2012, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Forum, IPT, Pembangunan Sekolah, Rencana, Subjek, Surat

Grads without soft skills victims of system

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

  By Zainul Arifin Md Isa  | zainul@nst.com.my 0 comments

FAST-FOOD EDUCATION: Constant drilling can minimise thinking


THERE are of course differences between being an unemployed and an unemployable person. The former may be a victim of circumstances, such as jobs being scarce due to an economic downturn, but the latter would be someone not getting employment even when jobs are aplenty.

Last year, for instance, there were 71,000 diploma or degree-holders without jobs, or about 20 per cent of the unemployed. It is not clear how many of them are unemployable, though.

There is a stigma attached to an unemployed graduate, on whom much hope lies, beginning with his first day as an undergraduate.

Tertiary education is supposed to be the ticket to a better life, but these days, things get rather tough with hundreds of thousands of people with similar qualifications entering the market every year.

Yet, it is the unemployable graduate phenomenon that should bother us a lot. For it suggests that, mainly, regardless of the education that we provide them, some continue to remain unattractive to potential employers.

I once had a conversation with a dean from a leading domestic university, which by design gets the first crack at the top students in the country. Their academic performance at the university justifies them being among the cream of our school-leavers.

Nevertheless, upon graduation, some often find themselves at the other end of the employability spectrum when compared with less academically inclined graduates, especially those who attend private universities and colleges, where for some, the admission criteria is more relaxed and the ability to pay fees is a major consideration for being given places to study.  Then there is competition from overseas graduates, both from quality and dubious institutions.
It is ironic, of course, that the not-so-smart would trump the class ace later in life.
But then life is funny that way.

The often repeated reason is that these unemployable graduates lack the soft skills. Chief among these skills, especially for the private sector, is the ability to communicate well in English. Then there is the ability to be analytical, which is somehow counter-intuitive in our school system.

We have gone down this road before and there is no need to pursue an argument to prove the point. It gets rather tiring.

Why is it if we know the problem, we keep on failing to find the solution?

My two sen’s worth is that maybe our problems start in school, especially when our best students get disadvantaged in the job market by the not-so-smart.

I once chanced upon a class of kids about to sit   the  Penilaian Menengah Rendah examination  and they were undergoing what is known as    latihan tubi,  or repeated drills, on exam questions.

They are primed like race horses and trained to be as instinctive as possible, to look at the questions, “analyse” them  and, based on certain ways they are formulated, to deduce answers quickly, and more importantly, correctly.

These drills are available for all the major   examinations. They have proven to be very successful in getting good grades  and are now commonly available in most schools.
I, however, think they minimise thinking  and lessen the need to understand things. They make fast food of our children’s education.

It seems that rote learning gets our kids through the day  and, for the examinations, there are the drills.  Some do well and get admitted to tertiary institutions. Here, the problem starts to get big, if not addressed. In fact, some suggest, when they are in universities or colleges, it is already too late.

The blame goes all around for this. Society for glorifying good grades, schools for abetting with such misconceived notions, and the Education Ministry and departments for rewarding schools and teachers who produce high scorers.
Someone suggested that Malaysia is a haven for consultants these days because the ability of our young workforce to deduce, argue, conclude and recommend, especially in the international language of business, has been diminished by our emphasis on grades, above all else.

We need to see that our schools are not specialists in producing students who can spot the correct answers without even having to finish the questions, but who can reason, weigh their arguments  and then come out with answers. Maybe that can help them later in life with their employment.

Writer is the head of Media Prima’s new media arm

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

INDISCIPLINE: Students will hate teachers who cane them

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

By Uthayakumar Techinamoorthy, Kuala Lumpur 0 comments

I REFER to the debate on whether caning should be reintroduced in schools.

.Many believe that caning can lead to more harm than good.

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As a tertiary student, I do not recommend it. Caning can lead to more harm than good. There are better ways to improve a student’s attitude  or behaviour.

Caning not only hurts the student physically but also leaves a mental scar.

Teachers might think that they will earn the respect of their students by caning them. This is not so. The students will develop a hatred for the teacher who canes them and will only want to take revenge.

So, the intention of caning the person will not work here.

For instance, the student who is caned will feel he is no longer appreciated or respected.

This will affect his thinking, concentration and   desire to study. He is also likely to lose confidence in himself. In the end, it will affect his future.

I think it would be better to counsel students who misbehave. It would be   helpful if teachers can develop a good relationship with their students.

This is   important because it will encourage the student to become confident and do well in his studies  and in his life.

Read more: INDISCIPLINE: Students will hate teachers who cane them – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/indiscipline-students-will-hate-teachers-who-cane-them-1.93851#ixzz1xdHtSXux

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

‘Teachers who care bring subject alive’

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

By AHMAD FAIRUZ OTHMAN | news@nst.com.my 0 comments

ENGLISH PROFICIENCY: Those who are passionate will inspire students to success

.A group photo with event organising chairman Vincent D’Silva (seated, third from left) and NST group editor Datuk Syed Nadzri Syed Harun (seated, fifth from left). Pic by Roslan Khamis

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JOHOR BARU: TEACHERS who are passionate about a  subject matter and can engage students have an upper hand when it comes to the teaching of English.

New Straits Times group editor Datuk Syed Nadzri  Syed Harun said teachers must combine these traits with leadership, classroom management and be up-to-date with the trends in the teaching of the language.

“Students are not only looking for knowledge from a teacher, they are looking for someone to inspire and care for them.

“It’s in having a passion for what you do, what you believe in and what you care about that will bring you back each day ready to inspire, care and share,” he said in a keynote address at the opening of the 4th English Language Conference here yesterday.

The three-day event, themed “Revitalising the Teaching-Learning Link”, was organised by the Johor Baru English Language Teaching (Jelta), a non-governmental organisation, and the Johor Education Department.

More than 350 educationists are taking part in the event to gain ideas on the teaching of English in secondary and primary schools.

Syed Nadzri said having passion, leadership, classroom and content management skills were bases for revitalising the teaching-learning link between educators and students.

Once the communication lines between teachers and students were strong, these would help teachers bring about the best in their students.

He said there was a serious need to improve the standard of English as there was a marked declined in its proficiency, especially among fresh graduates.

“We still have graduates struggling to give employers what they need because they are handicapped by poor English language proficiency.”

He said NST was among the hundreds of publications in the world that promotes the use of newspapers as learning tools through its Newspaper-In-Education programme.

Present were  state Education Department deputy director Md Hasidin Zaini, event organising chairman Vincent D’Silva, M Suites hotel executive director Datin Dr Maimunah Abdul Rahman and Jelta managing director Adib Esa.

Earlier, Jelta presented awards to five veteran and still-serving English teachers for outstanding services.

They are Salina Hussain, Tengku Norishkin Tengku Ahmad, Hamzah Abdul Hamid, Senevahisan Naidu and Amy Wong.

M Suites hotel is sponsoring the venue, meals and accommodation for the event’s speakers.

Read more: ‘Teachers who care bring subject alive’ – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/teachers-who-care-bring-subject-alive-1.93810#ixzz1xdGOEuRz

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

Not way to raise PIBG funds

Wednesday June 13, 2012


I WAS surprised when my nephew told me that his school’s Persatuan Ibu Bapa dan Guru (PIBG) had sent out a letter asking each student to donate RM100 towards the PIBG.

It’s not a problem if the family is rich. But the majority of the families in Port Dickson are not that well of.

If the PIBG is short of funds, then it should find other means of collecting funds, rather then take the easy way of forcing the students to pay up.

Children at times can be cruel. If a student is unable to pay the RM100, the other students will start teasing him or her. At the end of the day, the poor parents are made to beg borrow or steal to pay up.

I hope the Education Ministry will take a look into this matter, because I see that PIBGs are given a free hand in a lot of matters regarding their schools.


Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan.

2012, Arkib Berita, Keselamatan Pelajar/Kesihatan

No substitute for bridge crossing busy highway

Tuesday June 12, 2012



Clear and present danger: Students of SR Chung Hua Siburan use a pedestrian crossing to get to Siburan town on the other side of the Kuching-Serian highway. They are often accompanied by their teachers and parents. An overhead bridge (in the background) nearby has not been reconstructed after it was struck by a crane in February. — VANES DEVINDRAN / The Star

KUCHING: Though authorities have put up a pedestrian crossing as a temporary measure to help students of SR Chung Hua Siburan to safely cross the busy Kuching-Serian highway, it is still not enough to allay parents’ fear.

With the school break over, a group of mothers yesterday waited patiently for the traffic lights to turn red so they could cross the road to fetch their children.

Apparently, this has become a daily practice ever since the nearby overhead bridge got damaged after being struck by a crane on Feb 8.

All that is left of the overhead bridge, which had kept some 1,000 students safe from dangerous crossing before its destruction, is a concrete structure minus a fair portion of its suspended walkway which was ripped off in the Feb 8 incident.

One of the mothers who wished to be known only as Sabrina said she remained cautious even with the pedestrian crossing given the attitude of some drivers and riders.

“As long as my daughter is required to cross the highway without using the overhead bridge, I will not allow her to do it on her own.

“There have been near misses since the bridge was incapacitated all because of reckless drivers who want to beat the red light. I have seen with my own eyes even when the lights turn orange, vehicles would pick up speed instead of slowing down,” she told The Star.

She went on to say that the primary school children were still too young to cross the highway on their own even with the help of the traffic lights.

She said children being children, they might not be alert and could just wander across instead of waiting for the light to change.

“They are young and they cannot gauge if the vehicles are coming at them at a dangerous speed. I and the rest of the mothers are not prepared to take that chance and we will continue to cross over to fetch them ourselves,” she said.

Sabrina said in the past, she would sometimes allow her seven-year-old to cross the highway on her own via the overhead bridge.

She said this was because the bridge was safer.

She hoped the authorities concerned would delay no more and repair the damaged overhead bridge as soon as possible before anything bad happened.

Coincidentally, soon after the interview, Padawan Municipal Council chairman Lo Khere Chiang and PKR National vice-woman chief Voon Shiak Ni, along with representatives of the Public Works Department (JKR), met in front of the school to address the matter.

Lo said the bridge would be re-constructed to make it higher than the original height for taller vehicles to pass underneath it.

“The original height was 4.5m but JKR would be adding 1.5m to the new design so, in total, from the road to beneath the beam, it will be 6m in height,” he said.

He said tender would be out by the end of June and work should commence early July.

He revealed the budget for the re-construction would be RM350,000.

Lo explained that the delay was due to JKR having to re-tender the project as the initial price offer was too low.

“So even if the tender had been approved then, problems were expected to arise once the work commenced,” he added.

Nonetheless, he said, the school was also helping out to ensure their students cross over safely and teachers would often group those who were capable of leading the rest.

Voon, who highlighted the matter earlier, said she was glad Lo responded postively to working together on it.

“It doesn’t matter which political side we are in, the most important thing is the work gets done as soon as possible,” she said.

She said the overhead bridge had been left in its damaged state for four months already and the people were getting impatient.

“We understand that time is needed to do the tender but they should update the public. At least it will ease the anxiety. I think four months is a bit too long given that the bridge is a necessity that concerns the safety of the children,” she said.

Nevertheless, she lauded JKR for coming with the pedestrian crossing as a temporary measure.

2012, Arkib Berita, IPT, Masalah Guru, Pembangunan Sekolah, Subjek

5,500 guru interim patut diserap ikut subjek

Rabu , 13 Jun 2012


KUALA LUMPUR: Kementerian Pelajaran diminta supaya menyerap 5,500 guru interim sebagai guru tetap di sekolah yang masih lagi mengalami kekurangan guru mengikut keperluan subjek kritikal.

Presiden Kesatuan Perkhidmatan Perguruan Kebangsaan (NUTP), Hashim Adnan berkata, kerajaan perlu meneliti secara terperinci penempatan guru supaya ia dilakukan secara seimbang bagi menampung kekurangan guru.

“Kita mahu kementerian memastikan guru berkenaan diberi keutamaan untuk ditempatkan di sekolah yang masih mengalami kekurangan guru mengikut keperluan subjek di sekolah berkenaan. Misalnya, jika sekolah berkenaan memerlukan guru bahasa Inggeris, maka kita perlu menempatkan guru subjek berkenaan.

“Hari ini ada sekolah yang mempunyai lambakan guru, lebih malang lagi guru ditempatkan di sekolah berkenaan pula tidak mengajar mata pelajaran sepatutnya beliau ajar kepada pelajar,” katanya ketika dihubungi di sini, semalam.

Kelmarin, akhbar melaporkan kira-kira 5,500 graduan Ijazah Sarjana Muda Pendidikan termasuk 4,500 lepasan institusi pengajian tinggi awam (IPTA) yang berjaya pada temu duga antara Januari hingga Mac akan ditempatkan di sekolah seluruh negara mulai bulan ini.

Selain itu, NUTP turut meminta pihak kementerian supaya memberi tumpuan berhubung kenaikan gred lebih 10,000 guru yang sudah mendapat ijazah, namun, masih lagi menikmati gaji peringkat diploma.