KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry has backed down and allowed students to enrol in private higher education institutions in January next year with their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) forecast results, after its earlier decision created a storm with parents and education groups.
But, students can only formally register for their courses after getting their actual SPM results in March, The Star Online reported yesterday.
The ministry will release the results on March 3, two weeks earlier than usual. This allows students to finish their pre-university courses in time to further their studies abroad.
Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh was quoted as saying the decision was made after extensive consultation with stakeholders from various private education institutions.
“Previously, the concern was that students could not complete the academic year in time for foreign university intakes.
“By bringing forward the release date of the SPM results, everything is now in full compliance with Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) requirements while giving enough room for students to go overseas [in time for foreign university intakes].
“With the results out in early March, students have time to complete the minimum 43-week requirement for the [pre-university] academic year,” he was quoted as saying in the news report.
The education ministry on May 23 issued a circular to higher education institutions that forecast results could not be used for enrolment into pre-university programmes. Another reminder was sent on Sept 30.
The Star reported that Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (Mapcu) president Datuk Dr Parmjit Singh had commended the ministry for being responsive.
He said it was only right that the final decision focused on the students’ needs.
Parmjit said students had to complete at least 50 credits within the 43 weeks of their foundation courses, so they can still choose to enrol early and begin the “non-core” activities in their courses.
It is understood that there will be further deliberation between the ministry, Mapcu and other stakeholders, the English daily reported.
The ministry’s earlier decision to disallow forecast results caused an outcry. Students and parents were worried the move would delay admissions, especially for those planning to study overseas.
Opposition lawmakers from the DAP, including secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming, called the ruling unfair and irrational. — The Malaysian Insider
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 9, 2014.