2012, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Buku Teks, Forum, Masalah Pelajar, Rencana, Subjek, Surat

EDUCATION: Respect right to learn in English

Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 12:4 PM
Email Print 31 October 2012 | last updated at 07:23AM

By Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim | letters@nstp.com.my 0 comments

WE refer to “Schools have books in English” (NST, Oct 26 ).
The response by the Education Ministry (MoE) on the problem of buying science and mathematics textbooks in English indicates that it has misunderstood the intent of the letter and is unaware of the situation on the ground.
With reference to the circular dated Nov 4 last year, the decision to delay the abolition of the policy of teaching and learning science and mathematics in English in schools has been met with little support from the MoE, to ensure it continues until 2021.
Most critical is the absence of any instruction from the MoE to the publishers to print science and mathematics textbooks in English. Therefore, publishers’ stocks are selling out quickly and parents are frantically trying to source these few remaining books, the last of which were printed in 2009. Calls to several bookstores have confirmed this.
While it is true that schools are supposed to and do supply the textbooks in Bahasa Malaysia (BM) and English, it implies that if there is no such instruction to print English books, then these same books will be re-supplied to the students until 2021. Imagine the state of these books by then.
Many obstacles continue to be placed to ensure that students do not exercise their right to opt for English for reasons unknown.
Many schools offer only BM textbooks, when they should do so in both languages; examination questions from the education departments that are sent to schools remain in BM where it is up to the initiative of the school to translate them into English, yet most schools do not; in some schools, principals ignore pleas by students, parents and teachers to continue in English while teachers teach in BM, oblivious to the rights and wishes of the students.
Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim, Chairman books in English,Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

Read more: EDUCATION: Respect right to learn in English – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/education-respect-right-to-learn-in-english-1.164489?cache=03D163D03edding-pred-1.1176%2F%3FpFpentwage63Dp%3A%2Fhe3D03Dn63Frea-rti3D19.3D163D03edding-pred-1.1176%2F%3FpFpentwage63Dp%3A%2Fhe3D03Dn63Frea-rti3D19.111w5ii%2Fed-1.1176%2F%2F2.2525%2F2.2525%2F1.33120%2F7.1838#ixzz2AqUgBYnG

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

Bullying, a wake up call

Wednesday October 31, 2012


THE senseless beating and death of 14-year-old K. Saravanan at the hands of bullies is a wake-up call for all Malay-sians.

Where is the so called “caring-Malaysian” among the crowd that stood and watched as Saravanan was beaten to death?

Why didn’t anybody try to save Saravanan?

Have we become a society in which each fends for his own and not for the neighbour?

This issue of bullying has been raised many times before and we have become so numb and apathetic that it is just a matter of days before this too fades from our memory.

Unless we act now, this incident will repeat, in another place, to another boy, maybe even a child you know.

Surely the police and justice system is strong enough to punish crime doers or have we lost faith that the system can bring justice to the weak and protect the one who steps forward to help?

We need to ask ourselves why we do not feel anything more than a passing empathy for this child.

Is it because we fear to step forward to help a victim due to the possibility of revenge by gangs? Where does fear end and justice begin?

There are countless cases of bullying in schools that have got out of hand and these same boys grow up to be crime doers.

I call on the police to work with the education system to eradicate bullying in schools as this is a grassroots level of crime in society today.

We need to consider more faith education and religious classes for all children in school.

No amount of compensation can alleviate the anguish of the loss of the only child of N. Malar. Our heart truly goes out to her.

Let us each make an effort to console her with the promise that her child did not die in vain.

Each of us must awaken our conscience to act against this evil in our society and to ensure that no child will need to die this way in our country.

We didn’t Save Saravanan but we can create a society that will “Stop the Bullying and Save Saravanan’s Memory.”

I have learnt that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

Cheras, Selangor

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

Training for 2,000 Chinese language teachers

Wednesday October 31, 2012


KUALA LUMPUR: Some 2,000 Chinese language teachers from national-type Chinese schools will undergo training next month to meet the demand for more English and Malay language teachers.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said the training was part of the ministry’s additional option intervention programme and would focus on Chinese language teachers who have been teaching Malay and English.

“It is a concrete move by the ministry to address the shortage of teachers in national-type Chinese schools,” he told reporters at Parliament House yesterday.

Dr Wee, who had chaired a meeting of the special committee to address the shortage of teachers at national-type Chinese schools earlier, said offer letters to the teachers would be issued on Nov 10 and training would begin on Nov 19.

He said the teachers would be trained at the ministry’s teacher training colleges nationwide and undergo practical assessment at their respective schools.

Under the programme, teachers with five to 10 years’ experience will undergo four weeks of training and two weeks’ practicals while teachers with 10 to 20 years’ experience will undergo two weeks’ training and practical.

“Teachers with more than 20 years of experience will only have to attend a one-day briefing and two-week practicals,” he said, adding that teachers with certificates under the ministry’s dual-language intensive course only needed to undergo practical assessment.

Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Hua Zhong) deputy secretary-general Chin Yew Sin described the move as a positive step.

“The shortage of teachers is a long-standing issue that has dragged on for over 40 years. The announcement is a positive and significant step forward in addressing the problem,” he said.

There are 1,294 primary national-type schools nationwide with about 1,000 temporary teachers currently employed to meet the shortage.

Federation of Chinese School Teachers’ head of teacher training unit Lee Kam Wah also lauded the announcement, saying it would counter the shortage of teachers soon.

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2012, Arkib Berita, Masalah Guru, Pembangunan Sekolah, Pendidikan Awal

DPM: Only 3% of kindergarten teachers qualified

Published: Wednesday October 31, 2012 MYT 11:33:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday October 31, 2012 MYT 11:41:28 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Only 3% of private pre-school teachers have formal qualifications in early childhood education.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said rest only had workplace training or unaccredited qualifications.

“In this regard, I urge the teachers to take up at least a diploma in Early Childhood Education.

“The ministry has also taken the initiative to provide a free 3-week course for private pre-school teachers,” he said in his speech before launching the National Early Childhood Care and Education Week 2012.

Muhyiddin, who is Education Minister, added that the ministry was considering a proposal to make special needs education courses compulsory for all preschool teachers.

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2012, Arkib Berita, Forum, ICT/Teknologi, Inovasi, IPT, Rencana

UNIMAS hasil gula daripada kanji sagu

Posted on October 30, 2012, Tuesday

INOVASI: Gula sagu dalam bentuk kristal dan glukosa.

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Kum-pulan penyelidik diketuai Profesor Dr Kopli Bujang daripada Fakulti Sains dan Teknologi Sumber Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) berjaya menghasilkan gula daripada kanji sagu.

Dr Kopli yang ditemui semalam memberitahu, hasil daripada penyelidikan yang dilakukan sejak 1999, pasukannya berjaya menghasilkan gula sagu dalam bentuk kristal yang tahap kemanisannya menyamai gula biasa tetapi 50 peratus rendah kalori.

Beliau berkata idea asal untuk menghasilkan gula sagu ber-mula daripada usaha menghasilkan etanol sebagai bahan utama mengeluarkan biofuel tetapi di-sebabkan harga kanji sagu sa-ngat mahal dan tidak ekonomik pihaknya mengambil keputusan menghasilkan gula.

“Tambahan adalah tidak beretika untuk menghasilkan biofuel daripada makanan, jadi kami mengambil keputusan daripada menghasilkan etanol, kenapa tidak kita hanya mengeluarkan gula kerana ia komo-diti lebik baik untuk komuniti dan negeri Sarawak,” katanya kepada pemberita.

Terdahulu beliau mengha-diri Simposium Sagu ASEAN 2012 di Dewan Delima DeTar Putra UNIMAS.

Majlis perasmian simposium itu disempurnakan oleh Ketua Menteri Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Kopli memberitahu ketika ini pasukannya telah mengeluarkan 50 kilogram gula sagu sehari dengan proses penghasilan dilakukan di makmal fakulti berkenaan dan bakal menge-luarkan satu tan metrik gula sagu sebelum hujung tahun ini di loji perintisnya di UNIMAS.

Beliau memberitahu, satu tan gula sagu yang bakal dihasilkan nanti sama ada akan dipasarkan sebagai kegunaan pengguna atau keperluan lain bergantung kepada permintaan.

“Sebelum Krismas ini, kami akan mengeluarkan gula sagu sebanyak satu tan metrik pada satu-satu masa di loji perintis kami,” katanya.

Menjelas lanjut mengenai proses penghasilan gula sagu, beliau memberitahu bahawa ia melibatkan proses mudah yang hanya mengambil masa empat hingga enam jam untuk menghasilkan gula sagu dalam bentuk kristal menerusi proses     hidrolisis.

“Untuk menghasilkan satu kilogram gula sagu kristal, satu kilogram kanji sagu diperlukan dan untuk satu kilogram hingga 50 kilogram empat hingga enam jam diperlukan.

“Proses ini melibatkan teknologi biasa yang boleh didapati di Internet tetapi UNIMAS telah memajukannya daripada 10 jam kepada empat hingga enam jam… kanji akan diletak-kan di dalam ketuhar pada suhu 60 darjah celsius,” jelasnya.

Gula sagu yang dalam bentuk kristal katanya akan dikisar selama tiga jam pada suhu 60 darjah celsius untuk menjadikannya dalam bentuk glukosa dan berwarna putih.

“Bagi tujuan pasaran, adalah lebih baik ia dikisar untuk menghasilkan glukosa, hampir 100 peratus glukosa tulen adalah semanis glukosa lain tetapi 50 peratus rendah kalori.

“Kita percaya gula sagu ini bagus untuk mereka yang sensitif kepada gula pasir atau gula tebu meskipun kajian farmaseutikal terperinci belum dilakukan lagi,” ujarnya.

Menurutnya penghasilan gula sagu lebih ekonomik berbanding gula tebu kerana satu tan metrik batang tebu hanya 100 kilogram gula pasir dapat diekstrak daripadanya iaitu hanya tujuh hingga 10 peratus hasilnya.

Manakala untuk menghasilkan satu tan metrik gula sagu, satu tan metrik kanji sagu diperlukan maknanya tiada pembaziran, jelasnya.

“Ini berita baik untuk Sara-wak khasnya dan negara amnya  kerana bukan sahaja kita boleh eksport kanji sagu tetapi boleh diproses menjadi gula jadi kita tidak akan terlalu bergantung kepada gula tebu.

“Buat masa ini Malaysia mengimport 90 peratus gula dari luar negara, ini berita baik kepada Sarawak dan saya berharap syarikat besar akan tampil membangunkan idea ini dalam skala komersial,” katanya.

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

EXAM TIPS: Proper way to good grades

30 October 2012 | last updated at 07:48AM

By C.K., Kajang, Selangor | letters@nstp.com.my 0 comments

I AM a student and, of course, education, examinations and books are an essential part of my adolescence. Like any other school-going child, when exams come, I am beset by stress, pressure and worry, and the need to be diligent.

.Providing tips on the correct ways of studying for examinations is among the things seminars and workshops must focus on.

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Recently, students have become obsessed with examination tips.

In the weeks leading up to the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examination recently, my schoolmates were thronging various seminars just to get the latest and most reliable “tips”.

In this case, the word “tips” is a mild way of referring to “spotted questions” or “leaked questions”.

However, these are anything but reliable.

A friend shared her experience at one of these seminars. The organisers, who run a tuition centre, had sold bound books of spotted questions, which cost more than RM200 each.

Every student who attended the seminar was required to buy a copy. Let’s say 250 students registered for the seminar, there are no prizes for guessing how much money was made from the sale of these books alone.

The tuition centre was smart. To protect itself, there was a disclaimer on the back of the book, which said it was not responsible for any false or misleading information. Were these tips accurate?

I jotted down some of the tips just to compare them with the actual exam questions. None of the predictions were true.

My parents and teachers have told me never to believe in tips. I prefer covering all the topics in the syllabus rather than spotting certain chapters.

This way, I feel more confident, knowing that I have all the facts and figures at my fingertips.

Those who depend too much on exam tips fail to fathom the real meaning of examinations. It is one way of assessing the students to see whether they have learnt anything from their lessons in school.

If revision is based only on spotted questions, how can teachers, parents, even students themselves, know whether what is studied is truly understood?

Most, if not all, seminar organisers are more interested in making a quick buck rather than providing education, and spotted questions are their secret weapon.

Seminars are supposed to give tips on how to answer questions, on avoiding common mistakes made by candidates and on the correct ways of studying.

I attended a seminar in February where the facilitator guided us on how to write quality Bahasa Melayu essays, discussed phrases that we could use in our compositions and taught us unique but simple methods of writing a summary.

He did not mention anything about spotted questions until the end of the seminar, when he promoted a PMR workshop, which was to be held in August.

“In this workshop, we are not giving you leaked questions. No. We are giving you leaked answers,” he had bragged.

I did not attend the workshop, so I cannot comment on it.

If you ask me for advice on exam preparation, tips would be the last thing I will recommend.

We do not need tips or spotted questions. All we need is a good night’s sleep, hard work and continuous motivation. Here are simple methods of obtaining good grades. These are what I call study tips, not exam tips:

NEVER study at the eleventh hour. Flipping through some concise notes is acceptable, but never read the whole book when the exam is just tomorrow.

Studying throughout the year is bliss. When we revise regularly, we can easily transfer information from our short-term memory to our long-term memory.

This is the problem with students nowadays. They only start their revision when the examinations are around the corner. After the examination, they lock their books in a cupboard only to take them out when the next assessment nears;

READING and understanding notes is essential. Mugging them blindly without comprehension is foolish. Of course, we must memorise notes because the Malaysian syllabus is generally based on remembering facts, but it will be easier to memorise if we understand what we are learning;

DO a lot of exercises so that we can recall what we have read and know how the questions are being posed in examinations, and what are the important topics.

That is why reading notes and answering questions are mandatory. We must read our notes first before we do the latter. Some students tend to skip the former and jump straight to the questions. How can we answer the questions if we have not read any notes?;

NEVER burn the midnight oil. Most students like to stay up late and cram in all the information. Exam week is not a time for staying up late.

We should sleep early so that we will have a fresh mind and body for the examinations the next day. The brain functions more efficiently when it gets enough rest;

AVOID studying too much during the exam week. Take some time off to indulge in relaxing activities.

By this, I do not mean hanging out at shopping malls or at cyber cafes. Try listening to music, watch comedy or go through the newspapers.

So, spotted questions? Those are just foolish means of passing the exams. It is not much different from cheating.

Students should just trust themselves and do their best.

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

Create post of discipline teachers

Tuesday October 30, 2012

I HAD palpitations when I read the article of the 14-year old schoolboy who died when he was attacked in Malacca.

What was even more painful was that more than 30 people watched and did nothing.

I strongly believe that the discipline level in school children is deteriorating due to the lack of enforcement by the school authorities.

School discipline teachers are “toothless” and therefore discipline problems are expected to get worse.

If only discipline teachers are given more authority and some kind of perks in terms of promotion and less teaching hours, I am sure more teachers will do their job more professionally.

I still remember during my teaching days, my friend Choo and I would go out of the school compound to settle student discipline problems (like fighting), just to be reprimanded by the school head (for leaving the school compound) when we came back later.

We used to have a good relationship with the police who were there to help us.

My point is, if discipline teachers don’t go the extra mile to solve discipline problems in school, nothing much can be done.

But being a teacher-educator now, I see that more than 70% of the undergraduates are females.

With very few males in the profession I expect school discipline problems will get even worse.

I strongly believe that a special post of discipline teacher should be created.

This will definitely create more responsible and powerful discipline teachers.


Seri Kembangan, Selangor