well well well. since headlines are supposed to grab readers' attentions. this one really did grab mine.saw this in Sunday's Sin Chew.
basically translates to: "SOME UEC SUBJECTS ARE NOT UP TO SPM LEVEL"
usually, i prefer not to make a stand against something so ridiculous. but i guess this is around one time too many. since i'm on a writing sort of mood today (just decided that i should write more for practice purposes) i shall ponder upon this on my poor trash can of a blog.
there're quite a few things to address first.
Section A: FAQ
1. what is UEC?
UEC stands for the Unified Examination Certificate, the standardized examination of independent chinese high schools in Malaysia, also an A-level equivalent paper.
that said, it has been regarded as a higher standard than SPM, but slightly lower than STPM. the name itself is kinda ironic right. what "unified" la. it's only for chinese. hahahah. basically its the unified exam of all chinese independent high schools in malaysia.
it is recognized by most universities (international universities and private malaysian universities), except public universities in malaysia itself.
2. independent chinese high school? why do they even exist?
the reason for the existence of independent chinese high schools is a sad and noble story. we can trace it back to the British Occupation of Malaya. for a more detailed story, do read this. hahah i'm lazy to write about the whole thing here. erm. basically the thirst for power and politics affected the way the education system was going in Malaya, and Education Acts were enacted to make education in English compulsory in all schools.
after that, the plan is to change to to education in Malay.
here's one thing you should know: hot-blooded Malaysian Chinese view their Chinese roots with UTMOST IMPORTANCE, giving it a revered place, even higher than wealth.
Of course they refused to go by the rules.
the concept is simple: Chinese should learn in Chinese. Malays should be taught in Malay. Indians should be educated with the Indian language. they learn best in this way.
thus they fought for Chinese education, (long and bloody war, hard and weary battle) and the end result was the surviving 60 chinese independent high schools, located in different places all over Malaysia today.
3. do UEC students take SPM and STPM?
it's entirely optional. but most take it anyway, as an insurance for survival. since the government does not recognize the UEC.
so we undergo 2 different courses at the same time. in my school, beginning from Senior 1 (that's form 4 for you), we have classes from 7:30am till 3:30pm. after that, the compulsory SPM tuition begins at 6pm till 9pm.
4. so what's the big deal?
the big deal was already mentioned in the first question. this UEC certificate, is recognized by almost every university, be it foreign or private. BUT NOT IN PUBLIC MALAYSIAN UNIVERSITIES.
that's the very reason my parents are paying ridiculous amounts of private university fees. not because they like paying. but because i don't have a chance to enter public universities at all. (ok la maybe if i did my best for SPM i might stand a chance. MIGHT.)
that's the end of Part A, ladies and gentlemen.
now for Part B.
to address the annoying headline above.
i agree that the easiest paper in UEC is Malay. it's true. its freaking pmr level.
but dear sir, have you taken a look at the other papers? none of the papers in SPM come remotely close to UEC.
i have taken both SPM and UEC.
for SPM, i spent my time during the holidays playing, watching movies, rehearsing for my school band's tour in Singapore. did not study, i assure you. yet i managed to pass all my subjects and even get a handful of As.
in UEC, we can sweat it for the whole year, yet might not get great results. getting more than 5 As means you're almost genius already.
that's quality for you.
16 As? i wonder how many of those were relevant subjects.
and your joke of the English paper in SPM? seriously? 1119? that's like. UPSR level of English.
i guess throwing insults at each other won't help at this point. sorry to those who got 16 As in SPM. that's an underhanded insult.
i'm just frustrated at the quality of our nation's leaders. and disappointed.
my parents paid tax.
they also paid my (kinda) expensive school fees and contributed towards chinese education funds.
they could've used all those extra money for new cars, new homes, or travel every year.
i asked myself this question too.
they worked hard. because they believed that the quality of this education made a difference.
ok the money isn't the most important thing here. what we fight for is the recognition.
how do you feel if you bought a Hummer and people insist that the Pajero is better?
how is it that the UEC paper can be recognized by so many professional foreign universities, yet rejected by Malaysia itself? and you still ask us why is brain drain happening? you think we're ungrateful brats. you think the professionals overseas don't miss the roti canai or nasi lemak? look into the mirror to find out the reason for brain drain.
all we want is the government to recognize our efforts and the quality of our work. this discussion has been going on for so many years. "discussion" is a nice word. and we're not asking for something unreasonable. i thought that Najib's administration was listening and we're working towards something better, at last.
yet what is the answer that we get?
"some of your subjects in UEC are even worse than SPM!"
if you can't even differentiate between "some" and "one", do retake your SPM.
*update: supporting evidence*