Alarmed by the poor ranking for Malaysia in an international students’ test, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar urged a new bi-partisan approach to reform the country’s education system.
A bi-partisan parliamentary select committee should be tasked to look into improving Malaysia’s education system, Nurul Izzah said in a statement today.
At the same time, the Lembah Pantai MP added, a National Education Council comprising politicians, academicians and other stakeholders should also be formed to study this issue.
Spelling the word pen, is simple, but a word like education is mind boggling – education volunteers show the way to eradicate illiteracy.
All the children in class understand the teacher’s explanation, but one child does not. The other children progress in their studies, but one child gets left behind. Future prospects for the other children looks bright, but his future seems blurred.
A year ago, Zarul was illiterate. (more…)
The move by the Education Ministry to look at new ways and measures to improve the teaching and learning of English augurs well with Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU).
STU president Jisin Nyud in assuring their support, noted at the moment that the ministry through English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) and other agencies are trying
their best to bring back English and their programme and this is ongoing. (more…)
The term ‘Dayak’ has been pronounced a non-word by state ordinance, on the basis that the tribal people of Sarawak should no longer be encouraged to think of themselves as a nation, but only as groups to be divided and ruled.
Yet, how else to collectively describe the native people, who are surrendering up their vast natural resources to enrich West Malayisan leaders and their agents in Sarawak (Taib Mahmud and his BN cronies)? (more…)
Following the government’s broken promises to alleviate the clerical work burden of primary school teachers, a number of them have set up a Facebook page demanding the Education Ministry to implement improvements or to scrap their burden.
Their complaint is on the evaluation-based school system or Sistem Pengurusan Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah (SPPBS) implemented in 2011, under which teachers will have to key-in the details and examination results of their pupils. (more…)
The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will, in the long run, bring about higher wages but low and middle-income wage earners will have to brace themselves until that happens.
Chartered accountant Ooi Kok Seng said only the rich, like those earning RM400,000 and above annually, would not be too affected by the new 6% tax.
He said those earning over RM400,000 a year and who are in the top tier tax bracket of 24%, would still have RM7,200 in tax savings. (more…)
Over the past year, the Government has announced new measures and sources of funding to improve pre-school education in Singapore.
In addition to incentivising operators to hire more qualified teachers at better salaries, proposing schemes to keep pre-school affordable for low- and middle-income families and offering more scholarship money for prospective teachers, the creation of 16,000 more pre-school places is envisioned by 2017. (more…)
The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) has urged the Education ministry to abolish the school-based assessment (SBA) system which it claimed was a burden for the 400,000 teachers in the country.
NUTP president Hashim Adnan said the system introduced in 2011 had added to the workload that teachers were already encumbered with.
“The teachers are also evaluated in their performance through the SBA and data access system. (more…)
Nurulhuda Che Das, Bernama
The Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 is capable of putting Malaysia within the top three countries in term of performance in international education assessments, said Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said it would place the country at par with the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for International Students Assessments (PISA) by rigorously adhering to the ideals enshrined in the National Education Philosophy. (more…)
- What is the passing mark for an SPM subject? Many teachers estimate it to be seriously low for some papers, way lower than the school’s benchmark.
WHEN I last wrote that more than 100,000 students, or close to a quarter of those sitting for the SPM English, were at risk of leaving school without an SPM certificate, the response was unexpected.
“Ms Goh,” I was told, “don’t worry, the marks may be lowered even further to allow many to pass.”
And that view, I was surprised to learn, was shared by many.
Teachers who have been teaching upper secondary students as well as examiners who have been grading the exam scripts for many years let on that the passing marks are not all they seem to be. (more…)
Someone recently wrote that impeccable mastery of English language isn’t the ‘be-all and end-all’ in order to attain our goals in life.
What’s more important, according to the writer is the meaning embedded into the language itself. Hence, even if one speaks with broken English, as long as the idea gets through to the audience or listener, we shouldn’t worry as to whether the sentence is grammatically correct or otherwise.
Such a view will surely not go down well with the masters of English language of yore who were known to bellow grammar lessons to students and believed that the basic rules with regard to subject and predicate must first be memorised by heart by those who wish to speak the language. (more…)
Dr Kua Kia Soong
Any educationist must wonder if the news and images of the slaughter of cattle at a national school ever reached the consultants from McKinsey who wrote Malaysia’s Education Blueprint 2013-2025. As usual, there is a wide disconnect between the visionary pronouncements in the blueprint and the actual reality on the ground which makes us wonder if the RM20 million paid to the foreign consultant was money well spent.
Quite apart from the question of sensitivity to Hindus and Buddhists in slaughtering cattle in the school compound, within sight of school children, the larger issue of educational values seems to have been lost on the Education ministry.
Ethics and civilisation (more…)
Zairil Khir Johari
On Monday, I revealed that the Education Ministry had entered into a three-year contract worth RM270 million to be paid to three consultancy firms, namely the British Council, Brighton Education Group and SMR HR Group, to provide a total of 360 native English-speaking mentors in order to improve the teaching of English in selected schools in Malaysia.
This amounts to RM250,000 a year, or almost RM21,000 a month to hire each foreign English mentor. In addition to the startling costs involved, I would now like to question the efficacy of this programme and the quality of mentors recruited.
Only three years experience required to be an expert? (more…)
Abdul Rahim Sabri
Tourism and Culture Minister Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz has warned SJK (C) Chin Woo in Pudu not to lay claim to the land belonging to the ministry, or it can expect trouble.
“You fight with me, I fight you, I kill you. I take back the land, don’t mess around with me. It’s government land, it’s my land,” Nazri told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
“There no law in the world to say that you (can) enclose the land, steal my land for 30 years and say is yours. You go to court. (more…)
Tun Mahathir recently lamented that the standards of English amongst Malaysian students were so poor, that it prevented them from getting solid jobs and charting a meaningful career path upon graduation. How true. How very true.
Yonkers ago, while still in school, many of us came from homes whose occupants conversed in English as easily as our own mother tongue, what with having parents who went through the Engilsh-medium schooling system during their days. An Enid Blyton book or two was almost always present in our homes, I dare add. How quintessential. (more…)
Chow Yong Neng
The recent debate in Parliament on the issue of cabinet ministers having dubious degrees and the inapt defence provided to sweep this under the carpet provided lots of amusement for the masses. In this week’s The Heat, the story of dubious qualifications has been well covered. However, at issue is a few facts that could perhaps put paid to the defence provided by those who have purchased such qualifications.
Fake or genuine
I agree fully with the Minister of Human Resources Datuk Richard Riot Jaem’s contention that the qualifications he had presented were not fake. Indeed these are 100% genuine, with one big caveat; the qualifications were issued by degree mills. There is no academic standing whatsoever in these pieces of paper that the good Datuk holds. Let us call these papers by their proper collective name: dubious qualifications. (more…)
I was lost looking for the street art in Georgetown a fortnight ago. What were two-way streets are now one-way. Multistorey complexes now stand where once were landmarks in the 60s when I was a student of St Xavier’s Institution.
Few of the students spilling into the streets that afternoon could understand my query in English. Bahasa was fine. The Christian Brothers who ran the top school in Penang – and made us proud to be a Xavierian – would be shocked with the students’ profile today in their sloppy uniforms and broken English.
The sorry state of my alma mater represents all that have gone wrong with the public education system. (more…)
Alfian ZM Tahir
Transparency International advocates corruption free policies and good governance in combating corruption within the education industry worldwide.
Transparency International, a global coalition against corruption, has recently released a report which showed that the overall education sector is riddled with corruption.
The non-governmental organisation also stressed that corruption in schools and universities will impede progress and success of children. (more…)
The Malaysia Education Blueprint and National Higher Education Strategic Plan would be incorporated under one master plan next year to facilitate the development of national education, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic) .
According to the deputy prime minister, the decision was made following the merger of the Education Ministry and the Higher Education Ministry.
“With the merger of the two ministries, it is hoped that no parties will be worried or feel doubtful that higher education will receive less priority than education at the basic level,” he said. (more…)
The scholarship review committee which sits in Peninsular Malaysia must adopt some flexibility when vetting applications from Sabah and Sarawak.
An outspoken former Sarawak teachers’ union leader has accused the peninsular-based scholarship selection system of being “very unfair” to Borneo students and called for a review based on ground realities in Sabah and Sarawak.
Criticising the ‘siphoning’ of federal scholarships meant for Sabah and Sarawak students, former Sarawak Teachers’ Union chief William Gani Bani said majority of students in Sarawak were from poor and underprivileged families and it was “unjust” to use the same selection criteria as in the peninsular. (more…)
Halimah Mohd Said, writing in her column “This N That” (Sun 16 September) has suggested that to solve the problem of dirty and vandalized school toilets, instead of installing CCTV’s, the schools could involve the children in looking after the toilets.
She suggests that classes take turns to spruce up the toilets and this could be done with proper time-tabling and goes on to propose incentives such as a prize for the class that is judged to be the best in this community effort, and stars be given for the runner ups.
I fully agree with the idea that school children should be taught to keep the toilets clean (not merely spruce up) by involving them actively. This should not mean decorating the toilets with flowers and posters, but the actual cleaning of the toilet bowls, urinals, sinks, floor, walls. (more…)
K Ranga Krishnan
In today’s world, knowledge is constantly being updated. Often, entire approaches and systems are replaced, so we need to create new methods and skills to deal with them.
Those in higher-skilled jobs need to have a deep conceptual understanding of their specialized areas, and use that knowledge to create new ideas, apply them to new areas, developing new products. They need the critical thinking to integrate and use their new knowledge, rather than recall compartmentalized information and poorly-linked, memorized facts. (more…)
Lim Mun Fah
There are more and more university rankings around, among which perhaps the QS World University Rankings is what we are more familiar with
The latest QS World University Rankings have just been released, and I am pretty sure you have already realized that among so many of our universities, only Universiti Malaya made it to the top 200, being placed at 167th, down nine places from a year ago.
As for other local universities, their performance has been even more disappointing. UKM is placed at 269th, USM and UTM both at joint 355th, UPM at 411-420, IIU at 501-550 while UiTM at 701+. (more…)
Muhyiddin Yassin must resign as education minister as he has failed to address the plight of the rural schools in Sarawak, almost all of which are in dilapidated conditions, says Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
“Muhyiddin knows that students in rural schools in Sarawak perform very poorly in their examinations and yet there is nothing at all in his education blueprint to address this problem,” Sarawak PKR chairperson Baru Bian said today.
“I was looking at a special emphasis in the blueprint to ensure that rural schools in Sarawak are at par with that in Peninsular Malaysia. But there is nothing in the blueprint. I am very disappointed,” Bian (left) said when commenting on the education blueprint. (more…)
The Borneo Post
NEGLECTED: Baru (centre) showing the teachers’ quarters which was constructed using money forked out by the school’s teachers and PTA while Voon (right) looks on.
KUCHING: Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian has expressed disappointment over the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB) 2013-2025 claiming that it marginalised the rural schools in the state.
He cited that schools such as SK Long Semadoh, which was under his constituency, was among those that were neglected as the parent-teacher-association (PTA) and teachers had to fork out their own money to construct a teachers’ quarters at the school. (more…)
A Sarawak Opposition leader has accused the Education Ministry of trying to “hide something” by refusing to disclose the passing marks for Form Five examinations for Mathematics, Additional Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and English citing such information falls under the Official Secrets Act.
“What is so secret about the passing marks for these subjects? Do they pose a security threat to the nation that the ministry has to classify these grades under the Official Secret Act (OSA)?” asked state DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen (left) asked.
“It defies all logic to classify the marks for public examinations as official secret,” he added. (more…)
The former premier pushes for Mathematics and Science in English at the Malay Consultative Council congress.
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad urged Malays to master the English language as it is the language of the sciences, and that does not make them a traitor to the Malay language.
“If you learn Mathematics and Science in English, would it mean that you are traitor to Bahasa Malaysia (BM)?
“Does it mean that we are not loyal to our language? Our language will develop when we master the sciences and write books in BM in the future,” said Mahathir. (more…)
Rafizi, Nik Nazmi explain why people are turning to Chinese and private schools.
Two PKR leaders today urged the government to come up with a clear plan to improve the quality of education, particularly in national schools.
The party’s strategy director, Rafizi Ramli, and its communications chief, Nik Nazmi Ahmad, claimed during a press conference here that many Malaysians had lost confidence in the ability of the national school system to provide quality education and to mould the character of students.
They were reacting to comments made yesterday by United Nations Human Rights Council representative Rita Ishak, who lamented the lack of uniformity in Malaysian education. (more…)
Lim Sue Goan
The success of Malaysian Chinese education, which has nearly 200 years of history, has relied on the united forces and diligent work of the Chinese over the years.
The 728 Assembly of Chinese Associations of Malaysia In Protest of Education Blueprint 2013-2025 involving 1,100 groups and attended by about 2,000 was the continuation of the Chinese education movement, reflecting the determination of the Chinese community.
Some measures in the Education Blueprint 2013-2025 are unfavourable to Chinese and Tamil schools, such as the proposed implementation of the same Bahasa Malaysia curriculum of Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK)for students in Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) and Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKT) beginning with the Year Four students in 2014, causing Chinese and Tamil schools to increase the learning hours for BM from 180 minutes to 270 minutes and extra needy students would have five hours of extra BM classes, making it 570 minutes per week. (more…)
Tay Tian Yan
The failure of a four straight A’s STPM student to gain access into a local public university only shows either or both of the following:
1. There are problems with the admission system of public universities that even the best -performing students are excluded.
2. There are problems with the STPM examinations that even the top students are not good enough to make it to public universities.
Perhaps the Cabinet could try to get a solution within days, such as by increasing the admission quotas for government universities or provide scholarships for such students to further their studies in local private colleges or foreign universities. (more…)
Tunku Munawirah Putra
The Islamic Civilisation and Asian Studies (Titas) could have been an enlightening liberal arts subject, had it not been forced onto students to take it up. It is most unfortunate to see it being robbed of its purity with the kind of politics entrenched in its enforcement.
It is like experiencing the abolition of PPSMI (the teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English) all over again, in terms of how and why the decision was made.
The Titas issue seems to be following a similar pattern as the abolition of PPSMI, which was done close to a by-election. Titas and the Kuala Besut by-election is just like PPSMI and the Manik Urai by-election. Both decisions were made known about a week prior to the date of the by-elections. Hence, however well-meaning the decision could be by certain quarters, it is still a controversial decision that got bulldozed through, in an attempt to appeal to the voters in the area. Why else is it announced just before the by-elections, when it could have been held back until the by-elections are over to avoid such suspicion? (more…)
Teachers should not be “intimidated or blackmailed” into voting for any party, the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) reminded political parties.
Its president Hashim Adnan said this in response to Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh’s call to teachers to vote for Barisan Nasional in the upcoming by-election as a “payback” to the ruling coalition.
“Teachers can vote for anyone they want. I would not demand or force teachers to vote for Barisan Nasional,” Hashim told The Malaysian Insider today.
He added: “If they are happy with what they have been receiving and if they want them (BN) to serve as they feel they have done a good job, then they can vote for BN. (more…)
Can justice Mohd Noor Abdullah tell us if the Education Act 1996 was enacted by Parliament for the purpose of dividing the people?
The former Appeal Court judge Mohd Noor Abdullah had on May 12, declared at a forum that the vernacular schools (SJKs) have no place in the national education system of this country as the Federal Constitution does not recognize them and should, therefore, be abolished.
He is reported to have raised the following points in support of his call to abolish the SKJs (Chinese and Tamil schools):
1. According to the constitution there should only be one stream of schools in this country. (more…)
The recent suggestion to bring back English medium schools is an idea worth exploring, said Bung Bratak Heritage Association chairman Dato Peter Minos.
He said he was not surprised by many calls for such schools to be set up due to concern over the declining standard of both written and spoken English in the country.
“English cannot be taught half-heartedly or haphazardly. English medium schools is a ‘must’ to really learn the language. Those of us in schools in the 1950s and 1960s should know. Of course, we need Bahasa Malaysia as a language of national unity but we need English for modern progress,” he said. (more…)
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…)