And so it begins. The yearly ritual of top students getting rejected. I have written about this here before. Kian Ming’s very well thought through suggestions on how the system needs to be overhauled seems to be a way out of this terrible situation. Also, I think Kian Ming is right – the government should stop dishing out these overseas scholarships to SPM holders but only offer them when the candidates have gained admission to a top university abroad.
She scores 12 A1s but gets 0 scholarship
SHE has a stellar academic record, and is among the top in her cohort in the most recent Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) national exam.
SPM is equivalent to O levels.
But 17-year-old Cai Bao Yuan, who scored an impressive 12 A1s in the national exams, will not fulfil her dream of studying overseas on a Public Service Department (PSD) scholarship, Sin Chew Daily reported.
Bao Yuan, who is from Pahang, wrote to the press after she found out her scholarship application had been rejected.
She told Sin Chew Daily: ‘Why is it that students who do the best cannot get a scholarship? This is ridiculous.
‘I hope something can be done about this situation.’
She added that she had worked hard her whole life in order to get a scholarship to study overseas.
She is not alone.
Top students across Malaysia have found that straight As do not guarantee a scholarship.
When Mo Ye Voon, a student from Malacca, scored 10 A1s and an A2, she thought she stood a good chance at a scholarship to study medicine.
But her dream was dashed when she found out she had not been selected by the PSD as a scholarship recipient.
‘I was not even considered for a medical course at any of the local universities,’ she told The Star.
She added that there is no way she can afford to pay for a medical course at local universities on her father’s income as a factory supervisor.
‘I hope the PSD would reconsider my application as I have no one else to turn to,’ she said.
Ye Voon’s mother, Madam Teo Ai Woo, said her daughter was not just academically outstanding.
She was also active in co-curricular activities and had represented the district in badminton.
‘She has been crying every night since learning that she did not get the scholarship,’ Madam Teo said.
Chok Chun Ynh, 17, a student from Sungei Petani, is another top student who has been unable to secure a scholarship to study abroad.
He, too, has an outstanding academic record – he is among six students in Malaysia who obtained 14 A1s.
His mother, Madam Tan Lee Mei, said her son had plans to study medicine, and had received numerous academic awards throughout his school years.
According to The Star, there were three students with 16 A1s, two with 15 A1s, six with 14 A1s, 41 with 13 A1s and 229 with 12 A1s in last year’s SPM. Some 15,084 students applied for scholarships under the PSD’s foreign degree programme.
Of these, 8,363 were interviewed.
Two thousand scholarships were offered to candidates to pursue their undergraduate education in local universities.
Unsuccessful candidates have until 18 May to appeal.
This article was first published in The New Paper.
» Cabinet to hear cases of 800 top scorers who didn’t get scholarships