Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Top Scorer? What for?

Every year, we read about the same thing, again and again.

Top scorers not getting a place in local universities. Top scorers not getting scholarships.

Via The Star today:
Two months ago, Ng Ee Liang, Desmond Chee and Teoh Wan Ying were feeling on top of the world when they each scored 13 1As and were named Penang’s top SPM scorers.

But all their dreams and hopes came crashing down on Monday after finding out that their applications for Public Services Department (PSD) scholarships had been rejected.

“There are 25 top scorers nationwide and I am in 14th position. All of us had lunch with Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and received certificates from both the Prime Minister and Education Minister for our achievements.

“Yet, the certificates do not seem to be able to support my scholarship application,” said the former student of Chung Ling High School, Butterworth.

Most students study hard simply because they are hoping for a good place in the university to study their prefered field or to get scholarship. And if being a top scorer can't get you that, I really don't know what will. What's the point of being in the top 20 scorer nationwide, if you can't even get a scholarship? Just for a luncheon photo opportunity with the PM (and a certificate)??! What message is PSD trying to send to the public?

I am wondering what are the criterias PSD employs to decide who gets the scholarships and who don't. Academic excellence? Active in Extracurricular? The boy seems to have both. Probably, what he doesn't have is a VIP dad.

"I do not know what went wrong.", the boy was quoted.

Welcome to the real world, kid! Malaysia Boleh!