Reply: When gov’t scholarships are mismanaged

Note: the phrases in red are links. Click on them for more details.

Someone wrote an interesting letter to Malaysiakini about Malaysian graduates from Russia. This article actually was written as comment in POTS blog, in one of his posts bashing the Malaysian graduates from Russia. Almost everybody knows that I am no fan of the Russian medical education system (here’s one), but I’d not dwell on that for the spirit of supporting my dear seniors who are now under the terrible stress of final exams.

On the contrary, I’d like to pinpoint the mistakes made by the writer of this letter to Malaysiakini.

We, Malaysians, are doing the English medium and I must say it’s an utter shame that the government actually spent millions of tax payers money to send us all here to study medicine. The teaching facilities or methods of the English medium here is way below par, way below that of a third world country even. Some classrooms here even resemble the ones we have in our ‘kampungs’ in rural areas such as those in Sabah and Sarawak (thank you so much for sending us here all the way to Moscow to experience this!)

It is irresponsible for the writer to say that facilities or methods of teaching in English medium is below par, even compared to the third world countries. First of all, he/she does not know what par is. So what is the benchmark of this “par” mentioned? Has the writer been visiting to medical schools around the world to make such comparison? Has the writer compared the English levels of all teachers in his/her university and the teachers in other universities?And obviously this arrogant writer is insulting Sabahans and Sarawakians, as if he/she had taught in rural Sabah and Sarawak classrooms!

Before making horrible statements insulting fellow Malaysians, insulting the third world countries and insulting Russia itself, one must be able to provide statistical evidences for comparison. The “par” mentioned here is obviously his/her wishful thinking and ultra-high personal expectations.

The Malaysian government could have spent the money more wisely to educate us in Malaysia, Singapore or India. We get paid almost USD700 per month, which I believe is a huge amount of taxpayers money. However, I doubt we will bring back much knowledge to be able to help the patients back home.
While there are some of us who save and spend the money wisely due to the high cost of living here, there are a huge majority of private and sponsored students who come here just to enjoy. Frequent parties, weekend getaways, world tours, and shopping sprees are common among students here.

So the writer implies it’s totally useless for Malaysians to be studying medicine in Russia because we’re just here to spend taxpayer’s money on entertainments instead of studying. If the USD700 or USD500 (for Nizhniy Novgorod) scholarship a month is really used for frequent parties, weekend getaways, world tours and shopping sprees, the student should have been really broke by now.

I guess the writer saw photos of people partying/touring/shopping in facebook on this week. Then saw some different photos of different people partying/touring/shopping on the next week. So the writer assumes all of them are partying/touring/shopping every week!

This generalization is what hurts most who read the letter. I only agree on one thing; frequent indulgences shall hurt your studies.

Later in the letter, the writer mentioned about exams and cheating and all. I couldn’t agree more to the statements, and I have nothing to rebut. But then comes this:

No wonder countries like the UK refuse to accept Russian medical grads for their postgraduate courses. Simply because we have never even sat for a proper exam per say throughout our six years of study here.

The writer is obviously ignorant about postgraduate studies. I suggest he/she google and find about the applications for postgraduate courses. He/she shouldn’t be writing such a statement without proof. If he got proof of Russian medical graduates being rejected for postgraduate courses in UK simply because Russian exam system is not “proper”, bring it to the table then. Such baseless allegation is demoralizing!

To apply for postgraduate courses in countries like USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, one needs to sit for a series of special exams prepared by the medical board of their respective countries. The system is so different from Malaysia which only accepts medical graduates from MMC-recognized medical institutions.

In the UK for example, every medical graduate of any nationality is eligible for application to postgraduate studies. As long as the doctor graduated from Avicenna-listed medical schools, the doctor is eligible for application.  (Surprise, surprise! Russian med schools are listed!) Then they sit for a series of exams called the PLAB. Should they pass the exams, they can apply to practice medicine in the country.

As most people say, doesn’t matter where you study, as long as you have the right attitude and aptitude, you should be fine on individual level. Go to hell with the system! If the system sucks, don’t get sucked into the system. Prove that you don’t suck!

The writer is entitled to his/her opinion. But he/she should’ve given solid facts to support his/her opinions and be responsible for them. Facts, not lies, not generalizations.


5 thoughts on “Reply: When gov’t scholarships are mismanaged

  1. this is so insulting.she/he can just quit and go somewhere else instead.she/he seems like a billionaire brat and so arrogant.why bother a scholarship!
    i think mara and jpa hv got to educate the fellow juniors b4 sending them off here.

  2. I believe the writer is a scholar and probably resentful that he/she wasn’t sent to say UK or Australian but instead Russia.

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