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

PHONES IN SCHOOLS: Let students have gadget that’s part of our lives now

Sunday, July 29, 2012

AFTER reading the interviews in the New Sunday Times last week, I must say that both Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim and Belinda Ong have raised good points regarding the proposal to allow pupils to bring handphones to school from next year.

.Handphones are so ubiquitous today that it is impossible to stop students from bringing one to school.

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There are many pros and cons in this issue. As a Sixth Former, I often see students using handphones in school although it is banned.

I am a prefect and have found that most students continue to bring their smartphones to school despite spot checks.

The fact is, despite stringent rules against handphones in school, students are still using them in schools. So, why not just allow them to bring the phones? Then, students will be able to contact their parents or make emergency calls.

Sometimes, it is quite frustrating when something urgent happens but we (students) have to look for public phones to call for help. Times have changed.

Handphones have become a big part of our daily lives. Students should be allowed to bring handphones to school, but new rules should be introduced, implemented and obeyed by all.

FIRST, I would like to suggest that all phones must be on silent mode or switched off. They should only be allowed to use handphones during recess or after school.

Those who break the rule more than three times should be blacklisted and barred from bringing their handphones to school.

In addition, the school authorities should register handphone owners to avoid mix-ups.

SECOND, talks should be given in schools about proper use of phones. They should be advised to use handphones for specific purposes, such as contacting their parents.

They must be cautioned that disciplinary action will be taken against them if they use the phones for other purposes like playing games, recording and posting school-ground antics (fights and bullying), pornography, or surfing YouTube or Facebook.

THIRD, those who are caught red-handed for stealing handphones should be punished.

However, parents and students are fully responsible for the loss of their handphones if they bring them to school.

It is a good idea to allow students to bring only basic handphones for calls and text messages. This will prevent them from showing off or comparing their smartphones.

The students themselves play an important role in proving that the Education Ministry’s proposal to allow them to bring handphones to school is a wise one. Everything has positive and negative sides. I believe that bringing handphones to school is prudent if all parties involved cooperate to make it work.

Winky Lau, Kuala Lumpur

Read more: PHONES IN SCHOOLS: Let students have gadget that’s part of our lives now – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/phones-in-schools-let-students-have-gadget-that-s-part-of-our-lives-now-1.114606#ixzz224piiepD

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

PHONES IN SCHOOLS: Merits outweigh the risks

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I AM a father of three children who are in primary school and I strongly support the proposal to allow pupils to bring handphones to school.

All schools today are heavily guarded areas. We can only enter with permission. I support the security measures as they are for our children’s own good, but they make it difficult for us to interact with our children during school hours. I’ve always wished that they had a handphone with them so that I could contact them if the need arises.

Now, here’s a proposal that has stirred up some debate. In my opinion, it should be implemented fast. Times have changed.

How can the proposal be implemented? Here are some of my suggestions:

HAVE specific guidelines on the type of phone that is allowed. For example, a basic handphone for making calls and receiving text messages, without camera and memory slot. It must have a silent mode.

ALL devices must be registered. School authorities could seize phones which are not registered with the school.

HAVE standard regulation. For example, if a phone rings in class, after several warnings, the phone should be seized. Return the SIM card to the pupil.

CONDUCT spot checks.

For those opposing, just remember all issues have pros and cons.

We can accept things that are generally right or useful. We would never condone smoking in school but we should always support Internet use there.

The Internet is an overwhelmingly useful tool, but it, too, can be abused. So why can’t we accept the use of handphones?

Some might argue that it will cause students to compete unhealthily among each other. A basic handphone without camera and memory slots costs RM80 or less. What is there to boast about?

If we really care about competition, then we should talk about the motorcycles belonging to some students. Some are better than those owned by their teachers. Why aren’t parents fussing about that?


Mire Mohd, Kuala Lumpur

Read more: PHONES IN SCHOOLS: Merits outweigh the risks – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/phones-in-schools-merits-outweigh-the-risks-1.114602#ixzz224oosc00

2012, Aliran, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Pembangunan Sekolah, Subjek

‘English, BM media can help Tamil pupils’

Monday, July 30, 2012


KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Maglin Dennis D’Cruz yesterday advised Tamil school pupils to take advantage of the Bahasa Malaysia and English language media to develop their minds.
He said pupils could not depend on school books to widen their knowledge.
“Tamil media and books are important. However, when pupils are exposed to media in other languages, they can gain knowledge on national and international developments. Such media can help pupils to master Malay and English. Once you have mastered these languages, you can understand information from abroad.”
D’Cruz, who is vice-president of People’s Progressive Party, was speaking after opening the third annual delegates meeting of the Federation of Tamil Ex-Students Association of Malaysia at SJK (T) Saraswathy here.
He also said Tamil schools should be proactive in resolving problems. Bernama

Read more: ‘English, BM media can help Tamil pupils’ – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/english-bm-media-can-help-tamil-pupils-1.115813#ixzz224PBs2cz

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

Brutal truths of education system

Monday July 30, 2012


THE fact that our education system needs immediate and drastic transformation is evident. In the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) around 20% of Malaysian students failed to meet minimum benchmarks for both Mathematics and Science, compared to only 5% in Science and 7% in Mathematics in 2003.

According to the Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) 2009+ report, Malaysian students ranked 55th out of 74 countries in terms of reading literacy, 57th in Mathematics and “only marginally better” in 52nd position for Science literacy.

The number of unemployed graduates with either a diploma or degree from local institutions of higher education has risen since the 1980s to a record of 24.6 % in 2010.

Our educational system generally promotes surface and passive learning instead of deep and active learning which is crucial for creating a quality learning environment.

The products of our school system are generally ill-prepared either for higher education, work or life in general.

Our students lack critical and creative thinking skills because our education system promotes conformity and uniformity.

Worse still, they have been “conditioned” to be spoon-fed.

Our graduates lack soft skills sought by employers, particularly communication skills, a strong work ethic, achievement-orientation, proactivity (initiative), planning and organising skills, problem-solving and decision-making skills, and human relations skills.

Mediocrity has also crept insidiously into our universities. A 2011 World Bank study has found that the academic standards of the Universiti Malaya have fallen due to race-based quotas and political interference in the university’s management.

Based on my recent interactions with hundreds of university lecturers (including numerous professors) from four local public universities through my workshops on effective teaching and graduate employability, the vast majority of them have a poor understanding of critical thinking and lack basic presentation skills.

What we need is to face the stark reality and brutal truths of our education system.

We have sacrificed meritocracy and quality teaching for mediocrity, politics and an overdose of social re-engineering.

We have sacrificed “quality” of graduates for “quantity” of graduates.

The first step in transforming our education system is to “begin with the end in mind”.

The million-dollar question is to ask what should be the desired attributes of our students

and graduates i.e. what kind of knowledge, skills and personal traits should they have to meet the challenges of the 21st century world.

Malaysian students and graduates should possess adequate disciplinary knowledge; self-confidence; be achievement-oriented; persuasive and effective communicators;

demonstrate integrity and a strong work ethic; be self-directed, self-reflective and lifelong learners; be resilient; demonstrate good interpersonal and teamwork skills; be good problem solvers with analytical and creative minds; computer literate; and productive and responsible citizens with inter-cultural tolerance.

Towards this end, schools and

universities should provide a high quality, broad-based and holistic

education with emphasis on cognitive intelligence, emotional intelligence, moral intelligence, spiritual intelligence and physical well- being.

Various measures are needed to transform our education system.

First, the main driver of the variation in student learning at school is teacher quality.

Research shows that over 30%

of the variance of school student achievement resulted from

professional characteristics of teachers, teaching skills and the classroom


Indeed, students placed with high-performing teachers are likely to progress three times faster as those placed with low-performing teachers. In this regard, it is crucial to get

people with the right competencies to become professional and highly motivated teachers who practise

self-reflection, self-correction and continuous improvement.

Next, transformational

leadership with a strong focus on instructional leadership (enhancing the quality of teaching and student learning) is the second most

important determinant of student learning. Transformational leaders are visionary, inspirational, change-adept. More importantly,

they nurture a high-performance school culture which brings out

the best in others and transform them into peak performers.

Third, high-performing schools generally have high and realistic expectations of teachers and students; a nurturing and motivating classroom climate; effective assessment (primarily formative) and feedback; a close community-home-school partnership; and adequate funding and resources.

Fourth, it is important to adopt an integrated and systemic approach (and not a piece-meal approach) towards transforming schools.

School transformation efforts must encompass clear educational outcomes, a broad-based and holistic curriculum, competent teacher recruitment and development, effective school governance, varied and student-centric instructional strategies, optimisation of e-learning, appropriate assessment and feedback, and a high-performance school culture committed to excellence and continuous improvement.

I sincerely hope that my letter will stir up a healthy and frank discussion among fellow Malaysians. The destiny of our country lies squarely in our hands.

Failure to transform our education system based upon systemic and brutal change will erode our nation’s global competitiveness, organisational productivity and individual well-being.


Kuala Lumpur

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

Practise values learnt

Monday July 30, 2012


THE Reader’s Digest publication placed Kuala Lumpur’s rudeness and inconsiderate behaviour level almost at the bottom of a list of least Courteous Cities – at number 34 out of 36 major cities in the world (The Star, July 24).

Six years ago the same publication placed Malaysia’s rudeness level at 33 out of the 35 countries ranked.

While we are not sure what was the criteria used to do the assessment, the fact that it comes from a reputable publication is a matter that cannot be ignored.

On the contrary, we should be concerned about the findings and address them in the best possible way.

Some of the issues highlighted related to lack of courtesy, smoking in toilets, ignoring signs against smoking, littering in public places, not giving up seats for pregnant women and the elderly, rushing into lifts, trains and buses before allowing passengers to exit.

Other problems include ugly driving habits, poor toilet etiquette, talking loudly on phones even in places where there is supposed to have privacy, not saying “thank you” when assistance is given, and leaving trolleys in parking lots.

Judging from the behaviour and attitude of a large number of Malaysians, I have serious reservations about the effectiveness of the ongoing campaign to promote courtesy among the people and make it a way of life.

Despite our technological progress we are confronted with the issue of decaying morality in our daily lives.

The time has come for all strata of Malaysian society to ask whether they have done enough to ensure the success of the national five-year campaign to promote courtesy and noble values among Malaysians.

Based on my observations, courtesy, politeness, patience, humility, tolerance and respect have yet to become our way of life. Courtesy is very much lacking in large sections of our community.

Emphasising on campaigns to inculcate public courtesy and noble values is very essential in view of the deterioration of such values and virtues particularly among young Malaysians.

Having a campaign to promote courtesy and noble values is important but what is even more essential is to put into practice the values we are helping to promote.

Leadership by example is essential for the success of the campaign. In this connection all ministries, government departments and agencies should instil noble values among their staff.

The civil service, for example, should promote courtesy among counter staff dealing with the public.

Basic civilities and courtesies such as responding to calls and replying to letters from the public must be adhered to by all those in authority.

This should be followed by the private sector and the Malaysian public at large.

The success of any courtesy campaign must start from schools.

In this connection, Moral Education or Pendidikan Moral should be reinforced to emphasise the importance of learning and practising the 36 noble values in schools.

Memorising the values for the sake of passing an exam is certainly not desirable. What we want is to put the noble values into practice in our daily life.

The attainment of vision 2020 will only be meaningful if we are able to inculcate a culture of courtesy and noble values among Malaysians.



1Malaysia Foundation

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

Framework needed to get Iban language taught in school

Sunday July 29, 2012


KUCHNG: A strong framework is needed to enable the Iban language to be widely taught in school in the state and also throughout the country.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang said the development of the language within the education system started relatively late, so the results would not materialise over a short period of time.

“We need more capable and qualified teachers to conduct more classes at all levels, even pre-schools,” he told reporters after officiating at a dialogue on Iban language development in school here yesterday.

“The language has been recognised by the Education Ministry as a school subject between the late 80s and early 90s.

“In order to make the teaching of the language a success, we need a framework upon which we can build the syllabus, as well as improve the competency of the teachers.”

There are currently 20 students who are about to complete their Iban Language Studies Minor Programme at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris in Perak.

These students, the first batch to undertake the programme, have only one more semester to go before they become qualified teachers.

There are 71 new students enrolled in the programme.

“A total of 25 students are in their post graduate studies while 46 are in their diploma studies,” said Jabu, while pointing out that some of the students were not Ibans.

At Rajang Teachers Training Institute, 24 students enrolled into its Iban language five-year degree course last year.

“When they graduated, they would teach the language. In June this year, the institute had 20 intakes for the course.

“We will continuously explore the potential of the course in other teachers training institutes,” said Jabu.

Earlier during the dialogue, Jabu said to date there were about 71,000 school students taking up Iban language studies in the state.

“This shows the language is widely accepted. This is a good thing as we encourage our children to be as multi-lingual as they possibly can.

“Initiatives are also given to those who have succeeded,” he said.

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

Teacher lost in transition

Sunday July 29, 2012

NELSON Mandela once said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

This great South African statesman, who united his country and saw it become the most developed African nation, knows what he is talking about.

Education and nation-building go hand-in-hand. In view of this, teachers must be held in high regard.

They are the ones who teach and educate by imparting knowledge and skills to students. The importance of the teaching profession cannot be over emphasised.

However, if our country’s policymakers fail to fully optimise or misdirect its teaching expertise, it would be a waste of precious resources.

I am trained to be a secondary school Biology teacher. I graduated from Universiti Putra Malaysia in October last year and finally got posted to a school in May this year.

Unfortunately, I was posted to a Chinese primary school in a remote rural town called Manchis in Bentong, Pahang, about 300km from my hometown, Ipoh, Perak.

I was made a primary school teacher for a number of reasons.

Chinese primary schools in Malaysia have been facing the problem of teacher shortage for many years.

While it may seem that teaching primary schoolchildren is easier than teaching in secondary school, in my opinion the opposite is true.

Well, I have been trained for four years, plus three months of practicum training, to teach secondary school students, not primary.

The approach, pedagogy, techniques and so on for teaching secondary school students are entirely different from that of teaching primary school pupils. Hence, I found myself at a complete loss when I got to the school in Pahang.

My colleagues told me not to worry and said I would soon get used to it but frankly, weeks have passed and I still haven’t got a clue how to conduct a decent lesson.

Nevertheless, I still do my job to the best of my ability.

Returning home after a long day’s work, I would console myself with the thought that this is just a temporary posting.

I strongly believe I would one day go back to teaching Biology in a secondary school, where I truly belong.

However, this is not all there is to my story.

To my dismay, when I received the job offer letter from the Education Ministry, my field of expertise was changed from Biology to Chinese! How could this happen?

I wasn’t the only one; my colleagues’ fields were also changed to Chinese!

Does this mean we are going to be teaching in Chinese primary schools?

I have always dreamed of being a great Biology teacher, teaching my favourite subject and imparting fascinating facts and knowledge about our amazing natural world to my students.

But now it seems that my ambition, my dream and my hope have all been dashed.

First, we were sent to teach in primary schools without our consent. Second, most of us were sent to remote areas. Third, our fields of expertise were all changed to Chinese.

I know I am in no position to make any demands from the authorities. All I want is to serve my country by being the best Biology teacher I can be.

I sincerely hope that the Education Ministry would give us a letter guaranteeing that we would be posted to secondary schools, perhaps in a year or two. Let this plea not fall on deaf ears.