Tuesday, 28 July 2015


The options are aplenty and school leavers have to select a suitable course, before they move on to the next phase of their lives.

I would like to congratulate all students who sat for the STPM and SPM examinations. To those who did well and realised their expectations kudos to you and don’t rest on your laurels.
Those who feel disappointed should take heart that education is a lifelong journey and they should take heed of their weaknesses and continue to strive for success.
Once the results are out and reality sinks in, students are faced with the very important question of what to do next.
The government of Malaysia has created many avenues for students to proceed further in their academic endeavours.
These initiatives cater to their results, achievements and preferences.
For those who did extremely well and achieved straight 9A+, the bursary programme is available as an option.
The website to go to is to register for the bursary programme.
To those who would like to get into matriculation, please find out more about the criteria and needs for qualification.
Those wanting a place in public universities should really stategise and plan as there is a “science” involved in applying. This is to increase their chances of getting a seat and course of their choice.
First on the list is to check if the applicant’s results meet the minimum requirements of the course. This can be done quickly at
Students must be encouraged to think outside the box.
While medicine and law are among the favourite courses, there are still many niche fields such as biotechnology and agro economy which have enormous potential, but aren’t popular among students.
I’d also like to advise parents – do not put undue stress on your child to do a course that you have chosen for them.
Young people these days have a better chance of excelling in courses that they have an interest in, and parents should try and encourage such interests rather than pressure their children to pursue something they don’t have a passion for.
As for me, I continued my secondary education up to Form Six and have only positive things to say about that final chapter of my schooling.
I enjoyed the whole experience of Form Six. It is now being revamped to give it a varsity feel, quite diferent from the school environment.
The curriculum has been changed to the semester system and changes are already in progress to allow students more freedom in their choice of attire.
They will be more independent, very much like pre-university students.
Also, it’s important to note that although there are otheravenues of getting into public universities, preference is always given to Form Six students.
For students who are not inclined academically, they can achieve success through the skills and trade industry.
These fields are very much in demand now, and over the years, they will become even more relevant to a nation’s development and success.
In fact, at an international skills convention in India last year, a speaker recounted how his son a Mathematics professor at the prestigious Oxford University made £200 (RM1,100) an hour, but the roof tiler there made £300 (RM1,670) an hour.
The courses available in the skills field are at polytechnic and community colleges. These vocation-centered institutions will help give legitimacy and prestige to those who choose to excel in the skills field.
An added advantage is there are already opportunities that would allow deserving graduates from such institutions to pursue their higher education in public universities right up to degree and post-gradute level.
I would also like to remind students not to be duped by fraudsters who claim that they can use their influence to get seats at institutions of higher learning.
All applications are done online and the process is transparent and open.Please be wary of these conmen.
For those who are thinking of pursuing studies at private tertiary institutions, it is best to carry out the necessary research on the varsities of your choice.
For those who aspire to join the civil service after graduation, check if the course you’ve selected is approved by the Public Services Department (JPA).
Also, for financial assistance, the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) is available for all students, but the quantum may vary for different courses.
Students will have to start planning their finances and set aside a sum for their course fees and other expenses for the duration of their programme.
The government is steadfast in providing all Malaysians with an opportunity to pursue an education irrelevant of their academic standing.
All Malaysian children have a platform to build their future on.
Every child from the cream of the crop to those whose academic qualifications are not the best, has a place in the nation’s education system.
Students please take your time; put the effort to research your choices and all the best.
If anybody has queries or doubts, please email me at
Good Luck!
  • The writer P Kamalanathan is Deputy Education Minister. He welcomes feedback via Twitter@PKamalanathan. This is one in a series of articles for this column which appears every fortnight. It also sees the contributions of Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and Deputy Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap who share their views on various education-related issues.
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