Colleges make adjustments for national service


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 10 Dec 2003

BY GAVIN GOMEZ AND JOANNE LIM

PETALING JAYA: Private colleges will hold intensive classes and have additional intakes for those selected for national service next year to ensure their education will not be disrupted. 

As for those entering Lower Six and matriculation colleges, the Education Ministry would schedule classes to avoid clashes with the three-month programme. 

The first batch of 17-year-olds would start national service training on Feb 16 while the second and third batches would start simultaneously on March 22, which would end in June.  

A total of 85,000 school-leavers received the call-up for the compulsory training. 

Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (Mapcu) secretary Ko Kim Hooi said most institutions foresaw affected school-leavers delaying their enrolment until after their national service stint. 

“Private colleges have a few intakes a year and based on feedback from our members, we expect students to start later,” he said yesterday. 

KDU College principal officer Dr Chia Chee Fen said there would be an additional intake commencing June 28 for students who could not make the January and April intakes. 

“We do not want to conduct crash courses and rush the students for the exams,” he added.  

Inti College Malaysia senior vice-president Dr Lee Fah Onn said opting for a later intake was the only option available to students as regulations restricted private colleges from prolonging the duration of their semesters. 

“We have guidelines which require institutions to limit each semester to a specific number of weeks.  

“Starting a course in January, leaving for three months, then returning to study as usual is not an option,” said Dr Lee. 

Taylor’s College principal and chief executive officer Anucia Jeganathan said intensive classes were being organised for students who still intended to start next month.  

National service trainees would have to catch up once they complete their training in order to sit for their usual exams, she said. 

“We advise students to either enrol in the January intake and be prepared for the extra work or opt for the July intake,” Jeganathan said. 

A similar plan had been adopted at Sunway College where students enrolled in the A-Level programme next month would be able to resume their studies in May/June 2004. 

“We have come up with a special timetable to prepare these students to sit for the June 2005 external examination,” said programme director Hor Poh Choo. 

Education Minister Tan Sri Musa Mohamad said the dates for entry into Lower Six and matriculation colleges next year would coincide with the end of the national service programme. 

“There will be a circular on this later. At the moment, we are planning to start Lower Six in May, coinciding with the end of the national service programme,” he said.  

Last week Musa had said that Lower Six would start in May, about a week later than usual to accommodate national service trainees. 

On the second and third batches of trainees who end their stint in June, Musa said necessary arrangements were being made to accommodate them.  

Related articlesAnxious youngsters jam up website and SMS serverTeens display mixed emotions over national service listFive STPM students apply to become trainers

How to check 

HOTLINE: 03-2681 3446 operating during weekdays from 8am to 6pm for call-in verification. 

SMS: The public can also send short messaging service (SMS) to check on the status by typing in the letters KN- followed by their identity card number and send the message to 36188. 

WEBSITE: The public can also assess the website at www.khidmatnegara.gov.my and key in their identity card number to check the status. 

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