Archive for the ‘Education Achievement’ Category

Positive learning attitude key to change

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

Dass (centre) guiding the participants in completing their tasks during the teacher workshop.

WHEN Omar Awwaluddin Ghazali turned up at The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (Star-NiE) workshop held in SMK Seri Dungun, Terengganu, early this month, he was curious to find out what was in store for him.

The SM Imtiaz Yayasan Terengganu Kemaman teacher confessed that he had rarely used newspapers as a classroom resource.

“The problem is we don’t have enough to distribute to the classrooms, ” he said.

He also admitted to being unfamiliar with newspapers, as he usually obtained the latest news online or from the television.

But when the workshop began, Omar could be seen paying close attention to Star-NiE freelance consultant trainer Lucille Dass, actively contributing to discussions and even taking charge of his group’s hands-on activities.

It was precisely this kind of positive learning attitude that Dass urged the English language teachers in attendance to adopt in their profession.

Quoting Alvin Toffler, who wrote Future Shock, she said: “The illiterate of the 21st century are not those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”

“Are you open to learning? Learning starts from the womb to the tomb – that means there is no end to learning. Once you stop learning, you are brain-dead. This is very serious, especially for teachers. If you don’t accept other people’s views, you are brain-dead, ” she explained.

“As teachers, we must first of all be learners. When you learn something new, you unlearn what is old and useless – you throw it away because it is of no use anymore at this point in time – then you would have relearned.”

Dass also emphasised the need for teachers to cultivate a genuine love for languages among their students.

“When your students enjoy learning, they take ownership of their learning; they become motivated, inspired and independent learners – that’s what you must aim for.

The students getting to know each other at the start of their session.The students getting to know each other at the start of their session

“Make them fall in love with the language, whatever language it is – then they want to learn, not because it is a school subject but because they love to learn – that is the kind of attitude a teacher must have, ” she said.

“A textbook is just a guide. Exams are only a snapshot of their abilities. It is better to use the language for life, ” she added.

Learn, unlearn and relearn

Sponsored by Petronas to support the use of newspapers in the classroom, the NiE workshop in Terengganu saw the participation of 35 primary and secondary school teachers, as well as the Terengganu Hired English Language Personnel (T-HELP).

The oil and gas giant is also sponsoring RM150,000 worth of NiE pullouts to supplement the Trenglish (Transforming English in Terengganu) programme for the third year.

Introduced in 2015, the Trenglish programme, involving 50 schools in the state, is a collaborative effort between Petronas, the state education department and Yayasan Terengganu to improve English language proficiency among students.

At the end of the teacher workshop, Omar was so inspired by Dass’ session that he gave it a nine out of 10 rating.

“Before coming here, I wasn’t exposed to such activities. I didn’t know I could use the newspaper in such a way to teach English, for example, getting students to find pictures and having them write their own descriptions.

“Now, I have more activities to apply in class. I will use The Star newspaper and the NiE pullout more often from now on, ” he said.

Omar is grateful for Petronas’ initiative to provide a better classroom environment and resource for teachers and students.

“The students in Terengganu lack the opportunity to use the English language in their environment. Because of Petronas’ sponsorship, they get more chances of familiarising themselves with the language through the newspaper, NiE pullout and student workshop, ” he said.

Teacher Zaini Kussin from SMK Kuala Jengal, Dungun, could also be seen eagerly raising his hands and sharing his answers several times during the workshop. Although this was his second year being a participant, he found new ideas worth exploring in his classroom.

“The instructor gave us two activities that I found interesting and lively – the kinaesthetic activity where we used the newspaper to mime some actions, and the pronunciation activity where we practised our intonation to the beat of a tambourine, ” he said, adding that he is inspired by Dass to use the maracas and other musical instruments in his English language lessons.

Zaini also shared that after attending the NiE workshop last year, he entrusted his school’s T-HELP Soleha Soleh with conducting newspaper activities during relief classes.

“I gave her a set of NiE activity cards I got from the workshop. She has tried them out with the students, ” he said.

Soleha, who was a first-time participant at an NiE workshop, rated Dass’ session a full 10 out of 10. She shared that she carries out newspaper activities four times a month.

“The students like using the newspaper. Every time they see me, they expect something different. I use both the newspaper and the pullout.

“I usually adapt the activities in the pullout if the level is too difficult for my students. We focus on fun, simple activities such as coming up with dialogues for characters in comic strips and pictures, ” she said.

While Zaini acknowledges the effort that Petronas is making to boost the state’s English language proficiency, he feels more can be done to ensure that the programme produces results.

“It’s a good thing that Petronas is doing this. But right now, it’s up to the teachers to use the newspaper. If we are not doing it, there won’t be results. Maybe Petronas and The Star can come up with a competition that can motivate us to be more active, and get the students to produce some work. It will cost more for Petronas but if you don’t have an exam, students don’t have the motivation to learn because they have nothing to worry about; likewise, if there’s a competition, it will challenge them to do more, ” he said.

For teacher Toharah Omar, the NiE workshop was a timely refresher as she attended a similar workshop some 10 years ago in Pahang.

“Sometimes the same teachers go for workshops while the others don’t get the opportunity. I’m thankful that I’m here for this. I hope Petronas and Star-NiE organise more workshops for teachers so that we gain new ideas and be more confident when carrying out newspaper activities in the classroom, ” she said.

As an English language teacher at SMK Tengku Lela Segara, Toharah has done her part to broaden her teaching repertoire through the use of newspapers.

“The students are more excited when I use the newspaper and NiE in the classroom. It’s a new experience for them because not all the teachers use it as a resource. They like to look at the pictures. It’s also useful because they get ideas and information which help them to enhance their essays or in debates, ” she said.

“I always advise my students to refer to the dictionary to learn new words from the newspaper, and not rely on me as a walking dictionary, ” she added.

Enjoyable experience

Later on the same day, 52 students – ranging from Forms One to Four – attended the student workshop held at the same venue.

Toharah’s student Nur Syamimi Zuhayra Mohd Razini found the experience enjoyable.

“This is my first NiE workshop. I realised there are many things I didn’t know about the newspaper. I learned new terms like jump line and byline.

“I particularly enjoyed the group activity where we were asked to label everything that we saw in a picture. It was so interesting and allowed us to practise our vocabulary, ” she said.

A passionate learner of the English language, the Form Two student hopes to see her articles published in the BRATs section of the NiE pullout.

“I like writing compositions and often look out for stories written by the BRATs participants, ” she said, referring to The Star’s writing platform for teenagers.

Nur Syamimi is grateful for Petronas’ sponsorship, which enables her to read The Star once a week.

“I bring home a copy from school every Wednesday and my family reads it, too, ” she added.

A second-year participant of the workshop, Form Three student Aleya Maisarah Azmi from SM Imtiaz Yayasan Terengganu Dungun found new takeaway points.

“I learned new vocabulary and many new things that I can do with the newspaper. I’m always excited when my English language teacher uses the newspaper in class. I especially like reading the comic section. I wish I could experience more of the NiE activities, ” she said.

Written by a team of experienced English language specialists, the NiE pullouts are packed with engaging hands-on newspaper activities for the classroom.

With 33 issues published per year, the 12-page NiE pullout presents activities divided into elementary, intermediate and advanced levels to suit students’ English language proficiency.

The pullout is syllabus-based and endorsed by the Education Ministry.

The teacher and student workshops in Dungun were part of four workshops sponsored by Petronas. The two other NiE workshops – one for teachers and one for students – were held at SM Imtiaz Yayasan Terengganu Kuala Terengganu last month.

By ROWENA CHUA
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/08/25/positive-learning-attitude-key-to-change#IztEfuY7d1CR3vDz.99

Over emphasis on grades, a worrying trend

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

IN our society, the worrying trend among young people is the pressure to score all As in their examinations.

Teachers, headmasters and parents are equally to blame. Schools tend to place a high value on school results.

A famous Scottish politician, Johann Lamont, once said ‘Schools are not exam factories for the rat race.’ I couldn’t agree more.

There are many programmes and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at schools to achieve and fulfil. The planned programmes are intense and packed. Teachers have to toil hard to deliver the exam tips and input. The pertinent question is, if the student scores all As in the exam, does that mean he is a genius?

Life is so competitive. Some parents like to compare their children when it comes to school results. What are they trying to prove? Every child has unique traits and character.

I have seen some teenage students who struggle to study and confine themselves in their room just to please their parents’ dreams to score all As in the exam. These students do not know anything else outside of the world apart from the facts and figures in the textbook.

When it comes to language learning, many think that by memorising the facts in the textbook, it is sufficient to sit for the exam.

Truthfully speaking, when I had a conversation with some students, their grammar and vocabulary are limited.

As an educator, language learning, be it Bahasa Malaysia or English, is not acquired by memorising. We have to read extensively.

When I sat down with one of our famous writers, Uthaya Sankar S.B recently, I asked him the secret of his writing ability in both Bahasa Malaysia and English. He eloquently told me that his passion for reading was the ultimate secret for his successful career. He has also carved a name in the writing industry. I admire his capabilities in speaking and writing in Bahasa Malaysia. In a nutshell, reading is a habit and students should practise it.

Some of my former students whom I met spoke about what they went through to get good results. Some feel they have lost their childhood fun by studying so hard.

Childhood must be balanced as some parents get their children coached at home too. This will cost them but as long as their children do well, it is fine with them. Children also need to go out and connect with nature. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Just imagine sitting and reading most of the time without going out. This can even affect our health.

by SUMATI MUNIANDY.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/11/06/over-emphasis-on-grades-a-worrying-trend/

Malaysia ‘Exports’ Knowledge On Islamic Finance Management To Japan

Friday, September 30th, 2016

ALOR SETAR, Sept 28 (Bernama) — Malaysia is ‘exporting’ knowledge on Islamic financial management to Japan through the translation of two books from English to Japanese, published by Universiti Utara Malaysia Press (UUM Press).

The two books written by several lecturers from the School of Economics and Banking (SEFB) were launched at Tokyo International Book Fair 2016, on Sept 23 Sept by the Malaysian Ambassador to Japan, Datuk Ahmad Izlan Idris.

The books are ‘Islamic Finance Fundamentals With Applications in Malaysia’ written by Shahriza Osman, Assoc Prof Dr Zahiruddin Ghazali and Dr Syed Mohd Na’im Syed Salim; and ‘The Basics of Islamic Finance With Applications in Malaysia’ by Dr Zaemah Zainuddin and Dr Sabariah Nordin.

“This is the second book published by UUM Press is translated into Japanese. In 2015, the book ‘Politik Bangsa Malaysia’ became a pioneer in internationalising Malaysia and the UUM,” said the UUM in a statement today.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Izlan in his speech at the launch said UUM had vast expertise in Islamic finance and should be a prime mover in efforts to promote it at international level through the publication of books.

“Through the publication of the translated versions of the books, Malaysia has managed to export the science of Islamic financial management to the Japanese people, the majority of whom are non-Muslims, to understand it as an alternative to their financial system.”

BERNAMA.

Read more @ http://education.bernama.com/index.php?sid=news_content&id=1286711

50% of success due to focus, students told

Thursday, June 16th, 2016
 Tuanku Syed Faizuddin (centre) with teachers and students of SMK Merpati.

Tuanku Syed Faizuddin (centre) with teachers and students of SMK Merpati.

SANDAKAN: Commitment and determination in your undertaking is the key to success in any field, said the Raja Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Ibni Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Jamalullail.

“For example, students’ excellence is achieved through their main focus when learning in the classroom. Those who focus on the teachers will understand better and absorb useful information which can be applied in everyday life.

“Focus is necessary because it is a science. Studies have found that 50% of success is when students are focused on their teachers in the classroom. Therefore, I see this as a matter of importance for students to be focused,” said Tuanku Syed Faizuddin, when speaking to hundreds of students of SMK Elopura Bestari and SMK Merpati during his visit to both schools yesterday.

However, he said the success of a student is not only measured by academic achievements alone.

“A brilliant student must also have positive values such as discipline, religious abiding, respect for others and good manners which are very important in shaping the ideal personality. Good personality and individuality that will endear a person to those around him.

“As a teenager, friends will influence your nature and character. Therefore, I would advise that you hang out with friends who are successful and positive thinking so that you would be motivated and learn from their experience. Observe how they become personalities in society. Successful people often have remarkable personalities and charisma. It may not come naturally but you should try to emulate them, because if they can, then you can certainly do it too.

“You are the generation that will advance the state and nation. Therefore, I do not want to see young Malaysians being plagued with indiscipline that will prevent excellence. One cause for the increasingly widespread deterioration of discipline now is truancy. Reports have indicated that school truancy ranks among the highest percentage for indiscipline,” he added.

by Winnie Kasmir

Read more @ http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/06/16/50-of-success-due-to-focus-students-told/#ixzz4BhGknC1I