Is the rebranding of STPM a change in form or substance?
DPM and Minister of Education Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that Form Six education will be rebranded to raise its image to that in line with other pre-university education like matriculationcolleges and science foundation centers. Among others Form six classes will be held at separate centers and not in the same school where students sat for their SPM examination. Besides the above Form six students will be wearing a different uniform and having a different time-table for lessons and different teachers in a slightly different category (from the normal schools). Tan Sri Muhyiddin said the rebranding was necessary to show that Form Six was pre-university education and comparable to the ministry’s matriculation colleges and science foundation centres run by the local public universities.
Looking at all the past changes or transformation brought to the education system by the government, the comments and feedbacks says that our education is deteriorating and going downhill. Will the proposed changes add value to the Form six education? It may be another change in form and not real substance. First of all are there any credible and reputable educationists still in the education ministry? Education ministry is the most politicized one and a genuine educationist cannot be there and still credible. Good program may be introduced but are the implementers free from political encumbrances. The maths and science in English program was reversed to bahasa malalysia after 6 billion ringgit and lots of effort put in just because UMNO hardliners are not agreeable to it.
It is strange that the deputy minister has mentioned that they want to bring STPM comparable to matriculation and pre university level. STPM is a much more difficult and internationally renowned examination. Matriculation is an internal assessment recognized only by our ministry of education and local universities. Is the minister planning to lower the standard of STPM to matriculation level? Will the rebranded STPM still be recognized by reputable foreign universities?
Most of the non Malay students sit for STPM for obvious reasons while most of the Malay students move to matriculation and pre university courses. This racial divisive has to be redressed. I am sure the minister knows about this separate university entry path taken by Malaysian students. Besides, are the teaching staff well prepared and trained for the new method of delivery and assessment. Ill prepared teaching staffs were one of the main reasons for Maths and science program to fail. I am afraid this could be the weakness of the new teaching format and assessment for Form Six Examination. Since Form six examinations is now brought to same level as matriculation, why have 2 assessments? Why not all students sit for the same assessment? Let all pre university students sit for the same assessment which will be used for local university entry selection.
Senator S. Ramakrishnan
From the desk of Senator S Ramakrishnan