Mara eases entry rules
> New requirement due to fewer UPSR straight A pupils
KUALA LUMPUR: Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) has relaxed the entry requirement for its colleges after a lower number of pupils had obtained straight As in the 2016 Ujian Peperiksaan Rendah (UPSR), said Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Ismail Sabri said Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) will give priority to excellent students from the rural and urban areas, as well as Sabah and Sarawak bumiputra pupils.
“The priority is for the rural poor as Mara can provide better facilities and accommodation to these students and the colleges will provide a better environment to study in. I hope it can give them the motivation to study even better,” Ismail Sabri said during a press conference after he had officiated the Rural and Regional Development Ministry Innovation Day 2016 held at the Lembaga Pertubuhan Peladang Tower here.
Ismail Sabri said the minimum requirement for students in the Peninsula to enter MRSM has been reduced to three As and three Bs while minimum requirement for a pupil in Sabah and Sarawak is three As two Bs and one C.
Prior to this, a student sitting for the UPSR exam must score straight As to qualify for a place.
Due to the new format introduced by the Education Ministry, the 2016 UPSR saw only 4,896 students out of 452,721 students who had registered scoring straight As.
The new format aims to evaluate students on their academic performance through literacy, numeracy as well as 4M (writing, reading, counting and reasoning).
He said pupils can start applying for MRSM colleges online from today.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said his ministry was looking at setting up a private MRSM college which will allow the financially well off to enter the elite school.
“We are looking at an option for rich people who can afford to pay to send their children to MRSM as some have the impression that MRSM is the best school.”
Ismail stressed that the MRSM will remain focused on providing quality education for the poor.