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SHEDDING 'SCHOOL' IMAGE: New concept will make STPM more appealing
YOGYAKARTA (Indonesia): FORM Six education will undergo a massive rebranding to make it an attractive pre-university proposition. The exercise is aimed at boosting the image of Form Six education to a level that is on a par with, if not better than, other pre-university courses such as matriculation.
Under the new structure, students will be taken out of schools and pooled in an independent learning system. Th ey will have a different set of teachers as well as a revamped learning timetable to better suit its status as a pre-university course.
At present, going to Form Six and taking the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) examination is seen by many as the last resort for getting into tertiary education.
Some 83,000 students enter Form Six annually, compared with about 26,000 for matriculation courses.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said yesterday that the new Form Six structure would also shed the “school” image as students would no longer be wearing school uniforms.
Speaking to Malaysian media on the sidelines of the Seventh Asean Education Ministers’ Meeting here, Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, said the perception that matriculation courses were far better than Form Six must be dropped.
He said Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) holders should look at Form Six as a good preuniversity option as even foreign universities recognised the STPM qualification.
At present, the ministry was looking at the logistical aspects of centralising the students and other details, including on the strong support system to ensure effective learning.
"We have the facilities to accommodate the students, it's just that now, they are scattered everywhere in one or two classes in schools."
Already, the semester system had been introduced, whereby the current batch of sixth formers will undergo three semesters of learning.
"We are revisiting the structure of Form Six education in the country at our schools. It (Form Six) is sometimes looked at as a continuation of Form Five, when in fact, the students are in a different category altogether, and are more mature.
"Sixth formers are not to be looked at differently as their performance can be better than students from matriculation courses."
In Kuala Lumpur, National Parent-Teacher Association Collaborative Council president Associate Prof Datuk Mohd Ali Hasan said this was something the council had been pushing for to enable Form Six students to be given the pre-university students' image, as well as to ensure standardisation of both the STPM and the matriculation courses.
"I am all for this move. I hope it takes off soon," he said yesterday.
Parent Action Group for Education chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said the move would address the differing standards between the STPM and matriculation programmes.
"STPM has always been a highly recognised pre-university course and the move to revamp it will make it even more appealing to students."
National Union of the Teaching Profession president Hashim Adnan also expressed his satisfaction.
"The independent learning system will expose Form Six students to a university environment." Additional reporting by Yiswaree Palansamy