PETALING JAYA: The move by the Education Ministry to disallow students from using forecast Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) results to enter pre-university or foundation programmes from 2015 has sent shock waves over social media.
Netizens urged the ministry to rethink its decision, and supported the stand of the Malaysian Association of Private Colleges (Mapcu).
On Facebook, Sharon Sidhu queried why such a decision came to light just a month before the SPM exams: “Do not mess (with) the minds and stress up the SPM students.”
Choo Lee Peng said students had prepared for their trial exams and submitted their college applications, only to be subjected to “a sudden change in the game plan”.
“Be fair to them. Plan five to three years ahead of time as how all professionals do and implement it in stages,” she wrote.
Shakila Sheik said forecast results were a better indicator of a student’s true standard of academic performance.
“Some do well in the actual exam because of leaks, or don’t do well because of panic and stress,” she said.
However, there were also those who supported the move, saying it was a mark of fairness and quality control.
Sivanesan Muthusamy said there were many cases of abuse, where unqualified students continued in courses such as medicine and dentistry.
“Perhaps greater enforcement is needed with proper follow through,” he added.
Daniel Irenaeus Sebastian said trial examinations were different in every school, “meaning it is a different level of evaluation. Some schools might be harder, some easier. It is fairer this way.”
Some also urged the ministry to reschedule the SPM exams so that students need not rely on forecast results for pre-university entrance.
Other suggestions included allowing private institutions to decide entry criteria via independent examinations for their student intake.
“This way, regardless of whether the students use forecast or actual results, the universities are still able to have a more accurate assessment based on their own standards,” said Calista Chew.
Many were confident that students could benefit from the gap time between secondary school and tertiary education, with ideas of travel and charity work thrown into the mix.
“They can use the ‘downtime’ to get some work experience. Learn a thing or two about the real world outside of their sheltered life,” said Hafiz Hamzah.