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

Free milk for 1.46 million pupils

Tuesday March 29, 2011


SOME 1.46 million pupils will start receiving free milk under the Education Ministry’s 1Malaysia school milk programme next month.

Deputy Minister Datuk Dr Puad Zakarshi said the programme would start by the first week of next month in line with the ministry’s move to promote a balanced diet among students, particularly those from poor families.

He added that the milk would be provided by four suppliers.

“The suppliers will be responsible for the milk at all stages, from its production level right up to delivery to the schools, even in rural areas.

“Strict conditions have been im-posed to ensure no repeat of previous incidents of bad milk being supplied to schools,” he told Datuk Sapawi Ahmad Wasali (BN-Sipitang).

Dr Puad said the Health Ministry would monitor the milk production at the suppliers’ factories while the Veterinary Department would be responsible to ensure the quality of milk sourced from the dairy farms.

He said RM170.9mil had been allocated for the programme, which would provide milk to needy students from urban schools and all Primary One to Primary Six students from rural schools.

The eligible students will receive two boxes of milk each week.

They comprise 91,550 pupils from urban schools and 1,315,354 pupils from rural schools.

2011, Arkib Berita, Keselamatan Pelajar/Kesihatan, Pembangunan Sekolah

Hostel, teachers’ quarters razed in Lawas school fire

Posted on March 29, 2011, Tuesday


by Philip Kiew.

SMOKY: One of the firemen fighting the blaze.

LAWAS: A double-storey dormitory and teachers’ quarters were razed to the ground in a morning fire which broke out at a school in Long Tuma in Lawas district yesterday.

According to Lawas Bomba chief Zaki Hussin, the station received an SOS call at 10.03am.

A fire engine and 11 firefighters rushed to the scene and brought the fire under control at 10.22 am.

The school, located in Ba Kelalan state constituency, is about five kilometres from Lawas town.

The cause of the fire is under investigation but eye-witnesses said flames were seen on the first floor of the block for female students before spreading to the ground floor for boys.

The wooden building lit up like tinder as, fanned by wind, the fire engulfed it and spread to the next block housing teachers’ quarters.

There were no injuries or casualties as all the students were in class at that time.

Lawas District education officer Matzinan Wahit rushed to the scene after being informed of the incident.

He said 170 boarders were affected by the fire, and arrangements had been made to temporarily house them.

Boarders from faraway villages would be placed in neighbouring villages at Lawas Damit.

Only nine students are day scholars.

SPDP Bukit Sari chief Yong Kah Sing and exco members immediately channelled relief assistance to the school.

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

SPM: Ray of hope

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

DAVID TIH, Malacca

I WRITE to express my support for the letter “Support and advise those who didn’t do well” by Hayati Nordin (NST, March 25).

The letter asks all parents and family members to show understanding and sympathy to those candidates who didn’t fare well in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia. That call deserves our attention and support.

Education is the process of nurturing and realising the human potential — intellectually, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically.
There is no doubt Malaysia has one of Asia’s top education and schooling systems. However, the current system is too examination and result-oriented, with too much focus on academic achievements.

Many also lack life-coping abilities and often suffer in silence when faced with difficulties. At the end of the day, many are physically exhausted and mentally drained.

The materialistic nature and high expectations of society are making our young people desperate and finding it hard to cope, resulting in great mental stress.
As a result, some of them have turned to crime to get away from reality and, more tragically, some have even committed suicide.

It is time for the Education Ministry to incorporate a more open, humane and holistic approach into our education system.

Thomas Alva Edison, Helen Keller and Nelson Mandela are examples of great personalities who give the not-so-academically brilliant students a ray of hope and the motivation to shine.
These three great people shared the same qualities. They never gave up despite the obstacles, they kept fighting till the end and became the best they could be. That is the formula for their success.

2011, Arkib Berita, Masalah Pelajar, Pembangunan Sekolah, Perpaduan, Rencana

Joanne’s at ease in Islamic school

Sunday, March 27, 2011

By Dennis Wong

The race and religion of students do not matter to SMK Pesantren Abdul Taib Mahmud teachers.—  NST picture  by Mohd Kamil Rahim 

The race and religion of students do not matter to SMK Pesantren Abdul Taib Mahmud teachers.— NST picture by Mohd Kamil Rahim

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Joanne Bong does not feel awkward or out place being a non-Muslim student in an Islamic school.

Rather, the 17-year-old feels she fits nicely into the picture at SMK Pesantren Abdul Taib Mahmud, and is proud of being part of the minority at the school.

And the same goes with the three other non-Muslim students in the school of 520.
“I want to be in this school because of its good academic reputation,” said Bong.

The school has been identified as one of the top 10 rural schools based on last year’s Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination results.

Bong, who has been in the school for five years, can even speak Arabic with her school friends.
“Although I don’t go through their Islamic studies, I’ve learned some interesting Arabic phrases from some of my friends,” she said.

The single-session school offers both Islamic and the standard curriculums to its students.

The other three non-Nuslim students are Jeffery Masir, 14, a Bidayuh; Dennis Bong and Angela Teo, both 13.
The girls wear baju kurung without the tudung while Jeffery plays football in his track bottoms — in deference to the school’s dress code.

While the recipe of a 1Malaysia school is there, sadly this may not last for long. The school is considering delivering just the Islamic curriculum, unless it can attract more non-Muslim students.

Principal Junaidi Zulkipli said the school felt it was a burden to offer both curriculums to its students.

“Most of our students are taking both curriculums, which means that they are taking 22 subjects for both for SPM and Sijil Menengah Agama.

“But this depends on how many non-Muslim students want to enrol in our school next year,” said Junaidi.

The school had its humble beginning as a madrasah 46 years ago, but it was not until 2005 when it became an Islamic school.

2011, Arkib Berita, Biasiswa/Pinjaman/Bantuan/Insentif, Kurikulum, Masalah Guru, Masalah Pelajar, Pembangunan Sekolah, Pendidikan Awal, Program, Sistem

700,000 benefit from early education

Sunday, March 27, 2011 

THE Education Ministry last year exceeded its target of preschool enrolment, providing early education to more than 700,000 children aged 4 and 5.

Together with the Community Development Department, National Unity and Integration Department and the private sector, the ministry rolled out 1,500 preschool classes to achieve an enrolment rate of 72.42 per cent, exceeding its 72 per cent target.

It is also introduced a national preschool curriculum and set up the National Preschool Council to refine and implement policies for preschools.
Under the improving student outcomes in the National Key Result Areas (NKRA), the ministry managed to rank all 9,814 primary and secondary schools for the first time in the country’s history.

It also achieved a score of 85 per cent literacy and 91 per cent numeracy rates for Year One pupils in its literacy and numeracy screening (Linus) in September.

The initiative also saw 20 schools being recognised as high performers across the nation.
Apart from these, 7.7 per cent of primary school headmasters received the new deal award, exceeding the target of two per cent last year.

While there have been shortfalls, the government consider them as part of a learning curve.

With continuous growth in the education system, the nation’s adult literacy rate is now above 92 per cent and among developing countries.
The country also enjoys one of the fastest growth rates in secondary school enrolment and achieved universal primary enrolment.

However, compared with Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea, Malaysian student outcomes have declined.

About 20 per cent of students failed to meet the minimum Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) benchmarks for Mathematics and Science in 2007, an alarming dip compared with five to seven per cent in 2003.

The widening gap among students is a cause for concern as higher education levels correlate with long-term economic growth.

In supporting preschool agencies and operators and to increase enrolments, the fee structure and meal grants were standardised across government preschools.

The government continued to support private preschool operators nationwide with fee assistance extended to 24,179 children from low-income families who attended private preschools with fees not exceeding RM150 per month.

In addition, the ministry partnered with private teacher training colleges to train about 7,000 private pre-school teachers in a bid to raise the quality of teachers in the system.

In Linus, about 450,000 Year One pupils underwent three screenings for basic literacy and numeracy skills last year with a 85 per cent pass rate for literacy and 91 per cent pass for numeracy.

The target was 90 per cent for both tests.

The NKRAs also aim to have 100 high performing schools by next year and they will have more autonomy in decision-making in instruction methods, flexibility in adapting curriculum, as well as the selection and deployment of teachers and allocation of funds.

In addition, an annual financial grant is given to each high performing school to be used on student development, infrastructure and other elements in school excellence.

In the new deals for school heads, the top two per cent of high achieving teachers received incentives of RM7,500, and other teachers in the schools are also rewarded. The top five percent of teachers in their schools will receive RM1,800 and others RM900.

2011, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Forum, Rencana, Subjek, Surat

English opens the door to a good job

Tuesday March 29, 2011


AS parents we all know how important the English language is to our children’s future. We also know that without mastering the English language, it will be hard for our children to find a good paying job in the private sector.

We don’t expect all our children to only apply for government jobs.

Big multinational companies will pay high ranking workers a good salary only if they have a good grasp of the English language.

There is nothing wrong at all if one is good in both English and Bahasa Malaysia. I would want my child to master the English language and at the same time have a good command of Bahasa Malaysia.

I hope the Education Minister will bring back English-medium schools, which were around till the early 90s.

In urban areas and big towns there are private schools that use English as a medium of instruction. The sad thing is not many parents can afford to send their children to such expensive private schools.


Port Dickson.

2011, Arkib Berita, Forum, Keselamatan Pelajar/Kesihatan, Masalah Guru, Masalah Pelajar, Rencana, Surat

The cane helped shape better citizens

Tuesday March 29, 2011


THE passing of the last Malayan Colonial Education Service headmaster, the late J.M.B. Huges of Penang Free School, at his home in Britain, rekindles images of those good British headmasters who ran most of the then Malayan schools with a firm hand by using the cane.

Many students, including my father and two brothers, remember him walking around with a cane in his hand; a very common sight in all boys’ schools then.

The beauty was that no parent – from vegetable seller, tradesmen of all kinds, and up to the aristocrats – have ever complained about the measures taken by headmasters, who had full control over their students.

The end result were good citizens and professionals.

Of late, some parents have protested against the caning of students. It breaks the parents’ hearts to see some strangers caning their lovely child.

The parents do not spend the whole day looking at their child’s hyper activities; the school does. So who is in a better position to judge that child?

No teacher is that trigger (cane) happy to run around caning the students for the slightest mistake, but only does so to discipline those who breach school rules, fail to complete school work assigned, refuse to show respect for the school’s rules and to the teachers.

Of course, there may be over-zealous teachers who go overboard, but today there are strict rules on corporal punishment administered by the school board and the Education Ministry.

Parents in those days rarely spoke against the school rules and how the school dealt with indisciplined students.

If it were not for the caning in those bygone era schools, we from that old school may not be what we are today. Many have changed due to the caning and they are better citizens.

Bring back those good cane-wielding headmasters and teachers.


George Town.