5 December 2016

Even before the UPSR result comes out, we have proactively filled up application to MRSM and SBP  schools for Adam Farihin. For the uninitiated, those are the top two types of elite public boarding schools in the country. His mother went to MRSM PDRM in Kulim, Kedah while I myself went to SM Sains Machang SBP in Machang, Kelantan. Therefore it is only natural that we would try to enroll all our children into a boarding school as well following our footsteps. We believe boarding schools would enormously help our children to be independent, excel in academics and also prepare them for the real world where they will meet all sort of people, face challenges and problems and learn to survive all by himself.

Now applying is the easy part. Getting enrolled is another matter. I heard they have already called up the first batch of SBP applicants for an interview a few weeks ago. That could mean that either Adam didn’t make it or maybe he just didn’t make it for the first call up. Anyway I know getting into a premier boarding school like the SBP schools is no easy feat and the competition for places are stiff. Even if you excel in academics and score 6As, there’s no guarantee you will get automatic placing there. There’s extra-curricular activities to consider not to mention those with cables and connection with the right people. While Adam Farihin did pretty well in his academics, I can’t say the same about his extracurricular achievement. Aside from a couple of chess competitions that he took part (and lost), there’s nothing much in his CV to boost his chances. And I hate to beg to strangers to get my kid into any school no matter how much we want them.

Fortunately for us, we get to go to an interview for the MRSM boarding school. After SBP, it’s the next best thing there is. We applied for the SPMRSM IGCSE course which is a combination of SPM examination and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education which leads to IB and A-levels qualifications. I think Adam had a pretty good grasp of the English language hence why we applied for that course instead of the others. After a short getaway in Port Dickson last weekend, we went to an MRSM school in Kuala Kelawang, Negri Sembilan for the interview/examination. The school was one of about a dozen of test centers around the country and not surprisingly, we met hundreds of hopeful applicants just like us. I don’t know what to say our chances are, I mean Adam said he managed to answer all the interview questions and much of the tests. Time will tell whether he makes it or not.

Either way, while we plan for the best education possible for our children, we won’t be disappointed or anything should Adam failed to make it to any of those boarding schools. Like I said, competition for place is stiff and you’ve got top students from all over the country vying for entries into these prestigious schools. If Adam was meant to go to a local high school near our home, so be it. I know Adam is smart and hardworking kid and it doesn’t matter which school he goes, he will ace it anyhow.