K. Ranga Krishnan
In education, as in other endeavours, having a clear set of goals in mind is critical — whether for ourselves or for any programme we are involved in. It provides an important underpinning of success.
Goals help us focus on energy, drive and actions; they give us a measure to assess progress and achieve planned results.
But there is a considerable gap between familiarity with goal setting and actual mastery of the art of it — that incorporates the ability to cultivate and communicate potent goals which galvanise us.
Goals start off generally broad and focus on the large central picture. They are intended to direct thought and accomplishment. (more…)
Hussaini Abdul Karim
The AXN show “The Apprentice Asia” on Astro, hosted by AirAsia’s Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, which is participated by executives from Asian countries like India, China, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, is an eye-opener. Watching and hearing all the executives, especially Malaysians Nik Aisyah, Nash and Ng (Hanzo), communicating in English comfortably and very well with the rest of the international participants is a very pleasant sight and is also pleasing to the ears. It would be nice and good for the country to have more young Malaysians who are as good as them, or better.
I am sure all the participants were made to go through a very thorough selection process and they had to compete with hundreds of other hopefuls in all the countries mentioned and eventually only the best 10 people were chosen. (more…)
Hussaini Abdul Karim
Like some Malaysians, I had my education, right from primary school to pre-university between 1959 and 1970, in Singapore and I was taught in English all the way.
When I was in the last two years of secondary school and during the period I was at pre-university, my mother and sometimes, my aunt, took me to visit our relatives in Parit Jawa, Muar in Johor regularly and during every visit, I would meet with some of my cousins who were studying in secondary schools in Muar at that time.
There was a cousin, among the few that I have, who was in Form Four, who was in the science stream and who was very good in mathematics and science (physics and chemistry) and, since we were both taught in English, we would discuss those subjects and exchanged notes. I was then in Secondary Three, the equivalent of Form Four in Malaysian schools. I learned a lot from him and he also gave me some very useful tips on how to solve maths problems. Then, the only way to communicate with each other was through letters as telephones were too costly for us and at that time there was no Internet so, on some occasions we would correspond and exchange notes through letters. (more…)
The National Early Childhood Intervention Council (NECIC) would like to highlight the plight of children with special needs who are denied access to inclusive education in our country. We recount real-life stories of children (names changed to protect their privacy) who struggle through an education system that marginalises them on the basis of their disabilities.
Ibrahim is a delightful boy who has autism. Autism is a condition where the child has difficulties with communication and social interaction. Most children with autism have a normal IQ and the potential to succeed in school. Ibrahim is a good example. He is currently in Form1 in a regular government school. (more…)
The appalling conditions of rural schools and roads is compounded by the harsh daily life of teachers teaching there.
Against the three-fold increase of salaries of the state elected representatives and ministers, an opposition assemblyman here has called for in review of school conditions in the Sarawak
Krian assemblyman Ali Biju said rural pupils in Saratok parliamentary constituency were being neglected by the Ministry of Education. The constituency covers Krian and Pakan state seats.
In debating the Yang DiPertua Negeri’s address at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly sitting yesterday, Biju said that everyone was aware of the maxim that ‘the youths of today will be the leaders of tomorrow’. (more…)
Why has the Ministry of Education reduced the budget per head of the much needed allocation for meals in rural boarding schools?
Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin must explain why the ministry has reduced the per head cost of meal allocations for students in rural Sarawak.
Raising the issue at yesterday’s Sarawak Legislative Assembly sitting, Krian assemblyman Ali Biju described the current M8 per head per day meal allowance for rural category A primary boarding schools as “most unjust”.
He said as a result of the Ministry’s cutback, the food quality in these rural boarding schools had “drastically declined”. (more…)
As a parent of four kids, three of whom are still in the national school system, it is actually very heart-warming to see the children make friends with other students of all colour and creed, shapes and sizes, and gender.
In the short hour between end of school and start of co-curricular, my son will bring home his group of friends, and they mingle, eat together and call each other “bro”. But I realise this is sadly not the case for most other national schools, and even in my son’s school, the ratio of Malays to non-Malays is discouraging.
Somewhere in the 80s, I believe, there must have been a change in perception of the vernacular schools. When I was growing up, “Chinese school” kids were considered almost disadvantaged. They hardly spoke any English, and very bad Malay, (although their Math whipped a**) and had to waste a year attending remove classes, and national schools were the schools of choice. (more…)
It’s happening all over again. The government intends to bring in 375 native speaking teachers to teach in schools here.
Disclaimer 1: Facts can be boring, but it is pivotal when wanting to make a change in the nation. If you wish to be a part of the change, then go ahead and read what I have got to say.
Disclaimer 2: There are some brilliant and wonderful native speaking teachers out there, who are doing an amazing job in raising the standards of English Language Teaching (ELT) around the globe. Sadly, none of them are here in our country. (more…)
Anas Alam Faizli
Studying doesn’t consist of devouring ideas but of creating and re-creating them. – Paulo Freire
Even at the core of its early foundation, indoctrination and brainwashing became the main objective of the formation of the school.
Did you know that 98% of children aged five are geniuses? This finding was concluded by a study conducted by George Land, which also found that this number dropped to 30% when a group of 10-year-olds were tested.
It gets worse. (more…)
Some 60,000 teachers are needed to prepare for the task of making English a compulsory pass and this will take at least 5 years to achieve.
IS making English a compulsory pass in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM or Malaysian Certificate of Education) — a national examination taken by all fifth year secondary students before they go on to colleges and universities — a guaranteed route towards improving the standard of the language? Will it lead to better proficiency, both oral and written — currently very much lacking — for them?
Or should we just leave it alone, like in the case of music, where one can learn to become a great pianist or guitarist without needing to pass required grades or examinations? But then, of course, English is not music. (more…)
I don’t think anybody in Malaysia would deny that the quality of pre-independence education in the country was far, far better than what we have today. The rot actually began after the School Certificate (SC) Examinations for Form Five students was replaced by the Malaysian Certificate of Education (MCE) in 1970.
The SC was conducted by the University of London while the MCE was conducted by the Ministry of Education, Malaysia.
The main difference between the two exams was the SC required a credit in English for a candidate to obtain Grade One. There was no requirement for even a pass in Bahasa Malaysia. The MCE, on the other hand, required candidates to obtain a credit in Bahasa Malaysia (BM) to obtain a Grade One while English was less important. (more…)
Lim Sue Goan
When I was studying in a Chinese independent high school, my relatives told me that it was useless to study in Taiwan as the government did not recognise Taiwanese university degrees.
Today, the situation has totally changed. The Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) has formally recognised degrees of 157 Taiwan’s higher education institutions.
Together with the degrees of 820 China’s institutions being recognised earlier, the liberalisation of education is indeed a positive development for students, Chinese education and the government. (more…)
Anas Alam Faizli
Education was institutionalised to formalise the process of knowledge acquisition and research in man’s quest for understanding.
Earliest universities in the history of mankind, namely Al-Azhar, Bologna, Oxford, Palencia, Cambridge and University of Naples (the world’s first public university set up in 1224) have one thing in common: they were built by notable early world civilizations as institutions of research, discourse, learning, proliferation of knowledge and documentation.
This contrasts largely from the role of universities today as institutions of human capital accreditation, qualification, and most unfortunately, business and profits. (more…)
Anas Alam Faizli
Education was institutionalised to formalise the process of knowledge acquisition and research in man’s quest for understanding. The earliest universities in the history of mankind, namely Al-Azhar, Bologna, Oxford, Palencia, Cambridge and the University of Naples (world’s first public university, 1224), have one thing in common; they were built by notable early world civilisations as institutions of research, discourse, learning, proliferation of knowledge and documentation. This contrasts largely from the role of universities today as institutions of human capital accreditation, qualification and, most unfortunately, business and profits. (more…)
File photo of PAGE members protesting outside the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya in October 2011 in support of the PPSMI.
Disgruntled parent groups are planning to hold a rally on February 19 in front of the Ministry of Education in Putrajaya to voice their dissatisfaction over the politicising of education.
As Election 2013 looms, the groups are calling for the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB) to be put on hold until after the elections, and for an educationist to hold the ministerial post.
“All this year we’ve been saying that the problem should be redressed … It shouldn’t be politicised by people from both sides,” said Shamsudin Hamid, co-ordinator of Concerned Parents of Selangor (CPS). (more…)
Lisa J. Ariffin
Four groups plan to submit memorandum to Muhyiddin on their concerns over the Malaysia Education Blueprint.
Four parent groups plan to submit a memorandum addressing their concerns over the Malaysia Education Blueprint to Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin during a rally outside his Ministry of Education (MoF) next month.
They want Muhyiddin, the Education Minister, to retain the PPSMI (teaching of Science and Maths in English) as an option, re-introduce English medium schools, and appoint a non-political figure as head of MoF. (more…)
Koh Jun Lin
Several parent groups are urging the government to embargo the final version of the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 until after the general election so that it would not be politicised.
They feared that if the blueprint becomes an electoral issue, it would lead to knee-jerk reactions that would ultimately undermine the education system. The report is expected to be tabled in a cabinet meeting on this coming Wednesday.
“If (Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak) believes that education should not be politicised, then show us. Do not make it part of your election manifesto. (more…)
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s plans for an overwhelming win in Sarawak hinges on Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s resignation ‘just before’ the general election.
Rumours are rife that Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud will step down after the general election and succeeding him will be his deputy Alfred Jabu Numpang.
Taib is expected to announce his decision just before the 13th general election to thwart any attempt by the opposition to flog his alleged malpractices and power abuse. (more…)
Muhyiddin said BN always has the Indian community’s interests at heart.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin has announced that the government will be providing a special budget for national-type Tamil (SJKTs) and Chinese (SJKCs) schools from next year.
“The government’s commitment is to see that with all the aid given, the quality of education at SJKTs will improve, thus bring about a quantum leap in the education standard in the country,” he said in his Thaipusam speech at Batu Caves here yesterday. (more…)
On January 24, it was highlighted in the front page of The Star that “a thorny issue has been resolved with the Education Ministry assuring mission schools of ‘maximum consultation’ in appointing their principals”.
The provision for maximum consultation, it seems, surprisingly stems from guidelines contained in the over 40-year-old Revised Report of the Royal Commission on the Teaching Services, West Malaysia, 1971, which, the authorities of the mission schools claim, had not been fully implemented these past decades.
Initially, there was little problem because male and female Christian missionaries — foreign ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ — were available to run and administer these schools without any hindrance or restriction. Consequently, many adopted Malaysian citizenship and mastered Bahasa Malaysia to adapt themselves to the changing educational environment beginning from the 1970s. (more…)
We are firmly in the election season and for casual observers of democracy, THAT question remains.
Not who to vote for, that everyone gets wrong one time or another.
But to determine what should be measured, weighed or counted when choosing; then how to compare those units of value with other units or even which units to set by the side to compare; and finally decide which candidate crossed the finishing line from that flow of thought.
For the vote does not happen every day, but it affects everyone’s everyday. (more…)
Free tertiary education is possible if we cut down on “unproductive” spending, Malaysian economists have suggested.
Their comments were solicited by theSun in the wake of national debate on the issue that has been stirred by an exchange between undergraduate K.S. Bawani, and Suara Wanita 1Malaysia (SW1M) president Sharifah Zohra Jabeen, at a forum in Universiti Utara Malaysia. The video of the exchange has gone viral on the internet.
Chief Executive of Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the current government is capable of reducing the cost of tertiary education. (more…)
The prime minister and deputy prime minister had with great pomp announced in September 2012 that among other changes to the Education Blue Print was the removal of remove classes and the introduction of remedial classes in year Four onwards in primary schools.
However, in a surprising twist, the media reported late last year that the DPM-cum-education minister had verbally agreed to retain the remove classes due to the pressure from certain groups.
Lately the grapevine is abuzz with the announcement that the Blue Print would do just that ― retain the remove classes. (more…)
Tay Tian Yan
The prime minister has proposed two conditions in order to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC): a credit in SPM Bahasa Malaysia, and that the history and geography curricula in independent secondary schools must conform to “national conditions”.
Some accept the terms gleefully, taking delight in the fact that the government has finally agreed to recognise the UEC after all these years.
Others hesitate. While they receive the UEC recognition with open arms, they are sceptical about the conditions offered by the PM, worrying about possible changes to the nature of Chinese independent secondary schools. (more…)
Dr Dzulkefly Ahamd
The 24 min video in which Sharifah Zohra, president of ‘Suara Wanita 1 Malaysia’, berating an undergraduate student, KS Bawani, in front of some 2000 others in the UUM has gone viral in the new media.
Watching it, one would honestly conclude that it is surely not the path to a ‘Knowledge and Empowered Society’.
All the more ironical when one is told that the topic at hand is “Student and Politics”.
One shudders at the thought that the episode is only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of decades-long indoctrination and often times downright bullying that once-upon-a-time personifies the notorious BTN’s ‘capacity-building’ programmes for both students and government officers. (more…)
Hussaini Abdul Karim
What has happened to the circular MOE sent to all schools last year recommending a ‘soft landing approach’ allowing all national schools to continue conducting the teaching of mathematics and science in English until 2015?
That decision made by the Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Education, I understand, was made to allow all national schools students who started learning those subjects in English to continue until they complete Form Five.
The people welcomed that decision and we thought, BN is more people-friendly than Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) that wanted PPSMI to be abolished immediately. Parti Islam Semalaysia (PAS) also do not support the re-instatement of PPSMI but Democratic Action Party (DAP) does and they both support the increase in the content in using English language at national schools to make our students bilingual. (more…)
The Fulbright tutors will deployed to primary and secondary schools in four states. — Reuters pic
The first batch of 75 Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) from United States have arrived in Malaysia to begin their 10-month assignment at schools in Terengganu, Johor, Pahang and Perak.
The ETAs programme, which is administered jointly by the Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange (MACEE) and the Education Ministry, has been expanded to Perak.
The US Embassy in a statement today said the number has also increased to 75 from 50 previously. (more…)
A. Chaedar Alwasilah
The imminent introduction of a new curriculum in 2013 will not provide any guarantees for resolving the current problems in education in Indonesia. A new curriculum is always a good notion. However, drawbacks invariably stem from implementation. Thus, what is urgent is not to change the curriculum, but to implement it.
Curriculum implementation means simply putting into effect the curriculum as intended, including a system to appraise its effectiveness. An appraisal process provides feedback for the development process, where the data is utilised for curriculum improvement. The educational curriculum needs continuous improvement, not continuous change. (more…)
A school in Sarawak is in such a deplorable condition that worried parents are doing ‘their own repairs to bunkers and lockers’ to ensure their children’s safety.
The conditions in Bau’s oldest secondary school, SMK Bau, are so deplorable that it is a threat to the safety of its 1,990 students, especially its 550 boarders.
Two blocks of hostels, housing mainly Form 1 male students, are found to be in wretched conditions with almost all the doors broken and without locks. Some of the rooms are without lighting. (more…)
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, has pledged a better management of the country’s assets and economy and no leaders will be allowed to enrich themselves if Pakatan Rakyat comes to power.
In his five-minute New Year video message, Anwar said this was the promise or pledge that he is making, although it may not seem big.
“My small promise to you is that the nation’s assets will be managed properly as no robbery will be allowed. A minister, or the prime minister or ruling elite, would not be allowed to enrich themselves in taking the country’s assets and not be held accountable,” he said. (more…)
Fourteen percent of schools in Sarawak have opted to use English in their Maths and Science, but parents doubt the Education Ministry’s commitment to their choice.
With schools set to begin their term next week, parents and teachers in Sarawak are in a dilemma over “inconsistent” education policies and the lack of English language books for Mathematics and Science subjects.
Some 14% of primary and secondary schools in in East Malaysian state have opted to continue learning Mathematics and Science in English next year, but have failed to receive their English text books todate. (more…)
New York Times
Only Marlborough and NUMed have begun their operations full-time, while the rest of the institutions are expected to do so by 2017.
Foreign education institutions appeared to face numerous hurdles while setting up shop in Johor’s new township here, the New York Times reported yesterday.
The institutions are part of EduCity, a 242.81-hectare education hub developed by Iskandar Investment Berhad, a company jointly owned by the government’s investment arm Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Johor-owned Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor Berhad (KPRJ). (more…)