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Monday, July 30, 2018

UEC is only additional avenue for students to excel


I think we have had enough baloney tossed around over issues pertaining to the recognition of the UEC as an entrance qualification for admission to public universities.

It took a general election and a change of federal government to give us some glimmer of hope that the UEC would be recognised. But suddenly, we are faced yet again with endless loads of baloney on why the UEC should not be recognised.

The UEC is now a threat to national unity, national culture, the national language, national sovereignty and patriotism, and a challenge to the country’s “single-examination system”.

Never mind that for the last 60 years, while we have had no recognition of the UEC, we have had no national unity either.

Never mind that we have a dual-track examination system with matriculation on one hand and STPM on the other. Never mind that we have junior science colleges existing side by side with normal schools. Never mind that certain schools use the English medium while others use Malay.

What matters the most is this baloney: the UEC is now a threat to our single-examination system. It is as if with UEC recognition, the country’s entire education and examination system would collapse.

You know what, to me it does not matter anymore whether UEC recognition is forthcoming or not. Malaysian public universities may ignore UEC qualifications at their own peril.

The UEC is not a threat or a challenge to anyone. It only provides an additional avenue for our students to excel and compete globally, knowing that the national school system has been lackadaisical and anaemic. A school system is not just about language and medium of instruction. It is also about work culture, dynamism and the worldview being imparted and inculcated.

To those who see threats behind every shadow, it is time they looked beyond the little pond they live in.

Just look at those who excel in Malaysia today, be they Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Dayaks. Do they know only the Malay language with a worldview that is no more than a cocoon?

I think we have had enough debates already. The world is not going to wait for us anymore.

By TK Chua

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