Schools play vital role in ensuring social wellness

Posted on October 16, 2011, Sunday

by Cecilia B Sman.

WELL-DONE: Fatimah presenting the Excellent Student Award (Pra-U 2011 & Anugerah Pengetua 2011) to Chew Choon Man in the presence of the principal, Marcus and Chew’s mother.

MIRI: Schools need to be aware that they do not exist in a vacuum, but play important roles in ensuring social wellness in the society.

Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said in this respect, schools must ensure a balanced development for their students.

“What happens in schools have great impact on the society. Excellence must go beyond grades and figures,” said Fatimah when officiating at the presentation of Students’ Excellent Awards 2011 for Lopeng Government Secondary School (SMK) in Miri yesterday.

Among those present were the principal of the school Marcus Raja, teachers, the school’s chairman of the Parents-Teachers Association, Catherine Ting, members of the Association and community leaders.

Fatimah was happy that
SMK Lopeng had positioned itself in the Band 4 (2009 – 2010) category of schools, based on the National Key Results Area (NKRA).

“Your academic achievements are very commendable – in terms of PMR results, you are placed in position 30 out of the 170 schools, in SPM – 33 out of the 173 secondary schools in the state and in STPM, the results increased from GPS 2.54 to

She believed with concerted efforts of all – principals, teachers, students and parents, SMK Lopeng could soon achieve the status of top performing school.

Among the efforts they could take were working on a systematic programme to help dyslexic students, as well as taking stock of suggestions even from student leaders on how to improve teaching and learning methods.

On the dyslexia programme for the school, Fatimah who is also the Dyslexia Association of Sarawak’s advisor assured that she will assist the school, adding that early detection and intervention was important so that dyslexic students could cope with their studies.

This included getting Professor Dr Ong Puay Hoon – Dyslexia Association of Sarawak president to visit the school

Ministry needs evidence of manipulation by education officers

Sunday October 16, 2011


SEREMBAN: The Education Ministry needs proof before it can act against allegations of its officers manipulating data to favour schools for aid and recognition.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said it was imperative that those who had such evidence forward it to his ministry so that appropriate action could be taken.

“If there is proof, then please forward it to me so that I can act on it,” he told teachers during a dialogue at the Raja Melewar Teacher’s Institute here yesterday.

He was responding to a report that a headmaster had claimed that education officials manipulated data to ensure only certain schools, particularly the residential ones, benefited from the various programmes and aid.

Muhyiddin said such allegations could have been made as there was stiff competition from schools to gain recognition such as the high performance school status (sekolah berprestasi tinggi).

He also said the Government would seek input from all quarters before reviewing the National Education Policy.

“We have set up a committee comprising experts from here and abroad to look into this. We will solicit views from the relevant stakeholders so that we will have a policy that is acceptable,” he said, adding that the committee would need a year to complete the review.

In Port Dickson, Muhyiddin said parents would be able to collect RM100 for each of their school-going children announced during the Budget 2012 from their respective schools as early as December if a request by the ministry is endorsed by the Government.

Muhyiddin said he had raised the matter with the Prime Minister during Friday’s Cabinet meeting and the premier was receptive to the idea.

“Although funds allocated under the budget are only allowed to be disbursed from January, he has asked this case to be given special consideration as parents will be buying their children’s uniforms and other school items before the new term begins,” he told reporters after a meet-the-people session in Kg Paya.

On a separate matter, Muhyiddin said the Government may look for new source countries for maids if the supply from Indonesia and Cambodia was not restored soon.

He expressed hope that the matter would be resolved when Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak meets Indonesian leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Lombok next week.

20 trainee teachers make benchmark visit to Sainsri

Posted on September 30, 2011, Friday
BENCHMARK VISIT: (From sixth left, front) Serina, Ira, and other participants at SM Sains Miri.

MIRI: Twenty trainee teachers from the Teacher Education Institute, Sarawak Campus (IPGKS) made a benchmark visit to SM Sains Miri (Sainsri) in Bakam here recently.

Accompanied by lecturer-advisor Ira Bhattacharyya from IPGKS, they were welcomed by Sainsri principal Hajah Serina Sauni, who is also an ‘Excellent Principal’ (“Pengetua Cemerlang”), together with her team of ‘Excellent Teachers’ (“Guru Cemerlang”) and four young ambassadors of selected students.

“Our main purpose is to meet the team consisting of ‘Excellent Principal and Excellent Teachers’ of Sainsri to learn how they instil the culture of excellence in their school,” said trainee teacher and organising chairman Mohamad Khairuddin Mohamad Zatar.

The trainees from the PISMP intake for Primary School Mathematics, now in their sixth semester, took the opportunity to learn from the experience of ‘Excellent Teacher’ in Mathematics, Norsyafikhoh Abdul Ghani in preparing for a career path leading to an ‘Excellent Teacher’.

“We admire the enthusiasm shown by Hajah Serina, Cikgu Norsyafikhoh and all the teachers in putting their skills, passion, and knowledge into action, while the young ambassadors impressed us with their confidence and leadership abilities,”remarked Khairuddin.

The Teachers’ Character Building (BIG) programme, now in its sixth phase, provided the trainees the chance to develop their knowledge and leadership potential by participating in camps, seminars, talks, forums and benchmark visits to ‘Excellent Schools’ (“Sekolah Cemerlang”).

It is also a means to inculcate a spirit of cooperation and solidarity among trainees with the community outside the campus.

Meanwhile, Ira said that the visit to a ‘High Performance School’ would help trainees identify and analyse the qualities necessary to develop excellence in the teaching profession, as well as to prepare them for challenging tasks in future, particularly to fulfil the nation’s vision for excellence in all fields of education.

In the closing ceremony, Ira accompanied by Khairuddin presented a book “SPM Maths Made Easy” to Serina as a token of their appreciation.

The book is a compilation of SPM questions based on the latest format designed to help students solve challenging mathematics questions, and also marks the first time the group published their work.

The visit was completed with visits to the Academic Building, a walk through the state-level award-winning anti-dadah corridor and around the school compound with beautifully landscaped garden.

Serina advised trainees to start now and start it right, never underestimating the teaching profession.

“Smile whenever facing your students in class – they will be more cheerful, relaxed and attentive, you’ll be surprised at how effective your lesson will be,” said Serina who emphasised on the importance of catering to the students’ needs and working as a team.

Serina also highlighted human resource development as the key to success.

Holding on to these principles helped Sainsri to be listed as one of the 23 ‘High Performing Schools, Second Phase’ in 2011.

Sainsri which started in 1990 with only five teachers including the principal has consistently produced excellent students and most of the alumni hold prominent positions in society today.

31 named as high performance schools

Monday, July 18, 2011

KUALA NERANG:Thirty-one of 152 schools recognised as Cluster Schools Of Excellence or “Sekolah Kluster Kecemerlangan” (SKK) have been given high performance school status, Director-general of Education Datuk Abdul Ghafar Mahmud said yesterday.

He said the success was an indication that SKK spurred excellence at national and international levels.

“SKK has also created numerous achievements at national and international levels.
“Their students who took part in the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) in Australia were conferred Highly Commended and High Distinction awards,” he said during the closing of the SKK North Zone Carnival here.

His speech was read by Residential School Management and School of Excellence Division director Rosland Hussein.

Ghafar said, for the niche areas in co-curriculum, SKK had created a name at international levels and indirectly boosted Malaysia’s image on the world stage.
“In the first six months of this year, SKK succeeded in more than 50 international programmes.”

Ghafar said one of the successes was Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Lutong in Miri, Sarawak which garnered a gold and a silver medal at the Apec Young Scientist Conference in Taipei, Taiwan.

During the three-day carnival, which began on Friday at SMK Datuk Syed Ahmad here, seven schools from Kedah, four from Perlis and six from Penang were picked as SKK for the Northern Zone. — Bernama

Scoring through ‘Lesson Study’

Friday, July 08, 2011

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Education Minister, visiting pupils of Sekolah Kebangsaan Ulu Lubai  in Sarawak with his wife, Puan Sri Norainee Abdul Rahman. The school is one of the country’s high-performing schools.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Education Minister, visiting pupils of Sekolah Kebangsaan Ulu Lubai in Sarawak with his wife, Puan Sri Norainee Abdul Rahman. The school is one of the country’s high-performing schools.

THE Professional Learning Community (PLC) concept is designed to improve teaching practices through the implementation of the “Lesson Study” approach.

The approach is a professional development process where teachers systematically improve their teaching practices in order to provide a positive impact on student learning.

It is one of the initiatives under the Education National Key Results Area (NKRA), with the aim of improving examination results. Towards this end, four major subjects have been identified for this programme, namely English, Mathematics, Science and History.
Education Ministry deputy director-general for policy, Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof, says 289 teachers under the Bands 6 and 7 subject grade average nationwide and 99 district education officers have been assigned to attend four-day workshop sessions on the Lesson Study programme.

“There are four expected target results (ETR), which are to increase the quality of teaching; improving the student’s attendance, improving the student’s behaviour and improving the student’s results.”

The PLC is implemented via the top-down method and supported by a monitoring and supervision system.
Khair says the programme is easily implemented by teachers with the support of their headmaster and colleagues.

“The PLC encourages teachers to apply the best teaching practices in delivering their lessons. Thus, sharing these best teaching practices will make teachers aware of what is good for their students.

“The Lesson Study (LS) requires teachers to work together. We believe that teachers are best positioned to determine strategies and ways to improve the students’ learning outcome. The LS process also engages ‘knowledgeable others’ to further improve the system.”
The PLC Lesson Study is implemented over several stages.

In the first stage, teachers are exposed to the LS method. This is then followed by implementation of LS at the school in two separate cycles, with monitoring done by the Teacher’s Education Division.

“It is hoped that the teachers will pick it up from here and make LS a part of their strategies to improve teaching-learning.

“In PLC Lesson Study, the teachers allow their colleagues to observe their teaching methods. Thus, the teachers can learn by watching how a colleague teaches.”

Teachers have been very responsive to the method and eager to try it out in their respective schools.

“Even though not all are willing to accept this method, they are open to ideas that can improve students’ performances.

“While they understand that this approach will not show results any time soon, they are optimistic that it is good for them in the long run.”

The main concern for now is time, as the teachers find it difficult to have time together. The heavy workload and other administrative duties have reduced the time available to participate in LS.

“From what we have seen and observed, plus the feedback obtained from teachers, we can say that if a teacher is passionate about teaching and is interested in the learning of her charges, he or she will be very receptive to this new idea.

“PLC is a teaching community; thus everyone attending the course is already a community by itself. From this, teachers can get help from others if any assistance is needed.

The PLC Portal will be the medium for the community to discuss and share their best practices, lesson plans and problems. All of these positive elements will add a positive impact to the improvement of schools.”

Khair says it will be difficult to gauge its impact in the short term, but believes that in the long term, the Lesson Study approach will be part of the school culture and change the mindset of teachers in Malaysia.

Driving excellence with improvement programme

Friday, July 08, 2011

THE School Improvement Programme (SIP) was launched last year as a comprehensive and ambitious effort to challenge and motivate all public schools to improve students outcome, especially for those under-performing ones.

Education Ministry deputy director-general Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof says the SIP is a holistic effort to help schools raise their aspirations and enhance their performances.

“The SIP is not the first initiative to drive excellence in Malaysia’s education system.
“Rather, it helps to accelerate and amplify existing efforts so that results are delivered bigger, faster and in tandem with the Government Transformation Programme (GTP).”

Khair says SIP caters to the need of every school and avoids enforcing a “one-size-fits all” solution, as it takes into account their uniqueness and context.

Beginning last year, all 9,814 public schools in the country are ranked and categorised according to bands.
The bands are intended to provide a snapshot of the school’s performance and to establish a starting point against which targets and future improvement can be measured.

This performance band helps the ministry to identify the schools that will require the most support in order to improve.

Banding is done by grouping schools into seven performance categories based on results of the public school examinations and annual self assessment instrument developed by the school inspectorate. The bands are from Band 1, which consist of the top performing schools, to Band 7, which are under-performing schools.
The programme’s objectives are to give guidance to principals and head teachers of all under-performing schools, particularly those in Bands 6 and 7, through the School Improvement Partners (SI Partners) and School Improvement Specialist Coaches (SISC) programmes.

SI Partners are chosen from lecturers and excellent head teachers throughout Malaysia while SISC are chosen from excellent teachers.

Last year, 297 SI Partners and 144 SISC were sent to 209 primary schools and 100 secondary schools in Bands 6 and 7.

“Thanks to this service line and support under SIP, the number of Band 6 and 7 schools has dropped from 209 to 140 for primary schools and 428 to 240 for secondary schools.

“Each SI Partner and SISC had to undergo three to five days of training at least once a year to upgrade and enhance their coaching and mentoring skills.”

SI Partners and SISC need to visit their respective schools a minimum of three times a year, in addition to continuing mentoring via email or Skype.

“This year, the Professional Learning Community (PLC) Programme was introduced to risk schools in Bands 6 and 7.

The state education departments and district education officers will be responsible for designing programmes to help schools in Bands 3, 4 and 5.”

The main target for the ministry is to ensure that there will be no schools in Bands 6 and 7 in the near future.

The Key Performance Index target under the SIP is to reduce schools in Bands 6 and 7 by 20 per cent by next year.

Ranking to gauge performance of schools

Friday, July 08, 2011

 SCHOOLS are ranked today to provide a macro view of their overall performance. The methodology used is a weighted combination of the School Grade Point Average (70 per cent) and a school self-assessment in the form of the Standard Quality of Education in Malaysia (30 per cent), which then forms the Composite Score (100 per cent).

The composite scores of all schools are banded according to percentiles. For example, the lowest percentile indicates the under-performing set of schools.

However, the rankings is not to “name and shame” but instead, to identify the schools that need support to improve their performances.
Schools are ranked annually based on the results of the public school examinations (Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah, Penilaian Menengah Rendah, Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, Sijil Tinggi Pengajaran Malaysia) and the annual self-assessment instrument.

Monetary and non-monetary forms of rewards will be given to the better performing schools and also to schools which have shown the most improvement in terms of ranking.

Under-performing schools will be supported via, among others, skill enhancement, retraining, counselling and a performance development programme.
Based on key observations and past experience, several characteristics have been noted to be essential for success. They are good leadership, quality teaching, conducive operating environment, positive parent and community engagement and positive outcomes in classroom and co-curriculum activities.

Migration to a better school is usually not encouraged.

However, the government has launched the School Improvement Programme to address the weaknesses of under-performing schools and the PLC to support teachers.
The programme is targeted to help these schools transition quickly and smoothly to the next performance level.

Kenal pasti sekolah cemerlang

05 Julai 2011, Selasa
oleh Norizan Abdul Muhid

MELAKA 4 Julai – Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin mengarahkan Kementerian Pelajaran dan agensi di bawahnya agar proaktif mengenal pasti mana-mana sekolah cemerlang di seluruh negara.

Kata Timbalan Perdana Menteri itu, langkah tersebut bertujuan bagi membolehkan bantuan disalurkan supaya sekolah terlibat mampu menyediakan kemudahan pendidikan lebih berkualiti.

Beliau yang juga Menteri Pelajaran berkata, sekolah yang dipilih itu mestilah cemerlang namun masih belum layak diiktiraf sebagai Sekolah Berprestasi Tinggi (SBT) disebabkan terdapat kelemahan dalam bidang-bidang tertentu.

”Di bawah usaha ini, kita akan ambil langkah proaktif untuk tentukan kekurangan bidang yang dihadapi sekolah terlibat, umpamanya tiada konsep antarabangsa atau tiada jalinan kerjasama antarabangsa sekolah itu dengan sekolah luar negara lain atau tiada pertukaran pelajar.

”Jika sekolah terlibat mengalami kekurangan dalam bidang seperti itu, kita akan usahakan untuk bantu sekolah tersebut meningkatkan kualiti kemudahan pendidikan sekolah mereka” katanya.

Beliau menyatakan demikian ketika berucap pada majlis Pemimpin Bersama Warga Pendidik yang turut dihadiri Ketua Menteri, Datuk Seri Mohd. Ali Rustam di sini hari ini.

Lebih 2,000 warga pendidik terdiri daripada guru besar, pengetua dan Persatuan Ibu Bapa dan Guru (PIBG) sekolah dari seluruh negeri menghadiri majlis tersebut yang berlangsung di Dewan Seri Negeri, Ayer Keroh.

Kata Timbalan Perdana Menteri, usaha itu diharap mendorong warga pendidik khususnya guru besar dan pengetua untuk menentukan hala baru sekolah masing-masing sekali gus menepati keperluan kualiti pendidikan negara.

”Saya sebut begini agar kita dapat mencabar keupayaan kita, setidak-tidaknya pengetua dan pimpinan sekolah ada sasaran baru untuk tentukan hala tuju sekolah yang kita pimpin sekarang ini sehingga ia boleh mencapai tahap pendidikan bertaraf dunia,” katanya.

Selain itu, mengenai rancangan kementerian menjadikan mata pelajaran bahasa Inggeris sebagai wajib lulus dalam peperiksaan Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), katanya, perkara itu hanya akan dilaksanakan setelah keperluan tenaga guru mata pelajaran itu sudah mencukupi dan cukup terlatih.

”Mungkin tidak berapa lama lagi saya akan umumkan mengenai perkara ini kerana sekarang kementerian tidak cukup lagi untuk sampai ke tahap itu, nanti bila kita sudah ada guru bahasa Inggeris yang mencukupi dan sudah menguji dasar itu, barulah boleh kita laksanakan ia dengan baik,” katanya.

Berhubung pendidikan pra sekolah, beliau meminta kerjasama pihak swasta agar tampil membantu kerajaan menyediakan kemudahan sekolah di peringkat itu dengan kerajaan bersedia menampung pembiayaan modal sejumlah RM10,000 kepada mereka yang berminat

Mahasiswa dinasihat utama pelajaran, jangan diperkuda retorik kepartian

Khamis , 23 Jun 2011

PEMBANGUNAN dalam sistem pendidikan negara dilihat semakin rancak dijalankan, dari peringkat sekolah rendah sehinggalah ke institusi pengajian tinggi. Konsep ‘Sekolah Kluster’, ‘Sekolah Berprestasi Tinggi’, ‘Sekolah Bestari’, ‘Universiti Cemerlang’ dan yang terbaru yang bakal diwujudkan, Universiti Pendidikan Sosial menampakkan kejujuran kerajaan dalam mempertingkatkan mutu sistem pendidikan dalam negara.

Semua ini adalah untuk melihat kelahiran generasi pemangkin kepada kecemerlangan pengurusan negara pada masa akan datang.

Namun, akhir-akhir ini juga polemik politik tanah air tidak menampakkan adanya tanda-tanda hasrat utama pendidikan negara itu berjaya direalisasikan.

Pelajar, khususnya mahasiswa tidak kelihatan menyambut baik kemajuan pendidikan yang ada, apa lagi mahu berdiskusi serta menganalisis ruang yang ada untuk digunakan bagi mempertingkatkan lagi kefahaman mereka untuk masa hadapan. Apa yang pasti, mahasiswa kini lebih banyak beretorik dalam isu politik tanpa benar-benar memahami agenda tersembunyi di sebalik polemik ini.

Kelibat mahasiswa dalam beberapa program bersifat kepartian sudah tidak boleh dinafikan lagi. Kecenderungan mereka untuk mengguna pakai idea yang kabur lagi keliru terus menjadi tanda tanya. Justeru, sejauh mana mereka ini akan terus diperkuda tanpa memahami aspek perjuangan sebenar, yang selari dengan kedudukan mereka sebagai mahasiswa.

Perbincangan yang bersifat intelektual tidak lagi dijadikan keutamaan dalam kehidupan mahasiswa sedangkan itulah aspek utama yang sebati dengan keupayaan mereka, yakni kemampuan menghurai isu yang ada pada hari ini dengan lebih matang dan terperinci sesuai dengan kedudukan mereka sebagai ‘pencari ilmu’.


Skim tawaran, insentif guru diperinci

22 Jun 2011, Rabu
Muhyiddin Yassin bersama Muhammad Khailani Abdul Jalil (dua dari kiri) bersama buku Jejak Warisan di Subang Jaya, semalam. Turut hadir, Noh Omar.


KUALA LUMPUR 21 Jun – Kerajaan sedang memperincikan skim tawaran baru dan bayaran insentif kepada guru seperti yang diumumkan pada sambutan Hari Guru Peringkat Kebangsaan di Kuching, Sarawak bulan lalu.

Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin berkata, perincian di peringkat makmal itu bukan sahaja melibatkan soal imbuhan pengetua tetapi perjawatan perguruan secara keseluruhan.

“Selepas pengumuman mengenai skim tawaran baru itu dibuat, banyak rungutan diterima khususnya daripada Pegawai Pendidikan Lepasan Diploma (PPLD) dan beberapa kesatuan guru.

“Jadi, kita kini sedang di peringkat makmal untuk memperincikan perkara itu. Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak juga mahu perkara ini diteliti secara serius. Saya juga telah membawa perkara ini di dalam mesyuarat Kabinet,” katanya.

Muhyiddin yang juga Menteri Pelajaran berkata demikian ketika berucap merasmikan Persidangan Kebangsaan Pengurusan Pendidikan Pengetua Sekolah Malaysia ke-50 bertemakan Kepimpinan Holistik Menjana Transformasi Pendidikan Negara di sini malam ini.

Turut hadir, Menteri Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani, Datuk Seri Noh Omar dan Pemangku yang Dipertua Majlis Pengetua Sekolah Malaysia, Muhammad Khailani Abdul Jalil

Pada sambutan Hari Guru peringkat kebangsaan di Kuching bulan lalu, Muhyiddin mengumumkan bayaran insentif tawaran baru dan bayaran insentif sekolah berprestasi tinggi kepada pengetua, guru besar serta warga sekolah yang berjaya melonjakkan prestasi kecemerlangan di sekolah masing-masing.

Sementara itu, Timbalan Perdana Menteri berkata, sudah sampai masanya, institusi pendidikan khususnya sekolah mempunyai elemen organisasi berkeupayaan yang tersendiri.

Melalui elemen itu, katanya, setiap sekolah akan berupaya untuk melonjakkan kecemerlangannya dengan mengoptimumkan segala sumber yang dimiliki tanpa terlalu bergantung harap atau pertolongan mana-mana pihak.

Menurutnya lagi, sebagai pemimpin di peringkat akar umbi dalam sistem pendidikan, kepimpinan sekolah iaitu pengetua tidak boleh berfikiran secara statik kerana situasi kini memerlukan corak pemikiran dan tindakan yang berbeza.

“Beberapa inisiatif yang telah diperkenalkan oleh kerajaan seperti Sekolah Berprestasi Tinggi (SBT) dan Tawaran Baru (Bai’ah) boleh dijadikan sasaran untuk dicapai oleh seseorang pemimpin sekolah,” katanya

Di akhir ucapannya, Muhyiddin turut mengumumkan peruntukan tahunan berjumlah RM200,000 kepada Majlis Pengetua Sekolah Malaysia (MPSM) yang banyak memberikan sumbangan kepada sektor pendidikan negara serta tidak mempunyai dana khusus selepas 50 tahun ditubuhkan.