Thursday, June 10, 2010

Make all awards of Government scholarships transparent and fair

Speech by M.Kula Segaran MP Ipoh Barat at the Round Table Conference at Parliament House on the issue of “JPA / Matriculation seats allocation for students” on9thJune2010.

Year in year out we will hear allegations of unfairness in JPA’s awarding of overseas scholarships. Every year hundreds of bright students will have to appeal to try to get a scholarship. Finally many will face disappointment.

The question is not that there are too many applicants or too many bright students and too few scholarships. We should be proud if we have so many bright students. No one is so unrealistic to expect JPA to award 7000 or 8000 overseas scholarships. The question is whether JPA is transparent and fair.
If JPA is transparent and fair, the question of appeal should not arise or at least appeals will only be made by a few people. Appeal should be the exception rather than the rule.

But even with the introduction of A+. A and A- grading system as well the decision to cap the number of SPM subjects, JPA is still unable to satisfy the public that it can award the scholarships in a transparent and fair way. Government likes to talk about the slogan Malaysia . boleh, but JPA is still tak boleh.

By being transparent and fair, I am referring to the question as to how JPA evaluates students according to the four criteria, namely academic results, co curricular activities, economic background and interview performance.
Take for example, how does a student get full mark for the economic background criterion? What is the range of family income that will entitle an applicant full mark for this criterion?

JPA should be transparent by displaying all the relevant details on its website, for example- list of successful recipients, number of scholarships awarded for a particular programme and the number of total applicants etc.

What is the justification for reducing this year’s scholarships by 500, making it only 1500 this year? Lack of money is not an excuse. Just cut down on corruption ad wastage and we will have more than enough to provide more scholarships for our young and bright ones.

Talent must not be wasted. Government increase the overseas scholarships to 2000 as well as increase the present 2000 local scholarships for IPTA and IPTS

PM must walk the talk about his 1 Malaysia concept. More places at Matriculation colleges should be opened up for the non bumiputras. /non malays. Present allocation of 10 % is too little. A minimum of 30 % should be opened up.
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.

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