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Saturday, May 29, 2004


IPTA Admission Part II---Has 'Matrikulasi become Manipulasi'

:: The director of the Higher Education Dept [HED] or Jabatan Pengajian Tinggi [JPT] has stated that most of those admitted to the IPTA for the 2004/05 session come from the matriculation system. As earlier stated, this involves a year long course with grades coming from course work, exams and lecturer based assessments. The STPM system involves a two year course and what many claim, a tougher examination at the end. When it comes to consideration for IPTA admission, these matriculation grades are converted to CGPA grades to be the same as grades obtained in the STPM examination. This is where a lot of students cry foul and claim that manipulasi occurs. They say that matriculation grades and STPM are like apples and oranges and cannot be meaningfully and easily converted and compared. Really how equitable is it when the two system are compared is something GOK for the basis used is not widely known as it appears to be kept under wraps. A more transparent approach may allay suspicion.

Many students who have failed to gain admission have wondered aloud whether it was the right thing to do when they did their Form 6 and the STPM. Since long ago, many post-SPM students have realised that matriculation is a shortcut to gaining admission to IPTA. But it has only been in the past two years that non-bumiputra students have been allowed admission to this system. Even then they only make up 10% of the matriculation student population. As to the actual number, it is again anyone's guess for the figures are under wraps. So for the many non-bumiputra students who are not accepted for matriculation, apart from doing their further eductaion in private institutes or colleges of higher learning [which involves hefty expenditures, often beyond the means of many], what is the next available option? Back to square one, Form 6 and STPM.

So what's the solution(s) to ensure that when it comes to selection of students for IPTA admission based on meritocracy and not MaB? Firstly let there be only one common system for post-SPM students to do their pre-tertiary education. Either the Form 6 goes or matriculation goes. Suspicions about the manipulasi in matrikulasi would be removed in one single stroke.
The other step the government needs to take in order to ensure that as many as possible of those who are qualified and eligible received tertiary education is to spend more on creating more and more places for them. When compared to previous year, the number of places available in the public universities have only increased by a miserable 5%. But the number of STPM candidates jumped by 20% to 56,500 and matriculation students jumped by 25% to 20,026. Obviously steps have not been taken to ensure that there are adequate places for our students! Knowing how important educating our youths is to the further progress of our nation towards developed nationhood, the government and especially the Education MINIstry have been found wanting. Now that we have not one but actually two MINIstries catering for Education, can we expect better things in the future!


more later....


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