Saturday, June 5, 2010

Call on Government to increase JPA overseas scholarships to 2000

Every year many top students will fail to get scholarships. Year in year out, many will appeal against the JPA decisions.
Many think that MCA is able to help them win their appeals, but finally many will be disappointed.

Deputy Education Minister Dato Wee Ka Siong said in today that “it is not possible for JPA to award scholarships to all of the straight A students because there are too many of them. He said 7800 students obtained straight As and JPA could only afford 1500 students. He also revealed that MCA has recently brought up 1304 appeal cases from top students with the JPA.

There are two issues here.

Firstly, whether the JPA is transparent and fair in awarding scholarships

secondly, why has JPA reduced the number of scholarships by 500 for this year.
JPA claims that it awards scholarships according to some criteria like an applicant’s academic performance, social economic background, extra-curriculum activities and interview performance. If the JPA is transparent and fair, I don’t think their will be so many year in year in appeals.

The question is not just that there are too many applicants but there is the more important question of JPA having to be transparent and fair as many students have also complained about JPA’s fairness in awarding scholarships.

Why can’t JPA reveal the overall minimum mark to be obtained by successful students for a particular programme (based on the overall criteria) and inform each applicant their marks? Last year, JPA gave out 2000 JPA overseas scholarships, but this year it has been reduced to 1500, why?

Have we become so poor that the government must also save on scholarships?

Talent must not be wasted. Many poor parents will tighten their belts just to ensure their children will get their education.

Also at the same time hundreds if not thousands of scholarships are given by numerous government agencies and GLC's. What is the criteria used to select the successful applicants and how many were chosen?

There can be no justification for Government to reduce the number of scholarships.

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