School Guide

MRSM Schools Are Currently Under Fire But Here's What Many People Don't Know About These Boarding Schools

Published by SchoolAdvisor on Apr 23, 2021, 07:19 PM

The MARA Junior Science College (Malay: Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM)) is a group of boarding schools introduced by the Council of Trust for the People (Malay: Majlis Amanah Rakyat, commonly abbreviated as MARA), a Malaysian government agency. The institution provides learning facilities for bright students in local schools throughout Malaysia.

Students in MRSM are primarily assessed through a system similar to the grading systems in universities and/or colleges: the grade point average (GPA) system. By the end of their final semesters they will be awarded a certificate of graduation for those who succeeded to pass with at least a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.0.

Recently, these boarding schools have sparked anger among Malaysians over serious sexual harassment allegations claimed by current and previous students of the institutions.

This is following the incident of period spot check that was done on female students as teachers claimed this is the only way to track whether these students are lying about not being able to perform prayers.

Azizah Mohd Dun, the Chairman of MARA said she is looking into the allegations seriously and an investigation is being carried out against those involved.

To this date, there are more than 50 MRSM schools around the country and there are currently six types of MRSM in Malaysia. Let's take a look at each:

1. MRSM Premier

MRSM Premier is a programme that offers the Malaysian National Curriculum along with the MRSM curriculum. On top of learning according to the national curriculum, students will also attend a special course that emphasises on character building, development of soft skills and entrepreneurship. This programme is popular among students who are applying for admission to form 1 and form 4.

Requirements:

  • Have done well academically
  • Have a good record of participation in co-curricular activities

2. MRSM Bitara

The MRSM Bitara programme is a blueprint for bridging the gap between Information Technology and MRSM curriculum as a strategy to facilitate education challenges in the 21st century. This programme focuses on high academic achievers by applying the gifted and talented education approach which focuses on students’ development and potential. Among the aims of this programme is to develop students with excellent thinking, learning and communication skills.

What is BITARA?

B - Bijaksana (Intelligent)

I - Islah/Ilmiah (Knowledgeable)

T - Takwa (Forbearance)

A - Amal (Practice)

R - Rajulul A'Amal/Usahawan (Entrepreneur)

A - Atqan/Kualiti (Quality)

Requirements:

  • Have done well academically
  • Have a good record of participation in co-curricular activities

3. MRSM Dual Certification IGCSE

MRSM Dual Certification IGCSE system offers two certifications, IGCSE and SPM, in a five-year school programme. Learners study both the Malaysian National Curriculum (KBSM) and the Cambridge International Curriculum. This integration gives an added value to a learner's learning experience. Students will take the Cambridge IGCSE at the end of Form 4 and the SPM at the end of Form 5. Learners are highly encouraged to learn and go beyond SPM.

Why Dual Qualification?

  • There is an 80 - 85% overlap of the Sciences and Mathematics curriculum for SPM and IGCSE.
  • The programmes and qualifications set the global standard for international education. They are created by subject experts, rooted in academic rigour and reflect the latest educational research.
  • They provide a strong platform for learners to progress from one stage to the next, and are well supported by teaching and learning resources.
  • IGCSE curriculum prepares school students for life, helping them develop an informed curiosity and a lasting passion for learning.

 Requirements:

  • Candidates will be able to master English well
  • Students will be able to sit for both SPM and IGCSE Cambridge
  • The examination fee and the cost of purchasing IGCSE books will be funded by parents who can afford according to the estimation of the criteria.

4. MRSM International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) 

MRSM IB MYP is an MRSM education system that offers the Middle Years Programme provided by International Baccalaureate education. The IB MYP provides a framework of learning that encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. Therefore, MRSM IB MYP follows the national curriculum using the IB MYP framework. MRSM IB MYP aims to develop inquiring, caring and knowledgeable young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

The IB MYP Curriculum consists of:

  • Language Acquisition
  • Language & Literature
  • Individuals & Societies
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Arts
  • Physical & Health Education
  • Design

Why IB MYP?

  • Offers an added value towards internationalising MARA education system
  • Learners are molded to be self-regulated and self-directed, and also sensitive towards society’s needs.
  • College environment promotes global mindedness through school wide activities that are inquisitive, action-based and reflective in nature.

Requirement:

  • Candidates have the capability of mastering the English language well.

5. MRSM Technical

In the 11th Malaysian Plan Forum, one of the initiatives taken by the government was the introduction of technical subjects in MRSM. In line with that, MARA prepared an excellent technical curriculum for students. MRSM Bentong was chosen as the sole MRSM technical school. The school is also a centre for MRSM Robotics studies with the application of Engineering Science into its module as early as in Form 1 using modern laboratory facilities. Students will have the capability of mastering the English language well, as English is a mode of instruction for all technical subjects including science and mathematics.

Its module explores the technical side in terms of interest, basic skills, craftsmanship and culture. Students also receive early exposure to the field of robotics, computer programming and technical. The subjects are mostly the same as other MRSM curriculum, with the addition of the following:

Lower Secondary:

  • Engineering Science

Upper Secondary:

  • Engineering sketching (Basic module & AutoCAD system) - compulsory subject
  • Electrical & Electronic Engineering or Mechanical Engineering

Requirements:

  • Have done well academically
  • Have a good record of participation in co-curricular activities

6. MRSM Ulul Albab

The Ulul Albab programme is an integrated education programme between the available education system (pure science) with a religious programme which includes 'tahfiz Al-Quran'. The Ulul Albab MRSM programme aims to produce professional experts, technocrats, entrepreneurs and religious skills based on the Al Quran and Al-Sunnah.

Multilingual aspects are prioritised in the Ulul Albab programme by having Bahasa Melayu, English and Arabic as the core subjects. International languages such as Mandarin and Japanese are offered as elective subjects. All students are given 3 years to memorise and understand the Al-Quran. They will also have to take PT3 in form 3, and SPM in form 5 as well as 'sijil tahfiz' issued by JAKIM.

Requirements:

  • Applications are open to standard six Bumiputera students studying at a national school, state religious primary school or 'Sekolah Rendah Agama Rakyat'.
  • Able to read the Al-Quran well and have an interest in religion.
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