Wednesday, June 17, 2009

JPA scholarship yearly problem

The question on JPA award of overseas scholarship is the first question in parliament yesterday during the question and answer time. Based on the results of the 2008 SPM, three students scored 16 1A’s, two scored 15 1A’s, six 14 1A’s, 41 of them scored 13 1A’s while 229 scored 12 1A’s. Looking at the results only, all students that scored above 12 1A’s would have obtained overseas scholarship as the government awards 2000 overseas scholarship yearly.

However due to the scoring system which takes into account various factor some students were not eligible for the scholarship. As such to clear the air, it is important the Government handles the award of scholarship in a more transparent manner. Top students who are not able to obtain scholarship should be given an explanation. JPA should inform the student directly based on their scoring system why the particular student has failed to obtain the necessary score to obtain the scholarship. Also a proper avenue of appeal must be established so that students do not have to go through political channels to highlight their cases.

Placing the results of those who are awarded scholarship on the net would also give more light to the matter. Without all these, the yearly debate on whether top students are given the right treatment will continue. Some will use the issue to get political mileage. Everyone knows that a student with excellent reaults might only signify that he has good memory and it is a fact that no government in the world can give scholarship to all excellent students. Thus the crux of the issue of JPA scholarship is that applicants are unable to determine why they are not eligible especially when the successful candidate has results that are similar or lower than them.

In summary as long as the Government is consistent and transparent in handling the award of the overseas scholarship, this yearly issue can be avoided. Government must walk extra mile to convince the Rakyat that under PM Dato Seri Najib 'Satu Malaysia', there is fair treatment to all races.

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