Bantuan persekolahan berakhir 15 Februari

4 Januari 2013, Jumaat

HULU TERENGGANU 3 Jan. – Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin memutuskan supaya bantuan persekolahan RM100 yang disalurkan mulai 15 Januari ini mesti selesai diagihkan pada 15 Februari depan.

Muhyiddin yang juga Menteri Pelajaran mahu supaya saluran bantuan persekolah tersebut diselesaikan dalam tempoh itu bagi memberi laluan kepada pembayaran Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) seperti mana dijanjikan oleh kerajaan.

Timbalan Menteri Pelajaran, Dr. Mohd. Puad Zarkashi berkata, keputusan itu dibuat dalam mesyuarat mengenai perkara itu yang dipengerusikan oleh Muhyiddin semalam.

“Semalam dalam keputusan mesyuarat yang dipengerusikan oleh Menteri Pelajaran bahawa bayaran (RM100) mesti habis pada bulan Februari.

“Ini bermakna, bermula 15 Januari mesti tamat pembayaran tersebut sehingga 15 Februari sebelum bayaran BR1M dibuat,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas melawat tiga buah sekolah yang dilanda banjir dan tanah runtuh di Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Tengku Ampuan Intan di sini hari ini.

Beliau mengulas lanjut mengenai bayaran persekolah RM100 untuk setiap pelajar itu yang akan mula dilaksanakan pertengahan bulan ini.

Menurut Mohd. Puad, bayaran itu akan tetap dilaksanakan mulai tarikh tersebut meskipun ada mana-mana sekolah yang dilanda banjir terutama di Terengganu, Kelantan dan Pahang.

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S’wak education department sets up 1,399 pre-school classes for 2013

Posted on January 3, 2013, Thursday

KUCHING:  A total of 1,399 pre-school classes have been created in Sarawak for the new school session this year, says state Education director Abdillah Adam.

He said, of the total, 1,391 classes were set up at 1,075 primary schools and two secondary schools while eight were at four Teachers Training Institutes and four Special Education National Schools.

“The classes contain 34,975 pupils, aged four to six, a hike of 16 classes this year, indicating Sarawak is serious in realising the Education Ministry’s aspiration on early education,” he said, here, yesterday.

On primary education, he said 1,263 primary schools would be operational during the school session this year.

“Of the total, 1,031 were national schools, 220 national type schools, eight Government Aided Religious Schools (SABK) and four Special Education National Schools. The enrollment of primary one to six is 252,343 including 2,153 special education pupils at Integration Special Education Programs and 182 pupils at SABK.

“Of the total, 185,529 pupils were from national schools and 66,814 from national type Chinese schools. Furthermore, an estimated 38,528 children would start their formal education in year one this year,” he said.

Abdullah said, for secondary school education, 185 schools were approved by the central agency to be operational this year.

“The enrolment at normal national secondary schools is 219,940 including 1,120 special education students. A total 3,958 students will start schooling in remove classes and 44,277 in form one,” he added. — Bernama

Read more:

EDUCATION: Act fast to arrest decline in English

03 January 2013 | last updated at 10:58PM

By Datuk Jaspal S. Korotana, Klang, Selangor |

OF late, we have been harping on the declining standard of English. We are looking at ways to improve the level of English, the last straw being “let’s import English teachers from India”.

I am reminded of my English teacher in Form 3 (in 1969), who once told me in frustration: “I looking very angry they all don’t know talking English”. Mind you, this was in 1969 and we are still harping on the issue. Of course, my English teacher then was just a normal teacher who was told to teach English, just like what is happening in some schools today.

We do not seem to be interested in taking the standard of English to a higher level. We need to make drastic changes or resign to the fact that our children are not going to be able to compete internationally, or worse still, be looked down or frowned upon when they speak to good English-speaking individuals.

We have many good English teachers, but we need to take care of them first. We must show them that they are appreciated.

All aspiring English teachers have to go through a selection process by an independent panel. The selected ones should be placed in a different category, with better salary scale.

With this, more quality English teachers can be produced. They will be proud to be English teachers as they will be looked upon with high regard by their students and others. This will give them more reasons to improve themselves.

In the same vein, we are encouraging the use of Bahasa Malaysia for correspondence in government departments. I had written letters in English and was told to rewrite them in Bahasa Malaysia.

To walk the talk, let’s be sincere about wanting to improve the standard of English. Our prime minister and his deputy can speak good English. So, let’s put it into practice, too. All letters to government departments can be in Bahasa Malaysia or English. The replies should be in the language used by the sender. In this way, people will take the effort to improve their language skills. The standard of both languages can be improved. Let’s not have more instances of “You wait; wait, I looking how helping you” or “Can you talking bagus English, as my teacher no teaching I talk like you”.

Enough is enough. Let’s not just say things for the sake of saying. Most of us are in the position to make changes now. Let’s move fast or our children will be the laughing stock in future.

Read more: EDUCATION: Act fast to arrest decline in English – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times

EDUCATION: Review assessment system

Thursday, January 03, 2013

By Sarala Poobalan, Kuala Lumpur |

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

Schools told not to deduct RM100 allowance

Thursday, January 03, 2013

NILAI: All schools nationwide have been cautioned not to take their own initiative to automatically deduct the RM100 school allowances which would be paid out on Jan 15.

Deputy Education Minister Dr Puad Zarkashi said last year’s case of schools deducting RM50 to pay for the Parents Teachers Association (PIBG) without the parents consent should not be repeated.

“The money should be given to the parents in full.

“The schools have no right to deduct any amount from the payout as we (the ministry) have issued a circulation on the matter,” he said at Tunku Kurshiah College here yesterday.

Puad said the government’s RM500 million payout was for all schoolchildren.

“For parents who are reluctant to accept the payment, they can return it to the schools, which will then have the responsibility of returning the money to the ministry,” said Puad, adding that keeping the money for the schools’ use would be inappropriate.

He said that schools in the district without bank accounts could expect a delay, as the money would be channelled through the respective state education departments, as was done last year.

“The department will go to the respective schools to hand out the money. For this year, we are still using the same approach, which explains the delay in delivering the payout for such schools,” he said.

The ministry would start distributing the money to parents of students from Year One to Form Five from Jan 15.

Read more: Schools told not to deduct RM100 allowance – General – New Straits Times

Schools appear in top form

Thursday, January 03, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: The new school term looked promising for the 425,665 children nationwide who started their primary schooling yesterday.

The number of students this year, however, is slightly lower in comparison with the 449,475 students who entered Year One last year.

Overall, enrollment in schools throughout the country proceeded smoothly, with no reports of lacking or unsatisfactory amenities for students, with the exception of schools in flood hit states.

“Things have been under control and although there were few schools which had initially faced problems with the lack of school textbook supplies, the issue has been resolved swiftly in time for the commencement of the new academic session,” National Parent-Teacher Association Collaborative Council (PIBGN) president, Associate Prof Datuk Mohamad Ali Hassan said.

In ensuring that parents and guardians of students have enough resources to fulfill the needs of their children, especially in the first two months of the schooling session, Mohamad Ali also urged schools to defer from collecting fees for its respective Parent Teachers Associations (PTAs) till the end of February.

“They may start collecting from March onwards to help ease the burden on parents.”

Mohamad Ali also suggested that schools which were forced to shut down owing to floods to organise supplementary classes.

“This is to make up for the lost hours, as well as to enable students affected by the floods to keep up with their peers in other states.”

National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) president Hashim Adnan also welcomes the suggestion to hold extra classes for students of affected schools.

However, he said that proper planning should be done to ensure that teachers are not burdened with workload.

Hashim said that since the schools reopened, no complaints or grouses from teachers have been recorded, indicating a good start to the academic year.

Parent Action Group for Education (Page) chairperson, Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim, also expressed her satisfaction in the smooth flow of the new schooling system.

“I believe things will get better, especially with the unveiling of the new Education Blueprint 2013-2025 which promises to revamp the education system.”

Read more: Schools appear in top form – General – New Straits Times

TEACHERS: An educator’s role in schooling the masses

31 December 2012 | last updated at 10:05PM

ON reading the letter “Private institutions can help” (NST, Dec 29) by Bismillah Kader, I was reminded of the first time I applied for a position as an English language teacher.

The manager of the language centre I was applying to quickly glanced through my curriculum vitae and other other documents I had handed him and asked me: “Can you teach?”

I was quite shocked at the question. I mean, what a question! Of course, I could teach, I had got my qualifications, done my training, and although I lacked work experience, how is a new teacher ever going to get experience unless he or she gets to teach?

So, I answered him firmly: “Yes”. I got the job, but it only lasted three months — not much longer than most of the teachers that worked there. After a couple of years, the centre closed down. I had many more teaching appointments after that, which helped me understand the meaning of the question: “Can you teach?”

A teacher is not a a marketer, a counsellor, an administrator, a disciplinarian, a test designer, a story-teller, a public relations manager, and much less a debt collector.

A teacher is simply an academic with enough knowledge to be able to explain the contents of books, slides, handouts and other teaching material to students so that they understand it and, therefore, acquire knowledge, which is the purpose of learning. A teacher must also ensure that all students in the class pass tests to proceed to the next level.

A truly competent teacher does not admit failure and so, will style his or her teaching methods to suit all students, to make all of them want to learn, and when they have learned, they must pass. Any employer who does not understand the real role of the teacher will never find the right teacher to teach at his school or college.

Yes, some students may like a teacher so much that they think that he or she is their father, mother, relative, friend and such. Some teachers will be flattered by the attention of their students, so much so that they will forget what it is to be a teacher.

In conclusion, yes, graduate teachers are preferable to those without a degree, but the performance of any teacher ultimately depends upon the management of the school or college where he or she is employed.

The employer who asks: “Can you teach?” is only looking for someone to do the job. And because he himself does not know how to find the best in his people, how to motivate them and how to make them better, the teachers themselves will not be able to pass on their knowledge to their students, no matter how many degrees they have listed on their resume.



Marisa Demori, Kuala Lumpur

Read more: TEACHERS: An educator’s role in schooling the masses – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times

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

Tuesday January 1, 2013


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

A subject most sensitive

Sunday December 30, 2012


Parents want choices for their children.

Non-tradeable services such as house cleaning or hair cutting have little room for productivity improvements and market expansion but sophisticated financial, consulting, health and environmental services do contribute to productivity growth. Stuck in the Middle’, The World Bank, Nov 2012

THE 13th general election looms ahead. Parents who are still fence-sitters at this late stage will decide eventually on which way to vote based on the more critical issues raised by both sides of the political divide particularly on a subject most sensitive the education of their very own children.

While there are claims that politics does not interfere with education, we parents, know it does and we do not like it.

The recently released TIMSS 2011 (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) result is a case in point.

Not surprisingly, the results are again appalling, the Education Ministry having done little to analyse the reasons and therefore arrest the decline. It keeps mum while the opposition and critics have a field day.

The preliminary report of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 (MEB) offers some explanation in that of a misalignment of the national examinations which tests content knowledge and its recall while TIMSS assesses the application of knowledge in solving problems and the ability to reason in working through problems.

Nonetheless, the decision by the ministry to benchmark the national examinations to the international assessments and to be top third by 2025 is commendable. How this is to be achieved, however, still remains a mystery.

The fact remains that drastic measures have to be taken by the ministry if we want to spur students’ interest in science, to meet the national target of 100 research scientists and engineers per 10,000 working population and to achieve success in the fields of nanotechnology, biotechnology, aerospace, automation and green technology, where RM600mil has been budgeted by the government in these areas.

We suggest that Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) retain PPSMI post-abolition to complement its IGCSE programme where interviews into Form 1 are conducted strictly in English. Sekolah Menengah Sains (SMS) should do the same.

These elite schools should also offer only science streams at higher secondary or else drop the Sains’ label.

Likewise, day schools that can transform into science centres of learning, shall adopt the Sains’ tag.

Meanwhile, parents can suggest that their Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA) work with their respective school administrations to encourage students to participate in the annual International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) on higher order thinking skills (HOTS) where the questions are set by the University of New South Wales.

Funding for ICAS

These can be conducted in any school, beginning with Year 3 through to Form 6 in English, Science, Mathematics, writing and computer skills for a nominal fee and which in the end comes along with a comprehensive analysis of each student’s results indicating strengths and weaknesses.

For some years now, cluster schools whose niche is English, utilise its funding to pay for the fees charged for the English assessment. High performance schools should do so as well.

The MEB comprises 268 pages and is a good read, although somewhat apologetic’ in acknowledging the many mistakes which have been made in the past and its many motherhood statements to put things right’ in the next 13 years.

The opposition coalition reacted by promising an alternative blueprint for the people to see by the end of October which has now been delayed until the end of the year. It is a mammoth task.

Parents with school-going children will be looking out very closely for this. Whether or not the respective blueprints are to be part of the election manifesto will indicate the degree of politicking education has a bearing.

If this is anything to go by, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) did, though, have a day-long education convention last month, themed National Education Reformation’, attended by 200 participants with distinguished speakers ranging from retired directors from the ministry of education and state education departments to tired university professors with one learned academic even boldly suggesting that all national secondary schools be turned into religious schools!

The convention concluded with a six-point resolution called Halatuju Pendidikan Negara recommending, among the more salient, that Bahasa Malaysia be the main medium of instruction in universities while the teaching and learning of science and mathematics in English (PPSMI) be abolished immediately.

PAS had wanted PPSMI to be abolished in 2009 while DAP wants the policy to remain in secondary schools. How this will be compressed into a single blueprint is anybody’s guess.

Parents want PPSMI in national schools from Year 1. Parents also want English-medium schools (EMS). Parents also want a non-politician to be the minister of education. We want choices for our children.

Sabah parents want the glory of mission schools to be returned as is provided for in its 20-point agreement, the Federal Constitution and Section 17 of the Education Act.

Sarawak parents are concerned that in spite of the large education budget, its children still fail to read and write, and that differences still cannot be made between language and knowledge learning.

The 11% primary schools and the 9% secondary schools that have opted to do PPSMI in totality (the short-term politicians had wanted so eagerly to abolish) should be given priority to transform into EMS.


All national primary and secondary schools should have at least one PPSMI class at every level with a structured plan to gradually increase the number over time.

The government had on three separate occasions placed a technocrat minister to helm education. It has set a precedent. Will the opposition coalition offer to duplicate this move?

Incidentally, the last technocrat minister had seven honorary doctorates in science. He had justified PPSMI in a speech late 2003, “In the 1970s we were able to survive with the use of translated texts.

However, in the 1990s, the profusion and proliferation of knowledge proved to be a daunting challenge to our translation industry; in Chemistry, since the beginning of the 1990s, more than a million articles have appeared in specialised journals every two years (Clark, 1998); between 1978 and 1988, the number of known chemical substances increased from 360,000 to 720,000, reaching 1.7 million in 1998 (Salmi, 2000); in Biology, only in 1977 was the method designed to determine the base sequence of the letters that codify the information in DNA initially, it was possible to determine the sequence of 500 bases per week.

This same method, today perfected and automated, can decipher the three billion bases of the human genome in a few years. Presently, a genome centre can determine a million bases per day (Brunner, 2001); in Mathematics, 100,000 new theorems are created every year (Madison, 1992).

Considered together, it is estimated that knowledge, defined as the disciplinary base published and recorded, took 1,750 years to double in the period between 1A.D. and the year 1,750 A.D. It then doubled in volume, successively, in 150 years, 50 years, and now, every five years. It is estimated that by the year 2020, this knowledge base will double in 73 days.”

All this is found in its lingua franca, English.

The first political coalition to be brave enough to distinguish between language and knowledge will be the progressive government that the people are looking for.

Remember, when PPSMI was introduced in 2003, Barisan Nasional recorded a landslide victory a year later.

Food for thought as we savour the rendang, dim sum or curry that most tickles our fancy on public holidays. Season’s greetings and a Happy New Year.

The writer is chairman of pro-progress Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE), a national education watchdog.

Sekolah Malaysia raih emas robot dunia

31 Disember 2012, Isnin

Kontinjen Malaysia meraikan kejayaan memenangi satu emas dan beberapa anugerah lain dalam pertandingan International Robot Olympiad 2012 di Gwangju, Korea Selatan, baru-baru ini.

Kontinjen Malaysia yang disertai oleh 18 orang pelajar dan lima guru berjaya mengharumkan nama negara apabila memenangi satu emas, dua gangsa dan tiga Anugerah Khas dalam International Robot Olympiad 2012 di Gwangju, Korea Selatan, baru-baru ini.

Ketua Kontinjen, Halimah Karim berkata, pencapaian itu merupakan yang terbaik pernah dicapai oleh pasukan Malaysia sejak lima tahun lepas.

“Malah lebih membanggakan apabila pasukan kita berjaya memenangi hampir kesemua anugerah yang dipertandingkan dalam kategori kreatif,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan melalui e-mel baru-baru ini.

Pasukan Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) Kota Kinabalu telah mendapat pingat emas kategori kreatif melalui robot ciptaan mereka yang berperanan menjaga kesihatan warga emas.

Dalam kategori yang sama, MRSM Tun Abdul Razak Pekan dan MRSM Kuching masing-masing memenangi pingat gangsa.

Selain itu, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Seri Bintang Selatan dan MRSM Kuching berjaya memenangi dua anugerah Highly Commended dan satu anugerah Technical Award.

Kategori lain yang turut dipertandingkan ialah Robot Prison Break dan Robot Transporter.

Pertandingan dengan tema Caring For Age People itu disertai oleh pasukan dari seluruh dunia seperti Kanada, Amerika Syarikat, Mexico, China, Korea Selatan dan Indonesia.

Pelbagai inovasi baharu dan kreatif telah dihasilkan dalam pertandingan anjuran IRO 2012 Comittee dengan kerjasama Gwangju Techno Park ini.

Pada pertandingan kali ini, kontinjen Malaysia turut disertai oleh beberapa ibu bapa pelajar sebagai tanda sokongan.

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