Monday, 9 June 2008

JPA Scholarships - Same story every year!

Year in, year out, same old problem. The scholarship dished out by the Public Services Department, PSD or JPA as more commonly known, is much sought after by top-scoring SPM leavers, to pursue their higher education overseas. There is one serious problem though, the chances of a top scoring Indian student getting the scholarship is just about the same as winning a game of roullete. Every year, it's the same story. Applications sent in, rejections sent out, appeals sent in, politicians make noise, JPA throws some bones, everybody forgets and gets on with life, only to replay the whole thing the following year.

To quote Datuk M. Saravanan, Deputy Federal Territories Minister and MIC Information Chief, and fellow blogger, "Do we have to beg, year in, year out? Do they get pleasure in seeing us beg, then throw us the bone?"

Seriously JPA. Get your act sorted out. 90% Bumi, 10% Nonbumi. Then apparently, 55% Bumi, 45% Nonbumi. Can someone please tell me where the quota system for this came from? When even local university intakes are now supposedly on merit, nevermind that it's our own definition of merit (that's material for a whole different post altogether), who came up with the rule that JPA scholarships are based on a quota system?

Well, I'd like to see one of two things. Either we abolish the quota system, and award the scholarship purely on merit, with a well-published evaluation criteria, OR we stick to the quota system, but since we're at it, split the quota to Bumi, Chinese and Indian. Give 250 places a year to Indian students to study overseas. No need to beg anymore!

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