KUALA LUMPUR: Putrajaya has dismissed claims by PKR that there was a drop in the percentage of students taken into public universities this year compared with last year. Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the ministry had not issued any directive to reduce the existing quota for this year’s university intake.
Describing the claims as baseless, he said the ministry had yet to receive the total number of students accepted as the intake process is still at the appeal stage.
“I do not know why this issue came about. There was no instruction ... to reduce the intake and I do not understand how certain parties can come to such a conclusion when the process itself is still ongoing.
“We will only know whether there is any reduction after we have gathered all the applications and appeals. We have to wait for the process to be completed before we can conclude anything,” he said.
PKR’s Sim Tze Tzin on Aug 15 had highlighted that the number of public university applications had jumped by 30% from last year, but the acceptance rate has experienced a “drastic drop”.
Expressing disappointment over the allegation, Idris likened it to an attempt to tarnish the ministry. He said parties are wired to find fault with the ministry and made “a mountain out of a molehill” on every issue.
He said everyone should be proud of local education as International educational portal, Education First had said the command of English among Malaysian students was better than in Singapore.
Idris said based on the third edition of the English Language Skills Index 2013, Malaysia was ranked 11 compared with Singapore (12) out of 17 countries.
“There are people out there who are adamant about finding fault,” he said.
It was reported that PKR’s Higher Education Advisory and Complaint Portal had received 130 complaints from students claiming they had failed to get the courses they applied for or places in public universities despite having the qualifications. — The Malaysian Insider
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 27, 2014.