Dec 9, 2009

Student with 17 SPM-A's FAILED in University Exam

I was told that one of the girls with the most number of A's, 17 A1's, in SPM and who is currently on a scholarship in UK to study medicine failed in her second year examination.

While passing and failing examination is part and parcel of a student's life, this case is particularly alarming, as this is supposed to be our cream of the cream. There may be other reasons why she failed , but this case typifies the trend of many of our so-called 'top scholars' failing in overseas universities.

I have mentioned before that among my daughter 's year doing medicine in University of Auckland , there were many JPA's scholars (more than 10). Only one graduated with the class. The rest have failed along the way and have to repeat the year which they have failed. Some have failed one year, passed on second attempt and then failed again in another year. It is not uncommon to have someone who failed a few times along the way.

These scholars are supposed to represent the cream of our students, and yet they struggled to get through the course.

We must find out the reasons why so many of these scholars fail when they are supposed to be the our top students.

Granted that in an examination, even a good student can do badly sometimes, but to have a disproportional high failure rate among the so called top students is alarming and cannot be attributed to 'luck' or the lack of it. Compare this with those on their fathers' scholarship, very few of the latter group failed.

Is it because our marking system is at fault? Is there any differential markings of papers? Is our education system at fault?

I think the time has come to have a thorough re-examination of the whole education as well as the examination system.

It really reflects badly on our country when scholarship holders fail in their examinations at an alarming rate.
P.S. When a scholarship holder fails and has to repeat a year, it would cost the Country a lot of money which can actually be used to finance more students for study. Scholarship holders also live a life of relative luxury, compared to self-financed students, and they normally stay in the best hostels and many of them have cars and so on... SO the whole system of awarding scholarship should be reviewed too...

If the students scores an exemplary number of distinctions (A's in
Malaysia ) in a public exam, they are considered the pinnacle of what the Country's education system is capable of producing. They are expected to go through tertiary education anywhere in the world with flushing success. So what could possibly have happened if they fail abroad?

Malaysia 's education system has always been a laughing stock. Based purely on numeric superiority and mindless rote learning methods that even the British has long abandoned decades earlier, Malaysia continues to believe that the more A's the students attain, the better equipped they are. It doesn't matter how they get the A's so long as the aim is to get them and get as many in the process. So if the students were to labour over numerous past year exam papers in the library, memorise the answers and focus only on what the teacher 'suggests' are likely to come out for the exam, that's all right by everyone. The education system doesn't teach the students to UNDERSTAND the material. It doesn't encourage proactive teaching methods that encourage students to discover knowledge but to merely be taught.

When a student with 17 Distinctions fail in the real world, it is not a surprise. Perhaps it is to many Malaysians, but it's a system that is waiting to reward its students with spectacular failure when they leave the shores and compete overseas or when they enter the workforce. Many organisations in the private sector have continued to be horrified at the performance of such students during interviews. Communication skills are absent. Standard ethics are absent. Common courtesy codes are absent. Presentation skills as well as personal grooming are absent. What has the education system taught them?

If Malaysia continue to embark on the road of plain numeric superiority instead of to challenge the students to think, provoke them to create their own opinions and to communicate expressively, to eloquently define their standing in the world, there can never be an international leader in any field or industry emanating from Malaysia . It never produced one in the last 20 years. It never will for the next 100 years.



  1. that's the problem of malaysia education system..mempersiasuikan malaysia!!

  2. We've not been honest to ourselves all these years since the so-called reform that we've been living in our own fantasy.

    We like to hypnotize ourselves that we're okay, but actually not.

    Despite all these disclosures, no ones want to admit that something is amiss in our education system.

    When will we wake up to the reality?

    Only God knows.

  3. 这就是我们引以为荣的教育成果。一个制造"A"产品的教育制度能够跟世界竞争吗?

  4. 當號稱教育改革前鋒的政客與學術界領袖,還在信仰博士學位、討論名牌大學,提倡精英學校,以智力學習進度來劃分學子,灌輸從小競爭不落人后的制度的當兒,學習是快樂的,學習是追求學問,有教無類、發掘潛能等等以人為本的教育已經不復存在。

  5. Well sir,
    to be honest... the educational system of our country for me, it looks very awkward.

    I'm a Malaysian who have been brought in Brunei Darussalam and also finished my primary to secondary education there.

    Just last March 2009, I make my decision to come back to Malaysia for furthering my study on Laws. Currently, I'm doing Cambridge A'level broad Laws program in a private laws college here.

    I've mixed with many the students here who are actually holding SPM /SPTM cert, I found out one very important fact which make me think the educational system in our country need more better improvement instead of 'conversion' like what our PM and MOE minister have suggested earlier.

    The English proficiency for many of the students here can be said not so 'acceptable' as many of them do admit that their previous educational sys make them hard to cope with the work load where they have in degree/ oversea broad program.

    Beside that, I couldn't understand why our gov't and many of the political parties like to fight against the issues of education (school) in term of being specialized in Chinese/tamil/ Malays. I mean, 'whats the problem' and matters?'

    In Brunei, I have many of my subjects lessons in English; only one Bahasa Melayu for languages and others are all in English from kindergarten level up to secondary 5 ( O'level ).

    More improvements and serious review indeed to enforce in our educational sys.


  6. Despite 17A achievement, she even failed in English course before entering the university.
    The first hurdle during the execution of teaching Science and Maths is the insufficient of school teachers who are proficiency in English. Their standard is so very poor. Some of them can’t even form a simple English sentence. How to teach our children? Then, come to the guidance from parents (especially rural area), who hit into another major obstacle. City folks regardless Malay, Chinese or Indian, have comparatively lesser problem in handling English as to rural people.
    It needs strong will and determination to push thru this policy. Nevertheless, we believe we can successfully change provided strong support from the ministry officers. But, popularity or votes is the key factor for the flip flop decision.

  7. “寄居论”阿末依斯迈回来了。。。。

  8. LEE: 他未曾離開,何來回來之說?跟公正黨的極端分子祖基菲诺丁一樣,國陣和民聯有他們就夠了,還談什么改革?這種人你越回應他,他越興奮。