2012, Aliran, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Forum, Kurikulum, Pembangunan Sekolah, Sistem, Subjek, Surat

Be quick to decide on issues

Sunday December 23, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/education/story.asp?file=/2012/12/23/education/12469484&sec=education

 

THE MALAYSIA Education Blueprint may provide solutions and the answers to matters pertaining to our education system but there are some outstanding issues that need serious and urgent attention.

·Level of BM and English Language (EL) in national type schools

There is a difference in the way Bahasa Malaysia (BM) and the English Language is taught to primary level pupils in national type schools (SJK) compared to other national schools (SK).

I was definitely taken aback. Since pupils in SJK schools will eventually go to national secondary schools and learn the same syllabus as their SK peers, why are these children being discriminated and deprived of what they should learn in primary school?

Are we assuming national type school students are incapable of absorbing what their friends of the same age in national schools are learning?

·New syllabus without textbooks

A new English Language syllabus was introduced in 2010. However, there were no textbooks published or released to go with the new syllabus. Is it not ironic that textbooks have yet to be printed?

When a new syllabus is introduced for government schools, we need a standard reference that is put together in a textbook as it facilitates classroom teaching and learning. Although we are in the digital era, we still need textbooks. Textbooks serve as a guide for teachers to plan and execute lessons.

·Standardised vocabulary list

Many pupils are not interested in reading neither are they interested in building their vocabulary.

Most primary school pupils move on to secondary school not knowing the meanings of simple words, idioms and proverbs. What may seem simple to some children may seem difficult to another. So much time is wasted in just translating words before comprehending a text.

If the national curriculum could provide standardised lists from primary to secondary levels for both Bahasa Malaysia and the English Language, it will certainly be a boost for the students, teachers and parents.

·Thinking skills in English Language

Language learning at present involves mainly four major skills – reading, writing, speaking and listening. What is lacking during English Language lessons is the learning of thinking skills.

Since children these days are exposed to all kinds of reading and learning materials from a young age, introducing thinking skills from primary level will be to their advantage.

Thinking skills involves reasoning, problem-solving, analysing, evaluating and decision-making. Initially when students were learning Science and Mathematics in English, there were elements of thinking skills incorporated into the system.

English Language teaching at present needs to incorporate more knowledge-based context. and the subject (English language) itself should evolve from its linguistic form into a purposeful and meaningful form. This will encourage students to start thinking in English.

I think the above issues need to be given more attention as such improvments would indeed make our education system a better one.

S. SHARMINI Johor Baru

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2012, Aliran, Arkib Berita, Biasiswa/Pinjaman/Bantuan/Insentif, Pembangunan Sekolah, Peperiksaan, Subjek

Pupuk minat dalam subjek Sains

23 Disember 2012, Ahad

Oleh THOMAS CHONG
pengarang@utusan.com.my

PUTRAJAYA 22 Dis. – Para guru termasuk mereka yang mengajar di sekolah rendah memainkan peranan penting untuk memupuk minat murid dalam subjek Sains sekali gus mendorong mereka memilih aliran berkenaan apabila berada di sekolah menengah.

Tokoh pendidikan, Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd. Dom berkata, para ibu bapa dan pelajar juga perlu sedar bahawa aliran Sains sebenarnya membuka peluang pekerjaan yang luas kepada pelajar.

“Para guru dan sekolah perlu memberi lebih banyak penekanan kepada pengajaran Sains. Kalau murid minat sejak kecil lagi, maka mereka dengan sendirinya akan memilih aliran Sains apabila berada di sekolah menengah.

“Malaysia memerlukan pelajar Sains yang lebih ramai untuk mencapai Wawasan 2020 dan usaha untuk menambah pelajar aliran ini telah dimulakan sejak dahulu lagi di mana kita menambah baik kaedah dan alat pengajaran untuk subjek Sains,” katanya.

Alimuddin yang merupakan Pengerusi Kolej Teknologi Antarabangsa Cybernetics berkata demikian selepas menyempurnakan majlis konvokesyen kesembilan kolej tersebut di Pusat Konvensyen Antarabangsa Putrajaya (PICC) di sini hari ini.

Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin semalam dilaporkan berkata, kerajaan akan melaksanakan 15 daripada 61 perakuan yang dikemukakan Laporan Strategi Mencapai Dasar 60:40 Aliran Sains/Teknikal:Sastera bagi meningkatkan penyertaan pelajar dalam bidang berkenaan.

Antara perakuan yang akan dilaksanakan termasuk penambahan pengecualian cukai kepada ibu bapa yang mempunyai anak yang mengambil bidang Sains dan Teknologi di sekolah menengah (tingkatan empat dan lima) dan prauniversiti iaitu daripada RM1,000 kepada RM3,000.

Alimuddin yang juga bekas Ketua Pengarah Pelajaran berkata, peningkatan dan penurunan keputusan dalam beberapa subjek Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) yang diumumkan baru-baru ini adalah fenomena biasa.

“Pelajar menjawab soalan yang berlainan, jadi jatuh dan naik keputusan itu adalah perkara yang normal. Melainkan ada kejatuhan signifikan melebihi lima peratus, barulah ia melambangkan ada perkara tertentu yang perlu diambil perhatian,” katanya.

Artikel Penuh: http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/Dalam_Negeri/20121223/dn_02/Pupuk-minat-dalam-subjek-Sains#ixzz2FvbPlIih 
© Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd

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

Education Ministry explains longer BM lessons

Sunday November 25, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/11/25/nation/12368076&sec=nation

 

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

Federation against increase in teaching hours for BM, English

Monday November 26, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/11/26/sarawak/12369132&sec=sarawak

By ZORA CHAN
zora@thestar.com.my

KUCHING: The Chinese in Sarawak want the Government to maintain the present education policy concerning Chinese-medium primary schools.

Federation of Kuching and Samarahan Divisions Chinese Associations president Temenggong Lu Kim Yong said members of the Federation of Chinese Associations Sarawak held a meeting last month to discuss the Malaysia Education Blueprint.

During the meeting, he said, they came to the conclusion that the Government should not increase the teaching hours for Bahasa Malaysia and English too drastically at the expense of Chinese language.

“If the Government wishes to upgrade the standard of Bahasa Malaysia and English among pupils, do it slowly and don’t reduce the period for Chinese language,” he told reporters here yesterday.

Lu said the Federation of Chinese Associations Sarawak president Dr Wong Aik Loong would meet Edu-cation Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in Putrajaya today to hand in a memorandum on the matter.

“The memorandum covers the voices and views of the Chinese in the state on several issues including education,” he said.

He said the federation hoped the Government would allow Chinese-medium primary schools to impart lessons in Mandarin to ensure that the young generation would not forget their mother tongue.

“We hope the Government will continue to encourage a multi-racial society and where education is concerned, it should not only be limited to promoting the national language,” he said.

The federation also hoped that pupils from Chinese-medium schools who did well in Bahasa Malaysia in the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) would be allowed to enter Form One in national-type schools directly.

“For those who did poorly, they should be placed in transition class,” he said.

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

Tickling kids’ science interest

09 November 2012 | last updated at 11:55PM

To attract the young, science must be taught creatively

KNOWLEDGE, whether in the sciences or the arts, should not spark the synapses of our brains differently, and potentially everyone ought to be able to put their intellect around both these categories of academic disciplines. Just because the current environment in the study of the sciences does little to stimulate the minds of the nation’s young to make them want to study Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics, for instance, it is no reason to assume that these subjects are hard to grasp. Rather, there ought to be a way to make these subjects intriguing enough so that young Malaysians will pursue them as interests and thus increase the number of science stream enrolment in schools where the development of human capital begins.

The alarmingly low rate of enrolment in the sciences in schools needs to be addressed urgently. Currently, heavily skewed to the Arts, local university graduates will not be able to meet the country’s growing need for human capital to man the K-economy, which demands expertise in the different scientific disciplines. Even now, the government is pushing to transform the economy in this direction: Malaysia will by 2015 produce three global information and communications technology titans. The policies are in place, the 2013 Budget has set aside allocations to make the objective realisable and the government agencies are ready. Manning this goal, however, is of grave concern — one that has given rise to the suggestion of incentivising parents, which aims to secure their help to develop their children’s interest and capability in the sciences and thus increasing enrolment. After all, a child cannot join the science stream at the drop of a hat. They must qualify for the privilege.

That the problem is not one of inadequate higher education institutions, which would be improved by 2015 when Pagoh becomes a university town and a multi-university higher education hub, is what is shifting the focus elsewhere and parents are an obvious target. Parents though cannot do this without help. Science centres in every major city would be ideal as a place to trigger a child’s initial curiosity, but they must be designed accordingly. Malaysia needs its own Smithsonian Institute, a Natural History Museum, a Museum of Mankind and much more that will contribute towards the development of scientific interest among the young. Science holiday camps revolving around the specific intention of making science, mathematics and technology accessible and seemingly simple is another avenue. Children can be identified by teachers to participate. The fact is science subjects are not difficult, rather it is currently being taught without much imagination.

Read more: Tickling kids’ science interest – Editorial – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/editorial/tickling-kids-science-interest-1.168824?cache=03%2F7.218061#ixzz2BgpJHR7S

2012, Aliran, Arkib Berita, Forum, Kurikulum, Pembangunan Sekolah, Program, Rencana, Subjek, Surat

SCIENCE: Adopt a practical syllabus

09 November 2012 | last updated at 11:35PM

By Liong Kam Chong, Seremban, Negri Sembilan | letters@nstp.com.my 0 comments

I REFER to “Incentives to study science” (NST, Nov 7). Only 20 per cent of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) candidates this year are from the science stream, well below the national target of 60 per cent.

Alarmed at the lack of interest in science among students, the Education Ministry is proposing monetary incentives in terms of tax breaks for parents whose children opt for this stream. Offering of scholarships and textbook assistance to encourage more students to enrol in the stream is also being planned.

The 60:40 science: arts policy was first introduced in 1967 by the Higher Education Planning Committee in order to meet projected demand for science graduates. The policy has since been restated and re-emphasised multiple times: in the 1999 National Education Policy, the 2000 National Science and Technology Policy II, and the 2001 Education Development Plan.

Over the years, the extent to which 60:40 targets have been reached has varied. Science stream enrolment reached a high of 37 per cent in 1998 before dropping to a low of less than 20 per cent as is reported now. Notably, through it all, it was never anywhere near 60 per cent at all. One reason given for the drop was the perceived difficulty of science subjects.

Interestingly, the Malaysia Education Blueprint (MEB) 2013-2025 preliminary report gives a new, different perspective to the 60:40 science: arts policy.

The MEB states that in recognition of the growing economic importance of vocational education, the ministry will adjust its 60:40 policy to encourage greater enrolment in the vocational pathway.

The new target is for 60 per cent of upper secondary enrolment in the regular academic pathway (either arts or science) with the balance 40 per cent in the vocational pathway. The 60:40 ratio will also be applied to the academic pathway. That is, 60 per cent of students in the academic pathway should be focused on science (equivalent to 36 per cent of total upper secondary enrolment) and 40 per cent on arts (equivalent to 24 per cent of total upper secondary enrolment).

In essence, we are looking at 36:24:40 in science: arts: vocational. This is a little puzzling. Are we now to envisage that out of 100 students completing SPM, 36 are to be from the science, 24 arts and 40 vocational, thus giving a “premium” to vocational education?

Whither our 60:40 science: arts policy? Are we progressing or are we regressing?

Taking into consideration the urgent need to produce more science-based graduates, the value and versatility of vocational education, the waning interest for science among our students and the hitherto seemingly unattainable 60:40 target, perhaps it is appropriate to do a little thinking out of the box.

FIRST, the present practice of streaming academic students after Form 3 into science and arts needs reassessing. At this early stage, students should be exposed to a more general and broader curriculum rather than a tight, compartmentalised and narrow one.

Streaming them academically into science and arts should be done only in Form 6/Matriculation/Foundation classes.

So, what science studies then for the Form 4 and 5 students? We should begin to consider having one common Science syllabus for all students in the academic, vocational as well as technical streams.

We must also take cognisance that our present arts stream students are not learning enough science; they definitely need to know more science, given the fast expanding knowledge in this field.

I am proposing that all students in Form 4 and 5, irrespective of whether they are in the academic, vocational or technical stream, pursue a common science syllabus that is broader and more practical than the present arts stream science subjects.

At the same time, this “new” science syllabus is to be spared of the “higher-learning preparatory materials” found in the present pure science subjects.

This way, everybody gets to learn sufficient science and there is still enough teaching-learning time left for other subjects.

Lest we fear that our Form 4 and 5 students may lose their edge in the pure sciences, we may know that much of the “higher-learning preparatory materials” now being taught to Form 4 and 5 pure science students can be carried forward to Form 6/Matriculation/Foundation science courses.

Moreover, the introduction phase of these courses always repeats or revises materials currently taught to the Form 4 and Form 5 pure sciences students (I can attest to this as I had taught Form 4, 5 and 6 Physics and Mathematics).

With the impending abolition of the Penilaian Menengah Rendah examination, it is an opportune time for the curriculum people in the ministry to begin designing the curriculum and syllabus for the new common Science subject.

SECOND, we need to discard our mindset and perception that “Science is difficult”, purportedly a main causal factor in declining science interest. We live in a world of science and technology. Knowing basic science and technology helps us to live a better and fuller life.

And, we should begin to think: “Now everybody can do Science!” (AirAsia chief Tan Sri Tony Fernandes who sits in the MEB panel will like this). Our mental preparedness and belief is a necessary first step to our successful science learning.

I always believe that if the present Arts stream students can proceed to acquire degrees in the Arts subjects of their choice and, for some, going on to attain highly esteemed professional qualifications, a master’s and even a PhD in their choice of Arts specialisation, then these same students are certainly endowed with sufficient intelligence and academic prowess to handle the substance of Form 4/5 Science subjects.

Proposing that streaming and, therefore, the 60:40 policy be done after Form 5 is not to postpone a hard decision; it is actually giving students a firmer foundation on Science/Arts subjects before they decide.

In addition, learning to like and not to fear Science will certainly help place one confidently in the forefront of valuable, applicable and useful knowledge. Our nation will progress well if our students have this mindset; believe in it and execute it. The 60:40 policy will then have a higher chance of success.

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

Science stream entry standards to remain

Thursday, November 08, 2012

0 comments

KUALA LUMPUR: The minimum requirement to enrol into the science stream in schools stays, despite the alarmingly low number of students.
Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi said the government would not lower standards just to increase numbers.
“We cannot allow students who are interested to enter the stream but failed to meet the requirements.
“These students should stick to the arts stream as they might not be able to cope later,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.
Worry over the low take-up prompted a proposal on Tuesday that parents whose children opted for the stream be given tax breaks. This followed a finding that only 20 per cent of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia candidates this year were from the science stream, well below the national target of 60 per cent.
National Union of the Teaching Profession president Hashim Adnan said while there should be no compromise on students eligibility to enter the stream, once they did, the students should be given support as there were many who had to struggle.
“Students are afraid of failing and hence choose not to enter the science stream,” Hashim said, adding that teachers should also be given incentives to coach their science stream students in schools instead of giving private tuition.
“Science stream subjects must also be taught in a more interesting way so that students would have better comprehension.”
Meanwhile, Education director-general Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud said a task force, comprising academicians and the relevant authorities, would be set up by the end of the month to work out the incentive structure
Academicians, meanwhile, have asked that the ministry draw up incentives, such as free tuition and coaching, for students who opted for the science stream.

Read more: Science stream entry standards to remain – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/science-stream-entry-standards-to-remain-1.168296#ixzz2Bav7FTXH