PETALING JAYA: Just a few days ago, SPM top scorer Zati Hanani Mohd Razib wondered if her years of hard work towards scoring 9A+ was a mere waste of time because her intention of using her stellar grades to get a scholarship seemed so distant.
This followed an announcement on Tuesday that the 700-odd bright ones will have to fight hard for the limited 250 scholarships offered by the Education Ministry.
Yesterday, she was jumping for joy over a reversal in fortune. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong revealed that the Bursary Graduate Programme would cover all students who scored 9A+ and above.
“I am so excited about this news!” Zati exclaimed.
The former student at Sekolah Seri Puteri, Cyberjaya, wanted to pursue a degree in chemical engineering but was realistic that under the present challenging economic times, scholarships are difficult to come by.
“That is why I am happy to know I am eligible for a bursary from the Education Ministry. My tertiary education is secured,” said Zati.
She is not the only top scorer who feels as if a heavy burden had been lifted off her shoulders.
For Tanjong Karang lad Teo Yao Aik, 18, the motivation to secure a bursary was of an entirely different nature.
“I want to improve my family’s quality of life,” said the youngest son of a bricklayer.
The 9A+, 1A and 1A- scorer wanted to take up a degree in business, but his dreams were shattered when it was announced that only 250 bright scholars would qualify for the bursary programme.
“I was deeply disappointed when I heard the first news. But now, I am grateful as I will be given a chance to study at a university and not further burden my family,” said Teo.
Eighteen-year-old Sarah Tan Xian Li said her sleepless nights were over.
The Klang lass has been anxiously checking the Education Ministry’s website for news on the bursary ever since she received her SPM results in early March.
“I am thankful to the Government as now I have the opportunity to further my studies in private universities locally without burdening my parents,” said the 11A+ scorer.
See Xin Yu, 17, who scored 11A+ and 1A in her SPM last year is relieved that all 9A+ and above students will receive the bursary.
“Right now I am waiting for the bursary to open for applications. I hope they do it soon because there are enrolment deadlines for certain pre-university courses,” she said.