130 graduates receive scrolls at 4th SIDMA Convocation

November 21st, 2017

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KOTA KINABALU: Around 130 graduates from SIDMA College Sabah and Sarawak received their Diploma in Early Childhood at the 4th SIDMA Convocation, last week.

Malaysian Early Childhood Education Programme advisor, Prof. Dr. Bustam Kambrie, praised the initiative taken by the SIDMA College to ensure that their students undergo ‘real work experience’ during their industrial training.

He also commended the college for ensuring that they have vast knowledge relevant to the industry in the 21st century.

SIDMA College has proven successful in improving its student’s excellence rates by combining conventional face-to-face lectures and implementing web-based support systems learning model practiced by lecturers and students, Dr Bustam added.

At the convocation, Melisa Goudi, a 28-year-old kindergarten teacher, was awarded The SIDMA 2017 Chairman’s Award.

She was cited for her diligence in getting through the course despite her being a full-time worker, wife and mother. Marlaleez Lisamary Marten, 23, who is pursuing her Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at UNITAR International University Sabah, was awarded the 2017 Excellent Student Award.

Dr. Bustam said that the college was among prominent private higher education institutes which is equipped with up-to-date technical infrastructure and provided a conducive learning environment for its students.

“The Early Childhood Education field has the potential in contributing significantly to the human capital development in Malaysia,” he said.

The SIDMA Convocation was held at the Shangri-la Tanjong Aru Resort.

Also present were Chairman of SIDMA College, Dr. Morni Kambrie, Chief Executive Officer Azizah Khalid Merican, Marketing Development Director, Azalina Ngatimin, Finance Director, Hanizah Mohidin, lecturers and parents.

By JASON JACK EBIT.

Read more @ http://www.newsabahtimes.com.my/nstweb/fullstory/19936

Big milestone for eight universities

November 19th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Eight universities – two private and six public – achieved Tier Six or outstanding status in the Rating System for Malaysian Higher Education 2017 (Setara).

The public universities are Uni­versiti Malaya, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Petro­nas, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Uni­ver­siti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

The private universities are Inter­national Medical University and Monash University Malaysia.

Seventy-one out of 105 Malaysian universities and university colleges took part in Setara 2017, a rating instrument based on a seven-­step methodology en­­com­passing national and international benchmarking, stakeholders’ engagement, pilot run, data verification as well as sensitivity and validity analysis.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said this marked the first time the Tier Six rating was achieved.

“I believe the ratings are fair reflections of the state of our higher learning institutions,” he said at the Setara 2017 award ceremony here yesterday, after congratulating the varsities on a job well done.

Idris said Setara classified universities into three categories – matured universities which have been around for over 15 years, emerging universities which are below 15 years and university colleges which have produced one cohort of undergraduate students.

Another 21 institutions – 11 private and 10 public – were classified as Tier Five or excellent, while 29 others achieved Tier Four or very good status.

Institutions that achieved Tier Five status include Universiti Tun­ku Abdul Rahman, Sunway Univer­sity, Taylor’s University, UCSI Uni­ver­sity, Management and Science University, Cyberjaya University Col­­lege of Medical Sciences, The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation, Curtin University Malaysia, Lincoln Uni­ver­­­sity, Swinburne University of Tech­nology Sarawak Campus, Uni­ver­­siti Tenaga Nasional, Universiti Utara Malaysia, International Isla­mic University Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Ma­­laysia, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, University Malaysia Terengganu and International Centre for Edu­ca­tion in Islamic Finance.
Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/11/17/big-milestone-for-eight-universities-varsities-achieve-tier-six-in-setara-system/#zzzxbsC3xQEhVEsc.99

Mahdzir: Need for strong value system

November 19th, 2017
Mahdzir and Treadell engaging in an activity with children at the Bett Asia Leadership Summit and Expo 2017.

Mahdzir and Treadell engaging in an activity with children at the Bett Asia Leadership Summit and Expo 2017.

MALAYSIANS must strive to be a civilised nation.

To achieve the goal, values like integrity must be ingrained in every individual, said Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

“It can’t happen overnight. It’ll takes years but it’s something we must develop,” he said..

Speaking during the ministry’s Integrity Day celebration in Putrajaya last week, he stressed on the need to inculcate a strong value system from early childhood

“In Japan, when a disaster happens and food is distributed to the victims, people line up and take only what they need so there’s enough for everyone -– one bottled drink, one piece of bread per person. Here, when I host a buka puasa event, some stack their plates full of chicken and those who get to the buffet table last, are left with nothing to eat.

“The difference between us and the Japanese is in how we are trained to behave.

“If we are a people of integrity, we won’t need boom gates at the Smart Tag lanes because we won’t have to worry about drivers trying to cheat the system,” he said, adding that in some countries, a lost wallet would be returned within the hour.

He said it was important for the ministry – which has been given a big allocation under Budget 2018, and a staff of some 500,000, to ensure the success of the education system, to fulfil its responsibilities with integrity, and transparency.

He said the ministry, through its corruption risk management plan, had identified 10 significant corruption risk areas that need attention.

The majority of the state education departments, he said, have taken the anti-graft oath and signed the pledge to fight corruption.

“We must get the best value for money when delivering service to the public.

We want to cultivate a high integrity culture. But the lack of integrity is not just about misappropriation or corruption. It includes avoiding work, absenteeism, and low productivity.”

In his speech, ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad said from 2010 to October this year, almost half of the 1,996 errant civil servants were sacked, while 14% were let off with warnings.

“The rest either had their salaries cut, or increments delayed, were fined, stripped of their emoluments, or demoted,” he said.

During the event, exemplary integrity awards were presented to chief assistant director Dr Rodiah Idris, and chief administrative assistant Jamai’ah Zainal Abidin. Both have served the ministry for over two decades.

The theme of the celebration was “Integrity – the core of quality education”.

Said Alias: “This is the first time we’re celebrating Integrity Day on a ministerial level. I hope it will be an annual event aimed at making integrity a culture within the ministry.”

He said integrity refers to a code of behaviour grounded in honesty and high moral values.

“It’s about doing the right thing even when nobody is watching.”

Alias also reminded civil servants that they must not be disloyal to the King, country, and government.

What they say, do, or how they behave – including sharing their views on social media, must be neutral and impartial, he said.

“Be committed and dedicated. Carry out your duties in line with the Rukun Negara. Integrity must be a part of all that we do, regardless of age, designation, and rank,” Alias added.

More industrial exposure

Meanwhile LEE CHONGHUI reports that Mahdzir had said that students should participate in the Upper Secondary School Industry Apprenticeship (Pima) programme.

By doing so, they can acquire and benefit from vocational skills in the automotive, accounting, health and wellness (spa services), baking and other industries.

“We (the ministry) are targeting 10% of 2,048 secondary schools across the nation to be part of Pima by next year,” he said after launching the Bett Asia Leadership Summit and Expo 2017 on Wed-nesday..

Also present at the event were British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell, Gems Education UK senior advisor (education strategy) Sir Michael Wilshaw, Thailand Vice-Minister of Education Dr Sophon Napathorn, and Laos Education and Sports Minister Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2017/11/19/mahdzir-need-for-strong-value-system/#zz5cLGTMvzvBt80c.99

Creating holistic talents to ride the waves of change.

November 19th, 2017
(From left): Prof Syed Ahmad, Prof Barton, Prof Downes, Goh, Khairil Anwar, Prof Smith and Prof Britton.

(From left): Prof Syed Ahmad, Prof Barton, Prof Downes, Goh, Khairil Anwar, Prof Smith and Prof Britton.

The key to building a disruption-ready workforce is to produce adaptable, and resilient critical thinkers, with strong skills in communication. Tomorrow’s graduates must be balanced individuals who can work in a team, say education experts at a recent roundtable session.

THE Malaysian Employers Federation has warned of retrenchments, while the World Economic Forum predicts that automation will kill five million jobs in the next three years.

The threat of disruptive technology and the need for graduates who can take advantage of new innovations, was highlighted at the Nov 9 EduCity roundtable discussion in Johor Baru.

Explaining disruptive technology as a process whereby a product, or service, that starts at the bottom of a market, moves up to displace established competitors, Star Media Group editor-in-chief Datuk Leanne Goh who moderated the hour-long discussion, looked at how it has impacted the higher education industry, and traditional fields like law, medicine, science, business, finance, accounting, and construction.

Panelists were Management Development Institute of Singapore (Malaysia Campus) CEO Prof Datuk Dr Syed Ahmad Hussein, Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia provost-CEO Prof Roger Barton, University of Reading Malaysia provost Prof Tony Downes, Iskandar Investment Berhad president-CEO Datuk Khairil Anwar Ahmad, University of Southampton Malaysia interim CEO Prof Peter Smith, and Raffles University Iskandar president Prof Dr Graeme Britton.

The universities are part of EduCity – a vibrant enclave of renowned tertiary institutions, and top notch supporting facilities, in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor.

Comparing EduCity with Dubai’s Academic City, Prof Syed Ahmad highlights the importance of internationalisation.

Like Malaysia, Dubai started over a decade ago with only a few institutions. Now the Academic City is a self-contained village with many international branch campuses that are moving towards internal educational exchanges within the village itself, he adds.

This area need to be explored, he says, suggesting that there should be credit transfers between the universities.

Goh shares that there has been much talk of industries going bust, or losing their relevance.

She cites an incident where the daughter of Joseph Tsai, the co-founder and executive vice-chairman of the Alibaba Group, asked her father on what she should be studying at university.

“Statistics, and psychology,” was his reply, says Goh.

“Graduates, Tsai reasoned, must understand data, and have an insight into how the mind works,” Goh shares.

The lack of teamwork and interpersonal skills, says Prof Barton, has hindered development and resulted in people working in silos.

“If we improve those generic skills, and allow medical students to work with engineering students – for example, we’d make far greater advances. It’s less about what we should study, and more about what generic skills we need from our degrees.”

But the study of numeracy, and human behaviour, the panellists agreed, are important, and form part of most courses. Critical thinking, as well as communication, and problem-solving skills, are crucial too, they say. While digital technology has made its way into education, the extent of its use, and impact, depends on changing student needs and industry demands, they feel.

Prof Britton says universities must change the way they teach – especially the business schools because disruptive technology has given birth to new business models.

Exploring other interests

Stressing on the need for flexible inter-disciplinary learning, the panellists believe that students must be given opportunities to explore different interests. They need to socialise with those from other courses, participate in research, and enjoy a good study-life balance.

Adds Prof Smith: “Internationalisation is a big aspect of success. Look at the iPhone … UK software, US design, manufactured in China, and sold globally.”

Internationalisation, is what EduCity is doing, he shares.

“Interestingly, our students in Malaysia actually see themselves at an advantage over their UK counterparts,” says Prof Barton. “This is because they feel they have a more global idea of the subjects and their relevance, in the UK and South East Asia (SEA).

“In fact, it is a Malaysian student who topped the list of 453 doctors from the campus here and the UK, at our recent graduation. So EduCity and the global campus idea may be the best blend of SEA and UK,” observes Prof Barton.

Globalisation, and technological advances, are a reality that we need to take advantage of, Prof Syed Ahmad says as a matter-of-fact.

“You need grit, and strong fundamentals, so that you can learn and unlearn quickly. Pick up skills that you’re interested in that will allow you to adapt later on.”

While universities can facilitate character growth, Prof Downes says that children must be taught to think critically which is part of holistic education.

“We can’t teach resilience or stamina but we can give them opportunities to develop. Students must learn how to balance life with work. The most successful ones aren’t those who spend all their time studying. It’s those who lead balanced lives.”

He opines that students are the greatest single feature of technology transfer from university to the workplace.

“They learn alongside researchers who are at the forefront of technology, so they’re taking new ideas from university to industry.”

Disruptive technology brings change, and there’s a fear that many manual jobs are disappearing, agrees Prof Britton. But there will be different kinds of opportunities, he assures.

“When computers came, people said it would run the world and we’d be out of jobs. But computers have created more jobs instead.”

Revolutionary stage

Quantum computing and quantum technologies, Prof Smith predicts, will transform what we do in the future.

“We’re at an early stage of a revolution to create new companies and new industries.”

Innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship, are what computers can’t do yet, argues Prof Britton, so these are areas to focus on.

“It’s about ‘design thinking’ and coming up with clever ideas. Focus on basic principles, and character development, for life-long learning.”

There may come a time when doing things at the press of a button is fine, but at this stage of their development, students may better grasp lessons -– especially the basic principles, if they do it themselves, says Prof Downes.

by Raffles University Iskandar president Prof Dr Graeme Britton

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2017/11/19/creating-holistic-talents-to-ride-the-waves-of-change/

Pintar Foundation raises almost RM900,000 to facilitate education for the underprivileged

November 19th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: A whopping RM887,500 has been raised by Pintar Foundation to facilitate educational opportunities for rural children and underprivileged communities including those from Sabah and Sarawak.

The monies were raised at the Pintar Rockin’ CEOs fundraiser tonight, which was launched by Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah and witnessed by his consort Raja Permaisuri Tuanku Zara Salim and corporate captains.

The monies were raised at the Pintar Rockin’ CEOs fundraiser tonight, which was launched by Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah and witnessed by his consort Raja Permaisuri Tuanku Zara Salim and corporate captains. Pic by NSTP/MOHAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI

The event saw corporate leaders performed songs for guests, while outfits designed by Datuk Seri Bernard Chandran, footballer Thanabalan’s jersey and songstress Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza’s items were auctioned off to raise funds.

Pintar Foundation chairman Tan Sri Arshad Ayub said the funds would be used to assist target groups to undergo the foundation’s programmes tailored to develop confidence, proficiency, interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, apart from national pride and responsibility.

“The aim of the platform (fundraiser) is to garner public support and involvement in Pintar Programmes and specific projects so that our vision of assisting students of underperforming schools throughout the country can be realised.

“It is a platform to encourage the public to assist children in getting the education they deserved,” Arshad said in his speech during the event.

He said Pintar was an acronym which stood for “Promoting Intelligence, Nurturing Talent and Advocating Responsibility”, and its foundation was formed in 2006 as a social responsibility initiative mooted by Khazanah Nasional Bhd.

Pintar Foundation chairman Tan Sri Arshad Ayub. Pic by NSTP/EIZAIRI SHAMSUDIN

“The foundation has been working closely with government-linked companies, private companies, non-profit organisations and government bodies, to ‘adopt’ schools in rural areas and underprivileged communities.

By TEH ATHIRA YUSOF.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/11/304793/pintar-foundation-raises-almost-rm900000-facilitate-education

SIDMA College 4th Convocation Ceremony 2017

November 18th, 2017

Image may contain: 16 people, people smiling, people standing and suit

A total of 130 graduates from SIDMA College Sabah and Sarawak have received their Diploma of Early Childhood Education scrolls during the SIDMA 4th Convocation Ceremony in an atmosphere of pomp and grandeur. The grand ceremony which was held on Saturday, 18th November 2017 at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, was graced by Assoc. Prof Dr Bustam Kamri, a renowned Early Childhood Education Specialist in Malaysia.

The highlight of this year’s convocation was the presentation of the 2017 SIDMA Chairman’s Award to Madam Malisa Binti Goudi, a 28 years old kindergarten teacher. Despite being a working woman, she managed to perform exceptionally well by managing her time effectively and to remain focus on studies, as well as balancing her family life of being a wife and a mother with three (3) children; hence her sacrifice was well rewarded. During her studies she have demonstrated her exemplary effort in various co-curricular and extracurricular activities. Her ambition is to be an effective early childhood educator in a childcare centre of her own.

During the same ceremony, Ms. Marlaleez Lisamary Marten, a 23 years old students, currently continuing her Bachelor in Early Childhood Education at UNITAR International University Sabah Regional Centre was awarded the 2017 Top Student Award for demonstrating her outstanding academic performance throughout her studies. She got the highest CGPA from all other graduates as she have persistently stay focus and have strong determination to finish her diploma with the highest CGPA. Being the eldest among her siblings, she have to be the role model for her younger sibling. Apart from that, she believes that having good academic result will pave the way for a brighter future for herself and family.

Assoc. Prof Dr Bustam, in his officiating speech, praised SIDMA College for being one of the leading private higher learning institutions that is equipped with the latest technical infrastructure and thus providing conducive atmosphere for its students. He said that the adaptation and attention given on blended learning model practised at the college for its lecturer and student combining the conventional face-to-face lectures and the web-based support system proved to be successful in increasing the success rate of the students and their satisfaction with the delivery system. He applauded on the initiative taken by SIDMA College to immerse their students into the real working environment during their internship prior to their completion of studies which have produced marketable and relevant workforce much needed for the 21stcentury by the industries.

According to Dr Morni Hj Kambrie (Founder and Chairman of SIDMA College), SIDMA College which was first established in Sarawak since 1998, had broadened its wing to Sabah in 2002, which heralded the beginning of early childhood studies back in 2009, through its home-grown Diploma in Early in Early Childhood Education. Being in its 15th year of success, SIDMA College has produced marketable and promising graduates who are currently holding respectable position in various fields, both in the public and private sectors throughout the country. SIDMA College offers other programmes through its collaboration with UNITAR International University (UNITAR), and Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS)  in various field of studies tailored to complement and supplement the demand of the growing economic of Malaysia from diverse industries.

SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah invites school leavers with SPM and STPM qualification or its equivalent to pursue their tertiary studies in any of the following programme below:

List of Programmes the college offers:

  • Foundation Course
  • Foundation in Management
  • Diploma Courses:
  • Diploma in Early Childhood Education Studies
  • Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health
  • Diploma in Management
  • Bachelor’s Degree Courses
  • Bachelor of Education (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Management (Hons)
  • Masters Courses.
  • Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Masters of Education (Educational Leadership and Management (ELM)
  • Masters of Education (Early Childhood Education)
  • Masters of Education (TESL)

For more information about Early Childhood Education as well as other courses offered at SIDMA College, do browse SIDMA College Website or visit us at SIDMA College Jalan Bundusan, Kota Kinabalu; or call our hotline number: 088-732 000 or 088-732 020. Interested parties can also visit our SIDMA page at Facebook oSIDMA Website for enquiries and registration.

Read more @ http://www.sabah.sidma.edu.my/sidma2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=959:sidma-college-4th-convocation-ceremony-2017&catid=3:latest-news&Itemid=0

Get ready for new industrial revolution, says Kedah Sultan

November 18th, 2017
Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah reading his speech during the opening of the 30th Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) convocation ceremony, also present were his consort Sultanah Kedah, Tengku Maliha Tengku Ariff. Pix by Amran Hamid

SINTOK: Graduates of higher learning institutions should brace for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industrial 4.0) as the job market will largely involve robotics and automation technology, the Sultan of Kedah said.

Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah said the challenges required all quarters to adopt an open mind on the changes and advances brought by the rapid development in technology.

However, the sultan reminded the graduates to embrace the changes based on religious values.

“Perhaps, many are still not aware about the Fourth Industrial Revolution which has been a focus of the government.

“Although the Fourth Industrial Revolution will generally make our life easier, the people have to brace the fact that their life and work will be heavily influenced by with robotics and automation advancement,” he said when opening the 30th Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) convocation ceremony here today.

Sultan Sallehuddin, who is also UUM chancellor, said the Industrial 4.0 was pushing for the current education system to be revamped in line with the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) agenda.

“The Higher Education Ministry is working on a policy to enhance Malaysia competitiveness and as a hub for Industrial 4.0 in Southeast Asia.

By ADIE SURI ZULKEFLI.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/11/304664/get-ready-new-industrial-revolution-says-kedah-sultan

NGOs want gov’t to create anti-discrimination law

November 17th, 2017
Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Melayu (MTEM) chief executive officer Ahmad Yazid Othman (centre) addresses the media during a press conference in Kual Lumpur. Pic by ZUNNUR AL SHAFI

KUALA LUMPUR: Some 16 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are urging the government to introduce an anti-discrimination law to protect the rights of employees at the workplace.

The NGOs, in a joint statement today, said discrimination based on gender, race and religion at the workplace or in economic activities was a serious matter that required government intervention.

Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Melayu (MTEM) chief executive officer Ahmad Yazid Othman said the no-headscarf policy, which placed the hotel industry under the spotlight recently, was just “the tip of the iceberg”.

“In 2015, for instance, there were cases of Muslim men working in factories being denied the right to attend Friday prayers.

“There are also cases of Muslim women teachers not being allowed to wear the headscarf at a vernacular school in 2014.

“Meanwhile, a research in 2003 (by Just Faaland, Jack Parkinson and Rais Saniman) revealed that a Bumiputera may earn about 20 to 30 per cent less compared with other races despite holding the same position and having the same skills,” he said at the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (MCCM) office here today.

Yazid added that there was also a need for the government to conduct a continuous efforts to raise awareness on employees’ rights.

The NGOs also urged the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) chairman Samuel Cheah Swee Hee to step down for what they alleged was a bid by him to justify discrimination.

The statement said Cheah had failed to understand that the principles of hospitality in the hotel industry were not related to an employee wearing a headscarf.

The issue concerning the no-headscarf uniform policy came to light following a recent report by the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) that they had received complaints from hotel employees regarding the banning of headscarves or hijab at the workplace.

MAH was reported to have said that the no-headscarf uniform policy for hotel frontline staff was an international practice based on standard operating procedures (SOP) and policy.

Among the 16 NGOs supporting the joint statement were Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra), Concern Lawyer for Justice (CLJ), Malaysian Lawyer Circle (MLC), Young Professionals, Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Abim), Gerakan Pembela Ummah (Ummah), Gerakan 153, Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma), and Persatuan Patriots Malaysia.

On a similar note, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) is also urging for the protection of freedom in practising one’s religion or belief without discrimination at the workplace.

The commission said employment contracts could stipulate specific conditions, but they must not imply any direct or indirect discriminatory actions against freedom of religion and expression.

Suhakam said in a statement today that businesses always have a responsibility towards the promotion and protection of human rights.

By MASRIWANIE MUHAMADING.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/11/304352/ngos-want-govt-create-anti-discrimination-law

UMS students learn English the Fun-tastic way

November 17th, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: Much to the surprise of the first year students participating in the Fun-tastic race at UMS recently, learning English tenses and parts of speech actually turned out to be ‘good fun’.

The students were all from Communicative English Grammar, a foundation English course offered by the Centre for the Promotion of Knowledge and Language Learning (CPKLL).

The 35 challengers tried their best to communicate in English as they undertook ten challenges at ten stations located in the vicinity of CPKLL. Examples of the communicative challenges were ‘describe and draw’, charades, relaying a message, and riddles. The participants also enjoyed solving clues to find ten ‘treasures’ and taking wefies with these ‘treasures’ along the way to different stations.

Many of the participants said that they learned more about English language and teamwork from taking part in the race. When asked to comment on the event, one participant responded, “It’s really fantastic! Love it! It can improve our communication skills in English, team spirit, and problem solving skills.”

Judging from the positive responses from the participants, this event evidently transformed the shy low proficiency students into active users of English as the constraints of a formal teacher-centered classroom gave way to experiential learning and gamification strategies.

The fastest team completed the race in 1 ½ hours and won the first prize of RM200. The Chairperson of Funtastic Race 2017 committee, Ms. Loh Yoke Len pointed out that “The Fun-tastic Race made every participant a winner as they all contributed to the challenges and overcame them together as a team.”

The race was jointly organised by CPKLL ‘Say it in English’ Campaign’ headed by Mr. John Mark Storey in collaboration with the Chairperson of Communicative English Grammar Course, Ms. Brenda Margaret Wright. She commented, “Having fun with English in a communicative context can spark motivation for all levels of learners.”

In addition, the collective endeavour of 29 second and third year TESLstudents from the Faculty of Psychology and Education was a key factor in the success of the race.

Read more @ http://www.newsabahtimes.com.my/nstweb/fullstory/19887

1,000 Schools To Be Upgraded With 21st-Century Smart Classrooms

November 17th, 2017

NILAI, Nov 15 (Bernama) — The Ministry of Education will upgrade 1,000 schools nationwide with 21st-century smart learning classrooms starting next year.

Education Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad said each school would have two classes upgraded to smart classes according to the criteria set by the ministry.

“Currently, the 1,000 schools are still in the selection process based on the criteria set, such as Internet access in the region. We are working with the state education department to determine which schools are eligible to be upgraded,” he told reporters after his official visit to the 21st century learning class and classrooms of the future at Tunku Kurshiah College, Bandar Enstek near here, today.

BERNAMA.

Read more @ http://education.bernama.com/index.php?sid=news_content&id=1410904