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JPA scholarships: What will it be?

14 June 2010: Insufficient funds to provide overseas scholarships

“We have to tell the truth. We just cannot afford it. Just like how a parent cannot afford to send their children abroad to further their studies, the government cannot afford it. We do not have the financial capacity that permits us to send every good student abroad.”

“Secondly, it is this: however we do it, whether we reclassify the As that the students get to A+, A [or] A-, the fact remains that in this year alone, the number of students who obtained 9A+ were over 1,200.”

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, explaining the government’s decision to phase out most of the 1,500 Public Service Department (JPA) scholarships for undergraduate studies overseas from 2011 onwards.  Nazri said the cabinet had decided that JPA scholarships for overseas studies would only go to postgraduate students.

Nazri said this policy would also help to retain good students in local universities and keep their talent locally. (Source: Nazri: Putrajaya has no funds for bright students, The Malaysian Insider, 14 June 2010)

6 July 2010: Overseas scholarships for critical fields

“This is because manpower in these fields is much required by the public service sector and the country.”

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, explaining that JPA scholarships to study locally and abroad would still be given out to students with excellent Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2009 results.

He said the scholarships were for critical fields such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary, engineering, science and technology, and social sciences. (Source: Government continues to offer JPA scholarships, Malaysiakini, 6 July 2010)

10 July 2010: All students with 9A+ will get scholarships to study locally and abroad

“We have achieved one thing that we have never done in history. Every student who scores 9A+, irrespective of his or her ethnic background, will get a scholarship from the department. It doesn’t matter if they are Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Iban or others. If they score 9A+, they will get the scholarship whether for local or overseas studies. This is to show that 1Malaysia is not just a slogan.”

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, announcing that all students who scored 9A+ in their SPM exams would be given a JPA scholarship, whether for local or overseas studies. (Source: All top scorers to get JPA grants, The Star, 11 July 2010)

“The prime minister’s statement is a happy one for all sides.”

Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, on the announcement to grant all 9A+ students JPA scholarships. He said it would not be a problem to source for additional funding.  (Source: Go for PSD scholarships, The Star, 12 July 2010)

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4 Responses to “JPA scholarships: What will it be?”

  1. Shawn Tan says:

    The bigger problem here is what happens to these scholars after they graduate. That is a massive problem that the media fails to highlight. Nobody cares what happens to our best and brightest after they graduate and report for duty.

    I challenge the media to do a study on how our country’s talents are managed. You will find a lot of sad stories of depressed scholars who are stuck in wrong jobs. While boredom is common, what is worse is the killing of interests and talents of our best brains.

    The government ends up flushing millions of dollars down the toilet every year, by giving our best a world-class education and then just parking them in a corner after. Sad.

    • arum0r says:

      Agree with Shawn Tan…

      The Nut Graph should highlight this issue…maybe they can start by interviewing me…

      Btw, some private sector employers in Malaysia even limit their job candidates to local students for fear that students from overseas will not stay long.

  2. Sabahan says:

    Please continue to lower our school standard. One day, we might be in Guinness Book of Records for the MOST number of As produced in one year. Malaysia boleh!

    Or reclassify As again to A–, A-, A, A+, A++ if you serious about it. ^^

  3. Chode McBlob says:

    Give marks as percentiles. Problem solved.

    Give appropriate emphasis on subjects relevant to chosen field. Heavier weightage for subjects like additional maths and chemistry and lower weightage for subjects like moral/agama. Set it up such that only important subjects and a few others count. Since many schools simply dont offer many subjects, cap the limit at 9 subjects – which is fair.

    I applaud TNG’s unbiased report on JPA scholarships. Not many people know that the proportion of bumi’s to non-bumi’s are roughly similar to that of malaysia.


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