‘Placement for all top SPM scorers positive step’

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By maintaining Bumiputera quota and ensuring that students with 10As and above are accommodated for matriculation, govt shows balanced, inclusive approach: Sec-gen

PETALING JAYA: The government’s move to open up matriculation placement to SPM students who obtained 10As or more, regardless of race and region, is a positive and inclusive step that aligns with Madani principles, said National Association of Private Educational Institutions secretary-general Dr Teh Choon Jin.

“By maintaining the Bumiputera quota and ensuring that all SPM students with 10As and above are accommodated, the government is taking a balanced approach that addresses the needs of both the Bumiputera community and other high-achieving students.”

He said this reflects the government’s commitment to affirmative action policies aimed at ensuring equitable access to education for Bumiputera students.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the government has given an assurance that all SPM leavers who obtained 10As or more, regardless of race and region, would be offered the opportunity to further their studies at the matriculation level starting this year.

Anwar also gave an assurance that the current Bumiputera quota system under the Education Ministry’s matriculation programme would remain unchanged.

He emphasised the importance of maintaining the existing quota for Bumiputeras, citing its longstanding practice and alignment with Article 153 of the Federal Constitution which reserves quotas for Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak.

He added that previously even some top SPM scorers were denied places in the matriculation programme.

Teh said therefore Anwar had announbced that the Cabinet had agreed to accommodate all top scorers based on eligibility.

Teh said in the long term the move would lead to a more balanced approach in education policy, fostering greater social cohesion by recognising and celebrating the achievements of students from diverse backgrounds.

“However, it is important that the system and its processes are managed carefully to ensure that long-term social inclusivity across different groups is maintained and strengthened.

“The approach is also a progressive step towards promoting meritocracy as it ensures that high-achieving students are recognised and given opportunities based on their academic performance.”

Teh said this would also help to mitigate some of the perceived inequities associated with the quota system, as high-achieving students from non-Bumiputera communities would have guaranteed access to matriculation or foundation programmes at public universities.

He said it is crucial for the government to ensure a transparent and fair selection process in maintaining trust in the education system and avoid further controversies.

“The government needs to clearly communicate the criteria and procedures to avoid any perceptions of bias or favouritism, especially in balancing the new policy with the existing Bumiputera quota system.”

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