Thursday, May 18, 2006

Matriculation quandary?

I was really surprised to see this report in the Star today. It highlighted the case of Tan Tze Ning, who got straight As (it didn't say how many or whether they were all A1s) in her SPM but still failed to secure a place in the matriculation program.

We aren't told how many As she obtained or if they were straight As so I'm guessing that she probably wasn't a 10A1 scorer. While it may not be that surprising that she didn't get a JPA / PSD scholarship, what I am surprised by is the fact that she couldn't get into the matriculation program.

Tony has blogged about STPM versus Matriculation here and I recall that 10% of the matriculation places were opened to non-bumis about 2 years ago. If I recall correctly, there were initial complaints that there were not enough non-bumis to fill that 10% quota. If that is so, why is it that someone like Tze Ning, who seemed to have done relatively well, could not get into the matriculation program? Furthermore, it was reported that only 2 out of the 17 non-bumi students were accepted into the matriculation program from the same Jasin MRSM.

In my limited understanding, Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) are secondary residential type schools where students stay and study on campus. Given that there are already very few non-bumis in MRSMs, shouldn't the education authorities have made it easier for these few non-bumis to get into matriculation programs? Isn't ethnic integration and inter-mixing an important criteria and goal in the larger scheme of national priorities?

Thankfully, there are options which Tze Ning has which might not have been available to her 20 years ago. I'm sure that if she waits it out a little longer, she can get into a STPM program in one of the secondary schools in Melaka, given that she is qualified to take STPM. She can always opt to do a pre-university program in a private college and might be able to obtain scholarships from some of these institutions. I'm sure that Dr. Wee Ka Siong, MP for Ayer Hitam and MCA Youth Education Bureau chief, can also pull some strings on her behalf. But the point is that he shouldn't have had to. She and most of her other MRSM non-bumi counterparts should have been accepted into a matriculation program in the first place.

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

Previously MRSM is only for bumi. All the students will go to matri or obtain JPA scholarship. Although not written matri places for non bumi is already allocated to each schools ie sch A 1 place, sch B 2 places and some sch no place at all. So its not suprising only 2 got it cos that MRSM is allocated only 2 place.

There is a case where this school is allocated 1 place for non bumi and this school had 80% bumi. The student who got it had only 7A1 in SPM. Whereas another school nearby being 95% non bumi and does not allocate any place and non of the straight A1s got it.

As for why they did not get into form 6, if I am not wrong allocation for form 6 is being done by another department and they did not look into MRSM cos all student will go to matric (those 17 are consider exceptional).

Anonymous said...

laaaa....don't cry lah ! Better go to form6...you learn more than in matric and the standard is much higher!
If you do your form6, once enter the university yr foundation will be good

lyl said...

The problem now is that they didnt receive an offer for STPM nor matriculation, and it is still uncertain whether they will receive it. Furthermore, a placement for the matriculation course is like a lucky draw anyway.

Also, she lives at Batu Pahat. Asking her to attend STPM at Malacca would be a total hassle. What more for others from the northern parts?

-------------

Anyway, I strongly think that these 8 students (of all whom I do know) shouldn't be making a big fuss. They obviously did not bother finding out about scholarships offered by private colleges or ilk. Non-princeofthelanders needs to know the consequences and possibilities when one goes to an MJSC. They need to be realistic and expect Murphy's Law to happen, as it is now. They also need to plan ahead to avoid disappointment, and not keep thinking they are so great that they DESERVE a JPA/matriculation place.

Also, an interesting thing is that their applications for the ASEAN scholarship was rejected in the initial stages, due to failing the "writing a short summary about your greatest achievement" part. [ they cant compose a paragraph without blantant grammatical and structural errors mind you]

As to why bother complaining about JPA , they should examine themselves and look at their participation in co curricular activities ( or lack of thereof), their weak grasp of English, their lack of general knowledge and ability to conduct intellectual discussions about current issues. They are the typical inactive type of people who communicate in Mandarin 24/7, study all the time and still fail to get 4.0

I think their actions is a total disgrace towards MJSC Jasin. Even our counsellor had warned the non-princeofthelanders about such possibilities, and asked us to prepare and have back up plans. The system will always be in place. It is how you make do of it and beat it.

Francis said...

To LYL,

I totally agreed with your opinion regarding the students of mrsm being rejected by matriculation and how we non-bumis must always think a step further especially regarding our education.

I am one of the top-scorers in my school(scored 11A1,1A2) and have a reputation of being active in co-curricular activities.I applied for matriculation but was absolutely stunned when I failed in my attempt.

Although I am quite skeptical by how our country's education system is run,I didn't appealed for matriculation for I know that there are others out there who are better than me but still faced the same fate as mine.I've applied admission for a private university and was even interviewed for the scholarships provided.

For now, I am waiting for my scholarship interview result and the appeal I've made for the PSD scholarship though I place little hope in it.

Anonymous said...

I think the ASEAN scholarship opens doors that many do not realise. A lot of people complain that it is just for Pre-U but dare not take up the challenge and take the leap. What a waste. Just simply wait in vain for JPA or matrics... in the end they either get devastated for not getting it or they're being sent to coutries like, Russia, Ukraine and Indonesia which is seriously short-changing them for such a long bond period.

Kian Ming said...

LYL and Francis are spot on when they say that as non-bumis, we should prepare for other alternatives in case the ones that we're banking on (like the JPA) don't follow through. There are many scholarships out there among the local private colleges such as Sunway, Monash and the like for the different programs which they offer. Private organizations such as the Star and Public Bank also offer pre-university scholarships. The ASEAN scholarship in Singapore is another option for those who want to take A levels and experience life in Singapore. Anonymous is right by saying that it opens up many doors. Tony and myself certainly gained immensely from our Singapore experience.

But the ASEAN scholarship comes with a warning. If what LYL said about the standard of English of the Jasin MRSM non-bumi students is accurate (LYL seems to be an insider since the ASEAN scholarship application wasn't reported in the press), then it was for their own good that they didn't end up in Singapore. Doing A levels in a top JC in Singapore is extremely competitive and pressurizing. If your standard of English is not up to mark, you'll probably end up with not so decent A level results which might even deny you a place in your preferred course in NUS or NTU.

Anonymous said...

Lots of readers in this blog keep on saying ASEAN scholarship but the big question is how many are they offering. I am sure they also have a quota and don't tell me that they gave everyone who qualified. Each year how many sit for the text and at the end how many got it. Can anyone tell how many did they gave each year? We must be realistic also. I can strongly said that it was less than 100.

We also don't blame those poor guys in MRSM. They were ill inform by their school counsellor. Many still thought that students in MRSM were automatic qualified for matric without noticing that non bumi had no privilege.

dracula77 said...

AS an ex-MRSM student I'm sure MARA will take care of this student. I think JPA had overlooked his case. It's a common practice that MARA 'almost automatically' sponsor their students, thus, JPA rarely offer them. Probably this student missed out some point somewhere, or they just overlooked.

Anonymous said...

current 2006 ASEAN direct scholar:

if u are saying the number of M'sian ASEAN DIRECT scholars..the number is about 100 each year..but there are also lots of Msian scholars coming in during secondary schools..so in total lots of M'sian scholars come in to SG each year.. btw Direct scholars mean those that come in after SPM..as in they complete A levels here after their SPM in Msia..

canonman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
canonman said...

To dracula77,

MARA only sponsors bumi students. The students who are having problems are non-bumi, and that's the quandary they are facing. Where do they go?

canonman said...

sorry double post above :|

Anonymous said...

So here it goes, ASEAN scholarship is only 100 less than JPA. How to distribute when they are thousands who are qualified.

As for dracula77 MARA cannot sponsor non bumi. You must know what is the purpose of MARA.

lyl said...

To anon @ Thu May 18, 04:21:09 PM,

Last year they offered about 130 places for the Asean Pre-U scholarship (for A-levels). About 10,000 people were shortlisted to take the test. About 22000 applied.

How do I get of this figure? When the offer letter comes, a ranking is placed on the upper left corner. I managed to get no.3 - hence securing a place at RJC. A friend of mine got 127 and was sent to Anderson JC. Hence I can assume it is at least 130.

There is no discriminatory quota or ilk for this, as I know of a few Malays and Indians who got it as well.

Also, i wish to disgress from your comment on "They were ill inform by their school counsellor.". I have already pointed out earlier that :

"Even our counsellor had warned the non-princeofthelanders about such possibilities, and asked us to prepare and have back up plans."

Well Kian Ming, I was from MJSC Jasin too. Thats why I know of these people and still stick to my stand of them stirring up an unnecessary storm. Their acts will only discourage other non-bumis to go to MJSC.

Anonymous said...

In 1998, there was a whopping 300 direct ASEAN Scholars. A large number of them are working in Singapore now... (me being one of them)

Generally, it's about 100 a year.

Anonymous said...

...THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS DO NOT ENTER MRSM........

Anonymous said...

In 1990, there was abt 250 who got direct ASEAN Pre-U Scholarship. Of these, only abt 150 stayed on and finished their A-level.

About 20% of these continued their tertiary education out of Singapore, balance 80% remained in NTU or NUS.

Anonymous said...

Is WiraKarnain Sani from MRSM Jasin too? No wonder....

Anonymous said...

every year the scholarship-schmolarship is a nationwide joke, along with the majority of jokers in parliament too. instead of debating worthy issues such as corruption, education.. they debate on polygamy and promoting it to save our "widowed and single" women. what a joke.

Anonymous said...

If lyl said is correct 22,000 applied and 130 got it, chances is even smaller than JPA. Purpose of people making huha is to hope gov. consider. If you don't make noise they will said everything is OK.

Anonymous said...

IMO, if it is really true that these non bumis only spoke Mandarin and clustered amongst themselves, then I don't think they deserve a JPA scholarship. The purpose of entering MRSM is to mix around with Bumis, speak English (or Malay) and not to form cliques of your own kind.

Anyway I got a friend who rejected JPA for ASEAN. I thought it was quite foolish of him...he could have ended up in the US instead of NUS. But of course, I would take up
ASEAN if I hadn't got JPA but not the other way round!

lyl said...

Well, to anon @ Thu May 18, 05:42:20 PM,

The JPA offer for US sux. I got it too. Its 1 year Intec + 2 year LOCAL COLLEGE + 2 years USA (transfer). Hence the reject decision was a no brainer.

Hence you will end up in a crappy uni. NUS is probably better then that.

-----------

to anon @ Thu May 18, 05:30:49 PM,
At least the ASEAN scholarship has a placement test to really determine who gets which rank. Does JPA have one? tsk tsk

---------

to anon @ Thu May 18, 05:17:27 PM,
WiraKarnain Sani isnt from MJSC Jasin. It didnt exist yet when he went to high school. On the other hand, Suhaimy Ramly (MIT '05) is from Jasin though :D.

--------

Anonymous said...

Hey friends no need to keep on mention ASEAN. I'm quite sure 90% of those who did not get JPA also being rejected by ASEAN. Otherwise you don't have 22,000 application.

Anyway majority who got ASEAN are very good in english. Can you blame those from SJK(C) students? It all lies with our education system.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't want my child to go to Matric even if he/she got it and it is for his/her own good. Matric is sub-par compared to STPM. Moreover, Matric isn't even recognized in top universities overseas or even in universities down south. So don't fret. Not getting into Matric is good actually because you will emerge from other programs smarter and perhaps more diligent.

Anonymous said...

till this day i'm still wondering why the ministry created the whole matric in the first place. it was meant to be inferior from the beginning and strictly for bumi students. i'm puzzled why such a government would want to create weak or weaker students and future human resource. i thought they wanted to create towering malays? with what? inferior foundation? it just don't make sense.

Anonymous said...

lyl.....UWC Costa Rica......

Anonymous said...

The number for direct ASEAN scholars is slightly more than 100 every year. There are 5 JCs with ASEAN intake and each JC takes abt 20+.

My time in TJC has 26 of us direct ASEAN scholars.

lyl said...

to anon @ Thu May 18, 11:03:25 PM.

erm.. ya.. i got into UWC Costa Rica..

y?

who ru

Anonymous said...

I am who I am........................hahaha

lyl said...

rite..
stalker..
better not hijack tony's blog man.. after he kill me..

add me at msn or something ler if u wanna talk

Anonymous said...

wah lao eh,
Lots of criticism against JPA scholarship and lots of praise for asean scholarship. After final analysising, chances of getting a JPA is still higher than asean. JPA guarantee till uni level, asean only to pre-u. JPA guarantee you a job whereas asean not.

Now lets analyse rationaly. Take economics programme as an example. People sponsor you half a million and bond for 4 years. Is it asking too much. Treat that 4 years as gaining some experience. Foreign moon is not always rounder. They also have problems which you might not know. Our population composition is different and its impossible to have equality and peace at the same time. Saying is always easier than done. If one side is happy there is always disappointment from the others. If we were to honest to ourself, which were you choose if you got both JPA and asean? I'm sure majority will choose JPA (except indonesia/russia). From the way lots of readers describe, as if its so easy to get asean. What we get from this blog is always views from those who already there. But what about those who failed. Each year there is only about 100 odds and looks at the number of applications. Life over there is not easier either. Look at the stress and kiasu mentality. Contemplate about the movie I am not stupid and money is not enough. Why every weekend thousands cross over to release tension, might be when you get older you will know what i mean. Youngster always talk about top and world class but never think about their parents pocket. After reading this blog for few months i notice majority of those who critise a lot also have no respect for their own parents. How can you be respected when you call your parents as old man?

Anonymous said...

I think you missed the point.

It's not about either JPA or ASEAN is better off. It's about choosing scholars on a level playing field.

Anonymous said...

To anon fri may 19, 09:38:42 am

You must know the objective of JPA and Asean. JPA is to help his citizien whereas Asean is not. Why asean is not open to sg citizen?

Anonymous said...

The objective of ASEAN scholarship is to not help Sg citizen but to invite talent from South East Asia to study in their schools. In a way, this provides stiff competition for their local students and the overall standand of education is stesdily raised. It's a win-win situation for both the scholar and Sg gov.

I feel from a student's point of view, whether JPA is to help it's citizen or ASEAN is not open to sg citizens is not that all important.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, the ASEAN scholarship is also to help its own citizens. Getting in foreign talent helps to boost the Singapore economy as these foreigners contribute a lot to the Singapore economy. Investors take this as a sign of a progressive non-discriminating globalised economy and invest in Singapore. Singaporeans get exposed to global competition and culture and are better prepared to interact on the global stage. 'If you cannot send all of your people overseas, why not bring overseas to your own people?'

On a side note, a person with real determination, ambition, brains and brawn will be able to succeed no matter the circumstances. JPA provides merely the easiest and most obvious way of financing ones education. However, after that, what prospects are there? In Singapore, you can see all those presidents, SAF, Colombo Plan, SPF, EDB, MAS, GIC and even ASEAN scholars getting to the top of the social, political, corporate and military hierarchy but we hardly hear of any JPA scholars doing the same in Malaysia.

Hence, I do not believe in any supposedly 'better' scholarship. It's just how people make the most out of what is given to them. Btw, the riches, most famous and successful people in the world are NOT scholars or people who have been awarded scholarships. They are people who managed to overcome their disadvantaged background and make a name for themselves through sweat and blood. They got all their scholarly recognition AFTER their success.

Just to provide some examples, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Two of the most influential entrepeneurs of our generation were college dropouts. Li Ka-Shing, Tan Sri Loh Boon Siew and Sim Wong Hoo for a more closer to home example. Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison... go figure. And there are lots of up-and-coming ones even in this generation where paper qualification is so important. Olivia Lum and Elim Chew weren't scholars. Now both of them are sitting on the board of trustees of NUS having a say on how degrees and honours should be awarded. Heck, Elim Chew did not even go to university.

These are the REAL scholars. Not those people whining about not being able to get one despite their efforts and even more so not those who have no qualms about breaking their bond AFTER spending hundreds of thousand of taxpayer ringgit.

-Nick-

liz said...

Nick: Must we equate academics with material wealth?

You don't have to go to college if you want to be rich (cash-wise) or powerful. But, in today's world, you have to go to college to be in the academic field, to advance human knowledge.

I'm not saying that scholars will make the best academics, I'm just pointing out that people should not quote Fortune 500 CEOs as examples of successful people without college degrees.

Anonymous said...

Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison are NOT Fortune 500 CEOs. Thomas Edison is an inventor and Albert Einstein is an academic. They advanced human knowledge WITHOUT having a prior scholarship. If I remembered correctly, they did rather badly in school.

No, we do not need to equate academics to material wealth.
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs advanced human knowledge. They did it without degrees. Steve Jobs' Pixar animation studios created ground-breaking animation technology.

I'm not quoting them because they are CEOs, I'm qouting them because contrary to popular belief, they managed to be an example to society that people CAN become successful without a scholarship. And mind you, they DID advance human knowledge. You definition of 'advancing human knowledge' is rather narrow. My post is exactly for people like you liz, your thoughts are too confined that you can only advance human knowledge if you have a phd or a degree... you don't, not even in this modern society.

-Nick-

Anonymous said...

One of the problems with this blog is that there has been overemphasis on world-class universities in the various posts under different topics. A SPM top-scorer who has been reading the posts would no doubt be unhappy if he or she does not one day get into Oxford, Harvard and the likes. My contention is that our top scorers have developed a very narrow scope in their search for further education. Very few top scorers consider private university colleges. I am aware that a student who got 5As in the SPM and 4Bs in the STPM managed to get a scholarship for a BA course in psychology at one of these university colleges. For a young lady whose father could ill-afford the cost of an overseas education, the offer (worth around RM40,000)is like manna from heaven. The achievement of straight As at the SPM level is not that great after all in view of the large number who have got them. There must be attempts by non-bumi students to explore all opportunities available to them. In fact, the JPA scholarships, Asean scholoarhips and scholarships offers from overseas top universities should be looked upon as exceptions. I am sure that many of the SPM top scorers have been hurt mentally, one way or another, by the very approach they have taken.

Anonymous said...

I dont know about JPA offer for US sucks, but what I heard is this, they do send students to schools like Purdue, Wisconsin Madison or even UIUC for engineering programs
What do you people think? I believe even for Duke they have JPA scholars right ?

Anonymous said...

Now we have come full circle. The debate over the importance of education is never-ending. More importantly, the debate over how education is best achieved is even greater. Whether through the standard century-old route via degrees or through sheer human determination and hard work. If you ask me, no one's right or wrong here. There is no real true route. We make our own choices ourselves based on what we think is best and what the current circumstances are. If getting a degree is a privilege to those able to, then by all means graduate with one first. It doesn't hurt to have a "safety net" at the end of the day. But if books and exams don't fancy you, then work hard in a field or area you're interest.

I've seen/heard too many people arguing over which method is right or wrong. There is no right or wrong here. You do what you can, how you can, where you can.

Anonymous said...

To anon @ Fri May 19, 01:36:25 PM,

The reason why these scholars are sent to "Purdue, Wisconsin Madison or even UIUC" (sic) is due to their ability ( or lack of thereof). A large bunch of them obviously do not do well in their SATs, especially the Verbal and Writting section. Obviously the majority of these scholars are of the majority race by the way.

So when you offer these people all the scholarships in the first place, and hope that this is a stepping stone for them to go to good universities , which of course do not happen about 99% of the time. Hence, the dreams of producing "Towering-Malays" inevitably fails.

While all these happen, the qualified non-bumis have to strive harder, and ultimately a few succeed in getting admission into top universities, WITHOUT JPA scholarships. So do you expect them to return ?

Also, the inequal distribution of scholarships creates sad cases like the girl who got into Stanford but couldnt afford it a few years back. All this while about 80 students go to crapholes like Indiana U .

There will inevitably be a fewww JPA scholars at top universities, like Nick @ Harvard. However, the number of JPA scholars at lousy 2nd and 3rd tier universities will always far far far outnumber the ones at the good universities.

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall a LOT of A*STAR scholars from Singapore's premier research centre going to Purdue, Wisconsin-Madison and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne. Well, maybe they're there to ace their exams using the easy way out since they have a pre-requisite of a 3.8/4.0 GPA to continue their PhD studies. However, I don't think those unis are that bad...

-Nick-

Anonymous said...

UI-UC, UW-M, and other state universities are definitely not bad. it's just that it is not the best either, or at least the top 20 universities there. most ppl think that since it's a state-funded uni where there are over 40,000 enrollment at any one time, it is a poorer university compared to the private ones - MIT, Harv, Stan.

Anonymous said...

The standard in STPM is much better than Matric from the point of:

1 Spirit of competion
2 More time to study all the science subjects
3 More science subjects
4 More difficult syllabus
5 Better teachers

It is an open secret that the performance of STPM holders is better than matric students..
They fare well in the universities

Anonymous said...

straight A's and can't get into matrics?? Duh, she should know why?? I;m rejected also by the way(straight A student myself)

Anonymous said...

Well, yeah, STPM is way above matriculation. But its standard is decreasing, probably by some force behind. Let's hope it wont be worse, since it's already lower than A-levels.

Anonymous said...

SPM straight As achievers who are rejected by JPA, don't worry so much, go for A-Levels first, most private colleges will waive the tuition fees, go on to attempt another straight As again.
With both straight As in SPM and A-Levels you will stand a better chance for other scholarships.
All the best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a Purdue engineering graduate, I feel compelled to defend it (or "her", for anthropomorphic effect) as well as U. Wisconsin-Madison and UIUC. Anon (Fri May 19, 04:53:59 PM) was right to say that these are state schools (as opposed to private ones), with plenty of mandates (but never enough money, at least from the schools' standpoint) from the respective state governments. High enrollment number---with significant % from in-state---is definitely one characteristic, as is the panoply of majors ranging from history to consumer science to nuclear engineering to cater to the state residents.

When evaluated "holistically", these universities definitely aren't ranked up there with the Harvards, Stanfords and Columbias. However, Purdue, UWM and UIUC have the advantage of being located in the "Midwest" which is (historically) "high-tech" region of the United States, first in the agricultural sector (some started off as agricultural and mechanical, or A&M schools) and in the mid-20th-century, the manufacturing sector. So their technical (engineering) programs are rather established, well funded and quite highly regarded. (Assuming the validity of the rankings, the engineering programs in these schools are certainly up there, most likely above Harvard and Princeton and such.) U Michigan-Ann Arbor, which is closest to the original Big-3 car makers General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, is another such school.

One major challenge now is of course the shrinking manufacturing base in the US Midwest as companies move to states down south, then Mexico, then China and East Asia. But at least for now, these universities have leveraged their reputation in engineering to move into other high-tech realms: IT, bio- and nano-anything, healthcare, energy, security, etc. and compete for funds pouring into these areas. We'll just have to see if the bets work out in their favor. Keep in mind that Stanford really come to prominence after betting correctly on the silicon technology (as well as tapping into the entrepreneurial drive of Californians) in the late 60s and 70s; so is U Texas-Austin in the 80s; and Georgia Tech is pumping loads of money to build up its reputation starting in the mid-90s (it is about the only school I know of that visit other universities for graduate program/PhD student recruitment).

Back to the topic at hand, some JPA scholars in Purdue engineering programs are quite good. Others are mediocre at best. A few are simply disgraceful. I'll hold my tongue re. "scholars" in non-technical programs there...

dracula77 said...

I agree with anon Fri May 19, 06:53:34 PM..STPM is way more challenging than matric. Even though I attended matric, when I was in first year at university, I had to study STPM book as it was much details compared to matric. That's why heaps of non-Malay got 1st class or at least 2nd class upper especially those study science or engineering course..

Anonymous said...

STPM is still the BEST!!

Comrade said...

The only that can be said is the Malaysian is racist, hypocritical and an outrage.

Comrade said...

Sorry it's Malaysian Government not Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

your apologies accepted

Anonymous said...

Comrade,

Why don't you join politic so that we can vote you?

casper said...

Just a few points that I would like to add here:

(a) Contrary to popular myth, Bill Gate is not a dropped out, he quit because his Microsoft Inc was doing too well. (The differences between to dropd out and to quit is akin being sacked or resigned from a job because you are already too rich).

(b) JPA uses tax payer money to fund these scholars and hence has a fiduciary duty (whether JPA realises it or not) to make sure the scholarship awareded adds value to the the development of Malaysia.) Of course, if it is a Malay entrepreneur's pocket money, he can fund whoever he likes.

(c) Sometimes, fate takes us to different path. Not getting a scholarship may just lead one to another path where one achieves a lot more. When one looks back many years later after graduating, getting scholarship or not would have been a tiny ripple in life.

(d) Not SRJK(C) student about not having a good graps of english. All one needs to learn engish are personal initiatve, a dictionary and papers/books. Simply being SRJK(C) is not a valid excuse, I am afraid.

(e) STPM more challenging. Indeed so but STPM is such a narrowly focus course and what you learn from it has little value in real world. So, getting through this A Level/STPM/Matric hurdle as quickly as possible would be a wise thing to do. One can benefit further by reading widely and in depth rather than trying to memorise the STPM text books which are as thick as telephone book (we have computer to store data, our brain should be used to think, not to be used as a hard disk).

Those are my few cents...
casper

Anonymous said...

Dear Casper, your few cents worth much more. I fully with you. The points you mentioned are indeed very good.

liz said...

Nick:
1) erm... there are many more scientists than the oft-cited popular Thomas Edison and Einstein, you know. For example take a look at Google Scholar and the latest science journals.

Using examples from just one university - and what about Brian Skiner? What about William Nordhaus? What about Harold Bloom?
Granted Einstein and Thomas Edison, the only two scientists that you could name, have made scientific discoveries without a college education - however, back then, education was not so formalized. And business people's main objective is to gather as much material wealth and power, and not to advance knowledge.

I'm not entirely sure what our govt's objective of putting scholars (not normal people) into established academic institutions are, but part of that reason must be to advance academics in this country..

In US at least, subjects like engineering, drama, dance, business, medicine are considered PROFESSIONAL professions, where people actually pay money to study in this subject - because these professions take out of society more than they give. Whereas pHDs in graduate schools are usually FREE in arts and sciences (ask Kian Ming :)) because doing a pHD has a positive externality on society i.e. academics gives back to the pool of knowledge more than it takes. Or speaking from general experience, for an economics major, if you become an i-Banker, you'll be richer compared to a professor in economics.

Of course, all professions are important, but I think that praising Bill Gates and Steve Jobs for developing software is quite insulting to all the other millions of unknown scientists toiling in laboratories and making a fraction of what these business people make. Why don't you try stepping into a research lab one day?

Casper said...

"Why don't you try stepping into a research lab one day?"

Perhaps it is worth taking a minute to count how many of these PhD thesis and Uni research projects are funded by industry (e.g. Microsoft, Motorla etc) before industrialist's and corporation contribution are brushed aside..

Can't really understand your logic about doing medicine is taking resource away from the society.

Anonymous said...

Liz:

Of course there are those with degrees and Phds who succeed in contributing to human knowledge. However, my point is that it is not a compulsory pre-requisite. Anyway, figure out yourself why they are still 'unknown' despite their so-called 'contributions' to advance human knowledge. My guess is that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did a better job than them.

Anyway, my original post was targeted at those who are obsessed at getting JPA scholarships and matriculation places just because they want to take the 'easy' way out when they actually do not have the guts to try the road less taken and have more confidence in their own abilities regardless of the circumstances.

I'm not against any scholar or degree holder because I'm a scholar myself and am on my way to getting a degree. It's just that those who claim to 'deserve' a scholarship or a place in matriculation simply don't show that they deserve by whining and complaining when they don't get it.

I also do not understand your point on medicine, engineering, drama, dance and business students taking away from society more than they can give whereas arts and sciences don't... think that is an over-generalisation.

-Nick-

Anonymous said...

"It's just that those who claim to 'deserve' a scholarship or a place in matriculation simply don't show that they deserve by whining and complaining when they don't get it."

Damn right. They need to stfu. These people all think the government owes them a scholarship. A question can be posed to them - if you are so damn good... why rely on the government in the first place?

rakyat said...

We are being thrown scraps and fighting over it. That's the feeling one gets reading about JPA, matriculation, university places in M'sia. Just go apply for ASEAN scholarships and other scholarships available in Singapore.

If you get good A level results, you will have access to world class universities, scholarships and loans. You can partake in the main feast, not just waiting for scraps and bread-crumbs that fall off the table.

Anonymous said...

Former Matriculation Student and Going to Graduate from Uni in September;

Here the gist from a former matriculation student and will be graduating from Uni on September.

The gist:
Yes matriculation is "weak" (the correct term is shortened) compare to STPM because it crams and snips syllabus from 1 and a half years (STPM) to one-year.
Here is the basic, matriculation students are divided into 3 category, physical science, bio science (or sains hayat) and art stream (couldn’t remember the precise name/term). Physical science enables you to get into engineering, technical courses while bio science enables you to take medical, forestry courses. The art category is the usually reserve for the most part accountant courses and maybe management. Therefore, what science stream STPM students are learning is actually physical science and bio science together. And they learn more. But what matriculation students is taking have to coincide with their future Uni courses. Therefore, matriculation is more specific.

Results:
STPM prepares you for further/higher education or directly become a member of the working society.
Matriculation prepares you for higher education only.
Students should consider the two statements above and decide whether to go straight to work or further your education. It is as simple as that.

Downside for Both:
But when you get into university, both STPM and matriculation students (back then when students can apply to Uni using SPM results and those students who got into Uni are 1st
Year students) are automatically 2nd year students (STPM & matriculation). And they have to take certain subject that was not learned in STPM and matriculation but was learned by SPM(1st year) students. STPM students have more subjects to take than matriculation students because STPM is more general (as the example above have shown)

About the bumi and non-bumi rule:
Well there is actually a hole in the system for Sarawak and Sabah people. The only gist I will give you is the term “Mix blood”. And it has been active long before the 10% non-bumi rule.

About STPM student better than Matriculation students:
Well, I saw a lot of situation and all I can tell you is that it depends on individuals. (Plus I SOMETIMES score higher than students that got in using either SPM or STPM results, yes I am bragging)

Discipline between the two:
Well, I certainly remembered that every Friday morning (matriculation) I have to learn how to march. Discipline in terms of studying and acquiring knowledge still depends on the individual.

What about the quality of student between STPM and Matriculation?
I don’t know. Ask me again when I am successful.

PS-Just wanted to share what I know (and I didn’t read all the comments and feel free to disagree)

Anonymous said...

lyl said...
Well, to anon @ Thu May 18, 05:42:20 PM,

'The JPA offer for US sux. I got it too. Its 1 year Intec + 2 year LOCAL COLLEGE + 2 years USA (transfer). Hence the reject decision was a no brainer'.

You obviously didn't get the better JPA deals out there!

lyl said...

TO anon @ Mon May 22, 07:21:22 PM,

This year all JPA offers to US is that. Your sneer of me not getting a better offer is not vindicated. :)

The only "better" offer I didnt get is the lucky draw within the JPA scholarships - the DIRECT entry to Vanderbilt University this August, without taking the SATs, TOEFL and even writting the essays. Of course, you can guess what race they will select for this fasttrack scholarship.

Anonymous said...

I see...I wonder why JPA decided to change the policy. In my year (SPM 2000), all US programs are 9 month ADP in UiTM and then off you go to the US. JPA must have been cash-strapped sponsoring the ever increasing numbers of straight A students.

Anonymous said...

Dont worry, with TNB going bust soon it will more cash strapped!

Anonymous said...

As far as I can see it...the purpose of matriculation is just save time and money and get special ' green lane' to easily enter the university.

STPM gives you very good foundation, competition with other races which is healthy.

No wonder a four pointer in matriculation cannot compare with a four pointer in STPM....miles apart!Comparing STPM being similar or identical is like comparing apple and orange....any idiot can see that.

What is conclusive how do these matriculation fare compare to their counterparts with STPM...???

Just see the exam results in faculty of medicine, science, engineering and dentistry at UM...You will laugh!

casper said...

"Just see the exam results in faculty of medicine, science, engineering and dentistry at UM...You will laugh!"

The problem is to do with the quality and motivation of the students and less to do with matriculation. Good students, even if illed prepared, struggle for the first few semester and then will do well. Weak students through STPM will do no better.

I did a twinning programme without STPM or A Level to UK uni and during the first semester, most of us struggle but most of use ended with 1st and 2:1 in the end also.

I have no doubt about quality of STPM education but in most cases, that is not what the students or what the nation needs. It is like buying a Ferrari just to go to the shop around the corner.

By the time you graduate from uni, most of the STPM stuff are already been long forgotten. I do apologize if this comment offends anyone doing STPM but this is what I see many years after the leaving uni.

In fact, being able to leave uni one year earlier (on matric, twinning etc), you have significant advantage over those who came 1 year later. In UK, those who starts working at 16 (not going to uni) are in fact doing better than msot who go to uni and burdended themselves with debt.

Again..my two pennies.

Anonymous said...

Matric is akin to the mee magee adverts...cepat di masak , cepat di makan...tapi not really nutritious

Anonymous said...

erm.....it's cepat dimasak, sedap dimakan.......

keyser soze said...

hmmm...
we need change indeed..

but i feel offended by some of your guys' remarks on Purdue.

why on earth would you want to go to Harvard for if you want to do engineering?
i'm Malay, and I'm a proud engineering student in Purdue, and i'm here not under any scholarships.

go take a look at the Princeton review's et all. search for Purdue engineering.
we're in the freaking top 10!!!!! in nearly every category available!!!!
I'm doing IE, and we're currently ranked 2nd best in the nation.

hell the 1st and the last man to step on the moon are Purdue engineers.
we produce more astronauts than any other colleges except MIT and the army academy...

please look back at your facts...

and to tell you, this place is freaking competitive...

mannn...
the guys who didn't do well in their SATs go to stevens institute of technology in NJ.

and Wisconsin-madison and UIUC have very good engineering and business programs too.

man, i'm annoyed!!!