2012, Arkib Berita, Koperasi Sekolah, Pembangunan Sekolah

School co-operative initiative welcomed

Posted on June 30, 2012, Saturday

by Peter Boon, reporters@theborneopost.com.

Abu Seman Jahwie

Felician Teo

William Ghani Bina

SIBU: Co-operatives, if managed well, will yield synergetic effects for members while honing their management and entrepreneur skills, exposing them to mechanics of business start-ups.

Jemoreng assemblyman Abu Seman Jahwie felt that such an initiative should go beyond the school gate.

Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) president William Ghani Bina while lauding the initiative, clarified that it was not a directive but merely an encouragement for secondary schools to set up cooperatives.

“It should be introduced to every level of society thus creating more entrepreneurs, and leading to the creation of more job opportunities to help boost the economy.

“The merits are many as members can purchase goods at competitive prices. Co-operatives benefit all strata of society,” Abu Seman told The Borneo Post.

He, however, warned against mismanagement that could bring about negative effects.

He was asked his view on the announcement that all secondary schools, including mission schools will need to form their own cooperative come 2015.

Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Deputy Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim revealed in Kuching on Thursday that based on Malaysian Cooperative Commission (SKM) of the 187 secondary schools in Sarawak, eight were still without a cooperative.

She was quoted as saying that they were going to give the eight a push and expect all secondary schools in the state to have cooperatives.

Abu Seman, who is a political secretary to the Chief Minister, lauded such a move, saying that students would be exposed to the mechanics of entrepreneurial skills early.

“This is certainly a good idea and students stand to benefit from such initiative in terms of management and business acumen.”

Educationalist Felician Teo noted most importantly, exposure to cooperative running will help young people make the school- to-work transition much easier and become more industry relevant in the workplace.

From his candid observation, he said: “It offers a platform for school students to hone their management and entrepreneurial skills in business. Besides, it is a training ground for these students to have hands-on experience to become successful entrepreneurs later in life.”

Students will get early exposure to the mechanics of setting-up a business, understanding financial statements, governance, financial management as well as the rights and responsibilities of co-op board members, he said.

He added: “Various programmes and projects implemented by school co-ops in collaboration with Angkasa (National Co-operative of Malaysia) and the Co-operative Commission of Malaysia will enable the students to become more creative and innovative thinkers while acquiring knowledge on the finer points of doing business.”

Ghani explained: “I have sought clarification from the Education Department that it was not a directive but merely an encouragement for secondary schools to form their own cooperative.”

He assured that the idea had strong backing from STU as it inculcated an entrepreneurial mindset among students.

“Academic qualification alone may not be able to secure jobs in the competitive job market. Therefore, with sharpened management and entrepreneurial skills, students could venture into business in future,” Ghani said.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/06/30/school-co-operative-initiative-welcomed/#ixzz1zQhWSYmP

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

INDISCIPLINE: Caning won’t work today

Monday, July 02, 2012

I REFER to the debate on indiscipline among students. Some had even called for the reintroduction of caning in schools. We simply cannot compare the situation in the 1960s or the 1970s with the situation today as those were different eras.

While caning was effective then, it is not so today. During my time in the 60s, if we were caught misbehaving, we would be wetting our pants while waiting for the disciplinary teacher to come to the detention room.

Today you can have a 7-footer, with a curled moustache and a 10-foot cane as a disciplinary teacher, but the students won’t even blink.

Telling children stories about the 60s and 70s is like telling a blind person the colours of the rainbow. We as a human race are evolving — for better or worse.

There’s no point living in the past. It’s good to be nostalgic, but we have to face reality.

I would like to write about what I witnessed recently between a friend and her daughter.

On that particular day, the daughter was misbehaving. The mother warned her if she persisted with what she was doing, she would be caned.

The next minute, the daughter came with a cane and asked the mother which hand she preferred.

The daughter was playing a psychological game and she was only 10 years old.

I think today’s children will be more afraid if you warn them about not getting their iPhone/iPad for their coming birthday rather than the cane.

This has to start from home and all the way to school.

Tony Lim, Kuala Lumpur

Read more: INDISCIPLINE: Caning won’t work today – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/indiscipline-caning-won-t-work-today-1.101033#ixzz1zQesaDsY

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

ENGLISH AT UNIVERSITIES: Best to sort out problem at school level

Sunday, July 01, 2012

By Samuel Yesuiah, Seremban, Negri Sembilan 0 comments

THE new teaching and learning system to be introduced in public universities to help undergraduates in their employability and marketability affected by their lack of competence in English is a timely move, but sadly would not bring about the desired results.

.Fulbright English teaching assistant Lauren Parson, 23, using the New Straits Times for lessons with pupils of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Teluk Chempedak in Kuantan. She is one of 16 Fulbright English teaching assistants from the United States who are placed in 16 schools in Pahang.

1 / 1

Learning a language is much easier, faster and effective at a younger age. The damage should have been repaired at the primary and secondary levels. Trying to repair it at the tertiary level would not achieve the desired goals.

At the tertiary level, it would be a herculean effort to improve a student’s language proficiency as he or she would not have a basic grounding in the English language at the primary and secondary levels.

Furthermore, the new language system would burden undergraduates, who have to focus on their different disciplines of study.

A practical and effective approach would be to concentrate on the problem at the school level.

The teaching of English has seen much innovation and creativity in the classroom. Novel approaches and diverse techniques have been utilised to bring fun and interest into the classroom.

Foreign tutors from the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada have been brought in to help teach English in low performing schools in remote areas.

English lessons and contact hours for English in schools have been increased.

Everything has been done to improve the standard of English language in this country. All the efforts by the teachers, however, have not helped the students much in their English language learning. Why?

Students, especially those in rural areas, do not see the relevance and significance of learning the English language.

To make students learn the subject seriously, the English language subject must be made a compulsory pass subject in the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah, Penilaian Menengah Rendah and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examinations.

The Education Ministry should also bring back English medium schools. The Parent Action Group for Education and other non-governmental organisations have been advocating this.

The ministry has to look into these options seriously, which involve drastic measures to improve English language proficiency to a higher level.

It needs political will and intervention to transform policies to raise the status of English language in this country. All other measures would be knee-jerk reactions and exercises in futility.

Read more: ENGLISH AT UNIVERSITIES: Best to sort out problem at school level – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/english-at-universities-best-to-sort-out-problem-at-school-level-1.100721#ixzz1zQdtzvyk

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

Online test tricky for over 50s

Sunday July 1, 2012


I REFER to the article Don’t fear test, teachers told (The Star, June 21). I understand that the English Proficiency test is being conducted online using computers and headphones.

Some elderly teachers (50 and above) who were not proficient in handling computers or had hearing difficulty were frustrated when they sat for the half-hour test.

Therefore, to these senior English teachers the challenge is not the English Proficiency Test but using the computer and headphones. The test result may therefore not be reflective of their proficiency in English.

The Government should take note of this group of teachers who are proficient in the English language but not computer-savvy. They should be given the option to take a written test instead of the online test. This is important as we are extending the retirement age to 60.


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

Can cane but better not to

Sunday July 1, 2012



WHEN it comes to corporal punishment for schoolchildren, some are for it, others against it. The Children’s Court, however, has the power to cane naughty children. As a Children’s Court advisor, I can tell you that children can be caned in Malaysia, though we try not to.

They can be caned under Section 92 of the Children’s Act 2001, subject to the following stipulations:

·the child shall be examined by a medical officer to certify that the child is in a fit state of health to undergo the whipping;

·the person shall use a light cane with average force without lifting his hand over his head so that the child’s skin is not cut;

·after inflicting a stroke, he shall lift the cane upward and not pull it;

·whipping may be inflicted on any part of the body except the face, head, stomach, chest or private parts;

·the child shall wear clothes; and if,

·during the execution of the whipping, the medical officer certifies that the child is not in a fit state to undergo the remainder of the whipping, the whipping shall be finally stopped.

If we apply the Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the UN assembly in 1989 – that a child has civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights – we should be convinced that caning must go. It has no place in civic society today, Malaysia included.

Seeing that Malaysia is one of the 193 countries that has ratified the convention, we should see the caning of young offenders as a thing of the past

And perhaps amend the clause in the Child Act which allows for caning.


2012, Arkib Berita, Forum, Pembangunan Sekolah, Peperiksaan, Rencana, Sistem, Subjek, Surat

System overload

Sunday July 1, 2012



I REFER to the article 
Excelling the stress free way
 (Let’s Hear It, June 24).

I fail to understand why the Cabinet agreed to this assessment via School-Based Assessment (PBS) in 2010.

There is an on-going National Dialogue to revamp the Education System and the opinions put forward will be collated to come up with a new system which will be put in place.

In the year 2010, many systems were put in place for education, including the introduction of the PBS, the abolishment of the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examination, the introduction of Upholding Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthening English (MBMMBI), the abolishment of the Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI), compulsory passes in History at the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) level etc.

Looking at all these, why wouldn’t teachers as well as students be stressed out? When we want to revamp a system, we should not enhance or introduce new things until we have a clear picture of what we want. The cabinet should have, in my opinion, allowed the National Dialogue panel to finish its job before introducing new systems.

Planning is important when we deal with human capital and resources. Children are our future. We have changed our education policies every time we changed our Minister. Children do not finish a proper cycle when learning. When this happens, why blame them for turning out to be poor quality graduates? It is like constructing a high-rise building without a proper foundation.

Teachers are overloaded with paperwork. There is a lot of duplication in the requirement of data by the Education Ministry. I fail to see how the introduction of PBS will reduce the teacher’s workload. In fact, I think there is more unwarranted paperwork at the teacher’s end.

Teachers are not attending classes due to unnecessary courses and activities organised by both school and department. A teacher’s job is to teach, so let them teach. In the past, teachers were in school to teach and only to teach. Students then did not attend tuition. Today, they attend because they have to.

I think that all new systems introduced last year and this year should be put on hold until the finding from the panel is put forward.

Revert to the old system. Do not confuse students, teachers and parents until the findings and recommendations of the panel are put forward.

Let us build a good and solid foundation for the future human capital of this country. We want quality and not quantity in terms of graduates.

Parents should be convinced that the national education system of is good and of quality.

We do not need international schools to open their doors to us. For me, learning in an international school is not patriotic because you have more faith in other people’s system rather than your own.

Buying Malaysian products means learning in Malaysian schools, be it national or vernacular schools, not international. All policymakers, please walk the talk and think of our children before decisions are made.

Just check with international schools to see if their system of education has changed as often as ours. Even Japan and South Korea which we love to compare ourselves with, do not change their systems as often as ours.


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

Shortfalls in delivery system

Sunday July 1, 2012



THE Education Revamp Committee is reviewing and deliberating on nine areas of our education system. “Delivery and administrative system of the Education Ministry” is one area.

If delivery is taken to mean the Ministry’s successes in delivering promises and achieving set targets, then it must be congratulated and lauded for having delivered on most counts. Nevertheless, there is room for improvement.

First, the Ministry should refrain from indiscriminately quoting statistics to justify, rationalise or neutralise some “bad” happenings in its system. Improperly used, statistics can misinform. As the saying goes: There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.

Let me illustrate. Our student population totals 5.1 million and the number of schools stands at 10,019. [Statistics as stated in the Ministry’s website.]

So, to hear education officials say that student discipline problems involve less than 0.1% of the overall student populace is to not “deliver” and address the problem in its correct perspective.

Second, when a problem crops up in school, very often a committee is set up with the task of investigating and submitting a report to the Ministry for deliberation and action. The composition or setup of some of these committees at times calls into question their neutrality and impartiality. Take, for example, the occasional fighting/bullying reported in a school dormitory.

Normally, the school principal heads the investigating committee. Now, how impartial can a principal be in reporting “dirt” found in his own backyard? Would his report indicate inefficiencies in the school administration?

Even when Ministry officials turn up for on-the-spot inspection (turun padang), they are given guided tours. Chances are, all blame will fall on the students. So, does the report honestly deliver the truth to the authorities?

Third, some “little Napoleons” in schools do not strictly follow the directives from above. They implement Ministry policies according to their own myopic interpretations at best, at their whims and fancies at worse. This detracts from the noble intentions of the Ministry.

A problem still bothering some parents is the implementation of the “soft-landing” approaches in some schools in the aftermath of PPSMI (the Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English). What is happening in some school classrooms and laboratories is certainly non-delivery of the Ministry’s soft-landing directives.

Granted that schools need some leeway or even liberty to run in accordance to local specifics and peculiarities, a better check-and-balance mechanism should be put in place to enhance the Ministry’s delivery system.