Thursday, May 22, 2008

Co-curricular Points

For Malaysian students applying for local universities entry, 10% of the consideration comes from the fairly new "co-curricular points" system. And from what I understand, the point allocation system is fairly opaque and many don't really know how it gets awarded. There is even suspicion that the marks are tweaked by the Ministry of Education to give unfair advantage to certain particular groups.

Hence I asked the following question to the Education Minister to clarify the mechanism by which these points get awarded -
(a) cara pengiraan mata aktiviti ko-kurikulum bagi pelajar-pelajar untuk tujuan permohonan universiti awan; dan

(b) siapakah yang menentukan mata aktiviti ini dan apapkah langkah yang diambil Kementerian untuk menjamin proses tersebut adil dan saksama.
The replies were as follows:
(a) Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia (KPM) telah menetapkan markah yang diberikan kepada penglibatan murid sekolah dan pelajar Matrikulasi dalam kokurikulum untuk tujan permohonan ke universiti awam meliputi tiga bidang, iaitu Pasukan Badan Beruniform, Persatuan/Kelab dan Sukan/Permainan. Pemberian markah adalah berdasarkan kehadiran (50%), penglibatan (20%), pencapaian (20%) dan jawatan yang disandang (10%).

Untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat, markah bonus pula diberikan bagi penglibatan murid sekolah dalam kegiatan kokurikulum yang dianjurkan oleh pihak luar sekolah. Markah bonus juga diberikan bersarkan sesuatu jawatan kepimpinan yang disandang oleh murid dan jawatan tersebut bertujuan membantu pengurusan dan pentadbiran sekolah. Jawatan tersebut merangkumi;

i. Jawatan peringkat sekolah seperti Pengawas, Pengawas Perpustakaan, Imam dan sebagainya;

ii. Jawatan peringkat rumah seperti Ketua Rumah, Ketua Bilik/Asrama dan sebagainya; dan

iii. Jawatan peringkat kelas seperty Ketua Kelas dan sebagainya.

(b) Bagi menentukan markah kokurikulum tersebut, KPM juga telah mengeluarkan Buku Panduan Penilaian Kokurikulum Sekolah Menengah pada tahun 2007. Oleh itu, pemberian markah adalah berasaskan panduan yang telah digariskan dan digunapakai di semua sekolah menengah. Panduan ini telah disediakan oleh Jawatankuasa/Panel yang dianggotai oleh pengawai-pegawai di peringkat sekolah, PPD/PPG, JPN dan KPM.

Bagi pelajar Matrikulasi pula, penentuan markah kokurikulum adalah berdasarkan aktiviti yang diceburi pelajar dengan mengemukakan sijil-sijil yang diiktiraf dan disahkan oleh pengarah Kolej Matrikulasi berkenaan. Proses ini dilaksanakan secara telus oleh Jawatankuasa Penilaian 10% Markah Kokurikulum yang dipengerusikan oleh Pengarah Kolej Matrikulasi yang berkenaan.
Well, there's slightly more clarity here with the answers, but it probably doesn't do much to help us assess if the above process is fair and transparent, as claimed.

So for those who have more information with regards to the above, feel free to update us here. In addition, I'm looking at asking an additional question for the Ministry to provide statistics on the average and median grades received via STPM vs Matriculation, and also by race.

18 comments:

Andrew Loh said...

(a) Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia (KPM) telah menetapkan markah yang diberikan kepada penglibatan murid sekolah dan pelajar Matrikulasi dalam kokurikulum untuk tujan permohonan ke universiti awam meliputi tiga bidang, iaitu Pasukan Badan Beruniform, Persatuan/Kelab dan Sukan/Permainan. Pemberian markah adalah berdasarkan kehadiran (50%), penglibatan (20%), pencapaian (20%) dan jawatan yang disandang (10%).

I can only comment on how it's done in schools. In SMKDJ we used the exact same format.

Kehadiran takes 50% -- this is fairly straightforward.

The ambiguity comes in for the rest.

Jawatan -- there are only so many posts to go around, so pengerusi = 10 marks, naib = 9, etc. Normal members get 3 marks if I remember correctly.

Penglibatan -- I forget how marks are awarded here.

Pencapaian -- this is one of the worst categories, imo. Only if you represent the country to international competitions will you get the full 20 marks. If you win a national competition you get 18 marks or something.

Problems:

1. Almost no one gets 80% and above for an A for extracurriculars. The cumulative marks are the average of the three subfields: Badan uniform, Kelab, and Sukan. This means that to get an A average, you almost need to win national competitions in ALL THREE categories, which is stupid and almost impossible -- no one has the time. It is almost always better to be a master of one than to be a jack of all trades, which is what the MOE's criteria seem to emphasize.

2. Also notice that you can represent the country in International Math, Biology, and Physics Olympiads, but only ONE of them will count since there is only space for ONE club. So students who are amazing in one particular subject/field and not so in the others (i.e. great in sports but not so great in uniformed bodies) will suffer.

3. There is not enough flexibility in terms of awarding marks. For example if I were to win the IMPAC Dublin and MPH writing competitions, the marks will only count IF and only if I were a member of the English Club. They would not count if I were only a member of the Geography Club. Marks are awarded firstly based on the clubs you join, then your achievements that are pertinent to those clubs -- which is entirely unfair.

4. Also we lack many many competitions and opportunities and funds -- which accounts for the lack of pencapaian marks. Malaysia doesn't send teams to many international competitions like the International Geography Olympiad, etc. Even for debating -- last year Malaysia just sent their first team in about 7 years to the World Schools Debating Competition. So if your passion happens to be in a not-so-popular field, too bad for you lah.

5. Also the marks do not reflect the effort and energy put into extracurriculars. Who is to say that being a Scout leader is worth more points than representing your school to a public speaking competition? Or vice versa? Some things cannot be quantified.

6. Also take into account that those who go for NS get the full 10 marks for extracurriculars (I'm not sure about this, will check). If this is true then the whole system is greatly subverted.

7. Too many activities do not fit in the system. If you volunteer at the local old folks' home. for example, you have no way of categorising your activity.

All in all it was a farce lah. I didn't care about the marks -- I even skipped all meetings for the uniform bodies because we learnt nothing -- which means I failed my Badan Beruniform portion.

I think a better way is for students to write their resumes, then for the MOE to categorise the resumes by bands which can be converted into scores (Excellent, Strong, Mediocre, Weak). Then award the scholarships based partially on this. The quantifying of effort should come after a comprehensive survey of all extracurriculars, and not based on activities that are first categorised into Badan Beruniform, Kelab and Sukan.

I am Left Foot said...

I vaguely remember Singapore Universities having that system about 3 years ago. They have since changed it to "Project Work".

The Singapore Pre-U schools were given a set of criteria to grade their students, and the Singapore Universities take these grades for 10% University scoring to take in the students.

Maybe we want to ask Singapore how they did it, why did they discard it, and how was it like. No point arguing without concrete experience.

Kok Ben said...

Re I am Left Foot:

As far as I concern... I don't think the "Singapore Universities" are NUS or NTU...

Their criteria appears to be nontransparent... :)

FERMENTATION-SIFU said...

another prescribed exercise in futility in our progress towards mediocrity by doing something we don't fully know. The government is very good in coming out with so called brilliant ideas which will end up as usual shooting your own foot

Hon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jodie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I am Left Foot said...

I was refering to NUS and NTU. You are wrong to say their criteria are non-transparent.

Check out http://www.nus.edu.sg/oam/apply/ it's so much more transparent than our MU. And their criteria is now stated as 90% A levels results, 10% Project work. It was 5% CCA.

You should also check their MOE history files. Like this one
http://www.moe.gov.sg/media/press/2005/pr20050309.htm
(All I did was just to google)

I am sad that our own Malaysians are sprouting such uneducated challenges without first researching. Do not allow your own prejudices overshadow the substance we can get from others' expeiences.

nakedwriter said...

I think the problem begins when you try to quantify each aspect of an applicant, breaking up into academic (90%) and non-academic (10%).

Applicants should be reviewed on a case-to-case basis. Although given the reputation of PSD, such a system would call even more attention to the fairness and transparency of the process.

Other than the obvious 7As dapat scholarship but 12As tidak, I don't think scholarship awards are based on pure merit.

The PSD conundrum is exactly that because it factors in income. And because of that, a weighted calculation system is needed, leading to the quantification of applications and just - well - missing the point altogether.

Kok Ben said...

I am Left Foot said...

I was refering to NUS and NTU. You are wrong to say their criteria are non-transparent.

Check out http://www.nus.edu.sg/oam/apply/ it's so much more transparent than our MU. And their criteria is now stated as 90% A levels results, 10% Project work. It was 5% CCA.

You should also check their MOE history files. Like this one
http://www.moe.gov.sg/media/press/2005/pr20050309.htm
(All I did was just to google)

I am sad that our own Malaysians are sprouting such uneducated challenges without first researching. Do not allow your own prejudices overshadow the substance we can get from others' expeiences.
5/23/2008 10:33:00 AM

===================================

Oh... OK... Sorry but I'm a student in NUS... and I'm a Malaysian...

So it is "transparent" for Singaporean... not for the others... my apology~~

kbguy said...

Co-curricular points ? The Education Minister will explain based on their version. But us non Bumiputras still won't get to go in Matrix, UPU and JPA. Just look at those Chinese school students. How many gets to go for Matrix, UPU and JPA ? They also attend to their school activities and co-curriculum. Non-bumis never gets the same treatment as the bumis in education and something or someone has to fight for it ! Its really really sad case.

Bryant said...

Dear Andrew Loh,
Please go for fact finding before accusing the systems... I found mistakes in many of your points... If you want to know I can point it out...

Dear kbguy,
No one can go to UPU... Find out what is UPU, then post your comment...

kbguy said...

bryant, very funny. UPU means Unit Pusat Universiti. If you know what I mean.. IPTA. Have to be quick to be smart.

Anonymous said...

kbguy,

FYI, there are quite a number of ex-graduates(my seniors) from my school have gone for Matrix, and i'm from a Chinese school.

now, i'm curious to know why do they offer more to Non-Bumis this year. as far as i know, there're not many non-bumis who got into Matrix last year.

hmm...??

Anonymous said...

Re Kok Ben, tell me which University in the world has extremely transparent criteria for foreigners?

The American ones have readers and undeclared weightage systems where Malaysians get advantage over Singaporeans to get in. Because we have less opportunities at home. (Yes I mean to tell everyone that those amongst us who go Ivy League don't really mean they are good because of this "opportunity" criteria).

The European ones, like Cambridge and Oxford tell your what is "competitive" but never say confirm get in.

Only the Australian ones say this TER score can go where, but they are the only Universities in the world who go by money making. Ok, not all, but most of them. I still have high respect for ANU, Monash (Aus campus only), UNSW (Syndney campus only).

You are starting to make me look down on NUS. This is the kind of student they take in. Sigh, standard drop.

Anonymous said...

Talk about co curriculum. No doubt we have to abide with the rules. This should not become a burden or hassle to parents ensuring that their kids are at school for their curriculum. Look how many avoided curriculum without telling their parents. Get field for school example SMK Seri Mutiara, Cheras. Set compulsory days to stay back at school so parents can also monitor their kids.

Anonymous said...

I agree with all of you non-bumis don't get the same treatment as bumis.To get into matrix,we need to get straight As.They only need 4 to 5 A only....I was shock how easy it is for them to get into the matriculation program.
Its just sad that we have to work 4x harder just to get into matriculation program.

Vern said...

If i participated in a competition and won as a champion, can i get bonus co curricular mark from that? the competition is organized by Malaysian Yoga Society.

Anonymous said...

is it important to have co curricular mark ?