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Muhyiddin: Ministry might limit number of SPM subjects

PUTRAJAYA, 21 May 2009: The Education Ministry may limit the number of subjects taken by students at the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination to ensure fairness in the award of scholarhips, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.

“We should streamline the number of subjects that each student can take … why should they take 20 subjects when some are not even taught in school and only learnt from tuition classes?” he told reporters after meeting Puteri Umno leaders at his office here.

Muhyiddin, who is the education minister, said the current system of awarding scholarship based on the number of grade As obtained by students should be changed.

For instance, he said, a student who obtained 14As would have a better chance of obtaining scholarship, but this would not be fair to those who were only allowed to take nine subjects even though they scored As in all subjects.

“Obviously students in boarding schools who take only nine or 10 subjects wouldn’t be able to compete with those who obtained more A grades,” he said.

Muhyiddin said he had nothing against those who sat for many subjects, but said this had created unhappiness among those who were only allowed to take a certain number.

He added that the issue would be discussed at a special meeting chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on 25 May. — Bernama

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One Response to “Muhyiddin: Ministry might limit number of SPM subjects”

  1. Hong says:

    This is not a good suggestion. Firstly, it puts an artificial cap on those who can and want to excel, which is akin to hobbling your fastest runner so that his teammates can play too. Secondly, it makes the implicit presumption that those who do not go for tuition in extra subjects are constrained by their income, when it seems to be as much to do with how much one is willing to put down as a down payment for their children’s future (certainly a better investment than CDOs).

    Thirdly, even if PSD were to award scholarships purely on the basis of proportion, i.e. how many 1As can a student score out of the maximum proposed limit, that will still not address the underlying discriminatory policies currently employed to divvy out these scholarships, and so the same problems will persist in which the high-flyers are not given a chance to realise their full potential.

    It would be much effective to stop the suppression of the passing grade for all subjects, thus making 1As more meaningful, and replace this purely quota-based awards system with a new one which takes into account students’ results as well as their financial wherewithal.

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