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STPM: Raise matriculation standards, too

Thursday, July 19, 2012

By Lee Cheng Poh, Penang 0 comments

DEPUTY Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also education minister, recently announced that Form Six will undergo massive rebranding to bring it on a par with, if not better than, other pre-university courses such as matriculation (“Revamp for Form Six” — NST, July 6).

He also said the perception that matriculation courses were far better than Form Six should be dropped.

In the report “Undergraduate focus: What suits you best?” (NST, April 25), it was correctly reported that “urban myth or not, STPM examinations have always been a tough path for students who wanted to further their studies into universities”.

Public perception is that matriculation is an easier entry route to public universities.

The ultimate aim of entering Form Six or matriculation is to pursue tertiary education.

For those at a financial disadvantage, the obvious choice is to secure a place in a public university.

Form Six, with the Higher School Certificate examination being the predecessor to the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) examination, has been around for decades, even before matriculation was introduced.

To bring STPM on a par with matriculation, both programmes must follow the same syllabus and examinations.

It is a fact that matriculation colleges with better facilities have limited places and are for those privileged to be selected.

Students who do not have a choice sit the STPM examination as they do not want to be at a disadvantage in securing a place in public universities.

According to “Undergraduate focus: What suits you best?”, the biggest difference between the two programmes would be that STPM certificates are recognised globally while matriculation is mainly recognised locally with limited recognition by foreign universities.

Having both matriculation and Form Six students follow the same syllabus and take the same examinations would thus give the former the same global recognition as the latter.

Read more: STPM: Raise matriculation standards, too – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/stpm-raise-matriculation-standards-too-1.109688#ixzz211vYGFo1