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

Only the toughest survive STPM

Thursday, July 12, 2012

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

HARD WORK: Many students are giving the exam a wide berth and, instead, opt for easier assessments

IT has been called “archaic”, “anachronistic” and “a remnant of the Stone Age”. It is also known as “the hardest exam in the world”. Given a choice between wading chest-deep though crocodile-infested waters and sitting the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia examination, most students say they would choose the former. Indeed, it has been pointed out that only the extremely masochistic or one whose life provides no other options will attempt STPM. Or journalism.

STPM is certainly not for the weak of heart and feeble of will. Many have sat it, with disastrous results. I was one of those who scraped through, despite being an (almost) straight-A scorer in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia. It took several years to overcome the humiliation and post-apocalyptic fallout that came with an almost failing grade in Physics.

As a result of this cataclysmic episode, I have, until today, nothing but the deepest respect and admiration for STPM top scorers, especially those who make it look so easy, scoring 5As even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. They manage it despite being blind, wheelchair-bound, afflicted with lung infection, or in the case of Ayah Pin’s son, being the offspring of a cult leader.

It is mercilessly tough, and this is why it is unsurprising that many students usually give Form Six a wide berth after SPM, preferring instead, if they have the means, to enrol for matriculation programmes offered by private colleges, or to take the A Levels.

These programmes are perceived to be superior and better able to prepare students for university education.

Form Six student numbers have, thus, dwindled through the years, so much so that there was a proposal that it be abolished. Some schools have noted that up to 90 per cent of their students enrol in private colleges after SPM. Schools offering Form Six struggle to fill up classrooms.

Students cannot be blamed for choosing what they perceive as being a less arduous route. The programmes in private colleges use the modular or semester system and students feel it is easier for them to score good grades or pass rather than attempt STPM, which is based on one examination. One wrong move, or a queasy stomach on exam day, is capable of derailing two years of hard work.

The programmes offered in private colleges also do away with non-essential subjects and prepare students directly for their intended careers.

The perception, therefore, is that Sixth Formers are the system’s leftovers, or those who cannot afford private education or gain entry into matriculation programmes. That is as good for their self-esteem as being the target of a school bully’s cruel jibes.

It was against this scenario that an announcement was made last week to re-brand Form Six to make it more attractive for SPM-leavers. It is not exactly a new endeavour as at least one other move to revitalise Form Six has been made in the past.

Some educationists believe, however, that the more pertinent question about STPM is not so much about its diminishing popularity but whether it should be there at all. Should it be scrapped together with matriculation, and a common entrance examination into public universities be introduced in their stead?

That there are two systems for university entry — STPM and matriculation — has been a source of discontentment for many years, more so since intake into public universities became merit-based in 2002.

This year, there are 83,000 Form Six students and 26,000 matriculation students nationwide.

Matriculation programmes, some say, give students an unfair advantage as they are “easier”.

They have different evaluation procedures: STPM is affiliated with the Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, while matriculation is based on coursework, exams and lecturer evaluation.

Some of the disgruntlement with matriculation, however, eased somewhat when entry requirements for matriculation colleges were relaxed to admit up to 10 per cent non-Bumiputera students. Just recently, too, MIC demanded additional seats for Indian students, and the numbers were increased to 1,500 from 500.

But it’s still there. Perhaps one way forward is for universities to work together to come up with a common entrance examination, like SAT (Standard Assessment Test) used in the United States.

Indeed, to put STPM and matriculation in one basket for comparison for places in public universities has long been described as iniquitous. We cannot compare them as they are essentially two different examinations.

Read more: Only the toughest survive STPM – Columnist – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnist/only-the-toughest-survive-stpm-1.106163#ixzz20MrByamV

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

BULLYING: When schools are a living hell

Thursday, July 12, 2012

By Samuel Yesuiah, Seremban, Negri Sembilan 0 comments

THE news report, “Bullies’ assault leaves teen with ruptured eardrum” (NST, July 10, shows that bullying and student violence are still a problem in schools, especially in boarding schools.

The report said a Form One student of a prominent boarding school was allegedly assaulted by five senior students in the dormitory.

The bullies, all Form Five students, had barged into his dormitory at 2.15am and subjected the students in the dormitory to 250 squats. Some were slapped for wrongdoings.

The teen was allegedly slapped twice by the seniors for not doing his bed before going for classes. He was warned not to report the matter to the authorities.

After he complained of dizziness and pain in the right ear, it was discovered by a doctor that he had ruptured his eardrum.

Bullying, fights and brawls in schools should be checked and student violence should not be condoned.

Wardens in schools with hostels need to exercise caution in supervising and keeping bullying in check.

Form One students are usually the target of bullying by seniors because of their vulnerability. Juniors are threatened with beatings if they report abuses to the authorities. So, they endure the pain and the bullying.

Students should not be allowed to assault fellow students.

Students who engage in bullying, fights and brawls should be caned and suspended.

Students should report to the teachers whenever they are provoked or bullied.

Many boys fall victim to bullies. They make school a living hell for good students.

A violence-free culture should be advocated in schools.

Hopefully, teachers, wardens, disciplinary teachers and parents will play their role as guardians and protect their children from bullies and hoodlums in schools.

Read more: BULLYING: When schools are a living hell – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/bullying-when-schools-are-a-living-hell-1.106331#ixzz20MqtSloK

2012, Arkib Berita, Pembangunan Sekolah

78 schools get college status

Thursday, July 12, 2012

By WINSTON WAY | news@nst.com.my 0 comments

UPGRADE: Pioneer programme to offer diplomas

.The Education Ministry’s technical and vocational education division director, Ahmad Tajudin Jab, presenting the Excellent Service Award to SMV Matang teacher Faridah Abdullah in Kuching yesterday. Pic by Mohd Radzi Bujang

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KUCHING: SEVENTY-EIGHT vocational schools are being  upgraded into colleges which will produce 13,000 skilled workers in four years’ time.

This is being done under the Education Ministry’s vocational education transformation programme.

These colleges will provide diploma qualifications through the pioneer programme that began seven months ago.

Currently, the schools offer basic vocational education which was only a stepping stone for the pupils to further pursue their studies, the ministry’s technical and vocational education division director, Ahmad Tajudin Jab, said yesterday.

He earlier presented excellent service awards to 136 teachers from vocational and technical schools in Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan at a presentation ceremony here.

Ahmad said the ministry would look forward to collaborating with private colleges, especially in high impact fields such as oil and gas, biotechnology and renewable energy.

He also said the new vocational colleges would admit former PMR students from next year.

He said technical schools would maintain their traditional functions.

Students would learn basic vocational education there before they could go into specialised fields such as engineering and architecture in universities, colleges and polytechnics.

He also said the ministry would stress on having robotic studies as a subject in technical schools as it was “very suitable and appealing for technical students.”

On having new vocational schools in the state in anticipation of a high demand for skilled workers for the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score), he said the intake for the seven technical and vocational schools in the state was sufficient to meet 90 per cent of the demand.

He said there was an application to build a new school in Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan but the ministry would have to look into the necessity in view of the cost involved.

Read more: 78 schools get college status – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/78-schools-get-college-status-1.106184#ixzz20MqDTMwS

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

Special care for special ones

Thursday July 12, 2012


MY heart goes out to a dear friend who is facing a predicament over the education of her two-year-old son with special needs.

Being a young parent, my friend goes the extra mile for her son, educating herself on his special needs, accepting his specialness with an open mind, albeit with a heavy heart.

I stress the word “special” for a reason – these individuals definitely deserve the utmost attention, care and support, not to mention sensitivity from all those involved in their development years.

After doing a lot of research, my friend found a centre for special needs children near her home, which was quite convenient as she also had to ferry a five-year-old daughter to school.

However, to her horror, she got a call a few months back saying that her son was a “nuisance”, as he was always crying and wailing all the time.

According to the head of the school, the boy wouldn’t stop crying, so she said that “either: a) something is wrong with him or b) something is wrong with the parents and their parenting skills!”

I was flabbergasted on hearing this. My friend was already suffering in silence over her son’s special needs and she didn’t want pity for her or her son.

Oddly enough, her son doesn’t throw tantrums at home and that was why my friend was caught by surprise when she was told that he was a “pest” at the centre.

She pulled him out from the centre.

She recently found another centre, a bit further from her home and so far things have turned out well.

What got me riled up was how unprofessional and unethical the principal was, putting all the blame on the young boy and the family.

I have an aunt who has been involved in educating kids with special needs for many years, and despite being faced with constant screams, tantrums, threats, kicks and punches from these young individuals, never once has she complained about them.

As such, I have the highest respect for her and for other educators of special needs’ children.

I feel that my friend should have been given support, encouragement, and information on how to raise her young boy.

Bandar Kinrara, Selangor

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

Dasar pendidikan perlu rujukan spesifik

12 Julai 2012, Khamis


KUALA LUMPUR 11 Julai – Pelaksanaan kajian semula Dasar Pendidikan Negara memerlukan terma rujukan yang spesifik dan konkrit agar ia tidak diselewengkan oleh petualang antiperpaduan, antinasional serta parasit politik.

Ahli Dewan Negara, Senator Prof. Datuk Dr. Firdaus Abdullah berkata, golongan berkenaan sentiasa menunggu peluang untuk mengemukakan tuntutan-tuntutan yang tidak munasabah dan bertentangan dengan aspirasi nasional.

Katanya, terma rujukan yang bersifat terbuka adalah berbahaya kerana boleh disalah guna oleh pihak-pihak tertentu untuk merombak dasar-dasar yang telah dipersetujui dahulu.

“Kerajaan mesti berhati-hati apabila mengadakan pertemuan dengan pelbagai pihak yang terlibat dalam kajian semula Dasar Pendidikan Negara.

“Ada segelintir pihak di negara ini yang tidak peduli tentang apa yang akan berlaku kepada masyarakat asalkan matlamat mereka tercapai,” katanya ketika membahaskan Rang Undang-Undang Perbekalan Tambahan 2012 di Dewan Negara hari ini.

Firdaus membahaskan secara terperinci permohonan peruntukan tambahan sebanyak RM35 juta oleh Kementerian Pelajaran untuk menampung pelaksanaan kajian semula Dasar Pendidikan Negara.

Dalam perkembangan sama, beliau berpandangan bahawa dasar berkenaan sebenarnya tidak memerlukan kajian semula, sebaliknya perlu dikaji keberkesanan pelaksanaannya.

Menurutnya, kelemahan pelajar dalam sesuatu subjek tidak berhubung kait dengan Dasar Pendidikan Negara yang sedang digunakan sekarang.

“Sehubungan itu, saya sarankan agar kementerian melihat semula sama ada benar-benar terdapat keperluan untuk mengkaji dasar itu,” ujarnya.

Kata Firdaus, kementerian juga perlu menerapkan tiga fungsi penting iaitu membina watak, membangunkan sumber manusia dan mewujudkan sebuah negara bangsa dalam kajian semula pelaksanaan Dasar Pendidikan Negara.