Wednesday, 25 May 2011

JPA is not as simple as ABC get straight As and you qualify

The JPA Scholarships have been a subject of contention almost every year of its existence, I think chiefly because many lack understanding on the qualifying criteria for a JPA scholarship. Many still think that one get automatic selection when one get straight As, actually no, one gets qualified for an interview when one gets good grades and the interviewers will have set criterias that one have to fulfill before one gets to be awarded a scholarship.

See it this way, when one graduates with a good First Class degree one do not automatically get a job with a company, one applies for the job and if lucky one get called for a job interview where one's academic and personality will be evaluated. If pass, then you get the job.

I think this method is used by all Scholarship providers and sponsors, in fact I have been thru a scholarship interview once myself, 32 long years ago, where I had to face 8 interviewers, asking all sorts of questions designed to test one's personality and knowledge and interest in the course one applied for, some of my friends with better grades were awarded local scholarships, while I was lucky enough(well I like to think I am) to get a scholarship to the UK to study Civil Engineering. 

So, one must correct this perception that straight As student should automatically qualify for a scholarship whether local or overseas. This criteria has been in existence for a very long time in JPA and I believe any other Scholarship Foundations etc. 

There is this excellent post by  blogger Goh Wei Liang:

JPA Scholarship - Rational Review

Yesterday Minister Nazri came out to defend the JPA on the Scholarship award issue:
Nazri defends ‘excellent’ PSD

UPDATED @ 10:36:25 PM 24-05-2011By Clara Chooi May 24, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz went on record today to defend the Public Service Department (PSD) against MCA’s accusations of power abuse, saying its officers were “excellent” and had not been negligent in their duties.

He held a press conference in Parliament here this afternoon to clear all confusion over the issue by explaining the mechanics behind PSD’s scholarship awards, including its selection process and criteria.

In his explanation, Nazri reiterated that in tandem with the prime minister’s pledge last year, all SPM students who scored straight 8A+ and above were guaranteed a place in either local or foreign institutions.

He added that the scholarships offered were centered on courses considered critical to Malaysia’s civil service like medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, engineering, science and technology, and social sciences.

“We have two major categories for the scholarship awards. One is the PILN (overseas degree programme) for 1,500 students and another is the PIDN (local degree programme) for 2,500 students, both amounting to 4,000.

“We also offer 8,000 spots in local universities for other qualified students who will get scholarships for matriculation or diploma courses,” he said.

He revealed that of the 4,000 PILN and PIDN scholarships awarded to the 2010 batch of SPM top scorers, 2,183 spots, or 55 per cent, were snapped up by Bumiputera students and 1,817, or 45 per cent, were offered to the non-Bumiputeras.

A total of 16,900 students (7,277, or 43.1 per cent, Bumiputeras and 9,623, or 56.9 per cent, non-Bumiputeras) had applied for PILN scholarships, he said, but only 8,857 made the cut with the minimum academic requirement of straight 9A+ and above.

Nazri also explained that out of the 1,500 scholarships offered for PILN, 300 were given out solely based on merit to the highest scoring students.

“If I’m not mistaken, 363 students qualified for the merit scholarship interviews but we could only give out 300 in the end,” he said.

Nazri also explained that since only 1,500 PILN scholarships were offered to the 8,857 qualified applicants, the remaining 7,357 who failed to make the cut were still allowed to apply within the PIDN category.

As there were only 2,500 spots offered under PIDN, he added, the remaining 4,857 students who failed their interviews would still be eligible for the 8,000 scholarships offered to other qualified students who are offered matriculation or diploma courses at local institutions.

Nazri revealed that the government was spending a total of RM1.44 billion for the 4,000 scholarships offered under PILN and PIDN — RM1.08 billion for PILN and RM0.36 billion for PIDN.

Nazri also continued to chastise MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong for raising a hue and cry by alleging abuses of power in the PSD without first attempting to clarify the confusion with him as the minister in charge of PSD.

“We have to be fair to the officers. When you are a politician and you attack a civil servant, they cannot defend themselves. I am doing this on behalf of all the excellent officers that we have,” he declared.

Nazri revealed that both the prime minister and his deputy had been briefed on PSD’s selections for the year on May 5, before the awards were announced on May 13.

Source here.

I think Minister Nazri's explanation will not be able to cool down the anger of those who did not get selected, whether they are Malays/Bumis, Chinese or Indians students and their families. In a multiracial democracy unique to Malaysia nobody, no one race will be satisfied by what the Gomen of the day can give or do. But one can still try for other Scholarships, the point is do not lose hope keep on trying.

Scholarships in Malaysia.


Anonymous said...

Takpe lah, ada hikmah di sebalik kekusutan ini. Sekurang-kurangnya budak-budak Cina dan India yang asyik merengek itu akan sedar diri sedikit: Jangan hidung tak mancung, pipi tersorong-sorong.

Di IPTA-IPTA kita yang berbilang itu (ada dekat 20 buah universiti tempatan bukan?), mana ada Cina atau India memegang jawatan Vice Chancellor. Intipatinya, dari segi apapun dalam bidang pendidikan memang orang bukan Melayu tidak layak dan tidak cukup syarat.

Janganlah bro khuatir budak-budak Cina dan India itu putus harapan ataupun hilang kepercayaan terhadap sistem yang sedia ada. Garenti kerajaan kita selalu berlaku adil -- kalau dah tak layak, tak layaklah. Apa yang hendak dipertikaikan lagi? 'A' yang melambak-lambak bukannya satu jaminan bahawa pasti berjaya memperolehi biasiswa.

Biar mereka pergi meminta bantuan dan tempat di negeri jiran kita yang sekangkang kera itu. Buat apa nak sibuk-sibuk dengan SSUS kalau budak-budak Cina dan India kita ditaja kelak oleh Singapura?

Dengan penghijrahan para penuntut yang kecundang ini, maka lebih dekat kita kepada mencapai hasrat murni 1Melayu 1Bumiputera. Hidup Ibrahim Ali!

bomoh khatan said...

Agreeable points, Sir. When 2 candidates possess comparably similar academic achievements, it's how they perform at the interview will decide who gets the grant. I read somewhere yesterday that DAP now even wants the interviews scrapped and the scholarships awarded purely based on grades. This is really stupid. Would a responsible Government award taxpayers funds to people they don't even know or spoken with, except based on what his papers tell? Papers can only tell grades but interviews will reveal the candidate's aspirations, beliefs, emotions, people skills and many other qualities necessary for the challenging studies overseas.

And may I add that this problem is also caused by the fact that our exams produce too many scorers with tens of of A's. I mean, what is this new grade called "A+"? It's unheard of just a decade ago. Does our national exam syndicate even conform to the bell-shaped curve anymore in deciding the the threshold points of the grades? If they don't, then it is the resulting artificial sense of achievement which makes these "top scorers" feel that they are discriminated against when applying for scholarships, when the actual fact is, they are plainly not good enough.

eddy said...

1. Anon 00:55, ya kita mesti letakkan kepercayaan kepada Kerajaan akan berlaku adil kepada SEMUA bangsa Melayu/Bumi, Cina dan India.

2.Maka kita mesti bersedia untuk merasa tidak puas hati sebab Kerajaan tidak mungkin memenuhi apa yang di pinta oleh setiap bangsa.

3.Kalau Kerajaan ikut desakan MCA/DAP bulat-bulat maka kerajaan akan menghadapi tekanan pula dari orang Melayu/Bumi.

4.MCA pun satu hal kalau beria sangat mahu meritokrasi, maka semua menteri kabinet mereka patut resign sebab mereka pun tak dapat sokongan dari kaum mereka masa GE 2008. Meritokrasi dia dipilihpilih ikut suka mereka. Kuota Menteri Kabinet mereka kata hak mereka, tapi bila bahagian biasiswa mahu meritokrasi pula tanpa kira hak kaum lain. Jangan cakap DAP lah kalau mereka berkuasa tengok Exco Kerajaan Pulau Pinang semua mereka control tanpa mengira komposisi kaum dalam negeri kecil itu.

4. Memang susah jadi pemerintah negara berbilang kaum yang unik didalam dunia ini. Nasib baik lah kita memang sentiasa ada pemimpin dari UMNO/BN yang berwibawa, prihatin dan inklusif dan sentiasa bersedia mendengar karenah kaum minoriti. Kalau mereka tidak puas juga, mereka boleh tepuk dada tanya seleralah.

eddy said...

1. Bro bomoh khatan, thank you for being in agreement.

2. Bila MCA buat komplen biasalah DAP akan menangguk di air keruh. Mereka nampak macam tag team wrestling, sekejap macam bergaduh sekejap macam sokong sama mereka. Biarkan lah kita lihat gelagat mereka sambil kita senyum je.

3. Its good that this Scholarship facts and figures be brought in the open by Minister Nazri. Now we know that there are quotas and criterias to fulfill and now we know who actually gets more and now wants more of what the other have. I think its plain selfish of MCA and the DAP talking without an ounce of sensitivity to the other race.

Like I said before if MCA wants to talk meritocracy then they should show the way, all MCA Ministers should resign as with just 15 MP seats and virtually no Malaysian Chinese support they do not deserve the quota reserved for them in the cabinet. They cannot eat the cake and have it too.

3. I also agree that SPM results should be graded A,B,C,D,E or fail. What is this nonsense nonsense A+. MOE should refine these grades as the bell curve for grading would be made simpler.

Anonymous said...

4. Sebenarnya, melihat kepada senarai yang berikut, ramai juga orang Melayu dalam barisan exco serta memegang jawatan tinggi dan berpengaruh dalam kerajaan negeri.

Orang India yang nampaknya kurang memainkan peranan (sebab undi kaum India tidak dipandang DAP).

Meskipun begitu, saya dikhabarkan bahawa LGE tatkala mengambil alih tampuk pemerintahan telah serta-merta membolos untuk dirinya sendiri portfolio 'Tanah' (where the money is).

Anonymous said...

Membalas komen Eddy (26 May 2011 15:13)

1. Para ibubapa Cina dan India menghantar anak-anak ke sekolah aliran bahasa ibunda adalah kerana mereka tidak mempunyai keyakinan bahawa kerajaan akan berlaku adil kepada semua bangsa. Sekolah kebangsaan sudah mirip kepada sekolah Melayu-sekolah agama.

2. Kerajaan banyak memenuhi tuntutan bangsa mana? Kalau melihat kepada gejala berleluasanya pendidikan swasta, maka bolehkah kita membuat kesimpulan bahawa sektor ini berkembang pesat disebabkan permintaan kaum-kaum minoriti bagi peluang menuntut di IPTA adalah tertutup?

3. Daripada pembayar cukai menanggung perbelanjaan biasiswa JPA sampai berbilion-bilion tiap cohort setiap tahun bagi menghantar remaja tamat Tingkatan 5 ke luar negara (terutamanya bagi kursus tidak kritikal umpamanya Komunikasi di tempat-tempat macam Dearborn), baik kita menaik-taraf tenaga kerja tempatan (yakni guru & pensyarah) dalam bidang pendidikan.

Sila baca

4. MCA sudahpun membuat kenyataan bahawa mereka bersedia menarik diri dari jemaah menteri seandainya ditolak pemilih Cina pada PRU akan datang.

5. Betul juga. Politik tanahair memang unik tetapi adakala kaum-kaum minoriti seakan-akan tidak menyedari hakikat ini.

eddy said...

Thanks for your comment Bro, good food for thought sebab perkara ini tiada penghujungnya sampailah komposisi kaum Melayu/Bumi mencapai 80% dalam tahun 2040 se-adanya.