Kaji kurikulum pendidikan Islam

KUALA LUMPUR 12 Nov. – Bekas Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad meminta supaya kurikulum mata pelajaran Pendidikan Moral dan Agama Islam di sekolah dikaji semula bagi memastikan kedua-dua subjek itu sesuai dengan tuntutan semasa.

Dr. Mahathir juga berpendapat, buku teks baharu kedua-dua mata pelajaran itu wajar diterbit serta diguna pakai di sekolah-sekolah untuk mendapatkan hasil terbaik dalam membentuk modal insan berguna kepada negara.

Beliau turut mencadangkan supaya waktu pengajaran dan pembelajaran subjek-subjek itu di sekolah dipanjangkan.

“Keutamaan kurang diberikan, adakah pelajar hanya diajar cara beribadat sahaja? Sedangkan ajaran Islam adalah ad-din yang meliputi cara hidup. Kalau cuma belajar buat ibadah tertentu tetapi tidak menguasai ilmu, itu tidak menepati kehendak agama.

“Ada baik semak semula kurikulum kita. Adakah hanya belajar ibadat atau mengajar menjadi manusia yang baik,” katanya dalam sidang akhbar selepas menyampaikan ucaptama dalam Persidangan Kebangsaan Pendidikan Guru Dalam Negara Islam 2013 (ICTEM) di sini hari ini.

Turut hadir, Rektor Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM), Prof. Datuk Seri Dr. Zaleha Kamaruddin dan Pengerusi ICTEM, Prof. Dr. Siraje Abdallah Ssekamanya.

Dalam pada itu, Dr. Mahathir menekankan kepentingan bahasa Inggeris, khususnya dalam pengajaran Sains dan Matematik memandangkan kedua-dua mata pelajaran itu mewakili bidang yang penting ketika ini.

“Adakah saya meminta supaya pengajaran Sains dan Matematik di dalam bahasa Inggeris? Kita perlu realistik, bahasa Melayu masih lagi belum menjadi pengantara kepada mata pelajaran tersebut sedangkan kedua-duanya ketika ini merupakan pengetahuan paling penting perlu dikuasai sekiranya mahu menjadi sebuah negara membangun.

“Bidang sains dan matematik sering kali menemukan kajian baharu yang laporannya adalah 98 peratus di dalam bahasa Inggeris. Sekiranya kita tidak belajar, kedua-duanya dalam bahasa Inggeris, dikhuatiri kita tidak dapat ikut perkembangan semasa,” jelas beliau.

Menurut Dr. Mahathir, nasionalis bahasa sering kali tersilap apabila berpendapat bahawa nasionalisme adalah tentang kebolehan bertutur dalam bahasa kebangsaan dengan baik.

“Kita semua bangga dengan bahasa Melayu, bahasa kebangsaan kita. Tetapi realitinya ialah sekiranya kita tidak menguasai bahasa Inggeris, negara kita tidak dapat bersaing dengan baik.

“Kita perlu pragmatik. Nasionalisme bermaksud berjaya dalam semua bidang dalam kehidupan, terlibat dalam pembangunan negara dan bangsa, dihormati dan disegani oleh kaum lain, menjadi pemimpin dalam apa sahaja bidang yang diceburi, itu merupakan nasionalisme sebenar,” ujar beliau.

Artikel Penuh: http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/Dalam_Negeri/20131113/dn_02/Kaji-kurikulum-pendidikan-Islam#ixzz2kTt5FYXX
© Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd

EDUCATION: Review assessment system

Thursday, January 03, 2013

By Sarala Poobalan, Kuala Lumpur | letters@nstp.com.my

NATIONAL Union of the Teaching Profession president Hashim Adnan has admitted that with the introduction of the new school-based assessment (PBS) system, children are learning less.

We are not ready for the Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah (PBS) system. Our education system is lagging behind. This has been proven in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) scores. Students, teachers, parents and the nation are suffering. We need to wake up and face reality.

TIMSS scores reflect the standard for Maths and Science. If we have scores for other subjects in schools, where would we stand?

We need to look at where we have gone wrong in our syllabus. In the PBS syllabus, there are 10 topics that a teacher is required to cover for the year but only five topics are picked for assessments.

If I am a teacher teaching PBS, I will teach only five topics. Why? The paperwork involved in the current system is a nightmare for the teacher. Like every other system introduced, the children become the scapegoats and suffer.

Students are bored, especially when they have to do the same paper over and over until the whole class gets it right.

While a lot has been said about rote learning, I feel it has its plus points. It teaches a student to be disciplined and organised in his work. It also helps teachers and parents help their children in areas where they are weak.

When our country has achieved a level of competence in the education field, then only should we introduce this system.

The Education Blueprint was launched to revamp the system. However, the real area we need to revamp is teaching methods.

The syllabus for the teacher training college must be revamped before any introduction of a new system is launched for the children.

Teachers must go back to what they are supposed to do — teach. If they spend most of their time doing paperwork for administrative purposes, then will they have the time to prepare what to teach the children?

We should do away with multiple choice questions, specially for language papers. This will allow the children to express themselves better and pave the way to encourage children to read.

We have to teach our children to fish and not fish for them. If the education system is constantly lowered to cater to the weak, then the nation will go nowhere.

If the government can recognise Chinese and Tamil as a language used for the mode of education, then, English should be given the same treatment.

There is nothing in the Constitution or the Education Act that says we cannot have English schools.

All we parents are asking is for the choice. The reality in today’s world is English is the language of global communication.

.We have to teach our children to fish and not fish for them.

Read more: EDUCATION: Review assessment system – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/education-review-assessment-system-1.195077?cache=03D163D03edding-pred-1.1176%2F%3FpFpentwa%3Fpage%3D0%3Fpage%3D0#ixzz2Gs5lNMQX

Education Department sets up task forces to address schooling-related issues

Tuesday January 1, 2013

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/1/1/sarawak/12523138&sec=sarawak

By SHARON LING
sharonling@thestar.com.my

KUCHING: The state Education Department will focus on the theme “Terus Menjulang Sarawak” (Keep Uplifting Sarawak) this year.

In line with this, it has set up task forces at departmental level and in all district education offices to address schooling-related issues.

“This will be done by identifying, preventing and overcoming issues which crop up before the new school session starts, based on the ePerludata and monitoring system.

“The Touch Point concept of one desk, one chair and one set of textbooks per student will also continue to be given priority to ensure that all basic needs are ready on the first day of school,” state education director Abdillah Adam said in a statement yesterday.

He said the department was committed to implementing the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025, which was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Sept 11.

The blueprint aims to transform education by emphasising the quality of teaching and learning and to produce knowledgeable students who can think critically, communicate effectively and have ethical values.

“We have come up with proactive steps to support this policy. The blueprint’s aims have been spread to all district education officers while briefings will continue to be held,” he said.

On curriculum, Abdillah said primary schools would continue to use the Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah (KSSR), which was introduced in 2011, up to Year Three this year, while preschools would use the Kurikulum Standard Prasekolah Kebangsaan (KSPK).

“Children aged five and six are targeted for the KSPK programme, which focuses on socio-emotional, spiritual, physical, cognitive and character development as well as preparation for primary school,” he said.

He added that SMK St Teresa here had been selected as the state’s pioneer school for all subjects under the new Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Menengah (KSSM), which is set to be introduced in secondary schools nationwide starting 2014.

“We hope SMK St Teresa will become the main reference school for the implementation of the KSSM in Sarawak,” he said.

Abdillah also said the department would continue its Omnipresence programme, which was introduced last year, to enhance safety by having police and Rela personnel on duty in schools at selected times.

This programme is currently implemented in 23 schools.

Meanwhile, championships in 24 sports will be held from February to April to select athletes who will represent Sarawak School Sports Council (MSS Sarawak) at national-level competitions to be held between March and June.

Potential athletes in sports such as football, athletics, sepak takraw and netball can apply to join the special programme at SMK Tabuan Jaya, the state’s sports school.

Abdillah said the department would also host several national-level programmes, including the Parliament-style Bahasa Melayu debate competition and Malaysian School Sports Council (MSSM) tennis championship.

On the new school-based assessment system, he said training programmes would be held for main trainers and teachers for Year Four and Form Three subjects.

“We have identified a primary school and a secondary school in each district to be model schools for the system. The model schools will serve as a benchmark for other schools in the district in terms of giving advice and guidance,” he said.

For more information, students, parents and the public can go to the department’s website at http://www.moe.gov.my/jpnsarawak.

PBS system worrying

Tuesday December 25, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/12/25/focus/12502842&sec=focus

I AM a parent of a Form One child. Last year, my son got 5A’s in the UPSR exam and being in a streamed secondary school, he is now in the first class with those with the same results as him.

The Education Ministry started the PBS (Penilaian Berasaskan Sekolah) early this year and parents were briefed on the process of teaching and learning using the PBS.

Students will be assessed from time to time for all subjects and will be given grades according to Band One to Band Six throughout the year.

I was told that students in Form One will not be sitting for any exams up to Form Three. The problem is, parents need to know his or her child’s progress in school.

Under the old system, parents would be called to the school at least twice a year, after the mid-year exam and also after the final exam.

Parents of children in the other forms can check their children’s progress through the SAPS but not the Form One students.

Having no year-end exam under the PBS system has made many of the children unproductive and the PBS has created a non-challenging environment among them.

I am not against the PBS system, but can we do away with having no exams at all?

I thought the PBS system is an ongoing process where the children will be graded into the bands after each topic or each syllabus has been completed and the grades will be accumulated into 60% of the child’s performance for the year.The other 40% would be taken from the exams in school. This way, no child will be left out.

I checked out a few schools and to my dismay, some schools

are having exams just like before and some schools, as I was told, are following the directive of the ministry and there are no exams for Form One.

I asked a senior assistant in a school and he said that if they had the exams it meant they were not following the ministry’s orders. This means that the school is going against the ministry’s directive.

I just wonder how the system is like in Sekolah Berasrama Penuh (SBP) – fully residential schools – or in MRSM; I bet they have their own exams unlike the children in government schools.

Most international schools have the system that I have mentioned.

I understand that the Education Ministry is coming up with many plans under the Pelan Pembangunan Pendidikan Malaysia (PPPM).

Upon checking my son’s schoolwork, I found there was no homework and there were not many exercises done in class.

I understand that teachers spend a lot of time doing the PBS exercises in class and updating the student’s grades, the grades which are unknown to the parents.

What is the rationale of not having a standardised exam but giving students a standardised set of PBS worksheet/tests/quiz, and so forth.

If a good student can complete a task easily and the other students can’t, then they are given time to complete the work.

What then will happen to the good student?

Is he or she allowed to go to the next band?

I can’t imagine they are going to be in this situation for two more years up till Form Three.

Principals and teachers could not explain what is to become of Form One students when they are in Form Three, when there will be no exams.

If there is no PMR, how would the students be chosen for SBP or MRSM.

How are the students being streamed into Science, Arts or Technical classes?

There are so many unanswered questions.

But in the meantime, please have the 60% and 40% system as the good students need to explore their potential and the slower ones will not be left out.

WORRIED PARENT

Ipoh

Be quick to decide on issues

Sunday December 23, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/education/story.asp?file=/2012/12/23/education/12469484&sec=education

 

THE MALAYSIA Education Blueprint may provide solutions and the answers to matters pertaining to our education system but there are some outstanding issues that need serious and urgent attention.

·Level of BM and English Language (EL) in national type schools

There is a difference in the way Bahasa Malaysia (BM) and the English Language is taught to primary level pupils in national type schools (SJK) compared to other national schools (SK).

I was definitely taken aback. Since pupils in SJK schools will eventually go to national secondary schools and learn the same syllabus as their SK peers, why are these children being discriminated and deprived of what they should learn in primary school?

Are we assuming national type school students are incapable of absorbing what their friends of the same age in national schools are learning?

·New syllabus without textbooks

A new English Language syllabus was introduced in 2010. However, there were no textbooks published or released to go with the new syllabus. Is it not ironic that textbooks have yet to be printed?

When a new syllabus is introduced for government schools, we need a standard reference that is put together in a textbook as it facilitates classroom teaching and learning. Although we are in the digital era, we still need textbooks. Textbooks serve as a guide for teachers to plan and execute lessons.

·Standardised vocabulary list

Many pupils are not interested in reading neither are they interested in building their vocabulary.

Most primary school pupils move on to secondary school not knowing the meanings of simple words, idioms and proverbs. What may seem simple to some children may seem difficult to another. So much time is wasted in just translating words before comprehending a text.

If the national curriculum could provide standardised lists from primary to secondary levels for both Bahasa Malaysia and the English Language, it will certainly be a boost for the students, teachers and parents.

·Thinking skills in English Language

Language learning at present involves mainly four major skills – reading, writing, speaking and listening. What is lacking during English Language lessons is the learning of thinking skills.

Since children these days are exposed to all kinds of reading and learning materials from a young age, introducing thinking skills from primary level will be to their advantage.

Thinking skills involves reasoning, problem-solving, analysing, evaluating and decision-making. Initially when students were learning Science and Mathematics in English, there were elements of thinking skills incorporated into the system.

English Language teaching at present needs to incorporate more knowledge-based context. and the subject (English language) itself should evolve from its linguistic form into a purposeful and meaningful form. This will encourage students to start thinking in English.

I think the above issues need to be given more attention as such improvments would indeed make our education system a better one.

S. SHARMINI Johor Baru

Kesulitan sistem PBS diatasi

10 Disember 2012, Isnin

Melalui PBS, murid dan pelajar dilatih untuk berfikir secara kritis dan mengaplikasi ilmu yang dipelajari dalam pelbagai konteks keperluan serta tidak terikat dengan keperluan peperiksaan semata-mata.

Kementerian Pelajaran sedang dalam usaha menambah baik perlaksanaan Sistem Pengurusan dan Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah (SPPBS) bagi memudahkan penggunaannya oleh kira-kira 412,000 guru sekolah rendah dan menengah seluruh negara.

Ketika ini, kementerian dalam tindakan menyediakan hosting baharu bagi memudahkan guru mengakses ke dalam sistem yang sebelum ini menimbulkan rungutan dalam kalangan guru yang terpaksa memperuntukkan masa agak lama untuk mengakses sistem tersebut.

Menurut Unit Komunikasi Korporat Kementerian, tindakan yang diambil Bahagian Pengurusan Maklumat kementerian adalah dengan memindahkan SPPBS ke hosting baharu dalam usaha mengatasi tersebut pada masa ini.

Tindakan itu adalah bagi menampung bilangan pengguna yang mengakses secara serentak sehingga 40,000 orang pada satu-satu masa untuk mengakses sistem berkenaan.

”Pihak kementerian juga telah menggandakan bilangan server daripada 4 kepada 20 buah server mulai November lalu bagi mengurangkan kesesakan pengguna yang ramai”, kata kenyataan itu di sini hari ini.

Kenyataan tersebut sebagai reaksi kepada Ruangan SMS Utusan Malaysia baru-baru ini mengenai rungutan ‘Guru Kini’ yang mendakwa PBS menambah bebanan guru kerana sukar memasuki laman web sistem tersebut walaupun pada waktu awal pagi.

Menurut kenyataan itu lagi, kementerian amat prihatin dengan kesukaran dan masalah yang terpaksa dihadapi guru berhubung perlaksanaan sistem baharu itu namun yakin masalah yang timbul akan dapat diatasi dalam tempoh terdekat ini.

Kira-kira 5,272,478 pelajar terdiri daripada 2,804,405 murid sekolah rendah dan 2,281,775 pelajar sekolah menengah terlibat dalam perlaksanaan sistem PBS membabitkan 7,723 sekolah rendah dan 2,296 sekolah menengah.

Melalui sistem baharu ini, guru tidak lagi perlu meramal bentuk soalan dan topik yang akan diuji dan pada masa yang sama, tidak perlu melaksanakan latih tubi terhadap topik tertentu.

Sebaliknya, pelajar akan dilatih untuk berfikir secara kritis dan mengaplikasi ilmu yang dipelajari dalam pelbagai konteks keperluan malah format pentaksiran baharu itu membolehkan murid dinilai berdasarkan hasil lebih luas dalam jangka masa yang lebih panjang.

Ia bertujuan untuk menambah baik sistem penilaian ke atas pelajar dengan menggunakan standard prestasi kerana sebelum ini penilaian terhadap pencapaian pelajar terlalu berorientasi peperiksaan sejajar usaha kerajaan menambah baik Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) dan memansuhkan peperiksaan Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) menjelang 2014.

Ia merupakan satu pentaksiran bersifat holistik yang mampu menilai aspek kognitif (intelek), efektif (emosi dan rohani) dan psikomotor (jasmani) selaras dengan Falsafah Pendidikan Kebangsaan dan Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah (KSSR).

Secara spesifik, PBS dioptimumkan bagi mentaksir bidang akademik dan bukan akademik, memberi pengiktirafan dan autonomi kepada guru untuk melaksanakan pentaksiran formatif (pentaksiran yang dijalankan semasa proses pembelajaran berlangsung) dan sumatif (pentaksiran yang dijalankan di akhir satu unit pembelajaran) berasaskan sekolah.

Komponen PBS dalam sistem pentaksiran kebangsaan merangkumi Pentaksiran Sekolah (PS), Pentaksiran Pusat (PP), Pentaksiran Aktiviti Jasmani, Sukan dan Kokurikulum dan Pentaksiran Psikometrik.

PS dirancang, dibina, ditadbir, diperiksa, direkod dan dilapor oleh guru sekolah di sekolah iaitu contoh instrumen pentaksiran yang boleh digunakan ialah lembaran kerja, pemerhatian, kuiz, senarai semak, laporan tugasan, tugasan rumah dan ujian.

Bagi PP pula ditadbir, diperiksa, direkod dan dilapor di peringkat sekolah oleh guru berdasarkan tugasan dan skema pemarkahan yang dikeluarkan oleh Lembaga Peperiksaan dalam tempoh yang ditetapkan mengikut mata pelajaran.

Pentaksiran Aktiviti Jasmani, Sukan dan Kokurikulum (PAJSK) dilaksanakan di peringkat sekolah dan ditadbir, direkod dan dilaporkan melalui penyertaan, penglibatan dan pencapaian murid dalam aktiviti jasmani dan kesihatan.

Selain itu, sukan dan permainan, aktiviti kokurikulum dan aktiviti ekstrakurikulum (contohnya penglibatan sebagai ahli kumpulan marhaban yang dianjurkan oleh JK Surau tempat murid tinggal dan aktiviti bermanfaat lain yang dianjurkan oleh pihak luar selain sekolah).

Pentaksiran Pkisometrik pula dilaksanakan di peringkat sekolah atau pusat untuk mengukur kebolehan (innate ability and acquired ability) semulajadi murid, kemahiran berfikir, kemahiran menyelesaikan masalah, minat, kecenderungan, sikap dan personaliti murid. Pentaksiran ini tidak berasaskan kurikulum.

Artikel Penuh: http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/Pendidikan/20121210/pe_01/Kesulitan-sistem-PBS-diatasi#ixzz2EhBWcjvU
© Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd

ENGLISH: Increase its content in national syllabus

10 December 2012 | last updated at 07:56AM

By Hussaini Abdul Karim, Shah Alam, Selangor

MOST Malaysians are caring and concerned about issues.

We fight together as one people if we are not happy about things that are of national interest, especially those that adversely affect our future.

Take the case of education. Every day, I see letters written by readers published in mainstream and online newspapers asking for a change in the education policy. Most of them want the English language content to be increased in the national school syllabus.

We want students to be bilingual — to be good in both Bahasa Malaysia and English. We fear that being monolingual will not fully equip our students to be fully competitive globally.

I have found that out of 30 letters, in all languages I read, asking for an increase in English language content in the national school syllabus, only one letter supports the use of Bahasa Malaysia. Some of the letters even go to the extent of suggesting the re-introduction of English-medium schools.

I am pro-Bahasa Malaysia and pro-English in contrast to some people who are only pro-Bahasa Malaysia.

Being pro-Bahasa Malaysia and pro-English, I am not suggesting that Bahasa Malaysia be relegated and become subservient to English; I only want the English language content to be increased in national schools, perhaps to be on a par with Bahasa Malaysia, so that our students can be bilingual.

Bahasa Malaysia should, however, retain its position and prestige as the country’s national language.

I do not think the country will be able cater to all Malaysians searching for jobs or business opportunities in the future.

Some will have to look for opportunities outside the country. This is where proficiency in English will help.

The English language content in the current syllabus is far too little to be considered sufficient.

Read more: ENGLISH: Increase its content in national syllabus – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/english-increase-its-content-in-national-syllabus-1.183914?cache=03D163D03edding-pred-1.1176%252F%253FpFpentwage63Dp%253A%252Fhe3D03Dn63Frea-rti3D19.3D163D03edding-pred-1.1176%252F%253FpFpentwage63Dp%253A%252Fhe3D03Dn63Frea-rti3D19.111w5ii%252Fed-1.1176%252F%252F2.2525%252F2.2525%252F1.33120%252F7.183815%3Fpage%3D0%3Fpage%3D0%3Fpage%3D0%2F7.196465%3Fpage%3D0#ixzz2EcDnxipx

SEX EDUCATION: Teenagers need safe outlet to explore subject

14 November 2012 | last updated at 07:39AM

By Iza Zakhizuin Zaki, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Shah Alam, Selangor | letters@nstp.com.my 0 comments

THE issue of incorporating sex education in school has surfaced once again after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak stated in the Dewan Rakyat recently that 6,820 girls aged below 16 had given birth out of wedlock in the past 10 years.

.Explaining what will be taught in sex education classes will sex education is to be done can be a huge help gain in getting the public’s trust on the issue.

1 / 1

One suggested course of action to combat teen pregnancies was introducing sex education into the core syllabus of Year Six and Form Three students.

I would like to acknowledge that the problems surrounding teen pregnancies stem from a lack of reliable information on reproductive and sexual health among youth.

Introducing sex education could be a great way to educate teenagers. However, the idea of incorporating sex education at an early stage is also worrying.

At this age where children should be playing with toys, is it a good step to expose them to sex? Would they be able to accept it?

We have to accept the fact that with current progress in technology and the Internet, teens can find out about sex with just a click of a button.

Whether their parents realise it or not, teenagers these days are being exposed to mixed, unrealistic and confusing messages about sex on television, the Internet and from their friends.

That is why it is better for the information to be taught in a proper manner, rather than letting them find out by themselves. Introducing teenagers to sex could help counter any incorrect concept of sex.

Plus, teenagers need a safe outlet to explore all of the confusing thoughts and feelings that have to do with sex without being judged. Rather than posting the question in online forums and getting the wrong advice, they need a place where they can ask questions and get accurate answers.

Unfortunately, many parents are not prepared to answer those kind of questions or feel that the child is not ready for the answers.

With teachers to discuss with and guide them about the issue in school, teenagers might be able to open up.

Who knows, besides curbing teen pregnancies, we might even be able to detect sexual harassment or rape cases involving some of them.

However, teachers have to be careful that they are educating, not confusing or putting fear, into their minds.

Malaysia is a multiracial, multi-religious and multicultural nation with each ethnic group having its own notion on the subject.

That makes teaching sex education in schools more challenging.

I believe the government should inform the public about what will be included in the sex education syllabus.

It is essential, especially for the parents, to be aware of what their children are going to learn.

Until today, no one has seen the syllabus or been told how the teaching is to be done, and that creates doubt about the plan.

Explaining what will be taught and how will help get the public’s trust on the issue.

Read more: SEX EDUCATION: Teenagers need safe outlet to explore subject – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/sex-education-teenagers-need-safe-outlet-to-explore-subject-1.170859#ixzz2CMQjYOxz

Heng: Teachers’ training may include sex education

Tuesday November 13, 2012 MYT 5:52:39 PM

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/11/13/nation/20121113143847&sec=nation

By MARTIN CARVALHO

KUALA LUMPUR: Teachers’ training may include sex education to address the social issues facing the students.

Deputy Women, Community and Family Development Minister Datuk Heng Sai Kee said the ministry mooted the idea to the Education Ministry recently to see if sex education could become part of syllabus at the teachers training colleges.

She noted that sex education was now taught as part of health science for Year One to Year Four students with future modules to include social related issues.

“This will allow teachers, in particular those giving counseling, to also teach students on the dangers and consequences of pre-marital sex, including the laws on statutory rape,” ,” she told reporters.

At present, she said that an eight-week pilot programme to teach students of the dangers of pre-marital sex had been introduced as part of the school curriculum for students finishing their UPSR examinations in Sept and PMR students in October.

Some 6,820 pregnancies and births involving girls below 16 were recorded between 2000 and Oct 9, 2012.

Heng said 67 teachers have been selected from rural, urban and special schools to undergo training courses before the start of the programme.

On a separate issue, Heng said the ministry backed the Government’s move to amend statutory rape laws to take away the courts discretion in binding over first time youth offenders.

Some 5,976 statutory rape cases were recorded between 2007 and August this year. Of the cases, 5,115 were charged resulting in 1,631 convictions.

SCIENCE: Adopt a practical syllabus

09 November 2012 | last updated at 11:35PM

By Liong Kam Chong, Seremban, Negri Sembilan | letters@nstp.com.my 0 comments

I REFER to “Incentives to study science” (NST, Nov 7). Only 20 per cent of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) candidates this year are from the science stream, well below the national target of 60 per cent.

Alarmed at the lack of interest in science among students, the Education Ministry is proposing monetary incentives in terms of tax breaks for parents whose children opt for this stream. Offering of scholarships and textbook assistance to encourage more students to enrol in the stream is also being planned.

The 60:40 science: arts policy was first introduced in 1967 by the Higher Education Planning Committee in order to meet projected demand for science graduates. The policy has since been restated and re-emphasised multiple times: in the 1999 National Education Policy, the 2000 National Science and Technology Policy II, and the 2001 Education Development Plan.

Over the years, the extent to which 60:40 targets have been reached has varied. Science stream enrolment reached a high of 37 per cent in 1998 before dropping to a low of less than 20 per cent as is reported now. Notably, through it all, it was never anywhere near 60 per cent at all. One reason given for the drop was the perceived difficulty of science subjects.

Interestingly, the Malaysia Education Blueprint (MEB) 2013-2025 preliminary report gives a new, different perspective to the 60:40 science: arts policy.

The MEB states that in recognition of the growing economic importance of vocational education, the ministry will adjust its 60:40 policy to encourage greater enrolment in the vocational pathway.

The new target is for 60 per cent of upper secondary enrolment in the regular academic pathway (either arts or science) with the balance 40 per cent in the vocational pathway. The 60:40 ratio will also be applied to the academic pathway. That is, 60 per cent of students in the academic pathway should be focused on science (equivalent to 36 per cent of total upper secondary enrolment) and 40 per cent on arts (equivalent to 24 per cent of total upper secondary enrolment).

In essence, we are looking at 36:24:40 in science: arts: vocational. This is a little puzzling. Are we now to envisage that out of 100 students completing SPM, 36 are to be from the science, 24 arts and 40 vocational, thus giving a “premium” to vocational education?

Whither our 60:40 science: arts policy? Are we progressing or are we regressing?

Taking into consideration the urgent need to produce more science-based graduates, the value and versatility of vocational education, the waning interest for science among our students and the hitherto seemingly unattainable 60:40 target, perhaps it is appropriate to do a little thinking out of the box.

FIRST, the present practice of streaming academic students after Form 3 into science and arts needs reassessing. At this early stage, students should be exposed to a more general and broader curriculum rather than a tight, compartmentalised and narrow one.

Streaming them academically into science and arts should be done only in Form 6/Matriculation/Foundation classes.

So, what science studies then for the Form 4 and 5 students? We should begin to consider having one common Science syllabus for all students in the academic, vocational as well as technical streams.

We must also take cognisance that our present arts stream students are not learning enough science; they definitely need to know more science, given the fast expanding knowledge in this field.

I am proposing that all students in Form 4 and 5, irrespective of whether they are in the academic, vocational or technical stream, pursue a common science syllabus that is broader and more practical than the present arts stream science subjects.

At the same time, this “new” science syllabus is to be spared of the “higher-learning preparatory materials” found in the present pure science subjects.

This way, everybody gets to learn sufficient science and there is still enough teaching-learning time left for other subjects.

Lest we fear that our Form 4 and 5 students may lose their edge in the pure sciences, we may know that much of the “higher-learning preparatory materials” now being taught to Form 4 and 5 pure science students can be carried forward to Form 6/Matriculation/Foundation science courses.

Moreover, the introduction phase of these courses always repeats or revises materials currently taught to the Form 4 and Form 5 pure sciences students (I can attest to this as I had taught Form 4, 5 and 6 Physics and Mathematics).

With the impending abolition of the Penilaian Menengah Rendah examination, it is an opportune time for the curriculum people in the ministry to begin designing the curriculum and syllabus for the new common Science subject.

SECOND, we need to discard our mindset and perception that “Science is difficult”, purportedly a main causal factor in declining science interest. We live in a world of science and technology. Knowing basic science and technology helps us to live a better and fuller life.

And, we should begin to think: “Now everybody can do Science!” (AirAsia chief Tan Sri Tony Fernandes who sits in the MEB panel will like this). Our mental preparedness and belief is a necessary first step to our successful science learning.

I always believe that if the present Arts stream students can proceed to acquire degrees in the Arts subjects of their choice and, for some, going on to attain highly esteemed professional qualifications, a master’s and even a PhD in their choice of Arts specialisation, then these same students are certainly endowed with sufficient intelligence and academic prowess to handle the substance of Form 4/5 Science subjects.

Proposing that streaming and, therefore, the 60:40 policy be done after Form 5 is not to postpone a hard decision; it is actually giving students a firmer foundation on Science/Arts subjects before they decide.

In addition, learning to like and not to fear Science will certainly help place one confidently in the forefront of valuable, applicable and useful knowledge. Our nation will progress well if our students have this mindset; believe in it and execute it. The 60:40 policy will then have a higher chance of success.