Synopsis: Pendidikan pra-university = Pre-university education

Pendidikan pra-university: untuk apa dan untuk siapa?

= What (and whom) is pre-university education for?

Sepanjang bulan Julai, kita telah menerokai persoalan ini melalui (a) perkongsian sudut pandangan daripada lima penulis dalam post Pengenalan, (b) petikan komen daripada pembaca dan penulis dalam post Apa Kata, dan (c) temu bual bersama Connie Foong dan Ida Thien, yang mengasaskan program Closing the Gap, dalam post Q&A. Minggu ini, kami menghuraikan perbincangan tentang pendidikan pra-universiti ini.

= Throughout July, we have explored this question through (a) the sharing of opinions from five different writers, in our Pengenalan post, (b) a selection of comments from our readers and writers in our Apa Kata post, and (c) an interview with Connie Foong and Ida Thien, co-founders of Closing the Gap, in our Q&A post. This week, we summarise this discussion about pre-university education.


1. Salah satu matlamat pendidikan pra-universiti adalah untuk menyediakan para pelajar untuk menyumbang kepada masyarakat secara intelek.
= One goal of pre-university education is preparing students to contribute to society intellectually.

… My understanding is that traditionally, a university degree is distinct in that it suggests a kind of academic literacy: the ability to read, conduct, and synthesise one’s own original research. …I think it’s important for a developing society to have a critical mass of ‘legit’ university-education people, but of course this is only one category out of the broad gamut of competencies needed for a prospering society. …

—Tiong Ngee Derk, in our Pengenalan post

At the end of the day, everyone is interested in preparing students to be contributing members of society. In the most practical sense, that means employment post-university. In a higher order sense, this means Malaysians who can solve complex problems, think critically, manage diverse people, negotiate and are emotionally intelligent … A good pre-university programme should prime students towards these skills so that we set them up for success at university and beyond.

—Ida Thien, when she was interviewed in our Q&A post

2. Pendidikan pra-universiti juga patut memberi peluang kepada pelajar daripada latar belakang yang kurang bernasib baik.
= Pre-university education should also aim to provide opportunities for students from less fortunate backgrounds.

Perlu diingatkan bahawa pendidikan boleh membina insan yang berbudaya dan berilmu. Demikian pendidikan adalah diperlukan untuk semua lapisan masyarakat. Namum, hakikatnya adalah bukan semua pelajar adanya peluang memasuki universiti. Terutamanya di negara membangun seperti Malaysia, jaminan pendidikan golongan B40 adalah harus diutamakan.

—Esther Sinirisan Chong, dalam post Pengenalan

… If we see pre-university education as a ticket to a university education that provides the skills for jobs and subsequent social mobility, then the government must strive to make it accessible for all, especially for historically disadvantaged groups. …

—Aizuddin Mohamed Anuar, in our Pengenalan post

… Jadi, persoalan yang perlu dijawab ialah, patutkah kemasukan ke program pra-universiti seperti matrikulasi ditentukan berdasarkan merit? Soalan ini memang rumit dan terdapat pelbagai sudut pandangan yang sah. Bagaimanapun, masyarakat India melihat pendidikan sebagai ubat mujarab untuk segala masalah sosial yang menimpa mereka. …

—Pravindharan Balakrishnan, dalam post Pengenalan

3. Namun, pelajar daripada latar belakang sebegini mungkin menghadapi pelbagai rintangan dalam melanjutkan pelajaran mereka.
= However, students from such backgrounds may face many barriers in pursuing further studies.

… Sebagai seorang budak kampung dari Sabah (negeri yang termiskin di Malaysia) dan bekas pelajar sekolah menengah di sekolah bantuan kerajaan, STPM dan Matrikulasi merupakan program pra-u yang mampu ‘dimimpikan’.

Terutamanya program matrikulasi kerana ia merupakan pra-u yang dapat menjamin peluang kemasukan Universiti sama ada dalam atau luar negara dan kemungkinan ditawarkan ke kursus pilihan pertama di universiti awam adalah tinggi. Di samping itu, elaun bulanan diberikan sepanjang tempoh pengajian. Bagi pelajar daripada golongan B40, ini merupakan salah satu peluang yang terbaik untuk mereka.

—Esther Sinirisan Chong, dalam post Pengenalan

… There’s a lot more at stake for a lower-income student: if they’re on scholarships, they have to make sure they do well so they don’t lose the aid, or they might need to work part-time to continue supporting their families. If you talk about experiences at pre-university, then there are also social and cultural barriers that a lower-income student might need to adjust to.

—Connie Foong, when she was interviewed in our Q&A post

4. Oleh sebab itu, kita perlu memudahkan jalan masuk pelajar ke pendidikan pra-universiti. Satu langkah yang boleh diambil ialah memberikan bimbingan tentang peluang pendidikan pasca-SPM.
= Because of this, it is important to improve students’ access to pre-university education. One way to do this is by giving them better guidance about post-SPM education options.

… if there are two things present in my ideal world, they would be: One, holistic post-secondary planning support for students as part of their overall education experience. …

My second idea is for scholarship-giving bodies to take a more contextual approach to scholarship awards, particularly with more prestigious scholarships. This means taking a holistic view of an applicant’s achievements and growth in relation to his life circumstances, rather than strictly on-paper qualifications or grades. …

—Ida Thien, in our Q&A post

… I would really like to see the role of school counsellors redefined in the public school system – a lot of the work that we do in the programme [i.e. Closing the Gap] can be carried out by a careers guidance counsellor, but our experience working with schools thus far has shown us that the role of the counsellor tend to be that of a disciplinarian rather than guiding students in meaningful conversations about their futures.

—Connie Foong, in our Q&A post

5. Selain itu, kita juga perlu memperbaik mutu program pra-universiti supaya para pelajar bersedia untuk menghadapi pelajaran dan kerjaya selanjutnya.
= Also, we need to improve the quality of our pre-university programmes to ensure that students are fully prepared for their future studies and careers.

… I believe the issue that we should really be focusing on is the STPM programme. … I find it strange and sad how the STPM programme, despite its legacy and academic rigour, has fallen out of favour by both students and higher education institutions alike.

There is much to be desired in how issues related to pre-university such as Matrikulasi and UEC are hotly debated amongst the public and our leaders. However, until we are aware of and proactively tackle the issues regarding STPM, we will not be able to provide the secure, excellent pre-university pathway that our students deserve.

—Cheah Kok Hin, in our Pengenalan post

… my hunch is that university enrolments may have been too aggressively expanded without a commensurate focus on what’s going on in schools before pre-U, and at the detriment of the legitimate pursuit of non-university pathways to careers (e.g. TVET, Polytechnics).

Moreover, I suspect a serious mismatch between the skills assessed at SPM-level (favouring test-taking, memorisation, conformity etc.) versus the dispositions and higher-order skills which are the domain of universities (like independent thought, academic research, critical engagement in scholarly discourse, etc.).

—Tiong Ngee Derk, in our Pengenalan post


Terima kasih kerana mengikuti perbincangan bulan ini tentang pendidikan pra-universiti! Minggu depan, kami akan mengongsikan beberapa tip untuk pelajar pra-universiti. Dan sila lawati kami di Facebook. 🙂

= Thank you for taking part in this month’s discussion on pre-university education! Look out next week for our tips for pre-university students. And don’t forget to visit us on Facebook. 🙂

 

Comments

  1. With the introduction of Matriculation course in Malaysia for post SPM students, Form 6 is no longer the chosen path/avenue for students who wish to pursue tertiary education at local public university. For students who fail to secure a place in Matriculation, they are a rather frustrated lot remaining in Form 6 because that’s is what is left for them. What more with the chances of entering public university reduced to a small percentage, there is hardly any motivation for them. If the Ministry of Education wishes to emulate the system of Junior College in our neighbouring country, then they should be serious about it and get it going. Otherwise, it would be a sheer waste of students’ time (18 months) if they fail to obtain a place at a local public university. With the enrolment of Form 6 students dwindling, it is also a sheer waste of human resource. It would be advisable to have a single system and have all the talents in Junior college to prepare the students for tertiary education. As for the 18 year-olds, they would be happier to know that everyone has an equal opportunity of moving on to the degree course of their choice.

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