Never ending JPA scholarship ‘controversies’

By Education in Malaysia

The latest JPA scholarship results have been announced and not surprisingly, it has been met with howls of protests among the usual quarters, starting with the MCA.

Here are a few links to some newspaper reports that document these protests as well as the JPA's response to these protests. You can access them here, here and here.

Protests and appeals should not be surprising given the limited number of scholarships and the higher number of 'deserving' candidates. But the JPA is not helpless in trying to quell some of these protests.

What the JPA needs to do is the following:

(i) Clarify the objectives of the JPA scholarship

– Is it to give an opportunity for academically excellent Malaysian students to study abroad?
– Is it to create a pool of talented workers who would come back to serve the country in the civil service?
– Is it to reward students from academically disadvantaged backgrounds e.g. from rural areas, from lower class families, from Sabah and Sarawak etc… an opportunity to study abroad?
– Does awarding the local versus the foreign JPA scholarship fulfill different objectives e.g. are those who are academically more gifted awarded the foreign JPA scholarship?
– How important is the racial 'quota' in determining who ultimately gets this scholarship?

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