KUALA TERENGGANU - Many top students in Terengganu, despite achieving excellent results in public examinations, have failed to get into local universities, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman.
English proved to be their downfall.
The students, top scorers in the Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM), fared badly in the Malaysian University English Test (MUET).
MUET is a compulsory test to set a benchmark for English among Malaysian students.
Passing MUET is a passport for those who wish to pursue a first-degree programme in local universities.
Ahmad Razif said the state government was concerned over this and had come up with the Education Transformation Laboratory.
He said scholars, academicians and other experts would be gathered to input ideas on what the state government and the Education Department could do to overcome the issue.
"The state government and the exco members have organised various programmes with Petronas, ExxonMobil and other major private and government-linked companies towards this end," he said after launching the 2016-2020 Terengganu Education Transformation Laboratory on Sunday.
Ahmad Razif said the laboratory, apart from ensuring more rural and urban students mastered the English language from young, would also look into the ways to help sponsor Terengganu-born students for their higher education.