Sample Answer – Critical Essay
National level public examinations such as the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Pelajaran Tinggi Malaysia (STPM) have always generated a lot of interest among the general public as they are essential for entrance into universities and also to enter into the work market. In the recent few years, attention has been drawn to the phenomenon of students getting up to 20 As in the SPM examinations and this has been a source of contention especially with regards to scholarship allocation and university placements. The government then has been mulling a decision to set a limit on the maximum number of subjects a candidate may sit for as a way to simplify the selection process into tertiary studies. The writer of this article, Dr. I. Lourdesamy of the Pacific Institute Technology in Petaling Jaya offers his views on this development and the article is aptly titled “SPM Subjects: Let students make the choice.” Basically, the writer is of the opinion that setting a cap on the number of subjects a student may sit for does not address the real issue of suitable selection criteria into tertiary education, and he goes on to suggest how we may best tackle the issue by giving his recommendations as well as what he feels the goal of education should be.
The writer proposes that we should not limit the number of subjects SPM students can sit for, and instead students can be evaluated on the basis of their performance in subjects directly related to the proposed field of study. He is disagreeable to limiting students’ opportunity to learn, and feels that the students should be allowed to decide on their own goals based on their capacity and aptitude. He also suggests that schools offer a range of elective subjects to cater to different student interests. Furthermore, the writer opines that most students have too much free time and actually should be encouraged to do more. Finally, the writer addresses the primary objective of education –...
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