KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry is gearing for a “higher than usual” intake into Lower Six this year following positive response to the Government’s meritocracy policy and the decision to teach Mathematics and Science subjects in English.
Education director-general Datuk Abdul Rafie Mahat said: “We are moving towards more Form Six classes with an impetus to reach our target of a science to arts ratio of 60:40.”
He said the ministry was prepared to expand its intake, assuring Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) school leavers that entry requirements would not be made more stringent.
He was commenting on private colleges’ dismal January intake figures, some of which recorded a dip of up to 30%.
It is learnt that a “return” to Form Six was among the main reasons for this decline.
Abdul Rafie added that another factor for the surge in interest in Form Six was the cost factor.
“Students realise that they need a post-secondary education, the cheapest means of which is obtaining the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia,” he told The Star at his office on Thursday.
He noted that tuition fees charged by some private institutions of higher learning was too high, drawing students back to the school system.
The number of students sitting for the STPM examination has risen steadily from just over 40,000 in 2001 to 48,000 last year.
“We are pleased that our policies are working to draw more students to public universities,” Abdul Rafie said.
He added that the ministry was also upgrading teachers and facilities and having regular curriculum reviews to improve the quality of the education system as a whole.
“The ministry is aware of this interest and is ever prepared to expand intake into Form Six.We are always planning for the future,” he said.
The Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (Mapcu) and the National Association of Private Higher Educational Institutions (Napei) last month, appealed against the new minimum requirement of five SPM level credits for a place in private colleges, saying that it was too high.
They also said it was among the reasons for the low January intake.
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