Saturday, July 3, 2010


The Higher Education Department's recent release of the breakdown by race of successful applicants for admission to public universities raises more questions than answers. For instance, one would expect a higher percentage of Chinese students to secure places in university to study engineering. After all, they have traditionally excelled in math and science. The Education Ministry has acknowledged this by sending their officers to study the teaching methods used in Chinese independent schools with the view of applying the same methods to teach math and science in national schools.

What makes the figures even harder to accept is the assurance given by the Higher Education Director-General Datuk Dr Radin Umar that the selection was based on meritocracy - 90% weightage given to CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) and 10% to extra-curricular activities.

 One of the premier public-funded Chinese Independent Schools in Malaysia

Does this mean that Chinese students need to buck up in math and science? Or perhaps only a small number chose to apply to local universities, the majority preferring to pursue degrees overseas? If that is the case, does that mean they have little faith in the quality of local universities? Or is it because they feel that independent Chinese school students would not stand much of a chance of getting into local universities, no matter how brilliant their results, so why bother to apply?

Only the Higher Education Department has the answers, but they are not telling.

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