2012, Arkib Berita, Forum, Masalah Guru, Masalah Pelajar, Pembangunan Sekolah, Rencana, Surat

When teachers’ hands are tied

Thursday, May 31, 2012

By Chok Suat Ling | sling@nst.com.my 0 comments

FEAR OF LEGAL SUITS: To cane or not to cane is not the question, but rather why teachers can no longer instil discipline without worrying about upsetting parents

Chok Suat LingCANING may be a painful subject but it certainly whips up one’s attention. Whether or not several lashes from the rotan will transform our young miscreants into upright students has for a long time been debated upon, analysed and dissected. And the analysis continues.

The revival of caning as a topical issue came with a proposal by National PTA Collaborative Council president Datuk Mohd Ali Hassan last Friday.

“To cane or not to cane?” is not the question being asked this time around: it is whether the right to wield the cane, which now solely rests with the headmaster and authorised teachers, should be given to all teachers.

Several years ago, the Education Ministry did mull the possibility of extending that power to all teachers. The reason — an increasing number of cases involving student misbehaviour. Some of the offences committed would make even the most notorious gangster proud.

Many measures have been proposed and enforced. Campaigns, road shows and spot-checks have been organised; and hotlines and crime prevention clubs introduced. There have been threats of expulsion, and jail; the police have been brought in to assist in student monitoring; and the number of school counsellors increased.

But there has been little impact. So, how effective would several lashes on the buttocks be?

The cane will only help breed fear, not cultivate respect. Students can be forced to fear authority but they cannot be compelled to respect it. And without respect, any adherence to authority will only be short-lived. It may also serve to further humiliate a pupil and stir up resentment.

The best method to quell the runaway desire of students to use violence as a form of expression is to earn their respect for authority.

Adolescence is often a difficult time, and it is even more so now. Increased exposure, working parents, an education system that demands academic excellence and teachers who are not always committed to their profession are only some of the factors that students have to put up with.

And who do they turn to? Where can they go when both their parents seem to be working all the time? When whatever time they have is spent at tuition classes? When their teachers seem more eager for the end of a school day than they are?

Teachers should thus be armed with the skills that will enable them to talk to the youngsters of today — a small but highly-complicated package, with an intellect and maturity never possessed by their predecessors.

Parents, on their part, need to show their children how to respond to anger and stress, and arm them with what has become quite the buzzword among psychologists — coping skills.

But most importantly, parents must stop muscling into the teacher’s territory.

Teachers are no longer the forbidding embodiment of discipline, neither do they command the necessary awe and respect from students these days largely due to a shift in the attitude of parents.

In the past, a student punished by the teacher would be chided further by his parents when the incident was reported to them. The child would make concerted efforts to hide the tears and welts from the parents when he arrives home for fear of further punishment.

In this day and age, however, the majority of parents pamper their children to no end, snarling through gritted teeth when someone else in authority deems it fit to discipline their child.

Incidents of parents lodging police reports against teachers who allegedly mete out harsh punishments on their children no longer induce raised eyebrows and gasps of disbelief.

Teachers can’t instil discipline without having to worry about a parent slapping them with a legal suit, or being carted off in a police truck the next day. A concerned parent should support any reasonable action taken by the teacher as it is for the benefit of the child.

“If parents insist on embarrassing teachers by lodging police reports and filing suits, there will come a day when teachers will refuse to do anything more but teach,” said an exasperated teacher.

If that happens, should we then wonder why youths now are more indisciplined, or why social ills are on the rise? And why a simplistic solution such as giving more teachers the power to cane won’t work?

Read more: When teachers’ hands are tied – Columnist – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnist/when-teachers-hands-are-tied-1.89447#ixzz1wPJDcyXi

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2012, Arkib Berita, Forum, Membaca, Perpustakaan, Rencana, Surat

NATIONAL LIBRARY: Need for information literacy workshops

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I REFER to the report “A new era for age-old habit” (New Sunday Times, May 27).

National Library director-general Datuk Raslin Abu Bakar is very happy with the increase in membership and in the number of books borrowed.

But he failed to mention the role the National Library must play to enable Malaysians to be information literate.

In her paper, “Information Literacy Development in Malaysia”, (Libri, vol. 59 (2008) pp. 265-280), N.N. Edzan states, “PNM (the National Library of Malaysia) has plans to develop information literacy packages at the basic, intermediate and advanced levels that can be used by trainers in information searching workshops”.

This is a very important role for the National Library, as most Malaysians are not information literate.

Information literacy is part of lifelong learning and is crucial not only for academic and research purposes, but also in decision-making.

The National Library of Singapore, through its NLB Academy, runs information literacy programmes, starting from primary schoolchildren to adults.

S.E. Tan, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Read more: NATIONAL LIBRARY: Need for information literacy workshops – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/national-library-need-for-information-literacy-workshops-1.89418#ixzz1wPIuApuQ

2012, Arkib Berita, Forum, Keibubapaan, Masalah Pelajar, Pembangunan Sekolah, Rencana, Surat

DISCIPLINE: Deny children what they love most

Thursday, May 31, 2012

THE issue of caning children and students has resurfaced. First of all, we must agree that punishment is necessary to discipline them. But is caning the way?

I am afraid it is not the right approach to this matter.

In raising and disciplining children, I believe in the rule of reward and punishment. This will ensure stability and order in families and in the world at large.

Good deeds should be appreciated and bad behaviour should not be condoned. By upholding this principle, justice is endorsed in child-raising.

In this context, parents play a crucial role. For example, when a mother sees that her child has done well, let her praise and applaud him or her. And if the slightest undesirable trait should manifest itself, let the parents counsel the child and punish him or her, and use means based on reason.

The child needs to told what he or she did wrong before punishment is carried out.

However, it is not permissible to strike a child, or vilify him or her, for the child’s character will be totally perverted if subjected to blows or verbal abuse.

Children who are caned can be affected emotionally and psychologically.

We need to execute punishment in different ways and in a more humane manner. Unfortunately, many parents today support the notion that children should be caned to ensure discipline.

It is not physical pain that a child should experience, but rather the pain of deprivation of things he or she likes. This is what child experts and psychologists advocate.

 

It is suggested children should be denied things they love most, like ice-cream, fast-food, watching TV, playing with friends or playing computer games.

Deprivation of this nature will make the children feel the pain, too. This will make them regret their actions.

 

Dr S. Nathesan, Muar, Johor

Read more: DISCIPLINE: Deny children what they love most – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/discipline-deny-children-what-they-love-most-1.89413#ixzz1wPHzFvU2

2012, Arkib Berita, Forum, Keibubapaan, Masalah Pelajar, Rencana

‘Beware of kids’ spending habits’

Thursday, May 31, 2012

PUTRAJAYA: Higher allowances given by parents is one of the reasons more teenagers are lighting up these days.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said the rise in the cost of living had led to the rise in allowances.

“Instead of spending the money wisely, they buy cigarettes,” she told the New Straits Times yesterday.

Parents, said Rosnah, should be more aware of their children’s spending habits to help reduce smoking among teenagers.

However, she was quick to point out that other factors, such as the overall environment in which the young were currently raised, including parents who were also smokers, did little to reduce the habit among them.

The ministry’s Disease Control Division director Dr Chong Chee Kheong also attributed the rise among teenage smokers to easy access to tobacco products, affordable prices and peer pressure.

Last year, the NST reported Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai stating that in 2006, 21.5 per cent of adults and 18.2 per cent of teenagers, aged between 13 and 15, were smokers.

In 2008, the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance reported that teenage smokers were steadily on the rise and that Malaysia had the highest percentage of teenage smokers, between the age of 13 and 15, compared with other Asean countries.

Nearly 40 per cent of teenage boys and at least, 11 per cent of teenage girls in the country were smokers.

While agreeing with Rosnah, that the increase in spending power had led to more teens taking a drag, Social Institute of Malaysia director Associate Prof Dr Mohamed Fadzil Che Din said it was also due to urges such as wanting to experiment.

“They want try a lot of things, especially those that can make them look cool. Smoking is one activity that can help them to portray such an identity.”

He said one way to stop teenagers from smoking was by reasoning with them, especially on the negative effects it had on one’s health.

Read more: ‘Beware of kids’ spending habits’ – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/beware-of-kids-spending-habits-1.89462#ixzz1wPFlRKKg

2012, Arkib Berita, Keselamatan Pelajar/Kesihatan, Pembangunan Sekolah, Program, Program Susu Sekolah

Supply of milk to schools stopped

Thursday, May 31, 2012

PENAMPANG: The Health Ministry has issued a temporary stop order on the distribution of milk in all schools in Sabah following the recent food poisoning incidents involving schoolchildren.

.Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin says schools in Sabah should adhere to the instruction until investi- gations are concluded

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Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said schools in the state should adhere to the instruction until investigations carried out by the ministry’s Food Quality and Safety Division were concluded.

“The distribution of milk to schools in Sabah must be stopped until we get official results from the division. Since it’s a school break time, distribution of milk is a non-issue,” Rosnah said at the launch of traditional sport games in conjunction with the Kaamatan Festival 2012 by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman here yesterday.

On May 18, 44 pupils of SJKC Lok Yuk in Menggatal, near here, and eight others from SK St Francis Convent, were reported to have suffered stomachache after consuming milk during recess.

Rosnah, who is also Papar member of parliament, also sought the cooperation from schools in the state to lodge reports immediately to the state Health Department if similar incidents occurred.

“At the moment, such incidents occurred only at the two schools.”

Rosnah said she believed the milk storage aspect could be the contributing factor to the incidents.

“I would like to call on the manufacturer and distributor to pay more attention to the storage of milk.” Bernama

Read more: Supply of milk to schools stopped – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/supply-of-milk-to-schools-stopped-1.89457#ixzz1wPFLHPsH

2012, Arkib Berita, IPT

UKM in best ‘young varsity’ list

Thursday, May 31, 2012

By SUZIEANA UDA NAGU | suzie@nst.com.my 0 comments

INTERNATIONAL ACCLAIM: Universiti Malaya does well in the Asian University Rankings

.UKM Vice-Chancellor Professor Tan Sri Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin attributes the success to its transformation programme

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KUALA LUMPUR: UNIVERSITI Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) occupied the 98th spot in the inaugural Times Higher Education 100 Under 50, a new annual global ranking published yesterday.

UKM, established 42 years ago, was the only Malaysian tertiary institution in the table, which lists the world’s best 100 universities established in the last 50 years.

It bested Brazil’s Universidade Estadual Paulista and Australia’s Edith Cowan University, which were in the 99th and 100th spots, respectively.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Tan Sri Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin said she was pleased that UKM now stands among “young universities that are making huge strides in educational development”.

She attributed the success to UKM staff members’ hard work and dedication to the university’s transformation programme.

“We have stressed on quality research and publications, innovative teaching and learning, community engagement, internationalisation and international benchmarking, good governance and effective delivery. It is bearing fruit now,” she said.

The new exercise was a collaboration between British magazine Times Higher Education (THE) and research-metrics company Thomson Reuters and released in addition to the yearly World University Rankings.

It was based on the same comprehensive range of 13 separate performance indicators — including research, teaching, knowledge transfer and international activity — used to compile the World University Rankings.

THE rankings editor Phil Baty said: “The indicators have been carefully re-calibrated to better reflect the profile of the younger institutions.”

South Korea’s Pohang University of Science and Technology led the pack. Baty considered the new ranking as an indication of “the countries challenging the United States and the United Kingdom as the next higher education powerhouses and provides an insight into who will be the possible future Harvard and Cambridge universities”.

He said he hoped UKM’s presence in the league table will “encourage other Malaysian institutions to recognise the importance of benchmarking themselves against global counterparts”.

UKM, on the other hand, viewed such exercises as a guide to help it improve in specific areas such as publications and citations.

“While we take steps to better our performance, we continue to pursue other missions such as community engagement and societal development.

“These activities will enhance our reputation in the long run,” added Sharifah Hapsah.

Visit http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings for the full list.

Meanwhile, there was also joy for Universiti Malaya as it achieved its best position so far in the QS Asian University Rankings 2012.

UM placed 35th overall, the highest among higher learning institutions in the country.

Vice-Chancellor Tan Sri Dr Ghauth Jasmon said in this year’s rankings, UM achieved an overall score of 71.4 out of a possible 100 and ranked fourth for inbound and outbound student exchange.

“We also ranked number one in Malaysia for academic reputation and employer reputation,” he said in a statement yesterday.

QS Asian University rankings represent the most extensive study of institutions conducted with 500 universities assessed and includeresponses to academic and employer surveys by QS.

Read more: UKM in best ‘young varsity’ list – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/ukm-in-best-young-varsity-list-1.89486#ixzz1wPEcmnrm

2012, Arkib Berita, Forum, Keselamatan Pelajar/Kesihatan, Masalah Pelajar, Pembangunan Sekolah, Rencana, Surat

Caning not the way to discipline children

Thursday May 31, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/5/31/focus/11387263&sec=focus

THE issue of caning children and students has surfaced again. It looks as if there is no end to this subject in education circles and among parents, too.

First of all, we must agree that punishment is necessary to discipline our children and students. But is caning the way to discipline a child or a student? Do we think that by caning a child or a student, he or she can be disciplined?

I am afraid we are not taking the right approach in this matter. In raising and disciplining children, I believe in the golden rule: reward and punishment.

These are two pillars. These two noble principles will ensure stability and order in families and in the world at large. Good deeds should be appreciated and bad behaviour should not be condoned and should be dealt with seriously.

By upholding this principle, justice is endorsed in child raising. In this context, parents play a crucial role in executing these two noble principles.

For example, whenever a mother sees that her child has done well, let her praise and applaud him and cheer his heart. If the slightest undesirable trait should manifest itself, let the mother or father counsel the child and punish him, and use means based on reason, even a slight verbal chastisement should this be necessary.

The child needs to have the wrongdoing explained before punishment is carried out.

However, it is not permissible to strike a child, or vilify him, for the child’s character will be totally perverted if he is subjected to blows or verbal abuse. Children receiving caning can be affected emotionally and psychologically.

Children are not beasts to be caned. They are human beings with a soul.

Some time ago, I was interviewed by a local TV channel on this issue. I emphatically stated no caning of children, while emphasising the need for punishment in raising children.

I strongly disagree with caning as a form of punishment. We need to execute punishment in different ways and in a more humane manner. Unfortunately, many parents today support caning children to enforce discipline.

It is not the physical pain a child experiences through caning that should be the punishment, but rather the pain of deprivation of things the child likes. This is what child experts and psychologists advocate to parents and educators.

What are the ways and methods? It is suggested children should be deprived of the things they love most, like ice-cream, fast food, watching TV, playing with friends, playing computer games, using sophisticated gadgets like IPod, etc.

Deprivation of this nature will make the children feel pain, too. This will make them regret their actions that resulted in such deprivation. Next time, they will make sure they will not get into mischief and thereby punished.

Parents and educators need to change their perspective with regard to discipline. Proverbs like “spare the rod and spoil the child” need to give way to modern thoughts and strategies in handling discipline among children.

Dr S. NATHESAN,

Muar.