Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 29th of September, 2014
Many people were shocked when it was reported yesterday that the Ministry of Education had imposed the condition that SPM forecast results would no longer be acceptable for entry into pre-university and foundation level programs in private higher education institutions or IPTS. This move was met with much criticism over social media. The Ministry of Education should immediately withdraw this restriction as it is tremendously unfair for the students who want to pursue their studies in private colleges and universities.
By disallowing SPM forecast results from being used as entry into pre-university and foundation programs, the Ministry is unfairly punishing students who want to enrol in programs in private colleges and universities. A majority of such students enter pre-university and foundation programs in private colleges and universities in January using their forecast results. Many of them have plans to pursue an overseas education. The academic calendar of these pre-university and foundation programs are planned with the intake dates of overseas universities in mind.
For example, for those wanting to pursue a degree in Australia, the Australian Matriculation program offered in Sunway College starts in January and is completed within 8 to 10 months so that these results can be used by students to apply and enter Australian universities at the start of the following year in January.
For those wanting to pursue a degree in the UK, many would take the 1 ½ year A levels program starting in January, so that they can enter into a UK university in September or October the following year.
Forcing students to wait 3 months until the SPM results are officially released at the end of March means that students would either have to go through compressed foundation programs e.g. spending 15 months to prepare for A-level exams rather than the normal 18 months or their entry into university will be delayed by one year.
Furthermore, what if there are leaks in the SPM papers which require resits? If the release of the SPM results are delayed because of this, our students will be unfairly punished again by not being able to start their pre-university or foundation programs as long as their SPM results are not available.
I have not seen the circular issued by the Ministry of Education to the private colleges and universities announcing this decision. But thus far, there have been no reports which have stated the reason(s) given by the Ministry for this policy change. If there are no major problems with the quality of forecast SPM exams, which are usually harder than the actual SPM exams, why should the Ministry want to disqualify the use of these trial exam results for initial entry into private colleges and universities? As long as no valid reasons are given by the Ministry of Education, this new restriction should be immediately withdrawn.
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/09/29/Surprise-move-sends-shock-waves-over-social-media/ and http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/09/28/reschedule-spm-exams-to-solve-problem-say-netizens/