The decision not to allow forecast results for entry into pre-university programmes leaves thousands of parents and students in the lurch.
TARGET those in the wrong and do not penalise the students.
National Association of Private Educational Institutions president Assoc Prof Elajsolan Mohan questioned why all private higher education institutions should be targeted.
“If there are those that are flouting this condition, close them down,” he said, adding that the private education sector is supplementing the government’s aim to educate the nation.
He reiterated that private higher education institutions were not “shortchanging” on the condition and that students do still have to submit their final results in order to remain in their course.
“At least defer implementing this for three to five years in order to give time for parents, SPM school- leavers and the institutions to plan for these changes,” he said.
“Consider that the private institutions face wasting resources for three months and are also answerable to our investors,” Elajsolan said.
Former Malaysian Association of Private Colleges And Universities (Mapcu) vice president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said the January intake allowed students to continue their studies uninterrupted by a three-month break that would ultimately slow them down.
“Why hold people back? Good students should be encouraged to reach their full potential,” he said, adding that a competitive streak should be encouraged among the country's students in order to achieve Vision 2020.
Navaratnam said those who violated this ruling should be penalised, regardless of their position or what influence they hold.
He appealed to the ministry to review their decision.
“Policies should be made flexible in order to achieve the goal of making Malaysia an education hub,” he added.
Mapcu president Datuk Dr Parmjit Singh said on Sept 28 that 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, but admitting students using their forecast result had been the practice for the past 30 years and even allowed by the Education Ministry.
He 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.
Parents interviewed have said that even if SPM school-leavers are encouraged to use the waiting period to enrol in other courses, it is still preferable for their children to further their studies instead.
What students say
FEEDBACK from students was mixed, with some even saying that they would prefer to use their actual results.
Hao Zhe, 17, Selangor
“I definitely want to do my A-Levels in January as I don’t see the point in waiting and potentially losing my study momentum.
“The move is ridiculous considering that most of us do worse for our trial exams compared to the actual SPM examinations.
“I really don’t see why the government chose to suddenly enforce this, seeing as there’s no harm using our forecast.
“My best bet right now is to enrol in the A-Levels March intake which will finish around the same time as the January intake. However, it is much more rushed and would be difficult.”
Chiang Kah Yee, 17, Selangor
“Usually, actual SPM results will be better than trials because the trial examinations are often harder than SPM, so I don’t get why we can’t use our forecast results.
“At the present time, I don’t want to start in January because SPM ends in December.
“I will be doing a pre-university course and have narrowed it down to the International Baccalaureate or A-Levels.
“Should I choose the A-Levels, I like having the option of joining the January intake and am upset by how it was ripped away from me at the very last moment.”
Eileen Teoh, 17, Selangor
“As I want to read law in the UK, I was planning to do the A-Levels in January. The course would finish in time for the September intake for university.
“Right now, with my set education path in mind, my options are extremely limited.
“The ruling is unfair for people like myself who already know what they want and have planned to do it for the longest time.
“I hope the ministry will change their mind, so my parents and I are adopting a wait-and-see approach to see what happens. Until then, I will be focusing on my examinations.”
Mikhail Iskandar Hanafi, 19, Selangor
“I used my IGCSE (SPM equivalent) forecast results to apply for college. If I had waited for my actual results I would have ended up having to start in June.
“I feel as though I rushed into my A-Levels a bit too eager and over-confident. Maybe a few months off would have been better for me so that I could really think about what I would like to do in the future.
“Looking back, I can safely say that I think a break would have been very helpful in clearing my mind and letting me properly prepare for pre-university studies.”
Lim Khey Ken, 19, Kedah
“Yes, I used my forecast results to apply for the A-Levels. If that had not been allowed, I would have probably joined the next intake.
“My studies wouldn’t have been affected, but my entry would have been delayed by a year.
“However, a later admission would mean having more time to prepare myself college, as well as relax at home.”
What parents say
SOME concerned parents voice their dissatisfaction with the ruling to disallow students from using their forecast results to gain admission into private higher education institutions.
Mr Lim, Kuala Lumpur
“My wife and I estimate that there will be a 10 to 15 month delay if our son begins his tertiary education in June or July as opposed to January.
“Apart from this, we have to start scrambling now as we were not prepared for any option aside from the January intake for colleges.
“Our son has to make an important decision during this very stressful time. Parents and children have not done anything wrong but I feel like we’re being punished by having this ban foisted on us at the last minute.”
Anthony Raj, Penang
“My daughter is quite clear about what she wants to do, which is a foundation in Science leading to a degree in pharmacy, so she intends to start in January.
“There’s no point wasting time waiting for the actual results when you already know what you want to do.
“If the ruling was enforced, I would certainly consider sending my daughter overseas. It is cheaper to study locally, but I am willing to spend if that is what is necessary for my daughter to advance.”
Johnny Tan, Kuala Lumpur
“Thirty years ago, I used my forecast results to enrol into the Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) pre-university programme at a local college.
“If no student is allowed to enrol in January using their forecast results, then AUSMAT students (like myself) would lose a whole year because the exams are only held in December.
“Should there be no other choice, I will send my daughter abroad to do her A-Levels even though this will be a strain financially.
Mrs Chun, Petaling Jaya
“What is the issue with forecast results being the minimum requirement for admission into colleges? They get a head start in their tertiary studies before the actual SPM results come out. The change has been very upsetting as it affects middle-income families like us the most.
“My husband and I can afford for our son to pursue the course of his choice locally, but we’re stretched thin as it is.
“However, we are willing to spend, even if it will be a financial burden, to make sure he gets to pursue what he likes.”
Dr Vivien Lim, Kuala Lumpur
“Our initial plan for our son was to use his forecast results to enrol him in a pre-university programme at a private college.
“My husband and I are disappointed by such a unilateral decision that will delay our children’s education process. It is very disappointing and frustrating.”