2013, Arkib Berita, Forum, IPT, Masalah Guru, Rencana, Surat

EDUCATION: Relax policies to ease shortage of teachers

03 January 2013 | last updated at 10:59PM

By Hussaini Abdul Karim, Shah Alam, Selangor | letters@nstp.com.my

IN my last teh tarik meeting with friends who are in the recruitment and headhunting business, I was told that there were many Malaysian graduates who were jobless.

Some of them are Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) and Public Service Department scholars with Teaching of English as a Second Language (TESL) qualifications.

I was told that the Education Ministry did not employ them because they did not meet the ministry’s qualification requirements for schools.

Recently, Nor Sa’adah @ Aziah Zakariah, a 61-year-old single mother from Banting, Selangor, graduated with a Bachelor of Education in TESL from Universiti Teknologi Mara. I was told that she applied for the position of a contract teacher with the ministry, but her application was turned down because there were no positions available for people with her qualifications.

In the past few years, many suggestions have been made by the public for the ministry to employ experienced retired teachers to teach in national schools.

The common answer given by the ministry is that retired teachers are not interested in re-employment.

Some of these experienced and qualified retired teachers have joined international schools and private colleges and universities after being told that their applications were rejected.

Others are providing tuition in the comfort of their homes while the rest are happily retired. Pupils are the biggest losers. Some of them have to go through English language classes taught by teachers who are neither qualified nor experienced.

So, now we know the real reason is that the ministry does not want to re-employ them, nor does it want to employ TESL graduates.

Knowing the problems the ministry is facing with regard to the shortage of experienced and qualified English language teachers, I do not understand why the ministry cannot be more flexible in its employment policies.

Employing retired, experienced and qualified teachers is one way to solve the problem and if the ministry relaxes its policies, the shortage can be partly addressed.

If graduates with TESL qualifications do not meet the ministry’s requirements, get these graduates to undergo a programme to make them qualified to teach in schools. It should only be a one-year programme at the most. Doing all these will improve the situation.

The ministry has previously shipped in foreign teachers, including native English language speakers from the United States and the United Kingdom.

All the measures cost a lot of money and none of them have shown any favourable results. They only make the public and parents frustrated. Now, Putrajaya is mulling over the idea of bringing in English language teachers from India. I wonder what they will think of next.



Read more: EDUCATION: Relax policies to ease shortage of teachers – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/education-relax-policies-to-ease-shortage-of-teachers-1.195074?cache=03D163D03edding-pred-1.1176%2F%3FpFpentwa%3Fpage%3D0%3Fpage%3D0#ixzz2Gs7JuAuX

2013, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Forum, Masalah Pelajar, Pembangunan Sekolah, Rencana, Subjek, Surat

EDUCATION: Act fast to arrest decline in English

03 January 2013 | last updated at 10:58PM

By Datuk Jaspal S. Korotana, Klang, Selangor | letters@nstp.com.my

OF late, we have been harping on the declining standard of English. We are looking at ways to improve the level of English, the last straw being “let’s import English teachers from India”.

I am reminded of my English teacher in Form 3 (in 1969), who once told me in frustration: “I looking very angry they all don’t know talking English”. Mind you, this was in 1969 and we are still harping on the issue. Of course, my English teacher then was just a normal teacher who was told to teach English, just like what is happening in some schools today.

We do not seem to be interested in taking the standard of English to a higher level. We need to make drastic changes or resign to the fact that our children are not going to be able to compete internationally, or worse still, be looked down or frowned upon when they speak to good English-speaking individuals.

We have many good English teachers, but we need to take care of them first. We must show them that they are appreciated.

All aspiring English teachers have to go through a selection process by an independent panel. The selected ones should be placed in a different category, with better salary scale.

With this, more quality English teachers can be produced. They will be proud to be English teachers as they will be looked upon with high regard by their students and others. This will give them more reasons to improve themselves.

In the same vein, we are encouraging the use of Bahasa Malaysia for correspondence in government departments. I had written letters in English and was told to rewrite them in Bahasa Malaysia.

To walk the talk, let’s be sincere about wanting to improve the standard of English. Our prime minister and his deputy can speak good English. So, let’s put it into practice, too. All letters to government departments can be in Bahasa Malaysia or English. The replies should be in the language used by the sender. In this way, people will take the effort to improve their language skills. The standard of both languages can be improved. Let’s not have more instances of “You wait; wait, I looking how helping you” or “Can you talking bagus English, as my teacher no teaching I talk like you”.

Enough is enough. Let’s not just say things for the sake of saying. Most of us are in the position to make changes now. Let’s move fast or our children will be the laughing stock in future.

Read more: EDUCATION: Act fast to arrest decline in English – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/education-act-fast-to-arrest-decline-in-english-1.195072?cache=03D163D03edding-pred-1.1176%2F%3FpFpentwa%3Fpage%3D0%3Fpage%3D0#ixzz2Gs6LsZMA

2013, Arkib Berita, Forum, Kurikulum, Pembangunan Sekolah, Rencana, Sistem, Surat

EDUCATION: Review assessment system

Thursday, January 03, 2013

By Sarala Poobalan, Kuala Lumpur | letters@nstp.com.my

NATIONAL Union of the Teaching Profession president Hashim Adnan has admitted that with the introduction of the new school-based assessment (PBS) system, children are learning less.

We are not ready for the Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah (PBS) system. Our education system is lagging behind. This has been proven in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) scores. Students, teachers, parents and the nation are suffering. We need to wake up and face reality.

TIMSS scores reflect the standard for Maths and Science. If we have scores for other subjects in schools, where would we stand?

We need to look at where we have gone wrong in our syllabus. In the PBS syllabus, there are 10 topics that a teacher is required to cover for the year but only five topics are picked for assessments.

If I am a teacher teaching PBS, I will teach only five topics. Why? The paperwork involved in the current system is a nightmare for the teacher. Like every other system introduced, the children become the scapegoats and suffer.

Students are bored, especially when they have to do the same paper over and over until the whole class gets it right.

While a lot has been said about rote learning, I feel it has its plus points. It teaches a student to be disciplined and organised in his work. It also helps teachers and parents help their children in areas where they are weak.

When our country has achieved a level of competence in the education field, then only should we introduce this system.

The Education Blueprint was launched to revamp the system. However, the real area we need to revamp is teaching methods.

The syllabus for the teacher training college must be revamped before any introduction of a new system is launched for the children.

Teachers must go back to what they are supposed to do — teach. If they spend most of their time doing paperwork for administrative purposes, then will they have the time to prepare what to teach the children?

We should do away with multiple choice questions, specially for language papers. This will allow the children to express themselves better and pave the way to encourage children to read.

We have to teach our children to fish and not fish for them. If the education system is constantly lowered to cater to the weak, then the nation will go nowhere.

If the government can recognise Chinese and Tamil as a language used for the mode of education, then, English should be given the same treatment.

There is nothing in the Constitution or the Education Act that says we cannot have English schools.

All we parents are asking is for the choice. The reality in today’s world is English is the language of global communication.

.We have to teach our children to fish and not fish for them.

Read more: EDUCATION: Review assessment system – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/education-review-assessment-system-1.195077?cache=03D163D03edding-pred-1.1176%2F%3FpFpentwa%3Fpage%3D0%3Fpage%3D0#ixzz2Gs5lNMQX

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

TEACHERS: An educator’s role in schooling the masses

31 December 2012 | last updated at 10:05PM

ON reading the letter “Private institutions can help” (NST, Dec 29) by Bismillah Kader, I was reminded of the first time I applied for a position as an English language teacher.

The manager of the language centre I was applying to quickly glanced through my curriculum vitae and other other documents I had handed him and asked me: “Can you teach?”

I was quite shocked at the question. I mean, what a question! Of course, I could teach, I had got my qualifications, done my training, and although I lacked work experience, how is a new teacher ever going to get experience unless he or she gets to teach?

So, I answered him firmly: “Yes”. I got the job, but it only lasted three months — not much longer than most of the teachers that worked there. After a couple of years, the centre closed down. I had many more teaching appointments after that, which helped me understand the meaning of the question: “Can you teach?”

A teacher is not a a marketer, a counsellor, an administrator, a disciplinarian, a test designer, a story-teller, a public relations manager, and much less a debt collector.

A teacher is simply an academic with enough knowledge to be able to explain the contents of books, slides, handouts and other teaching material to students so that they understand it and, therefore, acquire knowledge, which is the purpose of learning. A teacher must also ensure that all students in the class pass tests to proceed to the next level.

A truly competent teacher does not admit failure and so, will style his or her teaching methods to suit all students, to make all of them want to learn, and when they have learned, they must pass. Any employer who does not understand the real role of the teacher will never find the right teacher to teach at his school or college.

Yes, some students may like a teacher so much that they think that he or she is their father, mother, relative, friend and such. Some teachers will be flattered by the attention of their students, so much so that they will forget what it is to be a teacher.

In conclusion, yes, graduate teachers are preferable to those without a degree, but the performance of any teacher ultimately depends upon the management of the school or college where he or she is employed.

The employer who asks: “Can you teach?” is only looking for someone to do the job. And because he himself does not know how to find the best in his people, how to motivate them and how to make them better, the teachers themselves will not be able to pass on their knowledge to their students, no matter how many degrees they have listed on their resume.



Marisa Demori, Kuala Lumpur

Read more: TEACHERS: An educator’s role in schooling the masses – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/teachers-an-educator-s-role-in-schooling-the-masses-1.193684#ixzz2GmMC3fzd

2012, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Forum, Pembangunan Sekolah, PPSMI, Program, Rencana, Subjek, Surat

A subject most sensitive

Sunday December 30, 2012



Parents want choices for their children.

Non-tradeable services such as house cleaning or hair cutting have little room for productivity improvements and market expansion but sophisticated financial, consulting, health and environmental services do contribute to productivity growth. Stuck in the Middle’, The World Bank, Nov 2012

THE 13th general election looms ahead. Parents who are still fence-sitters at this late stage will decide eventually on which way to vote based on the more critical issues raised by both sides of the political divide particularly on a subject most sensitive the education of their very own children.

While there are claims that politics does not interfere with education, we parents, know it does and we do not like it.

The recently released TIMSS 2011 (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) result is a case in point.

Not surprisingly, the results are again appalling, the Education Ministry having done little to analyse the reasons and therefore arrest the decline. It keeps mum while the opposition and critics have a field day.

The preliminary report of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 (MEB) offers some explanation in that of a misalignment of the national examinations which tests content knowledge and its recall while TIMSS assesses the application of knowledge in solving problems and the ability to reason in working through problems.

Nonetheless, the decision by the ministry to benchmark the national examinations to the international assessments and to be top third by 2025 is commendable. How this is to be achieved, however, still remains a mystery.

The fact remains that drastic measures have to be taken by the ministry if we want to spur students’ interest in science, to meet the national target of 100 research scientists and engineers per 10,000 working population and to achieve success in the fields of nanotechnology, biotechnology, aerospace, automation and green technology, where RM600mil has been budgeted by the government in these areas.

We suggest that Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) retain PPSMI post-abolition to complement its IGCSE programme where interviews into Form 1 are conducted strictly in English. Sekolah Menengah Sains (SMS) should do the same.

These elite schools should also offer only science streams at higher secondary or else drop the Sains’ label.

Likewise, day schools that can transform into science centres of learning, shall adopt the Sains’ tag.

Meanwhile, parents can suggest that their Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA) work with their respective school administrations to encourage students to participate in the annual International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) on higher order thinking skills (HOTS) where the questions are set by the University of New South Wales.

Funding for ICAS

These can be conducted in any school, beginning with Year 3 through to Form 6 in English, Science, Mathematics, writing and computer skills for a nominal fee and which in the end comes along with a comprehensive analysis of each student’s results indicating strengths and weaknesses.

For some years now, cluster schools whose niche is English, utilise its funding to pay for the fees charged for the English assessment. High performance schools should do so as well.

The MEB comprises 268 pages and is a good read, although somewhat apologetic’ in acknowledging the many mistakes which have been made in the past and its many motherhood statements to put things right’ in the next 13 years.

The opposition coalition reacted by promising an alternative blueprint for the people to see by the end of October which has now been delayed until the end of the year. It is a mammoth task.

Parents with school-going children will be looking out very closely for this. Whether or not the respective blueprints are to be part of the election manifesto will indicate the degree of politicking education has a bearing.

If this is anything to go by, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) did, though, have a day-long education convention last month, themed National Education Reformation’, attended by 200 participants with distinguished speakers ranging from retired directors from the ministry of education and state education departments to tired university professors with one learned academic even boldly suggesting that all national secondary schools be turned into religious schools!

The convention concluded with a six-point resolution called Halatuju Pendidikan Negara recommending, among the more salient, that Bahasa Malaysia be the main medium of instruction in universities while the teaching and learning of science and mathematics in English (PPSMI) be abolished immediately.

PAS had wanted PPSMI to be abolished in 2009 while DAP wants the policy to remain in secondary schools. How this will be compressed into a single blueprint is anybody’s guess.

Parents want PPSMI in national schools from Year 1. Parents also want English-medium schools (EMS). Parents also want a non-politician to be the minister of education. We want choices for our children.

Sabah parents want the glory of mission schools to be returned as is provided for in its 20-point agreement, the Federal Constitution and Section 17 of the Education Act.

Sarawak parents are concerned that in spite of the large education budget, its children still fail to read and write, and that differences still cannot be made between language and knowledge learning.

The 11% primary schools and the 9% secondary schools that have opted to do PPSMI in totality (the short-term politicians had wanted so eagerly to abolish) should be given priority to transform into EMS.


All national primary and secondary schools should have at least one PPSMI class at every level with a structured plan to gradually increase the number over time.

The government had on three separate occasions placed a technocrat minister to helm education. It has set a precedent. Will the opposition coalition offer to duplicate this move?

Incidentally, the last technocrat minister had seven honorary doctorates in science. He had justified PPSMI in a speech late 2003, “In the 1970s we were able to survive with the use of translated texts.

However, in the 1990s, the profusion and proliferation of knowledge proved to be a daunting challenge to our translation industry; in Chemistry, since the beginning of the 1990s, more than a million articles have appeared in specialised journals every two years (Clark, 1998); between 1978 and 1988, the number of known chemical substances increased from 360,000 to 720,000, reaching 1.7 million in 1998 (Salmi, 2000); in Biology, only in 1977 was the method designed to determine the base sequence of the letters that codify the information in DNA initially, it was possible to determine the sequence of 500 bases per week.

This same method, today perfected and automated, can decipher the three billion bases of the human genome in a few years. Presently, a genome centre can determine a million bases per day (Brunner, 2001); in Mathematics, 100,000 new theorems are created every year (Madison, 1992).

Considered together, it is estimated that knowledge, defined as the disciplinary base published and recorded, took 1,750 years to double in the period between 1A.D. and the year 1,750 A.D. It then doubled in volume, successively, in 150 years, 50 years, and now, every five years. It is estimated that by the year 2020, this knowledge base will double in 73 days.”

All this is found in its lingua franca, English.

The first political coalition to be brave enough to distinguish between language and knowledge will be the progressive government that the people are looking for.

Remember, when PPSMI was introduced in 2003, Barisan Nasional recorded a landslide victory a year later.

Food for thought as we savour the rendang, dim sum or curry that most tickles our fancy on public holidays. Season’s greetings and a Happy New Year.

The writer is chairman of pro-progress Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE), a national education watchdog.

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

Sekolah Malaysia raih emas robot dunia

31 Disember 2012, Isnin

Kontinjen Malaysia meraikan kejayaan memenangi satu emas dan beberapa anugerah lain dalam pertandingan International Robot Olympiad 2012 di Gwangju, Korea Selatan, baru-baru ini.

Kontinjen Malaysia yang disertai oleh 18 orang pelajar dan lima guru berjaya mengharumkan nama negara apabila memenangi satu emas, dua gangsa dan tiga Anugerah Khas dalam International Robot Olympiad 2012 di Gwangju, Korea Selatan, baru-baru ini.

Ketua Kontinjen, Halimah Karim berkata, pencapaian itu merupakan yang terbaik pernah dicapai oleh pasukan Malaysia sejak lima tahun lepas.

“Malah lebih membanggakan apabila pasukan kita berjaya memenangi hampir kesemua anugerah yang dipertandingkan dalam kategori kreatif,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan melalui e-mel baru-baru ini.

Pasukan Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) Kota Kinabalu telah mendapat pingat emas kategori kreatif melalui robot ciptaan mereka yang berperanan menjaga kesihatan warga emas.

Dalam kategori yang sama, MRSM Tun Abdul Razak Pekan dan MRSM Kuching masing-masing memenangi pingat gangsa.

Selain itu, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Seri Bintang Selatan dan MRSM Kuching berjaya memenangi dua anugerah Highly Commended dan satu anugerah Technical Award.

Kategori lain yang turut dipertandingkan ialah Robot Prison Break dan Robot Transporter.

Pertandingan dengan tema Caring For Age People itu disertai oleh pasukan dari seluruh dunia seperti Kanada, Amerika Syarikat, Mexico, China, Korea Selatan dan Indonesia.

Pelbagai inovasi baharu dan kreatif telah dihasilkan dalam pertandingan anjuran IRO 2012 Comittee dengan kerjasama Gwangju Techno Park ini.

Pada pertandingan kali ini, kontinjen Malaysia turut disertai oleh beberapa ibu bapa pelajar sebagai tanda sokongan.

Artikel Penuh: http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/Pendidikan/20121231/pe_03/Sekolah-Malaysia-raih-emas–robot-dunia#ixzz2GmCw4BrG
© Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd

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

Guru wanita tiada masalah kewangan

31 Disember 2012, Isnin


SATU kajian yang dijalankan bagi mengukur tahap kewangan guru wanita di negara ini mendapati tahap kesukaran kewangan golongan tersebut adalah rendah manakala kesejahteraan kewangan mereka pula berada di tahap sederhana.

Kajian itu yang dibentangkan dalam kertas kerja bertajuk ‘Kesukaran dan Kesejahteraan Kewangan: Kajian Kes Guru Wanita‘ oleh Pensyarah Pusat Pengajian Sosial, Pembangunan dan Persekitaran Fakulti Sains Sosial dan Kemanusiaan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Dr. Zaimah Ramli memilih 325 orang guru wanita di Bandar Baru Bangi sebagai responden.

Guru wanita difokuskan dalam kajian itu kerana mereka mewakili hampir 70 peratus daripada jumlah keseluruhan guru yang terdapat di Malaysia.

Berdasarkan statistik Kementerian Pelajaran setakat 31 Januari lalu, jumlah guru wanita adalah sebanyak 285,299 orang.

“Hasil kesimpulan yang dilakukan daripada kaji selidik guru-guru wanita di Bandar Baru Bangi mendapati golongan tersebut tidak menghadapi masalah kesukaran kewangan serius namun kajian mencadangkan agar beberapa perkara perlu diberi perhatian bagi mengelak kesulitan kewangan pada masa depan,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika membentangkan kertas kerja dalam International Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities 2012 di UKM, Bangi, Selangor baru-baru ini.

Menurut Zaimah, terdapat petunjuk berlakunya masalah ketidakcukupan wang dalam kehidupan harian guru yang mungkin disebabkan peningkatan kos sara hidup di bandar.

“Hal ini dikesan dalam perkara ‘menggunakan simpanan untuk keperluan harian’ yang menunjukkan peratusan tertinggi iaitu pada skala ‘jarang-jarang’,” jelasnya.

Perkara lain yang wajar diberi perhatian dalam aspek kewangan guru wanita adalah ‘berbelanja melebihi 20 peratus daripada gaji untuk bayaran ansuran’ pada skala ‘tidak pernah’.

“Kegagalan mengurus wang serta membezakan antara keperluan dan kehendak boleh menyebabkan guru terjebak dalam situasi beban kewangan yang serius,” katanya.

Selain itu, ujarnya, faktor lain yang perlu diberi perhatian ialah ‘menyimpan kurang 10 peratus daripada jumlah pendapatan bulanan’ pada skala ‘ja- rang-jarang’ dan ‘kadang-kadang’.

“Merujuk kepada pakar kewangan peribadi, setiap individu perlu menyimpan sekurang-kurangnya 10 peratus daripada pendapatan bulanan bagi menjamin keteguhan dan kesejahteraan kewangan.

“Namun pada masa yang sama, kajian tidak mengenal pasti punca kegagalan sebahagian guru-guru wanita ini menyimpan pada kadar ditetapkan,” tambahnya.

Dalam pada itu, beliau menyarankan beberapa contoh tingkah laku kewangan positif yang penting dan perlu diamalkan setiap individu seperti mempunyai belanjawan peribadi dan mematuhinya, membuat simpanan secara konsisten, mengurangkan pinjaman terutama pinjaman peribadi, amalan membayar bil-bil utiliti dan ansuran bulanan tepat.

Kajian dijalankan ke atas purata guru wanita berusia 40 tahun dan separuh atau 44.3 peratus berusia 35 hingga 45 tahun dengan 92 peratus sudah berkahwin manakala 85 peratus pula daripada mereka berpendidikan lepasan universiti.

Bagi tempoh perkhidmatan, purata daripada responden sudah berkhidmat selama 15 tahun dan hampir 30 peratus berkhidmat melebihi 20 tahun.

Dari segi purata pendapatan, guru wanita merekodkan pendapatan sebanyak RM4,450 sebulan dengan 70.2 peratus mencatatkan pendapatan pada RM3,500 hingga RM4,500 sebulan manakala 27 peratus pula menikmati pendapatan melebihi RM4,500.

Artikel Penuh: http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/Pendidikan/20121231/pe_02/Guru-wanita-tiada-masalah-kewangan#ixzz2GmCazOFU
© Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd