Go for public or private education
Published on: Monday, April 19, 2021
By: K Krishnan
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OVER the last 10 to 12 years you may not have bothered about Public or Private education.  However, after completing your SPM/STPM you are now wondering whether you should switch to private college / university.  

You want to know whether you should do A Levels rather than STPM. Some of you may be wondering whether it is better to do a Foundation Programme or a Diploma programme in the Private College rather than join a government Matriculation or STPM.  

Everyone around you would have started giving ideas and tips, but to you it is more confusing. 

What is Public education? 

Public means the government. Your parents pay taxes to the government. From the taxes the government collects, it is obliged to provide free health care, education, security, infra structure, etc,  to the citizens or the general public. 

For example, when you fall sick, you go to the government hospital. The treatment is free. However, you may need to wait for the doctor to see you. 

No one is forcing you to go to the government hospital. You have an option. You can also go to a private hospital or clinic. You may be able to see the doctor quickly and get treatment very fast. However you must pay from your pocket. 

If you don’t have the money, you can forget about the Private hospital or clinic. 

Similarly, the government provides free education for the citizens. You can study from standard 1 up to university. 

From standard 1 to Form 5, it is smooth sailing. You would have never thought of Private education. 

Suddenly after finishing Form 5, you realise that everyone is talking about joining Private college/university. Why is there a sudden confusion?

What is Private education?

Private colleges / universities are usually non- government funded. They get their funds from shareholders who have started as a business. Most private colleges and universities are profit – oriented.  They charge fees to run the college / university. Students who intend to study the course of the their choice must have the necessary qualifications. 

Secondly, they must be able to afford the fees charged by the college. If they have both these eligibilities, they can apply directly to the institution. 

They do not have to go through the UPU system.  They do not have to compete with thousands of other students. The admission procedure is very much simpler and faster.  The other advantage in the private colleges / universities is that there are many routes to enter. 

For example, after Form 5 students can do a Foundation Programme or any other Pre-U qualifications such as SAME, Canadian Year 12, A Levels, Pre-Arts, Pre-Science, Diploma, etc. This makes it easier for students. 

However, students who want to opt for Public education have only the STPM and the government Matriculation. 

STPM Phobia!

Over the years many things have happened which haunts students.  There were students who could not get into STPM. They could not take the subjects they wanted. They found it difficult to pass STPM. Even if they passed the STPM, they couldn’t get the course they wanted or the university they preferred.

Everyone from the teachers, parents, seniors, peers and family members start discouraging students from taking the STPM. Lastly there was a “quota” system for entry into Public universities.  So STPM was no longer a “Brand”.  

To make things worst, Private colleges/universities had the money to promote their courses and their Pre-U routes. They have access to go into secondary schools to promote their colleges.  

Their aggressive marketing was able to attract students to enroll in Private colleges/universities. 

Private colleges/universities spend a lot of money on advertisements in the social media, newspapers, TV, and radio. 

They go from town to town organizing Education Fairs, Seminars and Career Fairs. They are all out to look for students. 

The Conclusion

As such, many school-leavers opt to study in Private Colleges rather than study STPM and enter local Public Universities. It has become a trend for school-leavers to opt for Private education. 

Whether parents can afford to send their children to private colleges/universities is not important.  Students leave school wanting to join Private Colleges/Universities. 


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