PEKAN: The matriculation programme will not be abolished, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
He said the Government was committed to ensuring its continuous existence in line with the country’s mainstream development.
“This programme has proven to be successful in paving the way for SPM students, particularly bumiputras, who obtained good results to enter local universities.
“The selection process is based on meritocracy which is fair to all parties. I believe non-bumiputras too benefited as a quota of 10% has been set aside for them,” he said in his speech during the celebration of a decade of matriculation programme in Felda Chini Timur near here yesterday.
He said there was no manipulation in the programme.
His speech was read out by Deputy Education Minister Datuk Razali Ismail, who also launched a foster parents programme in which matriculation students were adopted by the local community here.
The matriculation programme was started in 1998 when Najib was Education Minister.
Najib, who is also Pekan MP, said the Government would ensure the programme would be of high standard in terms of management, up-to-date and relevant curriculum, in addition to receiving recognition both in and out of the country.
“So far, we have nine matriculation and two Mara colleges throughout the country.
“Under the 9th Malaysia Plan, three more colleges will be built to further strengthen the programme to churn out more graduates in critical fields such as medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, engineering, architecture, accounting and management,”Â he said.
Najib said the Selangor Matriculation College would receive its first intake of students by 2010, to be followed by the colleges in Kelantan, Sabah and Terengganu.
“There are plans to upgrade four initial colleges to meet the present development needs and increasing number of applicants,” he said.
He said plans were in the pipeline to award matriculation certificates so that graduates of the programme would be recognised overseas.
“Recently, several universities in Britain had accepted and recognised the programme’s syllabus,”Â he said, adding that 50 matriculation students had been selected to participate in a teachers’ training programme in Britain this year.
Source : The Star