KOTA KINABALU: The Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) is now recognised by the Sabah government, making it the fifth state in the country to give the nod to the certificate taken by students at independent Chinese schools.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (pic) said the state Cabinet had made the decision to recognise UEC certificate holders for enrolment into local institutes of higher learning as well as employment in the state civil service.
He said the state government studied various matters over UEC and decided that it was in the interest of the state to recognise it.
"There will be some specific conditions but it should not be a problem for UEC holders in Sabah," he said when launching Parti Warisan Sabah's Mid-Autumn Festival at Lintas Square here Saturday (Sept 28).
Shafie added that the Sabah Education Department supported the decision to recognise the UEC but as a condition to gain entry to institutes of higher learning, candidates must have a credit in Bahasa Melayu and a pass in
History at the SPM level as well as a pass in the Malaysia University English Test (MUET).
He explained that state or private-owned institutes of higher learning will be able to recognise the UEC but Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) was, however, governed by Federal Government guidelines.
He said they would discuss with UMS about the state's decision though Sabah UEC holders would not have a problem applying for places in the university as they also sat for the SPM and Penilaian Tingkatan 3 (PT3).
Sabah's move comes after Sarawak, Selangor, Penang and Melaka, who have recognised the certificate, though the Education Ministry has set up a special task force to study the possibility of recognising the UEC at the national level.
Shafie said Pakatan Harapan had promised during GE14 to have the UEC certificate recognised and the decision by the state was in line with this promise.
He said in Sabah, there were nine schools offering the UEC with more than 1,500 students, including bumiputra, sitting for the Junior and Senior UEC examinations.
Currently, Sabah candidates who undertake the Junior UEC examination were required by their respective independent schools to also sit for the PT3 and also for SPM.
UEC is recognised as an entrance qualification in many international tertiary educational institutions in Singapore, Australia, Taiwan, China and some European countries, as well as most private colleges in Malaysia.
Shafie said the state Public Services Department has also agreed that UEC holders wanting to be appointed into the state civil service will need the necessary qualifications as specified under rules and regulations.
The UEC is a standardised test organised by the United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia (Dong Jiao Zong) based on curriculum taught in Independent Chinese Secondary Schools (ICSS).
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