Current Affairs

JPA scholarships for non-bursary students “silently withdrawn”

kian ming tony puaTo the disappointment of non-bursary students, the Education Ministry had “silently withdrawn” the option of education scholarships foreign universities, discrediting the Federal Government for lacklustre promises made to fund students who received admission into top 50 universities.

As of June this year, students who were assured by Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin of a Malaysia’s Public Service Department (JPA) scholarship under the Program Luar Negara Negara (PILN) scheme, were told by JPA that the government had scrapped the program due to “lack of funds”.

The scholarship was initially intended to provide an avenue for students who received less than 9A+ in their SPM results [non-bursary students], to pursue education in top universities worldwide. To qualify for the scholarship, this student would have to score a CGPA of at least 3.5 or equivalent, obtain an unconditional offer from a 10 top world ranked university for medical, dentistry and pharmacy degrees or for other courses, an unconditional offer from a top 50 world ranked university for other degrees.

Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming who highlighted the issue today said that this announcement gave hope to many non-bursary students in terms of having the motivation to work hard in their pre-university programs such as STPM, A-Levels, Matriculation or the International Baccalaureate (IB) in order to apply for the PILN scholarship.

He explained that prior to the announcement on 16 April 2012 by Muhyiddin Yassin of scholarships for non-bursary students; those who obtained less than 9A+ would have no chance of being funded by JPA scholarship.

“One can imagine the disappointment of some of these students especially those who have obtained entry offers to the top 50 universities in their respective fields according to the press release issued by the Deputy Prime Minister,” explaining that they were not given a chance to apply for the scholarship nor were they called up for an interview.

“Did the Deputy Prime Minister mislead the students when he announced the opening up of the overseas JPA scholarships to non-bursary students only to have this cancelled two years later without any public announcement?”

Given that bursary students who scored 9A+ or more were later given priority for overseas scholarships over non-bursary students, Ong asked if the government really had known if the RM 2.12 billion allocated for JPA scholars was not sufficient for the currently deprived group of students. He demanded that the government be consistent with their policy for JPA scholarships.

“To promise one thing and then to take back that promise 2 years later is unacceptable and is yet another example of an unfulfilled promises or “Janji Tidak Ditepati” by the BN federal government,” he added. -The Rocket

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