Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Top 30 SPM students on cloud nine


PETALING JAYA: When the country’s top Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) student Gladys Tan Yee Kim was told she was one of the 30 recipients of the inaugural national scholarship programme, she thought it was an April Fool’s joke.

“Is this for real?” asked the Kuching lass when The Star reporter conveyed the good news to her.

Quickly recovering from her surprise, Gladys said that she wished to study psychology in the United States.

“I’m really interested to learn about people, so I can use this knowledge to contribute to society and combat the social ills that plague it,” she said.

Gladys is one of the country’s 30 top performing students who are receiving scholarships from the Government for obtaining A+’s in all subjects in the SPM.

They would be able to pursue undergraduate degrees in their areas of interest as recognised by the Government at renowned universities locally and abroad under the national scholarship programme.

According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, the aim of the prestigious programme is to offer scholarships to the country’s top performing students in order to produce quality human capital for the nation.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced last June that a new category of Public Service Department scholarships would be introduced this year based purely on merit, regardless of race.

The students would attend preparatory courses at centres in the country designated by the government and must attain a certain level of excellence to qualify for their studies abroad.

When told of the news, another student Amelia Lee Wei Ling from SMK Taman Melawati almost dropped her telephone in excitement as she relayed her good fortune to her parents.

“I’ve been really praying for this as I’ve applied for a number of different scholarships as well,” she said, adding that she intended to pursue a career in medicine.

Syamilah Mahali from Kolej Tunku Kurshiah, said she was happy to learn that her hard work had paid off.

“I’m really thankful for this opportunity, and I hope that I can get a place for medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland,” she said.

Former SMK (P) Sri Aman student Grace Kiew Sze-Ern who was also the country’s second best student in the SPM, said that she was delighted by the news.

“I really did not expect this and I don’t even know what I’m going to study or where,” she said, adding that she was considering pursuing either medicine or dentistry.

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