Too many top scorers, not enough scholarships

Malaysiakini Your Say | May 27, 11

‘Perhaps the major problem is not there are too few scholarships, but too many applicants from an examination that have too many top scorers.’

High achiever’s PSD scholarship dreams dashed

Wfworker: While I sympathise with parents with ‘brilliant’ children, I like to relate two incidents regarding my friends’ children.

One parent expressed her surprise over her son’s achievement of 5As at the recent SPM examination. The reason being that he had failed in all his subjects at the school trial examination.

Another mother had been complaining that the son was performing equally bad during the school’s trial but his result was 9As.

Hence, my apprehension for the nation when As are just churned out by the examination board. Surely the school teachers can’t be setting that much higher standard than the syllabus demanded.

Hann Wei Toh: I checked the Singapore PSC (Public Service Commission) scholarship website – it looks like it gives about 90 scholarships every year. I suppose O Level candidates are not eligible.

The Malaysian PSD (Public Service Department) gives about 300 merit-based scholarship to SPM/O Level holders every year, plus several hundred that takes income and other factors into account.

The numbers seem comparable based on the population sizes, though the latter have lower requirements (SPM/O Levels, instead of A Levels).

Perhaps the major problem is not there are too few scholarships, but too many applicants from an examination that has too many top scorers.

Bangsamalaysia: My son scored perfect 10As out of the 10 subjects he sat for. He also played for Malaysia in the junior world cup for his chosen sport.

He wanted to study medicine overseas under a PSD scholarship. He was rejected with no alternative offers. There was no explanation given.

I took the case to S Samy Vellu, then MIC president, because he made a press statement that MIC would appeal to the education minister and help deserving students. Complete bullshit.

My son was completely devastated because his bumiputera friends and even Indian Muslim friends with lesser results were offered several countries to choose from. Imagine his frustration at this unfair system.

He has gone on to graduate from a top university overseas with his family’s support. Do you think he will come back and serve here?

BernieBaby: At 20 , I was an incumbent Computer Engineering student in USM, Penang and they asked me ‘how many seats are there in the Dewan Rakyat’ during my PSD interview. I replied that I didn’t know.

They accused me of not being a true Malaysian and didn’t deserve a government scholarship.

So there you go. Singapore will be a better place for Malaysian talents. Besides you can get more income and stay in Johor Bahru, just like I do now.

Don’t worry Heamanthaa Padmanaban, you will have the last laugh.

Simpang 4: Where is Minister in the PM’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz now? Are the civil servants becoming the disobedient implementors of government policies?

Is the cabinet in control of the government? It is time the chief secretary crack the whip on recalcitrant government servants before the rakyat become disillusioned.

Joker: We don’t hear any sob stories from Malay students but funnily, that clown, Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali, said that it is the Malays who lose out in the scholarships.

If the PSD has the guts and confidence in their selection criteria, then let us see the final list of students of who gets what scholarship to study where and what course. Throw in the results obtained by these students as well.

I don’t think such an information should be under OSA (Official Secrets Act) nor is this considered as ‘politicising’ the issue. This is just plain transparency and fairness. Berani kerana benar, takut kerana salah.

Ben Hor: This is yet another ‘government’ handout to the bumiputeras. I’ve personally know someone who received a full government scholarship to attend a university in the US.

He did not achieve outstanding results for his SPM, 6As out of 10 subjects. He received the scholarship only because he had an ‘inside connection’.

To Ibrahim Ali and Co, scholarships are not a Malay right, but the right for all Malaysians for stellar performance. Go create your own ‘Perkasa Scholarship Fund’ if you want it to be exclusive.

Makcik Har: PSD should stop giving scholarships after SPM. There are a lot of students with a collection of distinctions but can’t carry out a decent argument or conversation.

Besides I don’t trust the passing mark of the Malaysian Examination Syndicate. Somebody suggested 35 percent.

The Education Ministry should make everybody go to Form Six and do the STPM. Then give scholarships to the top achievers regardless of race.

TehTarik: The so-called PSD interview is a farce. When my daughter was called for the interview, there were six candidates being interviewed simultaneously by the interviewer for about 15 minutes.

My impression was that a decision had already been made to select the candidates before the interview. It is also said that some less deserving but politically well-connected candidates are also given scholarships.

Anonymous_5fb: Would Heamanthaa be able to meet Prime Minister Najib Razak to get a scholarship like what Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan did? What was Saiful’s examination results then when he met Najib?

  1. #1 by tak tahan on Friday, 27 May 2011 - 11:07 am

    Saiful has had only his rear hole certified an qualified for the scholarship.

  2. #2 by boh-liao on Friday, 27 May 2011 - 11:18 am

    Giving out scholarships based on SPM results is dumb; better 2 b based on STPM results
    But then, hardly any Malay/bumi students take d tougher 2-year STPM these days (most take d easier 1-year route: Asasi Sains, matrikulasi) n dat’s d main problem
    Even in education, we r divided by skin colors, how 2 b 1M’sia 1, truthiness indeed

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Friday, 27 May 2011 - 3:06 pm

    ‘Too many top scorers’. Why are there so many top scorers at every examinations?

    I am told by insiders that it takes only 60 marks to get an A*. So you go figure why there are so many ‘top scorers’.

    Many of these ‘top scorers’ don’t stand a chance when they are sent overseas to compete with the real true scholars from elsewhere.

    Just how many of these ‘top scorers’ end up with ‘top degrees’?

    Just how many of these ‘top scorers’ can do well on similar exam papers from another country, red dot included?

  4. #4 by boh-liao on Sunday, 29 May 2011 - 9:46 pm

    There were rumours dat some of our top-top students with lots of A+ in SPM failed their A-levels exam after they were given scholarships 2 study in the UK
    Can any1 with 1st hand knowledge plz confirm d truth of these rumours?

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