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KUCHING, August 9: Sarawak Patriot Association (SPA) is deeply concerned over the Pakatan Harapan government’s ‘snail pace’ in recognising the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).
Yesterday, SPA president Datuk John Lau Pang Heng said in PH’s GE14 election manifesto under ‘Promise 50: Restore the authority and independence of public universities and institutes of higher learning’, it clearly stated in page 107 paragraph 3 that ‘Pakatan Harapan will undertake to recognise UEC certificates to enter public institutions of higher learning (IPTA) provided that applicants have a credit in Bahasa Melayu at the SPM level. For this purpose, the UEC certificate will be assessed to be equivalent to the existing general qualification for entry into IPTA.’
Lau said the SPA has over the past two weeks conducted random surveys among UEC teachers, UEC students and parents who send their children to schools which offer UEC.
“All of them said the same thing, that UEC is recognised by over 600 institutions of higher learning overseas. In Malaysia, private universities and colleges admit UEC holders into their degree programmes.
“The UEC History syllabus, besides Malaysia, also covers South East Asia and world history. This makes UEC holders well versed in global history. UEC Mathematics is equivalent to Year One Mathematics in overseas universities.
“For UEC Art stream, students study LCCI Level Three bookkeeping, and they are taught on business entrepreneurship,” Lau said.
He noted that parents whose children are UEC holders wished that their children could return to serve Malaysia after their university studies overseas.
It was disheartening to know that half of these parents were very disappointed when their children chose to work overseas after they finished their university studies, Lau lamented, adding that Malaysia is losing competent manpower.
“Many parents of UEC holders wished that our new Malaysian government will recognise UEC holders as an entry (requirement) into public universities. From the survey, SPA felt that Malaysians have placed high hopes in the PH government to recognise UEC,” Lau opined.
Meanwhile, SPA committee member Brenda Yong congratulated the Sarawak state government for recognising the UEC as one of the qualifications to qualify for employment in the state civil service.
This move was followed by Selangor, Penang and most recently the Malacca government.
Barison Nasional (BN) in their election manifesto also highlighted their support for UEC to be recognised.
“SPA is asking the BN-run government in Pahang and Perlis to follow our Sarawak state government to recognise the UEC. Let us do more work and talk less,” Yong suggested.
Taking into consideration the increasing number of non-Chinese students at schools offering UEC, she said SPA has proposed a number of initiatives to the new Malaysia government.
Firstly, to recognise UEC by December 31 at the latest as one of the academic criteria, to enter public universities and also as one of the entry requirements to work in the civil service.
Secondly, to include the history of Sarawak and Sabah in the national education system, recognising that Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia are equal partners in the Federation of Malaysia. Malaysia Agreement 1963 also needs to be emphasised in the History syllabus.
Thirdly, to request the new Malaysia Government to study why more and more parents are sending their children to schools offering.
SPA wants the government to adopt a holistic approach to integrate the best content from various curriculum to form a national curriculum that creates a world class workforce that can be implemented in different languages. — DayakDaily