Wednesday, May 25, 2011

PSD shatters brilliant student's dreams

B Nantha Kumar | May 25, 2011 FMT

Seremban schoolgirl gets 10A+ and 1A but she is not given a scholarship for medicine, instead she is given a teaching scholarship.

KUALA LUMPUR: She always wanted to be a doctor. P Heamanthaa burned the midnight oil for her SPM exams and her diligence and hard work paid off.

The schoolgirl from SMK Tuanku Jaafar in Seremban scored 10A+ and 1A in SPM. She thought her dream of becoming a doctor was about to be realised. She confidently applied to PSD for a scholarship in medicine.

But with one letter PSD shattered her dreams. She received the letter informing her that she only qualified for the PSD scholarship in Diploma in English at University Perguruan Sultan Idris (UPSI) in Tanjong Malim.

A stunned Heamanthaa said: “I was saddened and did not sleep the whole night”.

Now she is requesting that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak take a personal interest in her case and grant her a Public Service Department (PSD) overseas scholarship in the medical field.

“Why am I am not qualified for the medical course despite scoring 10A+?” she asked.

Heamanthaa is the eldest in her family. Her father is a health product seller and her mother is a primary school teacher.

She is one of the top students in her school and she represented the state and district levels in hockey and athletics.

She was also among 13 students from Malaysia who participated in women’s football exchange programme held in the United States.

She said she would not continue her studies in Diploma in English if the government rejects her appeal.

Scrap the interview system

Meanwhile Malaysian Indian Student Association (MISA) president Kishur Goonasaran urged the federal government to do away with the PSD interview to choose the students for the merit quotas.

According to Kishur, interviews can lead to discrimination and abuse of power.

“We do not understand why the PSD is still keeping the interview system. They should award all top scorers who meet the government requirement of 8A+ and above .

According to Minister in the PM’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz, the total number of scholarships offered are 4,000, of which 1,500 are for overseas and 2,500 for local universities.

From the 1,500 scholarships on offer, 300 are awarded under merit, 900 based on racial composition, 150 to Sabah and Sarawak bumiputeras while the balance of 150 are given to the socially disadvantaged.

Kishur said the government must give first priority to the 700 students who scored 8As.

“So, why has the PSD refused to award the 700 students overseas scholarships? ” he asked.

“A total of 8857 students applied for scholarships. And we do not know how many of them are awarded scholarship?”

In another development MIC leaders held a special meeting at party headquarters today to discuss the scholarship issue. It is learnt that MIC has received more than 400 complaints in the last few days.

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