Archive for the ‘Education, Sabah.’ Category

Sabah’s overall performance improves

Friday, March 13th, 2020

PENAMPANG: Sabah recorded an improvement in quality in the 2019 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination with a state average grade (GPN) of 5.38.

Sabah education department director, Dr Mistirine Radin said it dropped by 0.06 from the previous year’s GPN of 5.44, with a lower figure indicating better performance.

The passing percentage of students (for both Sejarah and Bahasa Melayu), however, saw a decline of 0.74 per cent, from 88.53 per cent in 2018 to 87.79 per cent last year.

Despite that, the number of students who passed all subjects with at least an E was 18,054 (53.83 per cent), which grew by 2.15 per cent from 2018’s record of 17,420 students (51.68 per cent).

“A total of 198 candidates managed to score As (A+, A, A-) in 2019, compared to 152 candidates in 2018, which saw an additional number of 46 students.

“Therefore, although the passing percentage dropped slightly, we have more candidates who scored distinction grade last year,” she said when announcing the results at SMK St Michael here on Thursday.

Also present were Sabah Minister of Education and Innovation, Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob, and assistant minister, Jenifer Lasimbang.

The 2019 SPM which took place from Nov 5 to 28, saw 33,541 students sitting for the examination, which was lower than 2018’s 34,322 candidates.

Of the total 58 subjects taken in Sabah, 26 achieved 100 per cent passing rates including Literature in English, Grafik Komunikasi Teknikal, Additional Science, Usul Al-Din, English for Science and Technology, as well as several vocational subjects.

Four fundamental subjects also registered improvement in quality based on the subject average grade (GPMP) – Bahasa Melayu from 4.44 to 4.27 (0.17), English from 6.80 to 6.62 (0.18), Moral Education from 4.17 to 4.06 (0.11), and Mathematics from 6.12 to 6.11 (0.01).

SM Sains Sabah Kota Kinabalu remained the top school for 2019 SPM with a school average grade (GPS) of 1.70, followed by SMK St Michael Penampang with 2.23, and SMK Agama Kota Kinabalu with 2.51.

Other schools in the top 10 placing were SMK Agama Tun Ahmadshah KK (2.52), SM Sains Lahad Datu (2.75), SM Islamiah Tawau (2.93), SMK Matunggong Kudat (3.59), SMK St Patrick Tawau (3.59), SMKA Mohamad Ali Ranau (3.61), and SMK Perempuan Sandakan (3.64).

Meanwhile, the award for schools recording the biggest improvement was given to SMK La Salle KK (1.37 leap in GPS), SMK Bongkol Pitas (1.03), SMK Weston Beaufort (1.00), SMK Kunak Jaya (0.89), SMK Abdul Rahim Kudat (0.79), SMK Bandau Kota Marudu (0.73), and SMK Ranau (0.71).

Best students in the 11 subjects category were Aina Zainatul Zakirah Ismail from SMKA Kota Kinabalu with 10A+, 1A; Jung Bing Heng Jensen from SMK Sung Siew Sandakan (9A+, 2A); Muhammad Aqlan Syahir Alimuddin from SMKA Kota Kinabalu (8A+, 3A); Nabihah Habibon from SMKA Kota Kinabalu (8A+, 3A); Nojuel JC Soluku from SMK St Michael Penampang (8A+, 3A); Izyani Syahirah Alfian from SMKA Kota Kinabalu (8A+, 2A, 1B+); and Teo Yu Jing from SMK Sung Siew Sandakan with 8A+, 1A, 2B+.

For students taking 10 subjects, the top six were Vesley Junior Villos from SMK St Michael Penampang (9A+, 1A); Brayn Chung Kok Jing from SMK St Patrick Tawau (9A+, 1A-); Christina Ku Pei San from SMK Tinggi Kota Kinabalu (9A+, 1B+); Andrea Faith Charlie from SMK St Michael Penampang (8A+, 2A); Abigail Victoria Malakun from SMK St Michael Penampang (8A+, 2A); and Florence Chiu Yan Yee from SMK St Dominic Lahad Datu (8A+, 2A).

Best students for those who took nine subjects were Ahmad Uzair Hedzree from SMK St Patrick Tawau (9A+); Lo Yung Kang from SMK St Dominic Lahad Datu (8A+, 1A); Vagish A/L Krishnan from SMK St Patrick Tawau (8A+, 1A); Kevalraj Singh Kreer from SMK All Saints KK (8A+, 1A-); Ryan Constantine Libamin from SMK All Saints KK (8A+, 1A-); Nathan Alexander Benny Duati from SMK La Salle (8A+, 1A); Wan Ahmad Azeem Najhi Wan Azizi from SM Sains Sabah KK (8A+, 1A-); and Aneezah Johnson from SMK St Dominic Lahad Datu (8A+, 1A-).

The final award, for students with special needs, was given to Syeriefazrizan Norazman from SMK Badin Tuaran who attained 1A+, 5A, 1B; Nurhan Nasir from SMK Menumbok Kuala Penyu with 1A, 1A-, 1B, 1C+, 1C, 2E; and Nurul Aisyah Amil Hassan from SMK Merotai Besar Tawau who achieved 3A-, 2B+, 1B, 1C+, 1E.

“From the total of 211 schools that were involved in last year’s SPM, 60 were urban schools which recorded a passing rate of 88.77 per cent while the remaining 151 were rural schools with a passing rate of 87.43 per cent.

“This showed that the difference in percentage between urban and rural schools was low, which was 1.34 per cent,” she said.


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Move to drive education excellence in KK

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

Darman (second left) and Tah Nia (left) together with education officers launching the Kota Kinabalu PPD’s OK9 education development model.

KOTA KINABALU: The District Education Office (PPD) hopes to drive education excellence in Kota Kinabalu through its recently launched “Oasis Kecemerlangan Sembilan” (OK9).

The initiative lives up to Kota Kinabalu PPD’s motto “Dare To Change”.

“Kota Kinabalu PPD’s uniqueness in promoting student excellence and quality schools, aligns with the School Transformation (TS25) goal which is our dream as educators with strong community support,” said State Education Director, Dr Mistirine Radin, when officiating the OK9 launching ceremony, here, Monday.

Her speech was delivered by her Deputy Director (Planning Sector), Darman Shah Asakil.

“This is in line with the current educational developments that have led to the transformation of education towards realising the Malaysian Education Development Plan 2013-2025 (PPPM 2013-2025).

“The presence of collaborators and communities at this event has shown positive values and examples especially in today’s educational world.

“Kota Kinabalu PPD’s OK9 not only fulfils the educational aspirations of excellent students and quality schools, but also enhances education for all,” she said.

She said involvement and positive injection from all parties at various levels are crucial to enable the diversity of processes to occur in education.

She said with the cooperation and engagement of parents, communities, government agencies, private agencies, non-governmental organisations, local communities and the global community, a variety of learning experiences can be created that will enhance the quality of human capital generated.

“It is my hope that the effort will continue to be a catalyst for the excellence of our nation’s education, in particular our children’s success,” she said.

The OK9 is an integrated and comprehensive development model which acts as a smart partnership platform for strategic and collective school success.

This is in line with the restructuring of PPDs function in 2020, where the challenge is in addressing the need to enhance schools in terms of student excellence and quality schools to meet the demands of the PPPM 2013-2025.

After much deliberation, the Kota Kinabalu PPD under the leadership of Tah Nia Jaman, came up with four key goals outlined for the OK9, namely to improve effective leadership, improve teacher quality, enhance Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and community support.

The ultimate goal is to create a meaningful teaching and learning environment. These goals are indicative of the excellence of the schools towards the TS25 as envisaged in the PPPM 2013-2025.

“The OK9 implementation uses the Professional Learning Community (PLC) and bottom up approach. In other words, schools in the OK9 community will take the initiative to find appropriate interventions for each issues by locality and to resolve them collectively,” said Tah Nia in her address.

The OK9 consists of six Oasis Kecemerlangan Sekolah Rendah which involves 58 primary schools, while three Oasis Kecemerlangan is for 24 secondary schools under the Kota Kinabalu PPD.

The Oasis Kecemerlangan Sekolah Rendah is divided into OK9 Likas, OK9 Inanam, OK9 Manggatal, OK9 SJKC, OK9 Tanjung Aru and OK9 Telipok.

While Oasis Kecemerlangan Sekolah Menengah is divided into OK9 S1 (SM La Salle, SMK Taman Tun Fuad, SMK Pulau Gaya, SM Shan Tao, SM Stella Maris, SMK Likas, SSM, Sekolah Dalam Hospital), OK9 S2 (Maktab Sabah, SMK Lok Yuk Likas, SMK Bandaraya, SM St Francis Convent, SMK Agama Tun Ahmadshah, SM St Peter, SMK Kolombong, Kolej Vokasional) and OK9 S3 (SM All Saints, SM Sanzac, SMK Tebobon, SMK Inanam, SMK Agama KK, SMK Perempuan, SM Tinggi, Kolej Tingkatan 6).

Tah Nia went on to explain the acronym for oasis which is outcome, accountability, smart, integrity and sustainability.

“This refers to each project, intervention or activity under OK9 that needs to look at the outcome, accountability, smart, integrity and sustainability,” she said.

She hoped the OK9 will achieve its goals being part of efforts by the Kota Kinabalu PPD to promote education especially in Kota Kinabalu district and Sabah in general in line with the mission and vision of the Ministry of Education.

By: Sherell Jeffrey.

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Hoping no more corrupt headmasters, education officials

Thursday, March 5th, 2020

Misterine and Karunanithy speaking to the press yesterday.
SANDAKAN: State Education Director, Dr Misterine Radin, hopes there will be no more corruption cases involving school headmasters and Education Department staff in Sabah.
She said integrity and responsibility in this regard is of utmost priority.
“We don’t want a repeat of previous cases which have been prosecuted in court,” she said, adding that they view the matter seriously.

“As such, we also hold regular sessions with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in addition to programmes that provides continuous awareness to those in the Education Department on the importance of preventing corruption,” she said.

She said every educator needs to be more transparent and be able to set a good example to the public.
She said this after attending a Bicara Professional Awal Tahun Pengarah JPN programme involving Sandakan, Kinabatangan and Beluran at  Dewan Sekolah Rendah Visi Sandakan, Mile 5, here, Tuesday.
Also present was MACC Sabah Director, Karunanithy Y. Subbiah and education officers from all three districts, among others.
The programme also saw a briefing by Karunanithy, the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu), as well as presentations by sectors in the Education Department and exhibitions by the school.
On the programme at hand, she said, it is the Education Department’s annual event for every zone in the State.

“We provide education and information to educators. We also invite the MACC to furnish information on the importance of avoiding corruption,” she said.

On other matters, she said, out of some 336 projects involving upgrade and rehabilitation of dilapidated schools in Sabah, a total of 151 projects has already been completed.
She said her Department also received cooperation from the State Education and Innovation Ministry in addition to their joint weekly meetings and monthly meetings with the Education Ministry to discuss on education development matters in Sabah.
Meanwhile, Karunanithy said Sabah MACC often receive complaints on false claims and using one’s  position to obtain bribe, namely in providing contracts for work tenders to families involving Edcuation Department officers.
However, he said, it is not the department’s fault but of those who commit such acts.
There have been five to six cases involving school headmasters brought to court.
“Their actions negatively affected people’s perception towards other civil servants, particularly those holding similar posts,” he said.
He said it was, therefore, important that the practice of integrity among educators is maintained, while at the same time awareness programmes is carried out with other departments especially in disseminating information on the negative impact of corruption.
Karunanithy also advised principals and headmasters to remove the names of family companies listed for consideration in obtaining contracts at their respective schools.
He added that the removal of these companies should be reflected in the minutes of the meeting for the contract awarding process as a company that has been removed from the list of contract applicants.
By: Mardinah Jikur.

STPM 2019: Pencapaian SMK Muhibbah meningkat

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

SANDAKAN: Pencapaian SMK Muhibbah dalam peperiksaan Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) bagi tahun 2019 meningkat berbanding dengan tahun 2018.

Ia berikutan keputusan STPM tahun lepas menyaksikan 100 peratus kelulusan dan seorang pelajarnya telah mendapat Purata Nilai Gred Kumulatif (PNGK) 4.00 manakala tiga lagi pelajar mendapat PNGK 3.92.

Sementara 23 pelajar juga turut mendapat PNGK 3.00 dan ke atas.

Dalam pada itu, Gred Purata Sekolah (GPS) STPM 2019 meningkat 0.02 berbanding GPS STPM 2018. SMK Muhibbah tersenarai dalam kategori ke – 3 bagi bilangan calon 100 dan ke atas dalam senarai 10 sekolah terbaik di Sabah.

Pencapaian SMK Muhibbah ini diumumkan pada satu Majlis Penyampaian Keputusan STPM 2019 yang telah diadakan di Dewan Terbuka sekolah itu, kelmarin.

Sementara itu, Kolej Tingkatan 6 Datuk Pengiran Galpam Sandakan sekali lagi mencatat sejarah kecemerlangan dalam keputusan STPM 2019 yang diumumkan kelmarin.

GPS menunjukkan sedikit kenaikan sebanyak 0.08 iaitu 2.73 pada tahun 2019 berbanding dengan 2.65 pada tahun 2018.

Peratus lulus keseluruhan pada tahun 2019 adalah sebanyak 98.8 peratus berbanding dengan 99.2 peratus tahun 2018.

Seramai 93 calon daripada 257 calon telah mendapat PNGK sekurang-kurangnya 3.00.

Bilangan tersebut menunjukkan peningkatan seramai 7 orang berbanding dengan tahun 2018 (85 orang). Tiga pelajar aliran Kemanusiaan mencapai keputusan cemerlang dengan pencapaian PNGK 4.00.

Mereka ialah Mohd Alfian Alam, Muhammad Kurniawan Abdul Hamid dan Meharaj Jagubar. Mata pelajaran yang diambil termasuklah Pengajian Am, Sejarah, Geografi dan Ekonomi.

Selain itu, tiga pelajar terbaik Aliran Sains ialah Ko Yu Yun dengan PNGK 3.75 (2A, 1A-, 1B+) dan Alexander Yapp Cheng Hao serta Siew Sui Siong dengan masing-masing memperoleh pencapaian PNGK 3.67 (1A, 2A-, 1B+) dan 3.67 (2A, 2B+).

Pengetua Kolej berkenaan, Haji Hussein Abdul Manaf merakamkan setinggi-tinggi tahniah dan syabas kepada semua calon STPM 2019 kerana telah berjaya memperoleh keputusan yang cemerlang dan tidak dilupa kepada semua pensyarah yang telah bertungkus-lumus dalam membantu pelajar membuat persediaan bagi menghadapi peperiksaan.

“Selaku Kolej Tingkatan 6, pihak kolej telah merangka dan menjalankan pelbagai program bagi memperkasa dan mengukuhkan pemahaman pelajar terhadap silibus yang diajar.

“Antaranya, program Mentor-mentee, Modul Mata Pelajarandan Kolokium Mata Pelajaran. Tanpa komitmen semua pihak termasuk ibu bapa, sudah pasti kecemerlangan pada hari ini tidak dapat dikecapi.

“Oleh itu, pihak kolej mengharapkan agar keputusan pada tahun 2019 menjadi pemangkin untuk kecemerlangan pada masa hadapan,” kata Hussein.


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STPM: 67 Sabah schools score 100pc passing rate

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

TUARAN:  SMK Kota Klias, Beaufort achieved the highest School Average (GPS) in Sabah, with its students scoring a 100 per cent passing rate in the 2019 STPM examinations.

It is among 67 schools in the State that achieved a 100 per cent passing rate.

The rating is divided into three categories based on the number of registered candidates in each school – (1) one to 49 candidates, (2) 50 to 99 candidates and (3) 100 candidates and above.

State Education Director Mistirine Radin said a total of 7,036 candidates sat for the 2019 STPM examinations compared to 6,782 in 2018.

“Of these, 6,956 candidates or 98.86 per cent achieved full passing rate in 2019 compared to 6,705 candidates or 98.78 per cent in 2018.

“This means that the passing rate of schools in Sabah shows a 0.07 per cent increase,” she said when met by reporters at SMK Tamparuli Hall, here, Tuesday, where the STPM results for the State were announced.

She also said the Cumulative Average Grade (GNI) in Sabah showed a decrease of 0.02 of 2.67 in 2019 compared to 2.69 in 2018.

“For the District Education Office (PPD)’s cumulative grade point average (CGPA), 12 PPDs surpassed the State CGPA (2.67) out of 24 PPDs in Sabah.

“The PPDs showing the highest GNI were from Kunak (2.67), Semporna (2.82), Tuaran (2.82), Tawau (2.81), Penampang (2.80), Sandakan (2.77), Beluran (2.76), Beaufort (2.73), Lahad Datu (2.73), Sipitang (2.69), Kudat (2.68) and Papar (2.68),” she said.

At the event, a total of 51 candidates who took the STPM examination in 2019 achieved a CGPA of 4.0. Also present was Education and Innovation Assistant Minister Jennifer Lasimbang

Meanwhile, one of the CGPA 4.0 achievers, Nurhardia Adlina Raymie, 20, from SMK Putatan Penampang, was thrilled to receive the excellent results and shared her learning methods.

“At home, I just focus on revising and while at school, I study in groups. My friends and I are not shy to ask each other questions and we are also always asking our teachers questions,” she said.

She added that the school holds night classes and as well as extra classes on Saturdays.

By: R Gonzales.

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Dilapidated Sabah schools receive attention in 2019

Sunday, December 29th, 2019

A dilapidated school in the Interior.

DILAPIDATED schools in Sabah received the Education Ministry’s attention in 2019 with the Finance Ministry allocating RM78 million to restore them a substantial increase from the RM 10 million previously.

The funding aims to resolve problems at 30 to 35 dilapidated schools in the State.

Overall, an allocation of RM 738 million from the Federal Government was announced in Budget 2020 to rehabilitate dilapidated schools especially in Sabah and Sarawak.

State Education and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob said that the State still needed RM3 billion to restore 1,300 schools in Sabah, 587 of which were dilapidated and 91 declared unsafe.

In October, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik also announced an extra RM15 million from the Federal Education Ministry would be channelled to the State Education Department for maintenance and minor repairs of all government schools in Sabah for 2019.

Maszlee also stated that special schools will be set up in the future for undocumented Malaysians in Sabah, where it was said the government would also help them to get identification documents.

The year also saw the State Education and Innovation Ministry receiving RM52 million in special provision rates by the State Government channelled towards State scholarships, bursaries and financial assistance for students.

The scholarships and financial aid will target 400 undergraduate diploma holders, 1,000 undergraduates, 20 undergraduate students at overseas universities and 400 B40 recipients.

Chief Minister Datuk Shafie apdal said it was an increase of 67.5 per cent from RM40.6 million in 2018 under the previous government’s budget as at October 2019.

The year also saw RM58.8 million being channelled towards a new administrative building at the Gaya Teachers Training Institute (IPG Gaya Campus), as the current IPG campus, which was built in 1963, was in unfavourable condition.

The project is expected to be completed by March 15, 2021 which will benefit more than 700 students. It will include a six-storey administrative block and another block which will have an auditorium and a multipurpose hall that can accommodate 1,500 people.

The year also saw a change of leadership at UMS with the appointment of a new vice chancellor Prof. Dr Taufiq Yap Yun Hin, who expressed commitment in raising the university’s status and visibility in the global arena.

However, the appointment initially saw some unhappiness on the part of the State Government with Shafie saying the Education Ministry at Federal level did not consult the State Government on the appointment.

In November, a UMS student caused a stir by doing the Nazi salute after receiving his scroll in support of the Palestinians and protest over “Jewish world domination.”

The German Embassy condemned the student’s action as did netizens.

The year also saw the education scene emphasising on Industrial Revolution 4.0 and a need for the education system to have a teaching and learning approach that is industry-relevant in the 21st Century.

In August, the Education Ministry and Sabah Shell Petroleum Company Ltd (SSPC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to reintroduce Shell Malaysia’s welding industry training course (Projek Link).

The course aims to equip local youths with the necessary certifications to pursue job opportunities in the oil and gas industry.

The year also saw Project-Based Learning (PBL) introduced in some schools as an alternative teaching approach that would enhance a student’s learning experience aimed at producing competent individuals that are relevant in the age of IR4.0

The Sabah Education Department also stated that it is aiming to elevate the quality of education through an immersive 21st Century Learning (PAK 21) experience relating to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (Steam) via the PBL.

The year saw Sabah pioneering the latest multi-targeted human capital programme by the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) called the “Youth Forward” programme, a skill-based education programme that provides secondary school students an alternative career pathway.

Participants will undergo 30 learning modules which will educate them on IR4.0, Public Speaking, Time Management, Safety in the Home and Vehicle, Communication Skills Enhancement, Financial Management and other life skills and effective habits.

Assistant State Education and Innovation Minister Jenifer Lasimbang announced that Sabah would follow the Federal policy of introducing Jawi calligraphy in schools. However, Sarawak had yet to make any commitment while in peninsula Chinese education groups and civic society groups continued to oppose it saying it was being forced as part of an Islamisation agenda.

By: Anthea Peter

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Aswara to set up Sabah campus

Friday, October 4th, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Kebangsaan (Aswara) via the Federal Ministry Tourism, Arts and Culture plans to set up its first campus branch in Sabah with hopes of tapping into the State’s many talents.

It is the only institution of higher learning in Malaysia which focuses in the field of performing arts and is fully supported by the government under the Ministry.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said Sabah has many talents that needs to tapped, adding that the State Government is ready to assist wherever it can to realise the plans.

He said he has instructed the State Secretary to identify a suitable site for the purpose, while noting the importance of having a blend of accommodation and facilities at the institution.

He said this during a media conference after receiving a courtesy visit from the Minister, Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, and Aswara delegates at the State Administration office, here, Thursday.

Shafie noted that the institution is an important platform not only for Sabah but the country as a whole as it provides a space for learning, research and academic publications and professional advisory services in the field of arts, culture and heritage.

It is aimed at producing skilled artists and practitioners who are competent in their fields besides strengthening the sustainability of the national arts heritage.

Shafie said having the campus in Sabah will also pull students not only from Sabah, but also Sarawak, the peninsula, Brunei and Kalimantan.

“I am confident this can benefit and help our efforts towards strengthening tourism products in our country particularly at Sabah level, and we at the State Government will provide strong support to enable this to materialise,” he said.

Mohamaddin on the other hand said it was high time for the Ministry to open a campus in Sabah to carter to students from Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula.

He said this was also among steps to enhance national integration.

On another note, he said the existing campus in Kuala Lumpur (which currently has 1,200 students) is located on an area which is not so big, and thus they hope with cooperation from the State Government, to expand the campus to Sabah.

By: Sherell Jeffrey.

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Undocumented Malaysian students to have own school soon in Sabah

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: The setting up of a special school for undocumented Malaysians in Sabah is in the pipeline, says Education minister Dr Maszlee Malik (pic).

“This was mentioned in my 2019 policy speech in Parliament earlier this year, ” he said.

Apart from that, he said the government, through relevant departments, would also help these students get their identification documents.

According to government records, he said, there are about 2,635 undocumented children who are in schools nationwide.

“Of this, 1,184 are in Sabah,” he said during a townhall session with lecturers and students in Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) here Thursday (Oct 3).

Earlier in the programme, students asked about the rationale behind giving undocumented and stateless people education, how employable are graduates according to the courses taken and other related questions.

On the stateless education issue, he said, education should be for all regardless a person’s status in society.

They were also told that without education, children would not know how to follow rules and regulations, read, abide to laws and would not be able to find jobs in future.

Students were also urged to come up with programmes to help teach and educate these children, especially the sea gypsies.

“Letting them learn would be much better than leaving them to roam aimlessly in life,” Maszlee said

On other matters, he said the government would assist UMS to bring in more foreign and international students.

“We want to see UMS improve and become more competitive with highly employable graduates,” he said

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Educational dilemmas rest on social dilemmas

Saturday, August 24th, 2019
Education success in plural societies should address the issues which drive social disintegration and enflame social distrust. (NSTP/SHARUL HAFIZ ZAM)
By James Campbell - August 14, 2019 @ 10:32am

IN plural and ethnically diverse societies, the success of educational reform depends upon the extent to which the broader society can address the problems of communalism, social division and fragmentation.

A sense of inclusivity, what some may call much needed social integration or social cohesion, is needed to overcome the constant pull of sectional division in ethnically divided societies.

Given the seemingly interminable way in which racial and religious divisions impact on educational debates and the best efforts of reformers, social reintegration and cohesion are both laudable and necessary objectives if much needed educational reform in societies such as Malaysia is to succeed.

J.S. Furnivall, who is well known to historians and political scientists for his critique ‘Plural Society’, is arguably not as well known for his observations in regard to education.


Yet Furnivall’s observations with respect to education are worth pointing out since they point to an essential characteristic of the educational dilemma in plural societies that stares at us plainly and uncomfortably.

According to Furnivall, “Education, then, is the sum of all those processes which fit the youth for social life.”

Note that education here is not defined simply as instruction nor is it limited to what goes on in educational institutions such as schools and universities.

Furnivall argues in fact that there is “a tendency to confuse education with instruction”.

Education in Furnivall’s opinion is wider and more complex than the narrow confines of formal instruction in universities and schools although it obviously includes that.

In this observation, Furnivall appears to be in good company. Educational thinkers such as John Dewey, to cite just one example, point out that education properly understood is a broad process of growth and social development.

As Furnivall points out, if a society is utterly fragmented, lacking in social integration and cohesion, then this begs the question to what extent such societies can achieve their educational aims.

What does it mean to say one is educated in circumstances where social division distrust and animus crowd out efforts at understanding and social integration?

In extreme cases of communally divided societies where any reform or positive step is torn apart by sectional interests and division, it can be tempting to ask if a society understood in any normative and integrated sense exists at all.

Furnivall argues much the same when he points out regarding the legacy of colonialism that: “Everywhere in the Tropical Far East there has come into existence a Plural Society, held together not by tradition or religion but by little more than the steel framework of the law in a society in which distinct social orders live side by side but separately within the same political unit.

“In circumstances such as these, the social life within each community tends to be disintegrated, and there is, moreover, no all-embracing social life. In the strict sense of the word, there is no society. If, then, education is the sum of all the processes which fit the child as a member of society, how can he be educated where society does not exist?”

The problem of education in plural societies is thus according to Furnivall a problem closely connected to the way in which society is integrated and made cohesive.

Wider cultural social, political and economic dynamics inform what it is to be educated. These wider dynamics impact on the discourse of educational reform and instructional practices in diverse ways.

Some people may think that if only politics, social issues, economics and culture could be kept out of education, then educators could focus on the practical problems of instruction free from outside influence. This, however, is a pipe dream.

The problems of education have always been deeply cultural, economic and political. In plural societies, the problems of social division, distrust conflict and competition are never far from educational debate.

Rather than viewing such forces as somehow extraneous to education, as if we could somehow ignore them, we need to view them as a critical part of our educational problem.

Societies divided by sectional interests, ripped apart by racial and religious division, will necessarily view all educational reform and proposals through the prism of conflict and social competition.

In such societies the problem of education and the success of educational reform will ultimately rest on addressing the wider inequalities and divisions which result from the colonial inheritance of plural society.

Educational success in such societies is therefore not simply limited to how we advance practical instruction within schools, universities and other educational institutions. Rather, success in educational reform rests ultimately upon addressing the issues which drive social disintegration and enflame social distrust. These issues incessantly pose basic dilemmas for policy makers, educators and citizens alike and their resolution would greatly add to the success of educational reform.

Furnivall’s observations on these matters is still provocative and if his critique of the problems of plural society is still relevant to contemporary Malaysia, his thoughts on the problems of education in plural societies may also be of continued interest.

By James Campbel.

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Edu fund for deserving youths urged

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019
By: David Thien

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s unemployment rate of more than 5 per cent can be lessened with up-skilling education of the unemployed in workforce.

The Persatuan Institusi Pendidikan Tinggi Swasta Sabah (PIPTSS), supports Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Shafie Apdal for Sabah to reinforce its quality human capital with the focus on producing educated and talented workforce with good values.

PIPTSS President Datuk Seri Panglima Wong Khen Thau said he supports Shafie’s call “to ensure quality human capital to lead the future development of Sabah particularly in industrialisation.”

Wong said “Education is the catalyst to sustainable economic growth,” adding that PIPTSS aims to provide educational opportunities to deserving students in Sabah, especially student from poor rural districts or families.

“A developing state like Sabah needs such emphasis to educate and train our youths to become catalyst of transforming Sabah’s economy and industries.

“Investment in education is for the benefit of the state and for the benefit of the people of Sabah,” he stressed.

Wong is also the Honorary Life President of the Federation of Sabah Industries (FSI), besides being the Chairman of Malaysia International Chamber of commerce and Industry (MICCCI) Sabah Chapter.

“Without quality human resource capital, it will be difficult for Sabah’s industries, companies, employers and the state to compete and progress forward in an increasingly borderless global market with rising challenges,” he said.

PIPTSS to appealed to Shafie for support to establish an education fund bank for the sole purpose of helping deserving youths, particularly from the smaller towns and interior of Sabah.

Research shows the core challenge for youths from the rural interior and smaller towns of Sabah is the higher costs of living in Sabah’s capital city.

Many of their families lack the capacity to make ends meet, what more to support their children in continuing their higher education.

Many students are marginalised in Sabah. By this we mean that those who may have interest in continuing their education, but are hampered by financial constraint and do not pursue higher qualifications.

According to Wong, with an annual support fund allocation provided by the State government, needy students can apply for study fund such as transportation, accommodation, meals and a token living allowances with proof of eligibility of their total family income below RM3,000 with four or more siblings or dependents, with disability or ailment, evaluated and approved by a PIPTSS panel.

“PIPTSS will handle the administration and disbursement of the fund in a coordinated and transparent manner to serve the purpose of providing for the under-privileged and deserving students.

“PIPTSS wants to help our youths and give them the opportunity to study at higher institutions which eventually bring them out of poverty by transforming them into a skilled and knowledgeable work force and ultimately improve the economy of Sabah and Malaysia,” Wong said.

He p ointed out that PIPTSS members offer many training courses and academic programmes, which are directly relevant to the economy of Sabah.

The fields range from business to science, medical sciences, technology, hospitality, tourism and even to the emerging creative arts of studies such as music, arts and design.

He highlighted that data from the Ministry of Education Enrolment Statistics shows about 40,000 students sat for the SPM (32,000) and STPM (8,000) each year in Sabah, half of them did not proceed to pursue any kind of higher education.

“This is an alarming number and if this problem is not addressed, it will not only bring long term economic impact to the state but will also bring about social issues in the long run, if the state does not leverage on these youths and help them gain a role in our nation building process.

“This has a bearing on Sabah’s ability to elevate from the doldrums of being categorised as a poverty state, despite the richness of its resources.

“Sabah competitiveness will be degraded and impacting more reliance on foreign workers and talents. This will present a threat of unbalancing the social status of the people of Sabah.

“If PIPTSS does not take action with regards to the deterioration of our human capital, the progress of Sabah’s economy may be stalled in the very near future due to the lack of qualified personnel and talents, Wong elaborated.

Therefore, he said, PIPTSS seeks to address these issues by providing all youths in Sabah a deserved opportunity to seek higher education.

Funds are needed to provide three different type of assistance to deserving students:

l Full sponsorship that covers tuition fees, accommodation, transportation, meals and a token living allowance.

l Partial sponsorship that covers (a) tuition fees, and a token allowance, (b) accommodation, transportation, and a token living allowance, (c) a token living expenses to deserving students.

l Full loan that covers tuition fees, accommodation, transportation, meals and a token living allowance.

“The funds will be administered directly between the institution and PIPTSS, without being disbursed through the student to prevent any mismanagement or misuse of fund by the students, i.e. except for the living allowances token where it will be disbursed on a monthly basis.

He also revealed that the reduction of PTPTN loan has also contributed to a drop in student enrolments to study in institutions of higher education.

“The PTPTN loan has been cut by 25 per cent and consequently, the students are only getting 75 per cent of their need which is not sufficient to cover even their programme fee itself.

“The implication for students, especially those from outstation rural areas is severe considering their need for living expenses from transportation, accommodation, meals etc.

“It’s not surprising many financially challenged students dropped out of institutions of higher learning before graduation, with the burden of having to service their PTPTN loans.

“Since the government have been supporting the independent Chinese school, PIPTSS would also like the Sabah government to support local private educational institutions of higher learning (IPTS) and to develop Sabah as an education hub, just like Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Sarawak and Johor Bahru.

“With the education autonomy given to Sabah and Sarawak and the government’s initiative to increase the workforce’s minimum salary to RM1,100 towards RM1,500 eventually, PIPTSS would like to work and help the state government in fulfilling the arduous task of creating a huge pool of very productive human capital for economic growth.

“PIPTSS members have the capability and capacity to train and provide education to as many students as possible by encouraging students who have completed their SPM and STPM levels to study in local colleges and universities and thereafter, contribute to the economy of Sabah.

“The quality of education in Sabah is at par with those in Peninsular Malaysia and other parts of the world. It is noted that education in Sabah is one of the cheapest in Malaysia,” Datuk Wong Khen Thau stressed.

The Persatuan Institusi Pendidikan Tinggi Swasta Sabah, also known as PIPTSS, was registered in 2005.

Presently, there are 12 members altogether, namely:

1.     Kinabalu Commercial College (KCC), established 1968.

2.     AMC, The School of Business, established 1985.

3.     Sabah Institute of Arts (SIA), established 1990.

4.     Kolej Teknikal Yayasan Sabah (KTYS), established 1990.

5.     INTI College Sabah (INTI), established 1995.

6.     Asian Tourism International College (ATI College), established 1996.

7.     MSU College (PTPL College), established 1999.

8.     Institut Sinaran, established 2002.

9.     SIDMA College, established 2003.

10.  Almacrest International College, established 2004.

11.  North Borneo University College, established 2006.

PIPTSS is committed towards helping Sabah youths in overcoming their financial challenges, with the help of the Sabah government, so that our youths can be qualified as quality human capital assets who are able to strongly impact the economic landscape of Sabah and forge a better future for all in Malaysia

By: David Thien

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