Monday, May 30, 2011

How I end up in India

Recently i received a request from a parent about choosing an offer. Back in 2007 i received the same offer letter from Public Service Department and were asked to go for A-level preparation in Kolej Teknologi Timur. I did not receive any other scholar or offer to other local universities at that time. Even though i received an offer to Sains Asasi in Kolej Matrikulasi Johor, i declined the offer and go for the Public Service Department scholarship.

Dear eve_lasting She told me you were at first were supposed to go to Poland but you end up in question: 1. why did you not go to poland but went to india instead. Thanks, I will appreciate a prompt respond. Auntie N,

Dear Auntie,

Like i mentioned before , I am a JPA/PSD scholar. After the interview with PSD nationwide, we got a letter of offer to do medic in Poland. I personally never knew that the offer does not guarantee that we will be sent to Poland despite of having enough cut off points. 

In one year preparation of Poland bound, we have to seat for AS(advanced level) and A2 level.Poland and Czech bound students took 3 subjects ; Biology,Chemistry and Physics. Whereas, India and Indonesia took 4 subjects ; Biology,Physics,Chemistry and an additional Mathematic subject.

In AS unfortunately, only a few students scored all A's. The subject was tough especially Physics and we had only 3 month  to seat for the exam as compared to the real India bound students who had a comfortable time of 6 - 8 month to study for the subject.

When we have to seat for A2 ( 6 month study), i also have to seat repeat papers in AS paper. With lecturers advice, he told me to take only 2 repeat paper which is Chemistry and Physics because the burden to study AS and A2 at the same time is too much. I prayed and pinned my hopes very high on scoring a greater results in A2 to cover up my points in AS. Alhamdullillah, i managed to score 12/15 points which enables me to secure the scholarship.

These are the cut off points for different bounds:

Poland,Czech ( 1 year bound,3 subject)- 12/15
India ( 2 year bound ,4 subject )- 12/20
Indonesia (2 year bound,4 subject)-13/20

A- 5 point, B- 4 points, C-3 points and so on.

*Note: Not entirely a fact.Based purely from  my understanding.

Some students  in my batch who did not pass cut off points especially the ones who get 11/15 points, still managed to secure the scholar and were sent to Indonesia.However, the scholar money are even less than we get.

(Nowdays, PSD has been really strict about the cut off points. those who do not pass, PSD will not grant the scholar any further and they soon have to search for other opportunities and compete with the recent SPM leavers.1 year bounds are luckier than the 2 year bounds as if, unfortunately they didn't make the cut off point, they have to compete with juniors two years younger their age.

For Czech bound students, they have to undergo 3 obstacles;
-AS,A2 level,IELTS
-Entrance exam

For Poland bound student, no interviews or entrance exam were conducted. We were told to fill a registration form to be given to an Agent  ( an official agent to handle student entries to unis by PSD) handling this matter.

Knowing that we do not have any entrance exam or interview and depending fully on A-level and IELTs results, we waited for the results anxiously. As soon i pass the cut off points, we were told by PSD to wait for the phone call from PSD. In no time, PSD announced the results for students who could fly to Poland. Those who can go to Poland were relieved, and for us who can't go to Poland were deeply devastated.. The placement is very much in  doubt for us but we just keep quiet because we don't want people saying we are being ungrateful. 

Our main dissatisfactions are ;

-even a high scorer in AS and A2 are not qualified to fly to Poland
-even a low scorer  but pass the final pointers could fly to Poland.

Our assumption was, either 
-the placement was sent in random or
- there is not enough seat for International quota in Poland.

In one case, she asked the agent about why she did not qualify to fly. But,there is no satisfying answer for her. She managed to call the university in Warsaw and were told that the university did not receive her 'form'. We do not know what kind of form was it actually.

Our doubt was:
-Does the result since AS is considered for Poland qualification ? If so, why there are some student who scored less in AS managed to fly too?
-How the Agency determine which student qualified to go to Poland? By total AS and A2 pointer or the total marks secured?

Nevertheless,PSD tried to place us in India as per agreement stated in the huge blue card. Bare in mind, the offer letter content to where ever it is, is merely an offer, not an official agreement. 

While waiting, we got a call from JPA calling us to attend a meeting in JPA building in Putrajaya for a pre departure briefing. In that call, we were given three choices;

- Study  MBBS in India for 5 and half year 
- MBBS twinning program of Malacca Manipal Medical College (MMMC)
or decline the scholar and study in Malaysia.

After three days or so, we chose what we think best for ourselves.Alhamdulillah,none of my friends who can't go to Poland decline the scholar. Althounh, i did hear rumours about a student who wants to stay in IMU and apply for PIDN instead of PILN.

As for me, i chose to do FULL TIME INDIA purely because of India's best clinical exposure,hands on examination on patients and HIGHER scholar money. (i am being really honest here...and plus i thought we would live in city , sort of mini-Sepang with Giant.. twinning program is in a remote area,very much like MARA-style area...took 1 hour by bus to reach town )

So, in such a RUSH we prepared our health check ups,vaccinations,documents(certificate translations),signature from parents employer ,visa and passport within one week and off we go to India. 

During my studies in India for 3 three years so far, there is no apparent issues on our Universitys' accreditation. Frequent visit by the Malaysia Medical Association(MMA)  to our college ensures our MBBS certificate is recognised by LAN and Malaysian Health Society.

I hope my story will answer your query. I often used "WE" rather than "I" to show you MANY of us couldn't go to Poland/Czech.The above information and dissatisfactions came by collective discussions with my friends not long time ago. These are the insights of what happened to us and does not represent our disloyalty towards the Goverment or PSD management. 


thanks sweetheart. another question... my son also has an offer to do medicine in UIA. if you are in his position now, which you would choose?

 Dear Auntie,

Emm, if it was me..considering my parents economic status i certainly will choose any offer that comes with a scholarship.

Not to mention JPA will pay for universities fees, monthly allowance, accomodation allowance,book allowance etc..

If both programmes offer scholarship, i will definitely choose Poland.

During my interview with JPA, i always set my mind if the officer ask me the same question either to study in Malaysia or oversea, i will say this,

"sir..i personally think that knowledge can be acquired anywhere in the world provided we as the students are willing to put enough effort. I think that the medical education in Malaysia is at the same par with the other countries.Hence, me choosing this oversea scholarship is clearly about the rare experience that will someday be a great journey to myself mentally,emotionally and spiritually. "

I have friends who at beginning were bounded to India scholar, but later didn't manage to get it and later got a placement in UIA. Most of them if given another chance to do well in Pre-u level, they wanted to secure the scholar and go to India instead.

Note : Names and identity are not mentioned in detail to protect the integrity of the beholder.
You are free to share the entry with anyone interested in it.


These are the answers i gave to the lady. This letter does not portrays my disappointment to anyone. It is just a sincere experience-telling-story to anyone wanting to know the risks ,pros and cons of taking scholarship within or outside Malaysia. I will soon post some more story about the reality of Indian Health Education. Whether the legend of India being GREAT at clinical exposure or not. Do wait for me. I hope my decision to study in India based on legendary clinical exposure is the best. 


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