise this issue to the Parliamentary Committee on Higher Education.

“As DAP and PKR now belong to the ruling coalition, they should not merely ‘raise this issue’,” she noted.

“Instead, they should perform their duties as part of the ruling coalition through the ministers of their two parties and the MPs as they wield the actual executive and legislative powers to amend policies and practically resolve this perennial issue once and for all.” – Nov 29, 2023


Main pic credit: Berita Harian

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