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

Undesired results

25 November 2012 | last updated at 11:30PM

THE recent announcement of the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination results is, as ever, a good illustration of how stressful schooling and testing have become. Broken-hearted children sobbing inconsolably over slightly-less-than-stellar results has, unfortunately, become as much the norm as sights of jubilation by those who achieved perfect scores. But it has ever been thus, albeit the stakes are higher now. While, a generation or two ago, a high grade score was crucial in earning a scholarship to attend university, today, a perfect score buys a student the merest chance of getting a place at a good university.

With competition being that much tougher, little wonder then that the weight and worth of examinations have become greater. How one performs at age 12 will determine which secondary school one goes to, its quality of teachers and its culture of excellence (or the lack of it). This then determines whether or not one does well at secondary school, which is a determinant of whether one is able to go to university. So, for 12-year-olds who understand well the concept of delayed gratification, the UPSR can be both a wonderful and terrifying thing; which is why less-than-perfect results can feel very much like the end of the world.

This does not mean that examinations are a bad thing. It is important for children to learn the value of hard work, whether in the academic field or outside of it. It is important for children to learn to set goals and focus on achieving these goals. It would be quite wrong for parents to not bring up their children to work for anything, because, eventually, they will have to go out into the world, earn a living and make their own way in life.

But it is equally important for children to learn to deal with failure and disappointment, and occasionally to eat humble pie. It is healthy for children to discover that they are not the only ones in the world and that, often, their best efforts won’t necessarily get them the reward they desire. Tests of any kind are a good way to discover one’s true potential and pushing oneself to the limit will reveal the extent of one’s abilities. Knowing this is important for learning to accept and work within one’s limitations. A parent’s job, therefore, is not to ensure that children get good results but rather, it is to help the children to know more about themselves, to discover their potential, to work to their best abilities, to be strong when the weather is good, to be even stronger when dark clouds mar the sky, and to be prepared for any test life throws their way.

Read more: Undesired results – Editorial – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/editorial/undesired-results-1.176293#ixzz2DO4CqDWI

2012, Arkib Berita, Forum, ICT/Teknologi, Inovasi, Pembangunan Sekolah, Program, Rencana, Surat

Robots to the fore

Sunday November 25, 2012




Moment of glory: (from left) Phileas, Zi Xuan and Natasha showing off the medals they won.Moment of glory: (from left) Phileas, Zi Xuan and Natasha showing off the medals they won.

WHILE most kids were kicking off their shoes and savouring the first weekend of the school holidays, a select group of budding young scientists were hard at work at the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) 2012 finals.

Held at Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre, the international robotics competition that began in 2004 saw 405 teams from 30 different countries taking part in its biggest competition yet.

Teams designed autonomous interactive robots, robots that can help people with their daily chores, and life-like robots that can sense, learn and adapt with minimal human intervention, all within the space of a weekend.

It was the first time that Kuala Lumpur hosted the event and the Malaysian contingent certainly did the country proud, scooping 12 of the 21 awards in the main categories.

There were two categories (Regular and Open) where awards were allocated based on age groups (Elementary, Junior High and Senior High).

Team SCB9 from SJK (C) Batu 9, Cheras, won the gold medal in the Elementary School Regular category. The category required contestants to programme robots to complete a series of tasks.

“I like this competition because it allows me to be creative,” said team leader Yeo Yong Jie, 12, adding that their robot was named after their school.

Happy that they finally struck gold with the win, teammate Liew Kai Young, 12, is “looking forward to celebrating as we’ve been participating in this competition for three years.”

Group member Tah Chi Bin, 12, added that he would like to be a scientist when he grows up.

The pupils’ coach Tan Cher Chor shared that though the boys argued, they are also smart.

“They know that arguing will not bring them to victory. So, they will stop arguing and start discussing solutions instead,” said Tan.

Ong Lai Choo, the boys’ science teacher who has seen them through the state and national competition levels, added that the trio showed the most potential in the school’s Robotics Club.

In the Open category, where contestants were required to create their own robotics solutions based on this year’s theme “Robots Connecting People”, it was Team Friendship Builders from SJK (C) Jalan Davidson, Kuala Lumpur, that scored first prize among the Elementary School teams.

Team leader Natasha Wong, 12, explained that teams were given 45 minutes and that their design was a friendship bridge built for two players.

“We have been training hard since March,” she said, adding that they worked after school, during weekends and even on public holidays.

Teammate Phileas Mah, 12, said being good friends before becoming teammates had helped their win.

“It’s ok if you don’t win, as long as you learn something from this competition. Team members should always help each other and ask questions,” said the youngest member of the group, Ooi Zi Xuan, 10.

Their coach cum teacher Adrian Ong is happy with their win stating that they were independent pupils and did not need much supervision for the competition.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong attended the closing ceremony and extended his praise to the tenacity, dedication and ingenuity that were shown by all the participating teams.

“The Olympiad has been the perfect platform for highlighting the importance of mastering scientific knowledge and technological competency,” he said. The next WRO will convene in Jakarta next year.

Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin met with the winning teams at Parliament on Monday.

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

Keeping fit and healthy, the way to go

Sunday November 25, 2012


YOUR inspiring report “In the frontline of patient care” ( StarEducate, Nov 4), deserves praise and has encouraged me to comment on the issue of health and wellness.

In order to be strong, healthy and fit, it is vital that we take good care of ourselves physically and mentally. Our overall condition depends a lot on our mental and physical state of being. A strong body and mind serves as the foundation of a fruitful and happy life.

Having enough sleep and rest, eating proper meals, observing a balanced diet and ensuring that we include exercises in our daily regimen are indeed necesssary. This is not all. Some outdoor activity, refraining from smoking, drinking excessive alcohol, and dealing and coping with the daily stresses of life are factors that guide us towards a healthy, productive life.

However, our present lifestyle which is hectic, demanding and yet sedentary, serve as a stumbling block for many, especially city-dwellers in leading a healthy and balanced way of life.

The situation is made worse as there are many people who are reluctant to go for medical check-ups. And it is no wonder why both the elderly and young are facing many sicknesses like high-blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, diabetes, kidney-failure and even cancer.

Lately depression and anxiety are getting common in our society and even young school-going children are not spared and this has resulted in the rising cases of teen suicides. This is alarming and could be detrimental to the nation’s interest in the long run!

It is a well-known fact that Malaysians are not exercising enough and this is a setback. Exercise is the best medicine as it is highly effective in the prevention of many diseases and it does improve health.

Regular exercise can recharge our strength and flexibility. It keeps the body fit and is certainly one of the best ways to combat stress. Young people who lack the time to exercise should be extremely careful with what they eat and drink.

Many locals tend to overeat and overdrink as it is a well known fact that Malaysia is a food haven, but one has to bear in mind the oft-used phrase “we are what we eat”.

Therefore, practising healthy habits is essential to everyone from students to young adults and even senior citizens. It can certainly reduce the risk of many diseases.

I hope the government especially the Education Ministry would have greater initiatives to promote sports and outdoor activities to not only make our students healthier and stronger, but at the same time, unearth sports stars like Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Datuk Nicol David, Pandelela Rinong Pamg and Azizulhasni Awang.

As responsible citizens, we must do everything to remain well and fit and ensure that we have a nation of truly healthy and happy people.



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

UPSR cheer and tears

Sunday November 25, 2012



Double joy: (from left) Twins Nurul Syahirah Md Shah and Nurul Syafiqah from SK Kem Terendak, and Nur Fatin Syazwani Abdullah and Nur Fatin Shahirah Abdullah from SK Bukit Beringin, smile after obtaining 5A’s i n the exam.Double joy: (from left) Twins Nurul Syahirah Md Shah and Nurul Syafiqah from SK Kem Terendak, and Nur Fatin Syazwani Abdullah and Nur Fatin Shahirah Abdullah from SK Bukit Beringin, smile after obtaining 5A’s i n the exam.

THE 503,928 candidates heaved a sigh of relief on Monday when the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination results were released. Excitement and anxiety filled the air at scenes in primary schools all over the country.

There were smiles and tears as pupils obtained result slips from their school heads or crowded around notice boards trying to see how they had fared in the examination held in September.

The sky’s the limit: Penang Chinese Girls Primary School UPSR top scorers posing for a picture.The sky’s the limit: Penang Chinese Girls Primary School UPSR top scorers posing for a picture.

It was a bittersweet time too as the Year Six pupils met up for the last time at primary school as they move on to Form One in different schools next year.

Malaysian Examinations Syndi­cate (MES) director Dr Na’imah Ishak who announced the UPSR results last Monday, said 17,251 candidates or 3.42% of the total number of candidates scored below the minimum achievement (those with grades D, E, or a combination of both) as compared to 2.88% last year.

This one’s for you, Mum: Alvric Goh Ze Kai kissing his mother Fong Ping Ping to thank her after r eceiving his outsta nding results.This one’s for you, Mum: Alvric Goh Ze Kai kissing his mother Fong Ping Ping to thank her after r eceiving his outsta nding results.

The gap between urban and rural candidates, who scored below the minimum achievement, had also widened. A total of 6,999 urban candidates and 10,221 rural candidates failed to obtain a minimum Grade C this year as compared to 6,615 urban candidates and 7,225 rural candidates in 2011.

However, Dr Na’imah said more students received good or average scores. She said 25 out of 1,752 special needs candidates who sat for the examination scored all A’s compared to 17 candidates last year.

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

Beyond chalk and board

Sunday November 25, 2012




Holistic approach: SK Taman Putra Perdana teachers viewing the portfolio of some of their studentsHolistic approach: SK Taman Putra Perdana teachers viewing the portfolio of some of their students

IMAGINE you are a Mathematics teacher, and your goal is to teach your pupils to count from one to 10.

You could either write “5 + 5 = 10” on the blackboard, which is fast and simple, or you could come up with an activity that will put some fun back into classroom teaching.

Instead of asking the children to count with their fingers, you could place apples in a basket and let them feel and count the apples.

Chances are that not only will the children have fun but they will also learn during the process.

The apples could even be used to reward those who behave well in class!

For teachers who wish to plan and design their lessons more creatively, the school-based assessment system (PBS) gives them the opportunity to do so.

Let’s forget about blackboard and chalk for one second, because with a touch of creativity, teachers could also inject some excitement into the otherwise mundane and predictable school lessons.

“It may seem difficult at the beginning, but once you start the ball rolling you will get more experience along the way. It may also be easier to find materials to make your lessons interesting,” said SK Taman Putra Perdana teacher Ezza Hairani Zainuddin.

The PBS was introduced last year in all government and government-aided primary schools, and this year in all government and government-aided secondary schools.

It is a holistic form of assessment in which the focus is more on the children’s personal development and growth.

Teachers are given autonomy to carry out formative and summative assessments which require them to record pupils’ learning progress in a systematic manner.

According to the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate (MES), there are four components in the PBS; namely, school assessment; centralised assessement; assessment of physical, sports and co-curricular activities, and psychometric assessment.

Teachers also have to file pupils’ work as proof that the learners have acquired the necessary knowledge and skills of which a performance band will be given to the children.

For pupils like seven-year-old Hurin Batrisyia Amani Ahmad Junaidi Doinil Jalalaini, her learning progress will be assessed and recorded from the activities she had undertaken in school like colouring, singing and quizzes.

Performance is ranked with reference to bands One to Six; One being the lowest and Six the highest.

By the time she gets to Year Six, she will have a portfolio that shows all her achievements and performance accumulated over the years in primary school.

“I like coming to school because teachers let us sing and draw in the class,” she said.

However, the system has also received its fair share of criticism from parents who are worried about the issue of favouritism.

MES director Dr Na’imah Ishak said there was a monitoring system in place to ensure successful implementation of the PBS in schools.

“We are still in the preliminary stage of the implementation. We have a monitoring system where we go down to the field and make sure that it is being carried out effectively in schools. It takes a village to educate a child so the state education departments, district education offices and school authorities all play a role in ensuring a successful implementation of the system,” she said.

SK Taman Putra Perdana headmaster Sukimin Juki said there were two files – fil showcase and fil perkembangan – that would serve as evidence of the children’s performance in school.

If the MES or any concerned parties wanted to find out if the assessment was being carried out fairly, the headmaster said they could seek permission to look at the “evidence”. There were also complaints from some teachers on the PBS Management System (SPPBS) that they had to stay up late to log on to the system.

Sukimin said he always reminded his teachers to carry out the assessment periodically and should never leave it to the last minute.

“Teachers should not see it as a burden but rather an opportunity to explore the possibilities to create and plan their lessons more effectively.”

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

Education Ministry explains longer BM lessons

Sunday November 25, 2012



Proud moment: Chan holding his award at the annual South-East Asia Property Awards 2012 in Singapore.Proud moment: Chan holding his award at the annual South-East Asia Property Awards 2012 in Singapore.

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Education Blueprint 2013-2015 does not intend to sideline any vernacular school in this country, said Education director-general Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud.

The ministry, he said, would ensure every government and government-assisted school had access, equity and quality education.

“The existence of National Type Schools (SJK) is enshrined in the Education Act 1996 (Section 28) and further strengthened in the Blueprint (Chapter 7, pages 7-16),” he said in a statement here yesterday.

The statement was issued in response to a memorandum from the United Chinese Schools Committees Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong), which handed it to Minister in the Prime Minister’s DepartmentDatuk Seri Nazri Aziz on Sept 26.

The Government, said Abd Ghafar, had no intention of changing the status or features of national-type schools.

He said it was inaccurate to state that additional time given to the teaching of Bahasa Malaysia of up to 570 minutes a week might jeopardise the mastery of the students’ mother tongue.

The additional time is only for weak students in rehabilitation classes at SJKC, comprising only about 30% of them.

“The Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) has been implemented in stages since 2011 beginning with Year 1. In 2014, this 2011 Year 1 cohort will be in Year 4 (Level 2 KSSR).

“The increase in Bahasa Malaysia learning time for the Level 1 SJKC is from 270 to 300 minutes while for Level 2, from 180 to 270 minutes,” he said.

However, he said the differences should be seen in the context of two systems, namely the time allocated for Level 2, which was 180 minutes for KBSR (Primary School Integrated Curriculum) and 270 minutes for KSSR.

The longer period of up to five hours a week or 300 minutes for remedial classes was only compulsory for SJKC students who required them, said Abd Ghafar.

Hence, the time increase allocated to Bahasa Malaysia for Year 4 to Year 6 was actually from 180 to 270 minutes, he said.

“The duration is increased by one hour a day with the aim of improving Bahasa Malaysia proficiency among students who have not attained the minimum proficiency from Year 4 to Year 6 in SJKC and SJKT.

“We feel that it’s better for students who have not mastered the language to be identified at an early stage in Years 4, 5 and 6,” he said. – Bernama

2012, Arkib Berita, Forum, Pembangunan Sekolah, Pendidikan Awal, Program, Rencana

Good early education reaps benefits

Monday November 26, 2012


Talented bunch: Children from the Peter and Jane Kindergarten performing a dance routine during the launch of the National Early Childhood Education Week 2012 at the Sime Darby Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur.Talented bunch: Children from the Peter and Jane Kindergarten performing a dance routine during the launch of the National Early Childhood Education Week 2012 at the Sime Darby Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR: Pre-school education needs to go beyond the pages of books to help children obtain a holistic education experience.

Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Council president Datuk Dr Chiam Heng Keng shares the sentiments.

“Psychologists have long noted the importance of early childhood education because the skills acquired by a child at a later stage are all built on this foundation.

“This is why psychologists call it the formative years’,” she said.

According to Dr Chiam, neuroscience findings have shown that stressful experiences in a child’s early years can harm the developing brain and affect the brain architecture.

She added that the benefits of high-quality early childhood education were manifold.

“This means the memory of the child, his learning ability, and even behaviour, for example, whether he’s able to regulate his emotions, will be affected if he’s not provided with the appropriate experiences,” said Dr Chiam, formerly Professor of Social Psychology at Universiti Malaya (UM) and an authority in child development and early childhood education.

Citing studies in the United States, such as the Perry Preschool which was conducted over a period of four decades, Dr Chiam said children who were provided with high-quality early education tended to stay longer in school as compared to those who were not given such a benefit.

The Perry Preschool study found that “more of the group who received high-quality early education, particularly females, graduated from high school than the non-programme group” and “the group who received high-quality early education had significantly fewer arrests than the non-programme group (36% vs 55% who were arrested five times or more)”.

Dr Zahari Ishak, UM’s Educational Psychology and Counselling Department head, said the way children were taught in the formative years would mould their view of learning as they grew older.

“From the ages of three to six, it’s their time to play.

“It’s not supposed to be a time for grading,” he added.

Recognising the need for quality pre-school education, the EducationNKRA under the Government Transformation Programme has set targets to increase the number of pre-school classes in the urban, rural and remote areas.

Under Budget 2013, an allocation of RM1.2bil has been set aside for various government agencies in an effort to provide quality pre-school education.

In addition, RM380mil will also be provided to the Education Ministry for placement of kindergarten teachers.

Also announced was a provision for a launching grant of RM10,000 to assist operators of ECCE private centres in setting up new high quality pre-schools.