Musa Mohamad should make Ministerial
statement in Parliament on Tuesday on Education Ministry’s masterplan to
transform the local universities into centres of academic excellence and
merit and whether a start could be made this year by offering the 624 STPM
2002 top scorers their first choice of course
by Lim Kit Siang
Sunday): The Education Minister, Tan
Sri Musa Mohamad should make a Ministerial statement in Parliament on
Tuesday on the Education Ministry’s masterplan to transform the local
universities into centres of academic excellence and merit and whether a
start could be made this year by offering the 624 STPM 2002 top scorers
their first choice of course in the local universities.
DAP proposed last week that the 624 top scorers in the
2002 STPM – those who scored grade A , i.e. the 40 with 5As and 584 with
4As - should be offered full scholarships and first choice of course, not
only for their sake but also for the sake of the country, in order to send
a clear message of the new ethos of academic performance and achievement
as a giant step to transform Malaysia's public universities into
internationally-recognised universities of merit.
In fact, even more important than being offered full
scholarships is being able to be offered their first choice of university
course – and I would urge the Cabinet next Wednesday to give this subject
top priority so that the country would be spared of another nation-wide
furore, heart-breaks and outrage over the injustices and unfairness of
university admissions when results of the university entrance selections
for the new intake are announced in May.
Education should be one of the top agendas in the
parliamentary meeting beginning tomorrow. The National Higher Education
Fund Corporation chairman, Datuk Ahmad Husni Hadnazlah announced last
week that the NHEFC is offering a record RM2 billion in study loans this
year to finance the fees of students already enrolled in 18 public
universities and nearly 300 private universities and colleges.
Husni, who is MP for Tambun, should ensure that Parliament
is given a full list of the receipients of NHEFC study loans since its
inauguration, giving a racial breakdown as well as data of the different
universities, colleges and courses of study.
Ahmad Husni should regard last month’s suicide by SM
Tuanku Ampuan Najihah (Seremban) Science student, J. Lakshmi who failed to
get the 6As she wanted as a failure of NHEFC to get the message out to all
students that so long as they are prepared to work hard and improve
academically, they will not be denied the right to affordable quality
higher education in the country. In actual fact, Laksmi’s SPM results were
quite creditable, securing 2As for Mathematics and English Language,
with credits for the remaining subjects except for a P7 for Bahasa
Melayu paper. Her suicide is an indictment on the national education
system in Malaysia.
* Lim Kit Siang,