2011, Arkib Berita, Keselamatan Pelajar/Kesihatan

8 suffer burns in attack outside school

Thursday, March 03, 2011

A Year Five pupil of Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar, resting after receiving treatment at University Malaya Medical Centre yesterday.

A Year Five pupil of Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar, resting after receiving treatment at University Malaya Medical Centre yesterday.

KUALA LUMPUR: Eight schoolchildren were left screaming in pain after being splashed with a liquid by a motorcyclist yesterday here in Bukit Bandaraya.

The eight were pupils of Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Bandaraya in Bangsar.

They were waiting for their transport outside school when the attack took place.
The children, all in Year Five and Six, suffered burn sensations on their faces, arms and bodies.

They were taken to the University Malaya Medical Centre where they received outpatient treatment.

According to teacher R. Ragu, the incident occurred at 4.45pm when the eight, four boys and four girls, were waiting outside the school for their van.
“A motorcyclist clad in black and wearing a full-faced helmet rode past the schoolchildren and suddenly splashed some liquid on them,” he said at the hospital.

“I only realised what had happened when I heard several of them screaming and crying in the toilet.”

The van driver, Faridah Md Rahim, who rushed the children to hospital said the eight were frantically washing their hands and faces when she went into the school to look for them.
“When I heard what had happened, I quickly sent them to the hospital.”

Also at the hospital was parent Normah Shamsudin, 43, who said she rushed from her office at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre when she received a call from her daughter, Nurfarah Najihah, saying she was on the way to the hospital.

“I was worried when my daughter told me about the incident and that she had suffered burns.”

Of the eight, the worst casualty was 11-year-old Wan Mohd Arif Wan Din, who suffered a swollen eye when the liquid was splashed on his face.

His father, Wan Din Wan Sulaiman, 42, said he was notified by a teacher that his son had been involved in an accident and was in the hospital. He only learnt what had happened later on.

Event coordinator Sanie Abdul Rahman, 36, said her son, Aiman Bahzi, 11, suffered minor burns and expressed hope that the Education Ministry would intervene to ensure their children’s safety.

It is understood that this was the second time such an incident had occurred at the school.

It is believed that the same suspect had struck at the same school and Sekolah Menengah Bukit Bandaraya on the same day two weeks ago.

It is learnt that the victims in those incidents were parents waiting for their children outside the schools.

Brickfields police chief Assistant Commissioner Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid confirmed yesterday’s incident but declined to comment further.

2011, Arkib Berita, Keselamatan Pelajar/Kesihatan, Masalah Pelajar

Two nabbed for attacking fellow student

Posted on March 3, 2011, Thursday


KUCHING: Two male students of a secondary school in Batu Kawah, suspected to be linked to a fighting case, were arrested by the police yesterday.

FURTHER INVESTIGATION: A police officer bringing the two suspects to the police station for questioning.

The students aged 16 and 17 were alleged to have attacked a 16-year-old student at the school on the afternoon of Feb 28.

Three outsiders were also said to be involved in the case.

During the incident, the victim suffered head and face injuries. After relating his ordeal to his family, he was brought to the police station to lodge a report.

The police then went to the school and identified the suspects yesterday morning.

According to the police, they also had identified a few other suspects and were looking for them.

Yesterday’s arrest was made just a day after three students from a school in Kota Sentosa were arrested for extorting a fellow student.

2011, Arkib Berita, Keselamatan Pelajar/Kesihatan, Masalah Pelajar

Children facing extortion urged to expose culprits

Posted on March 3, 2011, Thursday


SIBU: Children faced with threats or being extorted are urged to pick up their courage to expose their predicament so that relevant authorities could take necessary action against the parties involved.

Datin Fatimah Abdullah

Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datin Fatimah Abdullah advised them not to suffer in silence as that would be extremely stressful and might affect their studies.

She also suggested schools to come up with ways for students or whistle blowers to highlight such incident without jeopardising their identity and safety.

“Victims are sometimes afraid to come forward as perhaps, they have been warned not to report the incident. It happens in schools or society at large.

“This is a mirror of what is happening in our society,” Fatimah told The Borneo Post when asked to comment on the incident, where a student was alleged to have been extorted in school.

It was reported that the alleged extortionists comprised of a Form Two student and a transition student from the same school.

The mother of the victim claimed the alleged incident had affected his son’s behaviour, where he would confine himself to his room after school and refuse to eat or sleep.

To this, Fatimah added: “This is really sad and it must have been very stressful for the boy. Somebody in the school must have witnessed or heard about this and should have reported the matter earlier.”

She figured the child in this case was too frightened to speak up and chose to suffer in silence.

“If no reports were made, it was difficult to take actions against those in the wrong,” the minister stressed, highlighting a scenario where those affected were frightful to come forward.

Explaining the procedure, she said once school authority learned of such matter, they would investigate and mete out appropriate disciplinary actions.

Giving advice, she suggested that students under pressure highlight their plight to their teacher or anybody in school having authority to deal with such matter.

“If they are scared and worried to report, they can get someone to help them to report the matter. It needs to be reported so that immediate actions can be taken,” she said.

Fatimah noted in some schools, there were boxes for students to put forth their complaints or suggestions.

Her candid observation: “Perhaps, this can be used for students to make known their problems where they need not reveal their personal information. Furthermore, their identity would be protected as they were not seen physically to make the report.”

On the incident, she said since this was a police case, the school needed to wait for the outcome of the police investigation.

The school, she said, had started their own investigation into the matter.

“The school will look at both reports and mete out punishment according to the severity of the offence,” she said, adding that parents of both parties would be called to the school.

Asked on the type of actions, she said extortion, taking drugs and fighting in school were categorised as serious offences.

Hence, she said punishments would be meted out according to the seriousness of the offence and in accordance with the school rules and regulations.

“Parents would be called in and informed about the type of punishment to be meted out. This can be caning or suspension from school for a certain period of time, depending on the seriousness of the offence,” she explained, adding that the suspension could be for few days or even a week.

When contacted in Kuching, Sarawak Teachers Union (STU) president William Ghani Bina advised the victims to lodge police reports immediately.

“Don’t be afraid to lodge a police report if you are being threatened by a group or whoever,” he advised.

He said he considered the case as serious as it is a criminal act.

Ghani pointed out that parents must play the important role of ensuring that their children are safe from any irresponsible elements.

Meanwhile, the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of SMK Sg Tapang has clarified that the extortionists were not students from the school.

Its president Bong Kuet Fong said the extortionists were from Stakan area.

In a statement issued yesterday, Fong clarified that the affected student is not a member of the syndicate but is a victim of circumstances.

“All the happenings occurred outside the school during non-school hours whereas this incident is an isolated case which involves only a few students,” Bong claimed.

He mentioned that all those involved had been identified and the outsiders involved had been detained by the police.

The school itself, he said, was free from gangsterism and drug syndicates. The school had also taken measures to prevent unauthorised entry into its compound.

2011, Arkib Berita, Forum, Masalah Guru, Masalah Pelajar, Rencana, Surat

A maths teacher’s formula for happiness

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

by Ignatius Loh Chwe Chu

After finishing high schooI, I had a problem deciding on a career. It was a choice between becoming a teacher or a pharmacist.

In the end, the former won out as that would allow me to do two things I love at the same time: teach my favourite subjects mathematics and chemistry, and interact with people.

Mathematics is close to my heart. Almost nothing gives me greater satisfaction than solving a mathematical problem.
In my opinion, the present method of proving a mathematical solution is not as fulfilling as back then when we had to do a lot of thinking through to come up with the result.

Nowadays, students tend to memorise textbooks or follow memory patterns of previous mathematical workings to solve problems, in a cut-and-paste like manner. Such methods clearly do not require thinking.

As for chemistry, my teaching methods might be considered unconventional by some as my emphasis was on practical work.
I would attribute the high level of passes in my class to the students’ hard work and their parents’ support.

I have no regrets becoming a teacher. It has been a rewarding career.

Every child is special, and I treated my charges with love and care. To me, they were not merely pupils, they were my children.
I had a pupil who was grief-stricken by her mother’s death. As well as providing her with the love and care that she needed, I also took care of the practical aspects such as grocery shopping while she recovered. I also taught her to prepare simple meals.

She had a brother, who was mentally challenged.

She has remained close to me through the years.

I had another pupil who had lost a father. The sole provider in the family was his mother, who sold laksa. He had an old grandmother who needed care. This boy had to work part-time in the market to help make ends meet.

I was compelled to help when the family’s plight reached my ears. The boy was accepted in Universiti Sains Malaysia, but he was hampered by a lack of funds.

As a teacher, I felt that it was my duty to help and I am glad to have played some part in enabling him to receive a university education.

I believe in being a a role model for my pupils. There is in me the passion to teach as I know that education is the pathway to a more meaningful life.

Besides academic excellence, personality and character development are also essential for a student to excel in career and life.

In my early 30s, I declined to double as an administrator because I wanted to focus on teaching and grooming my pupils.

I am a member of 10 years of the Teacher’s Christian Fellowship. I have organised national fellowship gatherings for teachers. During the gatherings, we also hold talks that help the teachers to better understand their roles and responsibilities, among others.

I would like to remind those in the profession that being a teacher means touching lives.

One person I most admire is Chua Yen Ching, a Singaporean teacher. She had her pick of more lucrative jobs, but she chose to teach.

This big-hearted woman has had young thugs and delinquents in her class. The result? They are transformed into star pupils.

I once taught a top student who chose to become a teacher instead of a doctor because she saw the value of touching lives.

Though I am retired, my house remains always open to my students, who still keep in touch with me.

Preparing lessons has always been a joy, but now I spend my days learning information technology.

I come from a loving family. I am the fourth of five siblings. My grandfather donated land to build a primary school, and my parents. did the same.

I would dearly love to see more quality teachers these days because I believe that without the guidance of good teachers, students would not be well prepared for life after school.

To me, teachers who denigrate their pupils with words like “stupid” can adversely affect their character development.

I believe that if one has money but not a loving family, then one has not yet succeeded.

Now I spend more time with my daughter. A mother plays a vital role in keeping the family close. Do not leave everything to the maid and career is not everything.

I urge the government to build learning centres for school dropouts who need to be equipped with marketable skills to survive in a dog-eat-dog world.

Ignatius Loh Chwe Chu served SMK Infant Jesus Convent for 22 years. She recently celebrated her retirement.

Interview by Shenton Thomas De Silva

2011, Arkib Berita, Keibubapaan, Masalah Guru, Masalah Pelajar, Surat

Dealing with big classes not easy

Thursday March 3, 2011



HAVING taught since 1974, I would say that I have dealt with parents, teachers and pupils of varying personalities.

Just like we have parents who are appreciative and children who are a dream to have in class (not necessarily brilliant), we also have those who can break our day.

A parent may only have two or three children to deal with, but a teacher can face a minimum of 150 a day.

A disturbance created by one child can spoil a lesson for the whole class.

Yes, there are counsellors, but there are parents who would rather their children not see them for the case will be documented.

Children should understand that the home and school environment are entirely different and it is the parent’s duty to explain this to them before they go to school.

Yes, we do empathise with children who have problems, but we cannot give total attention to one child at the expense of others. There are also children who burst into tears at the sight of their parents when they have been perfectly fine the rest of the day.

Let your children grow up.

The world is not going to mollycoddle them after they leave school.

If they cannot cope with stress in secondary school, they will never be able to cope with other problems later in life.

I scold my pupils as I scold my own children, but they know I care about them.

I’d like to mention the fact that many children have confided in me that they love their parents but they are stressed out by their expectations.

Parents who work well with the teachers have problem-free children.

We would all like to have perfect teachers for our children but first, we must make sure that we are the perfect parents.


Petaling Jaya.

2011, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Masalah Pelajar, Peperiksaan, Surat

Time to rethink how we grade students

Thursday March 3, 2011



THE SPM results will be out soon and as usual, we can expect thousands of our students getting straight A’s.

For those who deserve the A’s, well done and congratulations.

Having said that, I feel the Education Ministry must review and revalue its method of grading test papers and awarding A’s.

If a student cannot even string together a simple sentence without making several grammatical errors and yet scores an ‘A’ for English, we must seriously question the quality and accuracy of the grading method.

I was at the hospital to visit a friend and saw a bulletin board in the ward with thank you notes.

One was from a batch of trainee nurses thanking the staff for their help.

But one particular statement caught my attention. It read, “Thank you for your helpness (sic) …”

The saddest thing about this is that we are giving our students (and professionals) a false sense of their abilities.

They sincerely believe that their command of the language is excellent because they have scored a distinction in their SPM.

How long must we keep fooling ourselves?

Surely we do not wish to produce, besides graduates who have a poor command of English, a horde of mediocre professionals in other fields as well?



2011, Aliran, Arkib Berita, Biasiswa/Pinjaman/Bantuan/Insentif, Pembangunan Sekolah

Mission schools set to get RM70mil special allocation

Wednesday March 2, 2011




MIRI: After complaints of neglect and lack of funding, things are finally looking up for mission schools in the country.

The Federal Government has approved a special allocation and Sarawak will be getting a fair share of the RM70mil.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan told Star Sarawak: “This special fund from the Federal side is meant to help mission schools for this year alone. Next year will be another consideration.

“Mission schools in Sarawak will get a fair share. A proper detailed plan will be worked out to enable them to get the amount they really need.”

“Mission schools in Sarawak and the rest of Malaysia have played a pivotal role in the education system. They have produced a lot of important state and national leaders in the political, business and social arenas.

“This allocation is testimony that the ruling government acknowledges their important role,” he said.

“I know these schools have voiced out a lot of their grievances over lack of funds and other development issues. We in the government have heard their plights and we are responding swiftly to address the problems they are facing. They will get their much-needed funds soon,’’ he said yesterday.

Miri Catholic Diocese head Reverend Bishop Anthony Lee Kok Hin highlighted the woes blighting mission schools on Sunday.

Dr Chan, who is Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president, said he acknowledged the frustration and disappointment expressed by Bishop Lee and the management of other mission schools in other parts of Sarawak, including in Kuching.

“I have already spoken to the Bishop Lee about the various issues he brought up.

“The state government and SUPP have always spoken to the Federal Government on the need to address the problems faced by mission schools,” he said.

“These schools need a lot of funds to finance their management and maintenance just to keep themselves going.

“SUPP, the state and Federal governments, and Barisan Nasional as a whole, acknowledge that mission schools are an indispensable part of our nation’s education system.

“On the part of SUPP, we will always fight for a better deal for these mission schools and will try to resolve the problems they face as best as we can,’’ he stressed.

Asked if the RM70mil was meant for repair works in these schools, he said it was more for management purposes.

“For urgent repairs of school buildings, classrooms, teachers’ quarters or laboratories, they can be addressed through other specific funds meant for such purposes,’’ Dr Chan said.

On Sunday, Bishop Lee said mission schools were being literally forced to privatise their management in order to survive because they were not getting enough financial and moral support from the government.

He said allocations from the Education Ministry were often slow and even when given, they were not enough to meet the costs of repairing damaged facilities in the schools.

Bishop Lee said if not given adequate attention, the plight of the schools would become a political issue.

It was reported last month that the Kuching Catholic Archdiocese wanted to privatise the management of St Joseph primary and secondary schools in Kuching due to similar problems.

Dr Chan yesterday said that he would continue to hold regular dialogues with the church to look into the problems.