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Friday, May 28, 2004


IPTA Admission--Meritocracy ala Bolehland

:: It is the time of the year when Meritocracy ala Bolehland is on show once again and flaunted. Utusan online headline says :: Bumiputera meningkat -- Meritokrasi tidak halang lebih ramai layak ke lima fakulti kritikal and the Star headline reads :: 128 top scorers fail to get into medical school. {The critical faculties are :: medical, dentistry, electronic engineering, chemical engineering and accountancy]
The Meritocracy ala Bolehland [MaB] system was implemented first in 2002 to replace the quota system, which had set a 55:45 ratio for enrolment of bumiputera and non-bumiputera students into IPTA [Institute Pengajian Tinggi Awam/Public Institutes of Higher Learning] respectively. According to the MaB system, students admitted to IPTA come via two examinations viz STPM [Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia/Higher School Certificate Malaysia] or matriculation. The STPM involves a 2 year course with the examination at the end and the matriculation is a 1 year course with course work counting for most of the grades. Matriculation students consist of 90% bumiputras and 10% bumiputras [prior to 2002, there were minimum or no non-bumiputra students.
Having students admitted to IPTA via two different systems obviously has many non-bumiputra students decrying that there is no true meritocracy as the matriculation system is considered by many to be not only the faster system but also the easier one. There is a system of converting grades from the matriculation system into the STPM system which involves the Cumulative Grade Point Average [CGPA], the maximum obtainable is 4.0. The absence of a single examination being made use of for IPTA admission has resulted in many students feeling frustrated with and feeling cheated by the Meritocracy ala Bolehland system.

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