2011, Aliran, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Forum, Masalah Pelajar, Pembangunan Sekolah, Perpaduan, Subjek, Surat

The true way to national integration

Monday March 21, 2011

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/3/21/focus/8313527&sec=focus

 

WE refer to “Khairy also proposed that the Integration of Students for Unity Plan ‘be revived and given a bigger allocation’ as these two concepts needed to be inculcated during one’s formative years” in Parliament (The Star, March 17).

It is timely that YB Khairy Jamaluddin brings up this subject of unity.

Of late, there has been an explosion of views about our education system, the use of the English language and keeping it together as 1Malaysia.

The Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) would like to ask a simple question.

How will unity be achieved if our children are subjected to either race-based or income-driven divisions at school level even before they can even read or write?

The Malay children go to national schools, the Chinese to Chinese schools, the Indians to Tamil schools, the rich to private or international schools and the rest are split up among home schools, Islamic schools and residential schools.

Right under our noses, our children are separated by colour and status.

Is it because it is easier for the political powers to conquer the rakyat under the guise that mother tongue and culture are more important than knowledge?

Once our children are boxed up at a young age, their suspicion of each other would have been inculcated.

They are then expected to integrate in secondary schools and as a last resort at national service camps. By then it is too late.

The fact that 80% of the population is educated until SPM only, which may be seen by the public as political design, is done in order to tame the masses.

Unfortunately, the long-term impact is when the uneducated masses, instead of becoming resourceful, innovative and independent, begin to depend on and burden the government for jobs, contracts, subsidies, discounts and the like.

The teaching and learning of science and mathematics in English is the force that brings all the races into the national schools.

When properly and effectively implemented, national schools will be the school of choice.

With this in place, 60% of subject hours in national schools are in Bahasa Malaysia, and everybody in national schools will have a good command of Bahasa Malaysia unlike most students from Chinese and Tamil schools who, even if they manage to pass their Bahasa Malaysia exams, fail to communicate in it.

If the government is truly concerned about unity and raising the standard of education among the young of 1Malaysia, then return the teaching of science and mathematics in English as an option in primary and secondary national schools.

It will cut through all racial divides and we will witness its natural yet positive impact of complete integration before our very eyes.

Integration and inclusiveness is crucial and vital for peaceful sustainability.

Tengku Razaleigh had this to say as the Finance Minister in 1978: “We cannot progress in a situation of polarisation and tension among communities. Peace and progress must be based on political reason, wise decisions and tolerance; let us live together in diversity, let us fight on to forge unity from this diversity,” which is taken from ‘Viewpoints’ by Tunku Abdul Rahman.

DATIN NOOR AZIMAH ABDUL RAHMAN,
Chairperson,
Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE).

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2011, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Forum, Masalah Guru, Masalah Pelajar, PPSMI, Subjek, Surat

Bring old teachers to uplift language

Sunday March 20, 2011

http://thestar.com.my/education/story.asp?file=/2011/3/20/education/8275665&sec=education

THE lack of proficiency in English amongst those in our workforce is not something new.

I am sure that I am not the first person to write on this matter, neither am I going to be the last.

Whilst the reversal in teaching Mathematics and Science to Bahasa Malaysia is more or less “carved in stone”, and we are unable to do anything about it, let us see what can be done to uplift the standard of English especially among school-going children

There are many ways to improve our English, one of which is to encourage reading materials written in the language.

Learning is a lifelong process. We should not stop seeking knowledge old or young.

The Education Ministry should go all out to bring back the retired English teachers to teach the language on contract.

The ministry should also look into the possibility of bringing native English teachers from England (where the language originated), like what was done in the 60’s and 70’s, and not from other “English-speaking” countries.

We are saddened that the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English was aborted after only a few years of implementation.

Future policies on education should be carefully formulated as they can have far-reaching consequences.

They have a great impact especially on young lives.

For anything to succeed, there must be a concerted effort and measures taken by all concerned — parents, teachers, the community, the state and our leaders.

We should walk the talk, only then can our efforts succeed.

RIDZUAN JUSOH

Via e-mail

2011, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Forum, Masalah Guru, Masalah Pelajar, Pembangunan Sekolah, Peperiksaan, Sistem, Subjek, Surat

Need for changes in system

Sunday March 20, 2011

http://thestar.com.my/education/story.asp?file=/2011/3/20/education/8275829&sec=education

IT IS indeed sad that the authorities have done nothing but make a mockery of our education system.

Those in power fail to see the importance of English as a global language and if anything, our academic standards have dropped drastically.

Teachers and parents have long complained that many students who have certificates to validate their excellence or A’s in certain subjects especially in English Language, are later found to possess only about average or little competence in that subject.

Have we not heard of students who have never achieved a score of more than 20% in any of their school-based examinations, but who miraculously make the grade when major public examination results are announced?

It is not that no one knows about the flaws in the system, but officials in the relevant education departments at district and state level and others in more senior positions at the ministry, do not want to incur the wrath of those above them, including our political leaders.

We are indeed a mediocre lot. We seem to think that if we have some knowledge of a subject or speak a smattering of English, we are already speaking the language well.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in his recently launched book A doctor in the House that “half an education is no education at all”.

He adds that there must still be English as it is the language that will give the people of this country the education they seek.

Dr Mahathir adds that English can be a point of understanding and goodwill between the races in Malaysia, giving them opportunities to make the best use of their brains.

My point in raising the issue is that many of us are quite content with the standard of English and pat ourselves for a job well done!

It is when we get out of the country and join professionals in other fields from other nations, that we realise our English language setbacks.

We are merely heroes in our own backyard or what we refer to as jaguh kampung .

The powers-that-be are inconsistent about their policies and seem bent on doing things their way without any regard for the views of the majority.

They dislike those who question their authority and their handling of important issues like the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English (better known by its Malay acronym PPSMI), to its recent decision in making History a “must pass” subject in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination from 2013.

With regards to the PPSMI, would the reversal of the policy make us more patriotic?

As for the Ministry’s recent decision on making History a must-pass subject, would it mean that those who fail the subject be regarded any less Malaysian and unpatriotic?

The changes and inconsistencies in our education system is not paving the way for us to move forward. In fact, we are already stagnating and it won’t be long before we fall behind.

Those in power should take immediate measures to put our education system back on track.

NOT SO PROUD MALAYSIAN

Via e-mail

2011, Arkib Berita, Masalah Guru, Peperiksaan

Chinese independent school scholars can enrol to become teachers

Wednesday March 16, 2011

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/3/16/nation/8274902&sec=nation

By JOSHUA FOONG
joshuafoong@thestar.com.my

 

KUALA LUMPUR: Unified Exa­mination Certificate (UEC) graduates from Chinese independent schools, along with SPM qualifiers, can enrol in government teachers’ training colleges.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak agreed to this after a meeting with MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and party Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, who is also a Deputy Education Minister.

“With Najib’s timely and swift intervention, all misunderstandings (on the issue) have been ironed out,” Dr Chua told a press conference at Parliament House yesterday.

The UEC examination, an equivalent to the national schools’ STPM, is for students who complete six years of education in Chinese independent high schools.

A total of 60,481 students en­­rolled in 60 Chinese independent schools in the country last year.

The issue of UEC holders entering government teachers’ training colleges surfaced on Monday when the Education Ministry, on its website, advertised the enrolment to these colleges and opened applications to those with a minimum four credit passes in the SPM.

The ministry decided last De­­cember to also allow candidates with­­­­ a minimum of four credit passes in the UEC, including a mandatory pass in Mandarin and SPM-level Bahasa Malaysia, to enter these colleges.

“The Government stands by the decision in December and the notice on the ministry’s web­­­site has been corrected,” Dr Chua added.

2011, Arkib Berita, Keselamatan Pelajar/Kesihatan, Masalah Pelajar, Program, Program Susu Sekolah

Muhyiddin: Milk only for selected schools

Wednesday March 16, 2011

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/3/16/nation/20110316073105&sec=nation

 

PUTRAJAYA: The high cost of running the milk programme for primary pupils has forced the Government to focus only on selected schools and children for the scheme, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

The scheme was suspended in August 2007 following cases of spoilt milk and after children complained of stomachache.

It was revived and re-branded as the 1Malaysia Milk Programme last September, with the first project in Sabah, the country’s biggest producer of fresh milk.

Muhyiddin, who is Education Minister, said that when the programme was launched last year by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, it was to get all pupils from Year One to Year Six to enjoy free fresh milk.

Asked for the reasons for the change in plans, Muhyiddin said the cost was too high for the Government to bear.

“We agreed to continue with the programme but decided that the milk would be given out on a selective basis,” he told reporters yesterday after closing the five-day 1Malaysia Foster Family programme, which saw senior officers of the ministry taking on roles of foster parents to secondary school students.

2011, Arkib Berita, Keselamatan Pelajar/Kesihatan, Program, Program Susu Sekolah

School milk scheme to resume by end of month

Sunday March 20, 2011

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/3/20/nation/8309621&sec=nation

KUALA LUMPUR: The 1Malaysia school milk programme, which was suspended in 2007, will resume by the end of the month, said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.

“We did not want to rush the programme because we want to make sure that the milk and its supply chain meet the Health Ministry’s standards and that it is safe for consumption.

“It is better to be late than sorry,” Dr Wee told reporters after presenting scrolls during Univer-siti Tunku Abdul Rahman’s (Utar) 12th convocation at Wisma MCA here yesterday.

“The main supply of the milk will come from local sources and we will only import if that supply is insufficient,” he added.

The programme was originally suspended in 2007 after the Education Ministry deemed the safety control systems for its supply unsatisfactory.

Dr Wee said the distribution of the milk in schools would be limited to underprivileged students from poor families.

“We need to look at the capacity of the milk suppliers to supply the required amount of milk and also from the nutritional standpoint, what are the dietary needs of the pupils and how much milk is necessary for their health.

“If we do not give them the correct amount of milk needed in line with their dietary needs, then the programme would not be achieving its intended goals,” he added.

2011, Arkib Berita, Biasiswa/Pinjaman/Bantuan/Insentif, Pembangunan Sekolah, Sekolah Berprestasi Tinggi

RM213mil to meet Education objectives

Monday March 21, 2011

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/3/21/nation/8302950&sec=nation

 

BACHOK: The Education Ministry will allocate RM213 million for various programmes this year to ensure the GTP’s Education NKRA meet its set objectives.

Ministry secretary-general, Datuk Dr Rosli Mohamed, said four initiatives would be given extra focus, including the development of High Performing Schools (HPS).

He said the initiatives were identified to promote the quality of teachers that would be on par with global standards while also enabling more children to master basic mathematical and counting skills by Year Three in primary schools.

Rosli said the government would focus on widening its scope of incentive and reward schemes as motivation for teachers to aspire high performance in carrying out their duties.