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Jan 21, 2008

MIC college (TAFE) cheated me

MIC college (TAFE) cheated me - So called Education for Indians...eemm

Source : Malaysiakini

A MIC-run community college has been accused of misleading its students by not revealing that one of its popular degree programmes is not recognised by the government.

A former top student of the Tafe College in Seremban said that the college’s failure to disclose the status of its programme have spoilt the future of many students.

Perak-born CS Nachimani told Malaysiakini that he was not told that the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (a government agency formerly known as National Accreditation Board or LAN) had not approved or accredited the Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics System Design Engineering) degree which he pursued at Tafe.

“When I enlisted to do my degree at Tafe College in 1998, I was told that the approval was pending.

“After that not once the students were told that the approval or accreditation was rejected by LAN,” said 29-year-old Nachimani who graduated in 2002. The electrical engineering programme which he did was a twinning programme with UK-based -Northumbria University.

He claimed that there were about 150 students in his batch who were all in the same situation now.

“When I first joined Tafe and asked about the LAN approval, their response was that there would be no problems in getting the approval as it is a minister’s college,” he said.

The college, a brainchild of MIC president S Samy Vellu, is owned by the party, ostensibly to cater for the vocational educational needs of the Indian community. Samy Vellu is also the works minister.

College washes hands

Nachimani, who aced his degree examinations, was always a top scorer in his class. His lecturers thought highly of him and predicted that he would go places in his careers.

He has even published two electrical engineering theories in a UK-based trade magazine, and has a patent registered for one of the theories.

“But what’s the point. I am without a job now. If I had known the degree which I did with Tafe was not recognised by the government, I would have surely gone to study elsewhere,” he said.

He added that his problems only started when he applied to join a major educational institution as a lecturer about two years ago.

“Even since I graduated in 2002, I had lectured in smaller colleges to gain experience. And then a few years later I applied to one of the bigger ones and they told me that my degree was not recognised.”

He immediately approached his former college for clarification and was merely told off that they had failed to get the necessary approval.

A brief email response to him from the college administrator R Murgesu in November 2004 just told Nachimani that the course was not recognised as the course did not require students to complete any part of their course in the main university, in this case the Northumbria University.

“It means that the government would not recognise the electrical engineering course which was offered by Tafe on behalf of Northumbria locally,” explained Nachimani.

No help from Samy Vellu

When contacted by Malaysiakini, a spokesperson for Tafe College told that a change in government policy meant that the college had to stop offering Northumbria’s electrical engineering course.

At present the college is offering electrical engineering courses from Liverpool John Moore University, allowing students to complete two years here and finish their final year of degree in Liverpool.

However this course is also pending the approval and accreditation of LAN.

“They are up to the same thing again. I doubt if they are telling students about the approval part,” said Nachimani.

When Nachimani pressed the college to solve his problem, he was directed to Samy Vellu.

“I met Samy Vellu three times. He asked me to meet his aide, whom I had met 17 times. Still there is no solution to my problem,” he added.

He said that Samy Vellu had forwarded a letter to another MIC-run college for him to be offered a job but nothing has been forthcoming.

He was also advised by Samy Vellu’s aide to pursue his post-graduate study to overcome the non-recognition aspect of his degree.

Unfortunately for him even his post-graduate study which he did via correspondence in 2006 with an American university is not recognised by the government.

“It’s a double blow for me. And to top it off, I am being hounded now for the repayment of my education loan,” he said. He is presently jobless as all potential employers want his degree to be approved by the government.

Loans being defaulted

Nachimani has obtained study loans from MIC study loan agency MIED for both his degree and post-graduate studies. Now the agency is after him for repayment. In fact he has been sent a lawyer’s notice warning him of bankruptcy proceedings if he failed to cough up total sum.

“I borrowed about RM37,000 for my studies and with interest the outstanding amount stands at RM52,582.60. Monthly repayment comes about RM620. How can I repay when I have no work?” he asked.

He said that wherever he turned for help - from Tafe college to MIED, the only response he got was to go to Samy Vellu.

“But he has been unable to help me,” said an exasperated Nachimani. Samy Vellu could not be contacted for comment today.

“I have been cheated by Tafe. The college did not tell me and the other students the truth and they should correct their mistake.

“I want MIC, its president Samy Vellu and the college to come out with a solution for me. I am not going to be made a bankrupt for something which was not my mistake.

“I want my life back,” said Nachimani.


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