PETALING JAYA: School leavers will no longer be able to use forecast Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) results to enter pre-university or foundation programmes from January.
The Education Ministry notified heads of private institutions of higher education that such results would no longer be accepted as admission qualifications, unlike in previous years.
The circular shocked the private education industry, which has over the past 30 years, relied on admissions based on forecast results.
Students sit for the SPM examinations in November and results are usually released at the end of March the following year. Each year, about 30,000 students register using their school trial exam results for pre-university programmes that start in January.
Representatives of the Malaysian Association of Private Colleges have met senior Education Ministry officials over the issue.
Mapcu president Datuk Dr Parmjit Singh said the association had appealed for the decision to be reviewed.
Doing so, he said, would be good for the private education fraternity, including members of the National Association of Private Educational Institutions (Napei).
“We have presented the issues and implications to the Education Ministry officials,” he told The Star.
Dr Parmjit said the discussions included the impact on students, especially those who had decided on what they wanted to do and highly motivated on furthering their studies. They would now be held back for a few months and might get into unproductive activities or idle away their time.
Dr Parmjit said students who planned to pursue their studies in Australia and New Zealand might lose a year because of the later start of their matriculation or foundation courses, thus delaying their Bachelor degree courses.
He said Mapcu acknowledged that one of the conditions stated in all letters of approval for private higher education institutions was the entry qualification for each course.
“In the case of foundation courses, the minimum standard of SPM results is specified and that there is no provision made for forecast results within those conditions and, therefore, admitting students based on forecast results is considered an infringement of these conditions.
“However, the admission of students with forecast results has been the practice in the past three decades and allowed by the ministry.
“It was even encouraged during the mid 1990s when the country was plagued with the lepak and bohsia problems to ensure that post-school students were occupied productively,” he added.
Dr Parmjit said forecast results were highly representative of actual official ones and if reliability of the results were questioned, the solution should be to specify higher grades of attainment for such results.
Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan said Mapcu had submitted a proposal on this issue to Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.
“We are reviewing it,” he said.