SINTOK: Higher learning institutions (IPTA) will be given flexibility in implementing the new qualifying conditions for the Malaysian University English Test (MUET) due to start next year.
Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the intake of students was subject to approval by the senate of the respective universities, therefore, implementing the new conditions could be to the discretion of the senate.
"Actually, the statement made by the prime minister when tabling Budget 2015 (on the new qualifying conditions for MUET) recently, was well received by all the universities.
"However, allowance can be given to their senate because based on the Universities and University Colleges Act, the senate has the power to determine the entry of students," he said after a working visit to Universiti Utara Malaysia.
Idris said the implementation would go on, but with flexibility given the current situation (short period for implementation).
When tabling Budget 2015, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that beginning next year, the general condition for student intake to the IPTA of at least Band 1 in MUET would be raised so as to increase their self-confidence and skills to communicate in the English language.
The new minimum qualification for Arts and Social Science studies is raised to Band 2 (and Band 3 to graduate) while for studies in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), it is raised to Band 3 (Band 4 to graduate) and Band 4 for Law and Medicine (Band 5 to graduate).
Idris said the ministry would meet with UKM's Institute of Malay World and Civilisation lecturer, Prof Dr Teo Kok Seong who disclosed that 604 Chinese and Indian participants of the National Service (NS) Training Programme could not speak Malay.
Idris said the ministry would thoroughly investigate why this situation happened and would take action to overcome the problem.
According to Teo, the study was made on 14,000 trainees at 79 NS training camps in 2010.
He said the inability of some trainees to communicate in nor understand Bahasa Melayu, resulted in the NS trainers being unable to deliver to them the module on nationhood and citizenship. - Bernama The STAR Home News Education 26 October 2014