This article is written regarding the drastic decrease in the popularity of STPM as the choice for SPM graduates to further their studies.
STPM. Why STPM?
Is it hard? Is it easy to pass?
Do we gain alot of knowledge in STPM studies?
But one thing for sure, STPM is longer in the wish-list of SPM graduates like before. It has become a phobia to so many nowadays that the number of STPM students throughout the country has dropped significantly in these few years of time. Why is this happening? We shall look into this problem to its root of the problem, and whether you agree with me or not, all these I'm about to say are the facts.
If you listen to your dad or mom, for those who were well educated, they will boast how hard it was to sit for HSC(High School Certificate, now STPM); and for those who did not receive much education due to bad times years ago, they'll encourage the new generation to go for STPM. Some called it the " 11th Class". We have seen so many seniors especially from SMJKs like Jit Sin, Chung Ling, Sam Tek, producing top scholars every year, and the number of students scoring a 4 flat results (4.0 CGPA) had never stopped rising by each year. And of course, that doesnt mean that excellent results in STPM is easy to score.
Just a few years before I entered secondary school, our STPM seniors were still taking 5 subjects, in this case, science student would be required to register for Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Pengajian Am. Now, only 4 subjects are made compulsory for the 'regular' science or commerce students. When I was so small that I didnt even know what STPM is, I had heard people wishing to get into STPM, but not until the industry of Private Colleges started to blossom.
The reason is simple, because government would not support non-bumiputra student in any other means besides STPM. MARA colleges, UiTM, Matrikulasi, MARA scholarships and even JPA scholarships are heavily 'protected' by the quota system. To me the quota system has already crippled our education system because there is not a healthy competition among new generations. Although not all, I can say most of the qualified non-bumiputra students are indirectly being 'filtered out' from the local university even before they manage to enter Pre University round. The only option our seniors had then was STPM. STPM is hard, at least, for me and my cohort as science students in form six. That is a fact. That is why Matrikulasi is there to 'educate' bumiputra students so that they can secure a place in the local university Without having to compete with STPM students.
All along students have struggled so hard to pass STPM. I'm not being boastful or what, but STPM is practically one of the hardest Pre university exam available in Malaysia, if not in the world. You can do a very simple comparison between the syllabus of STPM and the syllabus of ANY OTHER PRE U Program, AND, dont forget to try out the actual STPM papers as well.
In the midst of fear for not being able to score well in STPM, (so that to get into university eventually), private colleges came into 'rescue'.
KDU, Inti, Sedaya, Taylor, UTAR, PSDC, IMU, AIMST, Binary, Curtin Sarawak, Nottingham, Disted-Stamford..... These are only the BIG ones. What about hundreds of other 'micro-colleges'? Why the heck does Malaysia needs this number of private colleges? Who are these colleges catering for if not Malaysians? It was just recently that these private colleges started to enjoy rising popularity among oversea-rich-kids-from-saudi-china-and-africa. That is also another reason why big colleges like KDU and Inti can afford to set up their branches in a few states in Malaysia.
These colleges are practically squeezing money out of the desperate SPM graduates who certainly didnt want to study STPM, and did not have any other alternatives to further their studies through government institution. These SPM graduates mostly consist of non-bumiputras, and they have only two choices, STPM or private colleges. Few had the chance to make it into Matrikulasi or to get JPA scholarships that offer only 10% of its places to non-bumiputras. UiTM? Forget about it. It’s for Indonesians and bumiputras only.
For your information, critical courses in local universities like Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy have LESS than 10 % of STPM graduates in each of the courses. Believe it.It's a FACT.
Instead of gambling their future by studying form six that is a lot harder compared to their competitors like MARA college and Matrikulasi, many opted for private colleges in order to pursue their dreams. But sadly, not every parents are rich enough to do that. And obviously NOT EVERYONE who went to private colleges knew that their future holds. I'm sure that, many college students overestimated what their private colleges can fulfill them.
Why is that SPM graduates seem to resist STPM so much? And why has the number of STPM students steadily decrease every single year? WHY.
I presume that you and I knew who the culprit is.
Still don’t get it? Besides the government’s effort to sideline STPM graduates, another obvious factor is the booming of Private College Industry.
"Private College, a Good Choice?"