To all the detractors of my earlier article—
I take it with a pinch of salt that STPM does require understanding. However, I am all against “The day when students prefer STPM to other private courses is the day we see our malaysian education succeed,” as stated by one commenter.
Here’s my rationale:
The toughest exams
STPM imposes too much information in 1.5 years. That in itself shows the inadequacies of a system which doesn’t give enough time for students to consume the information required. On top of that, the STPM requires massive amounts of study time in order to score well. Students in the US have time to pursue voluntary work or start a business in their garage while studying at secondary level. This gives students ample time to develop themselves as well-rounded students. How many STPM students who excelled had time to paint, play sports actively or start a business?
Also, a friend of mine who studied STPM mathematics went to uni to study IT (not a choice) and found the maths in uni easier than what she learned in STPM. My question is – if the subject is going to be taught in university-level, why teach it in STPM-level?
On the other hand, systems like CAL give students time to excel AND pursue other passions.
Fixed streams and limited subjects
Students are often forced to be in a certain stream to study STPM. I know of science stream students who wish to switch to the arts stream as it will be easier, but are denied enrollment or are allowed in only after much wrangling, causing them to miss a few classes. The government is so fixated on getting more science students even though there aren’t enough science-related jobs in the country.
A-levels provide more subjects such as law, which the STPM doesn’t provide as an option. That in itself better prepares a student for his/her future vocation. How does doing chemistry help when one eventually applies for IT or other subjects unrelated to chemistry course? The subject options in the STPM are more rigid compared to those provided in A-levels.
Harvard and the National University of Singapore can accept STPM results BUT…
Their country wouldn’t implement the STPM exam system themselves. And they are among the brightest in the world, so do you think STPM is still the best option?
Even the Americans were racist once upon a time when they made the blacks into slaves, and yet now we have a black president of theUnited States. We don’t just sit around and point our fingers at our forefathers. We acknowledge the mistakes and rectify them. The quota system is simply institutionalised racism – period. In every country, minorities are given a quota to help them. Only in Malaysia is the majority given a quota. What rubbish. If the Americans can move away from racism and accept a black president, we should have the maturity to look beyond race when awarding public university admissions. And that means non-Malays have an equal right to education as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (or,dear Pink Cup Cake, do you not believe in human rights?):
Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
Standardised pre-university qualification
I wholly stand by the idea of a standardised pre-university qualification as it is fairer to students. The government has to abolish the STPM and matriculation programs and come up with a unifying and fair pre-university qualification, such as providing A-levels to its students at the government’s cost.
To Pink Cup Cake, who wrote THIS
“To me, you just sound like a child to a family whom can afford to send their kids to private colleges/universities, whining on how unfair is the system when you have not even attempted to work your way through the system. Therefore, for the simple reasons above, your arguments shall be invalidated on ground of bias and partiality.”
For your information, I studied in the science stream for the SPM, and I knew I had to go to private college but my parents couldn’t afford it. Hence, I studied hard enough to win a scholarship to a local private college. Please tell me that you’ve worked as hard; otherwise, you are showcasing jealousy for people who went to college, and you certainly sound like it.
After obtaining the scholarship, I worked in order to pay my private college fees for my A-levels. My family played no part in paying for my college fees. How many students can and/or are willing to work and study at the same time to realise their ambition? So don’t say I didn’t work my way through. The fact that you are whining about private college students hints at jealousy. Also, why on earth would I work through STPM when it is merely institutionalised racism (as I strongly believe it to be) when I obtained a scholarship to pursue the course of my choosing? One would have to be stupid to turn down a scholarship they had worked hard for and applied to in exchange of opting for the STPM.
Any other arguments?
Featured image sourced from the SMK Elopura, Sandakan website.