IT WOULD seem that MARA institutions – aside from being platforms of higher education – do double up as a school of hard knocks.
This was the suggestion made by president of Anak Sains Mara (Ansara) Malaysia, Mohd Fadzil Yusof, who shared that parents from the T20 segment were willing to send their offspring to MARA Science Junior College (MRSM) to learn valuable life lessons.
In a panel discussion on Wacana Sinar, Fadzil asserted that the reasoning from many T20 parents behind such a move was to allow their children to mingle with students from other backgrounds, namely those from the B40 segment.
In the segment entitled ‘MRSM for B40 only’, Fadzil suggested paid admissions for such students given that their parents had the means to pay for private tuition fees.
This would be preferable to the setting up of a private school under the MARA banner as there were certain constraints to such a move.
Certainly, it makes valid sense that those who can afford to pay for private education should not be allowed to benefit from education institutions set up to help the B40 segment.
Places are at a premium, hence why should the well-to-do deny students from lower-income groups the opportunity to further their studies?
Ensuring that T20 kids are exposed to peers who come from less comfortable upbringing on its own is not a good enough a reason.
Lest it be forgotten, MARA was set up with the spirit of providing education on a “needs-based” basis to underprivileged Bumiputera, hence the need to foster social interaction with people from a diverse socio-economic background does not meet such criteria.
Nevertheless, Fadzil is to be applauded for raising the matter and for his timely suggestion for the imposition of fees for those who can afford it.
If T20 parents really feel that MRSMs can provide good exposure for their children, then they should not mind paying a premium for such privilege lest they will be perceived as ‘fleecing’ kids from poor households an opportunity to pursue their secondary education in a boarding school. – Jan 3, 2024
Main pic credit: Sinar Bestari