Why no full recognition?

Kuching Chinese middle school committee questions conditions imposed on UEC recognition listed in BN manifesto

KUCHING: The Committee of Management for Kuching Chung Hua Middle Schools No. 1, 3 and 4 is happy that the recognition of Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) has been included in the Barisan Nasional (BN) election manifesto.

Dato Richard Wee

Its chairman Dato Richard Wee, however, said although he was happy with the inclusion, he felt short-changed at the same time due to the conditions imposed.

He could not help but wonder why the BN would not consider a full recognition since the Chinese community had been appealing for it all these years.

“I am happy this is the first time that UEC is included in the manifesto but I’m also disappointed by the fact that UEC school-leavers can only apply for local universities.

“Why only local universities? Why not a full recognition which covers a wider area such as allowing UEC holders to apply to join the civil services?” he said in a phone interview here yesterday.

Wee said he was not certain whether the conditions (must have credit in Bahasa Malaysia and pass in History in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) meant single subjects or full SPM examinations.

He said the committee had always called for single subject recognition because it did not want to further burden students of Chinese independent schools.

“There are those who say that the standard of SPM BM is higher than that of UEC. We do not

mind going for a higher standard one.”

But the committee did not want full SPM examinations as it would be a burden to students, he said.

Wee also wondered why the BN or the Ministry of Education (MoE) had yet to engage discussions with the new leadership of the United Chinese School Committees Association (Dong Zong).

According to him, several attempts of Dong Zong to discuss with the government regarding the recognition of UEC were unsuccessful.

“If the federal government or officials of MoE were willing to have a discussion with Dong Zong, we could have ironed out the details.

“You need to engage because you do not want to get stuck somewhere when you get into the details,” he added.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak launched the BN election manifesto which included the recognition of UEC last Saturday.

A national English daily reported that the BN would recognise UEC provided UEC holders obtained a credit in BM and a pass in History in SPM examinations.

Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai was quoted in the same report as saying that the Chinese community should empower MCA in this election so that MCA could work towards making the recognition a reality.

At present, UEC holders can apply for National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans for tertiary studies and enroll in local teacher’s training colleges and local private colleges and universities.

Sarawak recognises UEC provided the holders have credit in SPM BM.

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