This is definitely music to the ears of SPM leavers (and their parents). However the criteria is not finalised yet on who is eligible to apply and what kind of scholarships would be offered. If one remembers last year, there was a hoohaa when everyone with 8A+ were to be given scholarship, but became a dampener when it was revealed to be places in matriculation and diploma programs. Students were expecting scholarships to study overseas. Obviously the government can't send 10,000 students overseas. But this being election year, can expect some sort of leeway. Maybe the quota for overseas studies will be upped to 2000 seats, and local studies for 8000 students.
The 559 students who got 9A+ need not worry much, in fact some may even been signed up by other scholarship providers. Its the 7As to 9As which are the problematic ones. How to appease them, especially those who come from financially challenged background and manage to get 7As?
Students who did exceptionally well in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination can apply for Public Services Department scholarships from April 9.
A spokesperson said the department was in the midst of drawing up the guidelines for eligible students.
“We will put the requirements on our website and students can start applying online from that date,” she said.
In recent days, there was a lot of confusion over the PSD scholarships with some claiming that the Government had decided against giving these out to SPM students from this year.
There was also talk that the applications for the scholarships would only be opened after the students had begun their tertiary programmes.
Asked if those who scored 8A+ and above would automatically be eligible, the spokesperson said: “This has not been decided yet.”
Last year, all students who scored 8A+ and above were given the PSD scholarships.
In 2010, those who obtained 9A+ or more were given the scholarships, regardless of their race.
Asked if there were other criteria for eligibility, the spokesperson said these were yet to be finalised.
“The applicants would, however, still have to go through the normal process which includes interviews to qualify,” she said.
A total of 559 students scored straight A+ in last year’s SPM examinations against 403 in 2010. In 2009, 214 students got all A+.