View Full Version : Excellent! Is her scholarship on the way?
27-02-2003, 10:40 AM
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<font size="+1"><font color="red">Excellent! Is her scholarship on the way?</font></font>
<img src="http://www.thestar.com.my/archives/2003/2/27/nation/spmyap2.jpg" align="left"> Yap Sui Lin of SM (P) Kuen Cheng <a href="http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2003/2/27/nation/byspm&sec=nation">created history</a> yesterday by scoring 16As in the 2002 SPM examination.
She had fifteen 1As in all the subjects she took except for Bahasa Melayu, for which she got 2A. Her 15 1As came from English, Chinese, Mathematics, Additional Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Moral Education, History, Art, English Literature, Commerce, Economics, Accounting and English 1119.
No, she is definitely not a nerd.
She lost her father when she was <a href="http://www.guangming.com.my/gmgn.phtml?sec=16&artid=200302260931">10 years old</a>. She was a slow starter who began to speak only after three <i>(Guangming Daily)</i>. She has a string of awards and achievements from co-curricular activities, she helps coach orphaned students at <i>Rumah Hope</i>.
Her mother, Dr Gan Lay Chin, left her job as a geologist after her husbandís death and devoted her time to looking after Sui Lin, living off her husbandís pension. Her husband had served with Jabatan Telekom for 21 years.
Sui Lin studied both arts and science as she aspires to be a financial engineer, a profession which demands a combination of knowledge in both science and commerce. She will apply for <a href="http://news.sinchew-i.com/article.phtml?sec=1&artid=200302260707">scholarships</a>, mindful that her mother is a single parent. I hope she gets many offers and may she succeed all the way.
<a href="http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2003/2/27/nation/kaspm&sec=nation">2002 SPM exam</a> produced 663 candidates who obtained 1A for all subjects, and 2,732 candidates obtaining a combination of 1A and 2As, an improvement over the previous year's results.
27-02-2003, 07:12 PM
Sui Lin deserves all the praises we can heap on a young achiever like her and she surely is a role model for many. Let us all be brave and pray that an outstanding Malaysian like her, regardless of race and religion, be given the scholarship she would need to make this nation of ours even prouder!
28-02-2003, 04:12 PM
I read with sadness the story of a student who took her life firstly because she merely got 2 A's in the SPM over her wish for 6A's and secondly because her parents told her that they could not afford to send her to private colleges against her ambition.
Over the years and even today, scholarships and sponsorships are being offered ONLY to the high achievers irrespective of whether they are financially deserving or not and thus leaving behind the many poor who may gain admission into higher institutions but could not afford to do so just like the above incident.
Today, education is a big big business and these private colleges keep on booming over the years. Last year, they came out easily with a hugh fund (for bumi students) in one day when some one complained over the lack of bumi students in private colleges. The fees keep on rising and it is rather very expensive for many to send their children especially to private colleges.
Maybe it's time the contributors should also consider the many poor who are not so academically sound and yet manage to gain admission into higher institutions. They need help too, don't you think so?
28-02-2003, 04:39 PM
In the issue of students committing suicide over not getting good grades and not being able to afford private colleges, it is also up to us as parents to prevent the occurence of such tragedies by educating our children in terms of looking at life's adversities as an opportunity to do things in more ways than one. And in this aspect, as parents we therefore have to lead by example in showing them how we cope with life's challenges. While it is a blow to have 2As instead of 6As and that the parents are not able to send them to private colleges, it is not the end of the world. But no point telling the children this, they have to have practice facing their issues with courage. How do we teach them? By getting them to read on experiences of people with even worse problems in life fighting against odds. By showing them handicapped people who are striving to live life fully. By involving them in activities that expose them to more things in the world so that they know, they is life beyond exams. Many of the people I went to school with never saw the university, a lot of us, including myself, didn't have parents who couyld afford sending us to private colleges, I remember having sweet potatoes for lunch to save money for tuition fees charged in GBP. More than ten years down the road, we found, the two roads lead to the same end. We need to teach our children resilience. My two sen.
28-02-2003, 06:04 PM
Although I have admiration for her for scoring 16 As, what is she and her mother trying to prove? I have nothing against them. How can a student be allowed to sit for 16 wide ranging subjects at one sitting? Later part of her life she will learn new phrases called "Be focus" "Be smart" "Excel what you do best" and many of Steven Covey advices. Why should we offer scholarship to people scoring 10 or 20 As? If anyone thinks that scoring tens of As deserve himself/herself strings of scholarships where he/she can afford pick and choose, then I pity all those who are financially weak for there will be many more 2As students taking their own lives all because of this paper chase. I feel children need be be coached and not coerce. Next time when people ask me "How many As your kid score (they always like to ask that) I will answer "Thank God she didn't kill herself."
28-02-2003, 06:30 PM
msia is fast catching up with spore and japan (there are more suicides than road accident deaths in japan) if the stats of suicides in the last couple of days are anything to go by. generaldogsbody was lucky to have been eating "cheap stuff" to save for fees in gb. me and a couple of friends didn't even have enuf to eat at home here in old klang valley 40 yrs ago.
i'm not blaming the suicide victims, no way. its society at large. its a pressure cooker and its bound to burst with disastrous results any time. its easy to say 2 roads lead to the same end. thats cos one has reached the other end. without man gods on the sidelines.
a couple of yrs back, with 2As in spm one could confidently expect a place in 6th form. and form 6 was the dream of every 5th former. society has contorted all values in life and masked "the other road" such that 6th form places come a begging for takers now. its straight to college or varsity, get a diploma 9 mths after spm results are out, a degree 30 months later. and be a co dtr by the age of 25. heck, r we so afraid that tomorrow wud be the end of the world?
i started working immediately after form 6. sure i missed and felt sorely about missing life in college or varsity. but back then there was no peer pressure. most of my colleagues were in the same boat as me. it was no sin to miss higher edu.
now we r playing god. push the kid to get the results. no money then go to govt aided institutions. thats what parents say.
but the outside world laffs at and condemns public varsities. perhaps they r right for some reasons. but when it comes to taking the bite for budget sake, the world must know when to shut up. its lives at stake.
this is not abt iraq or usa sitting on a time bomb waiting for detonation. its abt our youths of today who would be the leaders of tomorrow who will stop nuts who spell out bash up saddam hussain.
my condolences to the families of the suicide victims.
and to the super high achievers, syabas, but please take things calmly and don't push yourself or let yourself be pushed to the edge of sanity. whats happened to the 12 yr old genius who made it to cambridge (or was it oxford or mit?) and the malay girl who ran hid from her family in uk?
28-02-2003, 08:59 PM
It is not true that it's easy to say - two roads lead to the same end - just bcos I have reached the other end. Having made good grade in all but failing in one solitary subject - BM, I had to go back to school and resit practically the whole school year and the SPM, not being able to face my own friends who have made it into Form 6 and later in F6, to meet them again as my seniors. It can be quite humiliating. I too came out to work after F6 and put myself thru college by studying part-time. The pressure then is not much different from now, but parental support made a huge difference, when they back us up morally, it makes a difference. That is the reason why I felt, we as parents, must help our children learn to be more resilient in life, to teach them that life is precious, not to be thrown away for a piece of paper.
01-03-2003, 01:55 AM
First things first - congratulations to all the high achievers who made it high and may the needy get all the help they want to achieve their goals.
As rightly said by all, LIFE is not a string of A's. Just as GeneralDogsbody, I too flunked my BM at MCE (we were in English schools back then). I too retained one whole year. My cousin who flunked his BM went straight to UK for his HSC (6th Form) because his parents could affod it, mine did not and I had to slog it out one more time. I was not humialiated, just disappointed. My father was very disappointed. But we overcame and got on back in life. I still faced all my peers when they went to Form 6 as I had to retain in Form 5 in the same school. I felt NO SHAME in it just because I flunked the system which demanded a pass in the BM paper. I accepted that. I did not think I was a failure. Life does not mean we have to be doctors, lawyers or engineers.
May I add, for those brilliant kids who don't get any financial support for whatever unfair reason, we as parents ought to help them look at life on a positive note. Turn the obstacles into challenges and face life with what ever you have. The most important thing is your brain and intellect. As the Chinese saying goes, "if the horse dies, get down and walk the rest of the way on your feet". You will be considered a failure if you were to sit down and cried over the dead horse or blamed the Govt for not giving you another horse.
We need to teach our children that the real world out there is treacherous and unfair. Not obtaining a scholarship is the first taste of the unfair world. You may be in Singapore, USA, UK or Australia - you will find unfairness and worse challenges in everything that you do. Do not talk about rewards for meritrocracy. I do not disagree that there are fairer systems but don't you agree that once the College or University life is over, there will be more unfair challenges ahead? They come in all forms and they WILL hit hard. If the kids are not taught realities of life, how will they excell with their own wits and abilities?
01-03-2003, 08:48 AM
Just to put things in perspective.
When I wrote the original posting on Sui Lin in my weblog (http://jeffooi.blogspot.com), the 2As suicide case has not hit the headlines. As of now, I would like to deal with the social impact of exam failures, suicides ala Japan, as a separate topic. It's a very valid issue in a paper-case culture.
I wrote on Sui Lin's case more from the point of rewarding and grooming our smart-kids on meritocracy and not kuli-fication (Sorry, I advocate Bangsa Malaysia, but I am not shut out from reality, for now.)
I thought that scoring 16As is both a daunting and unprecedented achievement.
I thought that, being a kid of a single mother and in conjunction with her marvellous results, Sui Lin merits the best scholarships from the corporate foundations.
(You have heard of stories of dummies sent on public-sector scholarship overseas at the slightest hint of less-lustre results, flunked, or go against the government upon their return. Haven't you?)
I thought Sui-Lin and her mother wasn't out to prove anything. Sui-Lin was 50% orphaned by age 10, her mother quit to coach her, living on dismal pension of her late JTM-employee. This, to me, has been a shower of love, sacrifice and hardship rolled in one for the family.
Sui-Lin aspires to be a financial engineer, a new domain that requires both arts and commerce groundings. She took those baby steps and she succeeded on her own effort, without a crutch. There shouldn't be a penalty for being successful on your on effort.
I thought Malaysia has liberalised its education policies over the years, and sitting for 16 subjects in one go isn't a restriction. You do if you think you can. This is an element of a Knowledge Economy. Don't be cocooned by a closed mentiality of Do's and Dont's.
Like it or not, the emergence of these new kids make us sound like archaic, dinasaurs.
Please help me to monitor how Malaysia rewards a Malaysia Boleh generation the rightway, may be starting with Sui Lin.
Sui Lin wants to move forward ( a management guru's jargon :D ), she is financially constrained, so she is applying for scholarship.
So, is her scholarship on the way?
I asked this to the Tan Sris and Datuks who head education aid foundations from Petronas, Tenaga Nasional, Telekom, Maybank etc.
These organisations take from the society to make them who they are. They should now give.
01-03-2003, 06:55 PM
Sui Lin is certainly a model student. She deserves recognition. However, she has a long long way to go. I know a lot of high academic achievers who end up as professionals earning a comfortable salary. I also know many many friends and ex-class mates who didn't do very well, fail their subjects or simply dropped out and they are earning big salaries or big profits. Good academic results must be well balanced with the right social and work attitude. Otherwise, you can have 2 Phds and a string of degrees but you are just a wage earner going to work at 8am and coming home at 6pm.
03-03-2003, 12:45 PM
For my part, I have to say that this was an excellent achievement, and I congratulate Sui Lin for it.
I think it took a lot of imagination to do what she did, in addition to diligence and intelligence. I mean, it never once occurred to me that I could do both arts AND science subjects while I was studying for my SPM in 1992. Not that I could have achieved it - but I never even thought of it.
Her next steps are none of my business, of course, but I do hope that she can get a scholarship to Stanford, MIT or Harvard - that kind of institution. I think her kind of results, plus her all-round capabilities, justify nothing less than these types of schools. Hope I do not sound too elitist, but I myself would have loved to have gone to those places. Such scholarships need not necessarily come from the Government of Malaysia.
As for future career, well, if she does go on to be a Financial Engineer as she hopes to be, chances are she'll probably land a job in the City of London or New York, earning a million pounds a year or something like that. This after getting a PHD or two. I doubt Malaysia will have the capacity to provide people like her with suitable employment by then. But it need not necessarily be a commercial career. An academic career may not pay as well, but could end up equally fulfilling.
03-03-2003, 03:59 PM
Dear all... if one is a moderate student academically, doesn't mean that he or she is moderate intellectually too...
I admit that I was never a top student. I got 4 A1s in my SPM, and one A in the recent STPM exam. My STPM results was much worse than expected however, as I was one of the top students in my Form 6 Arts class due to diligent study and concentration.
Yet, however, I've obtained a full scholarship from the Japanese government to pursue a degree in Sociology in Japan, which I will be leaving for Osaka in April to do my first-year language course.
In fact, I got the scholarship even before the STPM results were out. Eventhough my results in government exams are nothing to shout about, it is more about how much you actually know, how really outstanding your personality is. I'm quite active in co-curricular activities, having been a school debater and have held numerous posts in societies. I'm not being boastful here, but I admit I'm pretty well-read, with an analytical and logical mind. I'm also going to be a columnist for a local English newspaper when I leave for Japan, hence to show that I've some writing skills. I'm one the 3 Malaysians to be selected for the Monbukagakusho Scholarship 2003..
I read the suicide of the SPM student with sadness. I mean, look at me. I'm not a top student. I'm barely better than her in my SPM. Yet I've not committed suicide or anything. Believe me, when I was pondering over my life after SPM, i was distraught, i was depressed. Even getting my scholarship was a hassle, for they see not only SPM and STPM, but 3 years of academic performance (which I fared ok actually, funny thing is that I always do better in school than in the actual exam). Then I've to sit for another test somewhat akin to the SAT which about a thousand ppl sat, followed by an interview which 25 ppl were selected for it. As such, in these cases, one or two exams has nothing to show for it. Whether you know what you're capable of is more important. Thank God He still had faith in me. Without persistent hard work and prayer, I would not be where I am today.
So I don't have 10 or 20 A's. I'm not a super-achiever where excel in everything from art to math to sumo wrestling. I'm just a normal guy with a slight precociousness for knowledge. So am I dumb? Am I mediocre? After all, I beat thousands to be one of the 3 scholars!
My advice is, never give up hope whatever others might think. An great opportunity could just fall onto your lap, provided you continue to be dilligent. Everybody has been given a second chance in most things by God, so do make full use of it.
03-03-2003, 05:11 PM
i agree with your views. just becoz someone has a string of A's in this country, doesn't mean that person will become successful. However, the chances of that happening will be larger, simply because that's how our country works... our exam system palces too much emphasis on examination results. school days are used to learn how to answer exam questions, not to gain KNOWLEDGE. thus the increase in tuition classes, which even standard 1 kids go to nowadays (mostly from the persuasion of parents).
i was fortunate to choose my own education road, the number of extra classes i wanted to take, and the type of subjects i wished to enrol in. in education, one must be happy doing it, otherwise u get those suicide issues...
anyway, unless there's a paradigm shift in our education ministry, policy, and public attitude, our examination system will continue to prevail. for better or worse? who can tell?
07-03-2003, 06:28 AM
i actually think it's wrong if we concentrate too much on the overachievers. that's something to be proud of, and we should be happy for their success.
but i fear the children who will now be pressured to do 16 subjects by over-aspiring parents who want to prove something to the world.
my mother was extremely hard on me and forced me to do more a-levels subjects then what was demanded of the students in my college. she drove me friggin' mad and made me hate what could have been a very enjoyable education experience.
she refused to listen to the lecturers who insisted that 1. we were doing a crash course, so managing the minimum number of subjects was a challenge in itself, 2. i only needed 3 subjects to enter any university in the world.
but she was adamant. my lecturers sympathised with me an helped me where they could. from achieving straight A's in the first term i dropped to mediocre B's and C's. I only managed one A in the end.
i think we should focus on the other strengths and desired characteristics youth should have, and ultimately let them grow at their own pace. so long as they know what they can do and feel capable, that's most important. support is all they'll ever need.
07-03-2003, 09:47 AM
In my opinion, some students hv a probem with exams, not like they dont know the work, it's just that they dont answer the way it's expected. I remember answering a question for Domestic arts test, wher the question asked when it was a good time to sweep the floor, a) morning b) afternoon c) evening d) night.. .. I knew the answer was a) morning, but i insisted on answering b) afternoon. Why? Coz i'm sensitive to dust in the morning, so i wait till later to sweep the floor. There! hahha.. what did that get me? one point less. Okay.. so i was asking for trouble .. hahah..
I now Vacumm the floor. Not sweep! I dont sneeze everyday from vacumming the floor.
EQ vs IQ?
07-03-2003, 10:41 AM
pardon my ignorance.. but what is domestic arts? kemahiran hidup arr? hehe.. sorry arr forgot... but.. what is the rationale behind sweeping floor in morning being the best time leh??
it's true.. we're all in an exam-oriented society. exams mean everything in our education system... not education itself.. not the learning process... the joy of discovery... noooo it's all memorization and answering the way it's expected of you...
07-03-2003, 09:54 PM
that sounds more like a pendidikan moral question... but wait, it could be kemahiran hidup.... i dont even remember anymore! i think the way they run that subject (moral) is so stupid. there's such wide ground you could cover with a subject like that but they concentrate on the dimmest, most trivial things.
as for KH, it's great that they empower students with basic skills like woodwork, pipe work, sewing, cooking, etc... but it should be a bit more of an interesting and challenging syllabus.
07-03-2003, 11:29 PM
Domestic arts is Seni Rumahtangga. hehe... probably unheard of these days. In the early 80's, there was a choice of accountancy at form1 or domestic arts. I hate counting money, so i picked cooking and sewing.
Anyway.. i never answered those questions the way that it was expected of me. I answered whatever i saw was right, which of course was wrong by the books. Who the hell cares what time i sweep the floor or wash the clothes? I do the laundry at 10pm if i like. HAH!
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