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

EDUCATION: Parents must change mindset

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

By Liong Kam Chong, Seremban, Negri Sembilan 0 comments

WITH educational transformation being actively effected in different spheres of our school system, perhaps it is also time for parents and the community at large to reflect on and reassess their role in education so that they can continue to be effective contributors.

As the saying goes “sow a thought, reap an act”, our acts are very much determined by our thoughts. Change our thoughts or mindset and we will act or respond differently to a situation, and our role would would accordingly.

There is need for a mindset change among some parents and members of the community on certain aspects of our education system. Unless the mind is transformed, age-old prejudices, biases, favouritism and misconceptions may continue to influence and govern this group’s role.

On the other hand, with better and more informed understanding, parents can guide their children to greater heights in their studies; and the community would be able to help schools realise their potential to the fullest.

FIRST, parents and the community must change their mindset on the real purpose of schooling. They must know the distinction between learning for the sake of knowledge and studying to boost examination grades. The overemphasis hitherto given to examination grades will only be curtailed when they start to genuinely place greater importance on acquiring knowledge and skills and development of character, than on scoring good grades.

When a child is guided to love learning for knowledge’s sake, his or her grades will take care of themselves. If a child is recognised and encouraged for his or her potential and gifted talent, he or she will have no problem succeeding, even excelling, in school.

When parents and the community prioritise learning for knowledge’s sake, they will be more ready and will find it easier to accept the “new” concept and practice of school-based assessments now being promoted in schools.

SECOND, they must accord greater importance and prominence to Bahasa Malaysia (BM). Not that they have not done so. But, somehow, BM seems to be assigned only the importance of a must-pass subject in school. It is not prominent in other spheres of their life.

This has reduced the learning of BM for the sole purposes of passing examinations and for use in their later work and dealings with the government sector.

An interesting observation is: when the English language was in its prime in our education system, many families chose to be English-speaking. The same cannot be said of BM. We do not commonly see the youth of today conversing in BM. Because they are also poor in English, they are only comfortable and choose to interact in exclusive groups and in their own mother tongue.

BM must be accorded its rightful place as a language of integration so that it can truly be the lingua franca among the different races of our citizenry.

I think it is totally unacceptable for any of our people now, 50-odd years after Independence, to still converse in less than good BM, and worse, in pasar BM.

A mindset change in this respect will ensure a new thrust, urgency, vigour and robustness to want to learn BM for reasons of patriotism.

With this understanding, parents and the community will be better able to promote the Education Ministry’s MBMMBI (Upholding the Malay Language, Strengthening the Command of the English Language) programmes with greater eagerness, earnestness and sincerity.

THIRD, parents and the community must change their mindset on vocational education. Vocational studies should not be regarded as a “second rate” education, subservient or even inferior to academic studies. The thought that only those who are not “making it” in academic schools should move on to vocational schools is a myth and misleading, and hence must be discarded.

Vocational studies and training open a whole new world of opportunities for students who are gifted in locomotive dexterity, besides being reasonably able in cognitive learning.

Students learned and trained well in vocational studies become the indispensable pillars of our nation-building effort. They are valued assets.

Parents and the community must have a mindset convinced of the vast potential and versatility of vocational education. Only then will the ministry’s ongoing new initiative to upgrade all vocational schools to vocational colleges stand to achieve a good measure of success.

The mindset of parents and the community must change so that they are aligned with the new thinking and approaches initiated by the Education Ministry.

If the thoughts are not in congruence with the acts, we will labour in vain.

When parents and the community move in accord with the ministry, our schools will be better able to deliver the promises of transformation programmes.

“Transforming minds, enabling changes” is the way to go.

Read more: EDUCATION: Parents must change mindset – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/education-parents-must-change-mindset-1.91427#ixzz1wyRIAma5

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2012, Arkib Berita, Forum, Pembangunan Sekolah, Sastera, Subjek

‘Sejarah Melayu’ in modern form for schools

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

THE Information, Communications and Culture Ministry will initiate efforts to rewrite Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals) in a modern style to make it more interesting for students.

.Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim (left) listening to artist Ismail Embong explaining a drawing at an exhibition on the Melaka Malacca Malay sultanate at Balai Seni Balai Seni Visual Negara in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Pic by Mokhsin Abidin

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Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, said the ministry would collaborate with higher learning institutions, such as the Institute of Malay Civilisation and Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (Upsi).

“We should encourage the effort as Sejarah Melayu can be interesting reading for primary and secondary schools.

“The old texts will be modernised although we will retain the storyline in its original narration.

“In this way, there will be renewed interest in the texts.

“If Sejarah Melayu is left in its old form, it won’t develop much.”

Rais said this after launching an exhibition on the Sulalatus Salatin empire of the Malacca sultanate by artist Ismail Embong at Balai Seni Visual Negara, here, yesterday.

On when the ministry was expected to complete restyling Sejarah Melayu, Rais said: “It depends on Upsi.

“The ministry will provide the support and commensurate contributions.

“We need dedicated individuals to study the original texts in order to convert them to the new style.”

On the exhibition by Ismail, Rais said it was the first time that the history of the Malacca sultanate had been narrated in art form.

He said the creation was significant as Ismail had succeeded in highlighting various aspects of the sultanate by using characters of the modern generation, including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in his drawings.

Rais also said the ministry would produce a documentary on Ismail’s contributions to the art industry.

The exhibition, which started yesterday, will run until June 30 at Gallery 1A, Balai Seni Visual Negara. It is open to the public for free, from 10am to 6pm every day. Bernama

Read more: ‘Sejarah Melayu’ in modern form for schools – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/sejarah-melayu-in-modern-form-for-schools-1.91526#ixzz1wyQFRaXW

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

Help children build character

Wednesday June 6, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/6/6/focus/11423022&sec=focus

I FELT sad on reading “Be sensitive to children’s feelings” (The Star, June 4). Children’s lifestyle nowadays is totally different from that of our days and we as parents should not compare living our sweet old days with our children’s.

I still remember the words expressed by my father on the very first day he sent me to school. He told the teacher: “Do whatever necessary, and make him study.”

The words are like licence to my teacher to punish my friends and me with their old hard method when correcting our mistakes.

Yes, that was good enough for those days because we didn’t even know what child psychology was then.

Now, student psychology has became part of the curriculum in teacher’s training colleges. Teachers are urged by the Education Ministry to use psychology to overcome children’s problems in school rather than using disciplinary action.

As the writer said, suicide is a preventable “illness” and sometimes the cure can be a simple solution if only we can understand the child’s problem and find a suitable solution to help him.

I would also say parental guidance is vital to curbing such grievous incidents from threatening society.

Parents in our time placed emphasis on religious values, taking their children to the temple, church or mosque. Children learned the importance of religious values in life.

In those days, even though parents sometimes had to use the hard way to correct our mistakes, the next moment, by their actions, they would show care and love.

Our grandparents, too, from time to time, stressed the importance of cultural values and nurtured these in the young children’s hearts so that the next generation would not lose them.

Everything has now changed and more and more pressure is put by parents on their children to excel academically, to improve their career prospects.

But what is most important is to teach our kids to become more stable in their psychological make-up. Giving them a luxurious life is not a good way to build inner strength. Parents should spend more time with their children. They still need us to build their identity.

Give them every opportunity to build a good character. Talk with them and give them a way to express and share their problems in their daily life.

We as parents shouldn’t let them solve their problems their own way because they are still not mature enough to properly weigh their problems or they may have difficulty in solving them.

Let’s play our part to instil strong and good character traits in our children, and not leave this job to the teachers.

Academically, teachers may know our kids better but we parents know their hearts better.

Yes, we, the parents are the first teacher, the first facilitator and first counsellor to our kids. If we can play our role effectively, we can build a very strong young generation capable of facing the future bravely and confidently.

Let’s move from now to guide and teach our kids to become strong and brave.

SELVAM NARAYANASAMY,

Shah Alam.

2012, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Forum, Masalah Guru, Pembangunan Sekolah, Rencana, Subjek

English a link to new avenues of knowledge and builds confidence

Wednesday June 6, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/6/6/nation/11380857&sec=nation

By AMINUDDIN MOHSIN
educate@thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: The English teacher’s bread and butter revolves around the language itself. It is the cornerstone of their profession, but what else does it do for them?

According to SMK Kota Masai 2, Johor, English teacher Vincent Tan, English does a whole lot more than give them a job.

“There is always room for self-development through the use of English,” said the young teacher who has reaped the benefits of fluent English.

He said the advantages of English were universal.

“English is a bridge of sorts. It not only helps you communicate, it links you to new avenues of knowledge and builds your confidence. You can’t go wrong improving your proficiency in the language,” he said.

He said teachers today needed to be savvy in many ways in order to carry out their duties and English is a versatile tool to help them do so.

“You have to be able to tell parents what the latest trends in education are, you also need to brief administrators on what you are doing, plus you have to be able to introduce new concepts and ideas to students,” he said.

He added that English made tasks easier by opening up new information sources.

“I am able to dig for information from a wider variety of sources, many of which are in English,” said Tan.

Tan said that helped him to gain the upper hand when teaching and dealing with parents and administrators.

“Exposure to current affairs is heightened if you understand English. Your self-esteem gets a boost at the same time because you will always have informed talking points,” he said.

Tan pointed out that just because English teachers teach English, it does not mean they do not need to continually improve their command of the language.

“There is always room for improvement. The trick to teaching is becoming a good learner first,” he said.

He related his experience with Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Shalene Gupta who is stationed at his school.

“The first thing I noticed when conversing with her is that I have to be selective with my words – no more Manglish,” he said.

He added that it was difficult at first but it was a turning point that led him to start reading again to improve his English.

“I’m glad my school has an ETA. It helps me reflect on my weaknesses through a simple conversation with a native speaker and from there I get to improve my English,” said Tan.

He commented that English has been a stalwart friend in helping him become a better teacher and overcoming the challenges he faces in the line of duty.

Note: English for More Oppor­tunities is part of The Star’s ongoing efforts to highlight the importance of the language in helping people get ahead in life.

To share your views and inspiring stories or give us feedback, e-mailenglishformore@thestar.com.my.

2012, Arkib Berita, Forum, Keselamatan Pelajar/Kesihatan

Getting to the root causes of acne

Wednesday June 6, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/6/6/nation/11421817&sec=nation

By LEE XIAN
newsdesk@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: Grandma’s advice to stay away from oily foods, chocolates and nuts to keep acne at bay is well-intentioned, but it does not hold much water in science.

Instead, findings show that it is in fact stress, smoking and facials which cause and worsen acne.

A clinical practice guide (CPG) which explains the causes of acne and prevention tips has been developed by Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) Department of Dermatology for public use.

“Foods with a high glycemic index (GI) such as glutinous rice, wholemeal or white bread, fried mee hoon and macaroni, water­melons and too much of teh tarik or glucose increases the development of acne,” said HKL director Datuk Dr Zaininah Mohd Zain at the launch of the CPG yesterday.

Instead, she urged for the consumption of foods high in fibre such as fruits, yoghurt and oats, as well as plenty of water.

Facial therapy, turned to by many people to improve their acne condition, may not have the desired effect.

Dr Zaininah said poking, pressing, prodding and picking at acne could lead to further inflammation of the pimples and might cause permanent scarring.

“Oil-based cosmetics should also not be used as it clogs the pores and leads to further break-outs. To maintain healthy skin, the most important thing one can do is to allow it to breathe,” said Dr Zaininah.

Dermatology department chief Datin Dr Asmah Johar said topical treatment could help manage the blemishes or one could seek the advice of a dermatologist.

She added that young adults should also avoid using too many skin care items because many of the products contained harsh chemicals which could damage the skin.

A study conducted by the Ministry of Health shows that 67.5% of adolescents aged 13 to 18 years old are affected by the problem.