Parents question evaluation process for place in public varsities

PETALING JAYA: With less than two months before the new academic year for public higher education institutions (IPTAs) begins, parents of Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) holders are anxious whether there’s enough time to evaluate candidates for university courses.

A parent who wanted to be known only as Dina said IPTAs would not have sufficient time to look into applicants who resubmit their results now that they had completed their final semester.

“The implication is that students who did better in final and overall results may not get the courses they want,” she told Sunday Star.

Before Covid-19, applications for IPTAs for STPM holders would open for two weeks in February, immediately after the results were announced.

However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the shifting of exam schedules, the Higher Education Ministry announced that 2020 STPM students could apply for a place in public universities between Jan 4 and March 31 based on their Semester 1 and 2 results.

Dina, who is from Melaka, said her daughter had applied using her Semester 1 and Semester 2 results but was not offered any courses.

She is now hoping to use her final STPM results, with a better CGPA (cumulative grade point average) of 3.2, to get into her chosen course.

However, she doubts there will be enough time for IPTAs to go over applications and call potential candidates for interviews before the semester begins in September.

Another parent, Dhanesh Balasingam, said the final CGPA – which includes Semester 3 results – should be included, and not just Semester 1 and 2 results.

He noted that Form Six includes all three semesters and not just the first two.

Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education chairman Mak Chee Kin urged the Higher Education Ministry to ensure STPM students who apply for seats in IPTAs are evaluated based on their full results.

“What happens if a STPM student gets better overall results compared with their Semester 1 and 2 results and then wants to change their course based on their overall results?” he said in a statement on July 14.

The full STPM results were released on July 1, but according to Mak, public universities have already called in students for interviews based on their Semester 1 and 2 results.

He added that STPM students could reapply based on their full results but this could only be done between Aug 9 and 12.

When contacted, a Higher Education Ministry official said the applications to update results using the final CGPAs have not opened and would be opened at the latest by mid-August.

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