I just can't link these two. But it was clearly mentioned by the Prime Minister during his 2015 Budget Proposal in the parliament not long ago. The MUET qualification for entrance into local public universities will upgraded, come 2015. This means courses that require Band 1 in MUET will ask for at least Band 2 this time. And of course the Band 4 for TESL and Law would ask for Band 5.
What does MUET result have to do with the budget proposal by the way? Unless the government is planning to give extra funds for the upgrading of the teaching for this test, I just don't see how MUET and Budget are related. And clearly there was no mention of any funding for this purpose.
Nevertheless, despite the worry that keeps disturbing my nights, I take it as a challenge to make it a challenge for the students. With 80 percent of them scoring lower than C in their SPM, 20 percent total Failures, it looks impossible to make everyone of them score no less than Band 2. So reminding them that a band 1 will be the only obstacle for them to achieve their objective of taking up STPM will be a routine after this. And of course the usual reminder that a Band 1 can be obtained by just signing their attendance for the test and sending blank papers to the invigilators, which usually makes them burst into laughter, like it is a great joke.
I can already visualize the faces of triumph on the day when the STPM result is out, with CGPAs all above 3.5, change into tears on the day the result for UPU application comes out, only because they just don't meet the MUET requirement. Quite a handful of the last batch candidates managed to get themselves into universities, despite the Band 1 in MUET. Nevermind the Universities and courses not at all in their wishlists. At least they get the opportunities to work for the pieces of degree. If the previous Band 2 and 3 candidates were already having difficulties in getting courses of their interest, well I can just imagine what these juniors would be facing next year.
A friend suggested going back to basic, real basic, which is no no to me as these batch of students would be mugging their heads out for all the four papers' written exam, plus the 'kerja kursus" (asignments) that each subject is pressuring them, leaving very little focus on MUET. So it would be drills on all the four components of the test in the lessons.. Speaking the language, besides daily practice in Listening and Reading, and making them write in English that is beyond comprehension of the examiners. In fact, I am thinking of the old method, the 20-cents fine for every Malay word in my lessons.
Looking forward to the first day of school come 5th January 2015. Btw, its my 27th year of my teaching profession.