Archive for the ‘Educational Reforms and School Improvement’ Category

Transformation begins at the top

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

THE transformation of the school education system has to start with the transformation of the school head teacher.

Restructuring schools and improving teacher quality have always been the Education Ministry’s vision to transform the school education system.

However good infrastructure in schools and quality teachers without a strong and able head teacher cannot improve and raise the student achievement rate of a school.

A head teacher is the most senior teacher and leader of a school. The head teacher is responsible for the education of all students, management of staff and school policy making

The job entails a strong presence around the school and in some cases with the local community as well as a certain amount of desk work.

There needs to be a transformation of the role of head teachers.

Their role as administrators and as managers managing budgets, discipline, schedules and meetings needs to be redefined.

Head teachers need to cultivate a culture and a way of life that depicts values and character traits through the liturgies of practice that govern the school day.

The school culture should influence and shape the students’ mindsets to realise their own development and potential in life.

The school should be a platform for subtly and powerfully influencing students’ attitudes and behavioural patterns through the way school walls are decorated to display school values, galleries dedicated to celebrate teacher and student accomplishments and the atmosphere of trusting relationships.

The school culture is set by the head teacher’s character and behaviour. They have to be highly charged and driven to be constantly circulating through the school building.

The character and personality traits of the head teacher makes or breaks a school set up.

Successful head teachers need to be in the classroom as teachers and as supervisors observing teachers teaching in the classroom.

They need to make spontaneous classroom visits observing teachers and offering feedback to teachers to improve on their teaching and setting standards.

As the head of the school, the head teacher sets the working tone and environment in the school.

Head teachers need to allow teachers to participate in decision making.

There should be a two-way interaction between the head teacher and the teachers.

Successful schools have a collaborative bond between head teachers and teachers.

Head teachers need to earn the respect and love of their teachers for the school to function effectively and productively so that teachers will give their heart and soul to the children and the school.

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Getting schooled on the arts

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018
Working wonders: It’s proven that arts education can enhance students’ critical thinking, emotional well-being, and cultural awareness and appreciation – participants in Five Arts Centre’s Teater Muda programme in 1994 performing ‘Suara Rimba’, an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’.

Working wonders: It’s proven that arts education can enhance students’ critical thinking, emotional well-being, and cultural awareness and appreciation – participants in Five Arts Centre’s Teater Muda programme in 1994 performing ‘Suara Rimba’, an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’.

FROM surprise visits to schools, replacing white shoes with black, and referencing the Finnish education system as a possible one to emulate, the new Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik has made waves with his fresh approach.

Expectations are running high and the field of arts education is no exception – many are buzzing for the ministry’s plans to open a new Malaysian Arts School in 2019 .

The right kind of arts education can do wonders for nation-building, says Dr Joseph Gonzales, Head of Academic and Contextual Studies at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

“We have seen what arts education can do. It is not just about learning to be an excellent dancer, singer, musician and so on.”

“I was in Aswara for 20 years and played a role in developing a curriculum focussing on traditional theatre and dance. It was shocking how little most of us knew at the beginning. Coming from a Western arts background, I had been missing out on beautiful theatre forms practised in Malaysia.

“When we started we also saw that Malay dance, Chinese dance, Bharatnatyam all had factions according to racial lines. But as time went on, we were able to offer a multicultural education in which our students developed a cultural understanding of each other,” says Dr Gonzales, who has also authored a number of books on Malaysian dance.

It took eight years to fine-tune the curriculum, he notes.

“We had to have the best teachers possible and that included bringing Malaysians who were overseas back.”

“To me it’s not about becoming very good, and of course we have had seven dancers who are great at Bharatnatyam, none of them Indian. It’s about being unafraid to embrace another’s culture and that is so beautiful, and that was only possible through empowerment through dance.

Cultural understanding: Dr Gonzales performing a traditional Malay dance in 2011. He believes that embracing another culture is vital in today’s Malaysia.

“The study of other cultures does not make them any less of a Muslim or Christian or Hindu or Buddhist or an atheist. The point is that they become open. And that is imperative in this Malaysia today. We need to stop being afraid of ‘the Other’.”

His views are echoed by local arts company Five Arts Centre, who says in a recent statement that arts education should be made integral to the education curriculum as it has proven to foster young people’s abilities in areas of creativity and multiple intelligences, cultural confidence, participatory engagement, and academic competencies.

In calling for a cohesive arts education policy and curriculum, Five Arts Centre says, from its various integrated arts-in-education programmes, it has witnessed “the intrinsic benefits and joy that the arts bring to young people, while at the same time enhancing their critical thinking, emotional well-being, and cultural awareness and appreciation.”

Dr Gonzales recalls how when he was growing up, the arts stream was usually deemed inferior to the sciences.

“It’s a reality. I ask myself if I had children, would I want them to pursue arts professionally? I can’t answer that because I know that unless that child has incredible talent and work ethic and the right mindset, it’s going to be very challenging. Before you get that ‘Yes, I want you in my show’, you will get thousands of rejections and criticism. “I certainly remember days of depression, struggling as a dancer, thinking, ‘why am I doing this?’

“I am a science graduate from Universiti Malaya and I was thinking, maybe I should have just worked in a bank. Prestige is one thing, but financial security is another.”

Dr Gonzales recounts how for him, arts education is something he arrived at almost accidentally.

“I never thought that this would be my journey. Since the age of 20, I have been involved in performing arts and making a living from it. I realised that you must equip yourself with knowledge on how the industry is changing.

“Being on stage in UK in the late 80s and early 90s was the pinnacle of my performing career and eventually I moved to education. I was thinking, ‘how do I upskill?’

“So, 10-15 years into my career I did a Masters, and then enjoyed it so much that I did a PhD. My father prioritised education, he may not necessarily have been thinking dance education, though! In the 1980s, I was a showbiz boy prancing around in tights pretending I was in Fame, and now I am this dance professor with all this knowledge.”

Dr Gonzales cites Prof Datuk Dr Ghouse Nasuruddin, Janet Pillai and Prof Mohd Anis as leading dance scholars with a global profile and urges the new government to take advantage of the expertise available.

He also urges the new government to be more open than the previous ones, adding that less censorship would invariably increase the quality of arts in the country.

“The government needs to be less thin-skinned. Both cartoonist Zunar and people like Fahmi Reza are creative and provoke a response with their work. They annoy a lot of the conservatives, but that’s art, as opposed to sanitised musicals of our political leaders. We have such a sycophantic mindset, which is disturbing.”

Dance is a little different, he says, as it’s non-verbal.

“Marion D’Cruz, for example, is a politically-driven artist, who has done political works – like at the Emergency Festival! 2008 (in Kuala Lumpur), where she performed a dance piece called ‘ISA’. We also did a performance on the detention of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the deaths of Altantuya and Teoh Beng Hock. And they ran to full houses, so an audience is there (for these types of work).”

Dr Gonzales believes we need to expose children to the arts at a young age.

“It must be compulsory, like one hour a week. It doesn’t have to be examined. Talk to them about Usman Awang, mak yong – we can present it all lightly through games but it must be done.

“It just needs proper planning. We need to look at 13 years of arts education. Ideally, we can provide incremental learning without students thinking it’s another subject they have to do.”

Dance producer Bilqis Hijjas calls for the strengthening and development of the arts sector in the country, as well as wider arts education.

“I would love to see more art schools. There are studies showing what dance does for you in terms for communication, collaboration, problem-solving and even living a longer life. There is much about arts education that shows it’s not just arts for arts sake. The world needs holistically formed individuals,” she says.

She would also like to see some specific changes in the form of the arts, especially dance, being offered as a minor course.

“I think it would be great if we could have students doing a business major and dance minor for example. Right now with the emphasis on the dance degree, we do have the irresponsibility of graduating kids, knowing that they can’t get jobs.”

Global star quality wanted: Our arts training has improved but we have yet to produce our own Akram Khan.

She concedes that not many dance professionals agree with her.

“Mine is an unpopular view in the industry but I think we shouldn’t necessarily push for cushy jobs and the opening of the next new dance department.

“I think there is nothing wrong with holding a day job in another industry or teaching part-time and then also working in the arts. You can argue that it may impact on quality but we want a sustainable situation. I think we cannot have a situation where there is too much dance education, but not enough work for dancers.”

Dr Gonzales stresses the need for synergised infrastructure.

“We have three great places like Istana Budaya, KLPAC, Damansara Performing Arts Centre and yet none of them are easily accessible by public transport. In the UK you have Convent Garden that everyone can access.

“I would call on the government to look at a theatre district. Maybe six to eight theatres, with bangsawan everyday, wayang kulit, mak yong, musicals with good salaries, and high levels of performance, and then the audiences will come.”

Dr Gonzales and Five Arts Centre also point out the urgency and value of having programmes at grassroots level in places like Kelantan, Terengganu, Sabah, Sarawak.

“They are rich in culture, yet many of the art forms are faced with extinction if we don’t encourage it at that level.

By Martin Vengadesan
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Aiming for educational excellence

Sunday, January 14th, 2018
(From left) Deputy Education Minister Senator Chong Sin Woon, Mohamad, and Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin watching students train after the launching of MyTID programme at SK Taman Seri Rembau, Negri Sembilan in 2015. — SAMUEL ONG/The Star

(From left) Deputy Education Minister Senator Chong Sin Woon, Mohamad, and Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin watching students train after the launching of MyTID programme at SK Taman Seri Rembau, Negri Sembilan in 2015. — SAMUEL ONG/The Star

TWO years after becoming Mentri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan set an ambitious target for Negri Sembilan – to be ranked among the top three states in national examinations such as the PT3, SPM and STPM.

Mohamad, who graduated from Universiti Malaya and had spent years in the banking and corporate sectors both here and abroad, set the benchmark upon discovering that the state was always positioned in the lower rungs of the tables whenever the results were announced.

Mohamad even took over the education portfolio to ensure his target of catapulting the state into the top academic achievers was realised.

“When I took over the state administration in 2004, my desire was to turn the state into a valley of knowledge.

The state government then introduced and funded several programmes such as getting teachers to undergo a nine-month Project to Improve English in Rural Schools.

This, he said was implemented after a survey found that rural students fared poorly in English although they did well in other subjects

At the same time, Mohamad set another target. In his quest to boost Negri Sembilan’s standing as a valley of knowledge, he encouraged undergraduates born in the state to excel while in university.

He then announced a reward programme where any Negri-born who obtains a first class honours degree from any public university was to be rewarded with RM25,000 by the state government.

Those who took study loans from the Negri Sembilan Foundation and the state Islamic Affairs Council also had these loans converted to scholarships.

With only one student graduating with a first-class honours degree in 2006, the number increased to 25 the following year.

A delighted Mohamad then reduced the cash reward from RM25,000 to RM10,000 in 2008 as the numbers continued to increase sharply.

In 2009, the reward was further reduced to RM5,000.

“We had no choice but to reduce the amount as we did not expect the numbers to increase so fast. Nevertheless, we are happy that our plan has been a success,” he said.

Today, Mohamad is an even happier man.

Negri Sembilan has not only been maintaining its position among the top three achievers for national examinations, it has also continued to produce more top achievers in public and private universities both here and abroad.

In 2017, a whopping 478 Negri-born graduated with first-class honours degrees.

Mohamad, who likened the first class scorers to modern-day Pendeta Za’aba (Tan Sri Zainal Abidin Ahmad), said these individuals were assets to the state and country.

“It does not matter if you are from an estate, kampung, Felda plantation or some rural area in Negri Sembilan.

“What is important is that you have now proved to be a top achiever and you must continue this culture of excellence when you start working,” he said.

Mohamad’s vision to turn the state into a Valley of Knowledge has also borne fruit with the state now home to more than 25 institutions of higher learning.

There are now several international schools in the state including

Matrix Global Schools, Epsom College, UCSI International School, Nilai International School and Zenith International School.

And among the universities that have set up operations here include Nottingham University, Manipal University, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Inti International University and Nilai University.

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Ministry lauds those that help in effort to transform the education sector

Thursday, October 26th, 2017
Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (left) present the appreciation award to the New Straits Times Press (M) chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Jalil Hamid (2nd left). Pic by ZUNNUR AL SHAFIQ.

KUALA LUMPUR: Organisations that helped in the effort to transform the education sector through the Education Ministry’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) were feted here last night.

The PPP is an initiative under the Education Blueprint (2013-2025) that sees the Education Ministry working with corporate companies or foundations that look into assisting schools through programmes that involve financial support or their expertise in related fields.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid presented trophies to all 53 organisations that took part in the initiative in recognition of their contribution to help the government transform and push the education sector to greater heights.

Mahdzir said their contributions in various fields such as sports, music and academics would go a long way in helping the government achieve its aspirations for the long term Education Blueprint programme.

“The ministry is the largest ministry in Malaysia but the magnitude of our responsibility is huge. We need to make our children ready for the future and we truly need your assistance and continued support,” he said.

The initiative comes under the ministry’s School Management Division, monitored by the Education Performance and Delivery Unit.

“The PPP initiative has three platforms in its collaborations with corporate companies and foundations under the school adoption programme, the school trust programme and one-off programme,” he said.

“The programmes are usually done in a long term period while one-off programme is held in a year or less. The companies not only support the schools financially, but in other areas also such as setting up facilities and leadership programmes for teachers and students,” he added.

The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd was one of the 53 companies given recognition by the ministry and chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Jalil Hamid was present to receive the appreciation award.

Other recipients include the likes Yayasan Pintar, Yayasan SP Setia, Yayasan Sime Darby, Khazanah Nasional Berhad and UEM Group.


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Changing the system

Monday, July 10th, 2017

We continue to add better methods to assure that effective and useful learning takes place.

ARGUABLY, education systems across the world differ in many and most ways; accommodation, delivery, discipline, syllabus and finance not to mention political and philosophical influences, which act upon the strategic and physical shape of our education as does religion and tradition.

There is one similarity, however. From England to El Salvador, Fiji to Finland and Malawi to Malaysia; it is agreed that, in some way, we must provide some kind of a forum in which to send our children and learn collectively.

Notwithstanding those families who choose for their children to learn at home, education is almost entirely provided at a school, in a school building and by teachers but what are our reasons for this?

Do we continue in this manner since the result is a resounding success or is it that we have always continued in this fashion and believe in the maxim, “What isn’t broken; don’t fix”. Is it broken though? Politicians continue to argue this point.

Need for change

Let’s assume that there is a need for change; in which case, how to change it?

Consider a country, for the sake of argument, Finland – A nation enjoying the spotlight for fabulous education; a culture of change and experiment. Breaking down the old thinking and practices is what seems to be driving the perceived success of its educational system whilst the rest of the world look upon jealously. “Wow, if only; what could we do to be like the Finnish?”

In a few years’ time, could it be that educational thinkers will come up with a new model for learning? It might look nothing like what we have ever seen. Then again, it may look a little like previous models only this time its components redesigned, restructured, renovated, removed, revamped, recreated, rectified reconditioned or resurrected.

By way of example let us consider the auto industry. If you look at any car; despite differences in shape, size, colour and power; do we not see a basic standard? A basic format? Are we able to break away from this shape? Do we have the vision to create an entirely new machine; an entirely new concept for personal day-to-day transportation? Perhaps not, due to a plethora of basics that guide us in the creation of a car, for instance, its power and its controls. Legal requirements and restrictions also inhibit any move away from the norm.

Could we consider the concept car? Beautiful? Grotesque? Maybe a daring new body contour, an innovative, green, method of propulsion or even a control system so advanced that it requires minimal human input. The Mercedes’ Smart car, a flying car or Google’s driverless car maybe. We still see one constant though. Whatever the innovation applied to develop a vehicle, it is clear that we still recognise it for what it is; a car.

Take for instance the Mini Clubman, a tiny British car zipped around the streets of England and, for that matter, a collection of other countries in the 1960s. The beloved Mini proliferated due to its affordability and fun whilst it basked in infamy alongside Michael Caine as it tore through the streets and sewers of Milan in the cult heist movie, “The Italian Job”. One red one, one white and one blue. After a while, like most things it was the end of the road (or should I say tunnel) for the Mini……or was it?

Paradoxically, following a burst of British nostalgia the German Giant BMW gave new life to the Mini; its resurrection still enjoyed to this day. The shape is such that it honours its predecessor only larger due to safety requirements and an enticingly powerful engine.

Applying this analogy to what we were actually talking about, education; it seems that whatever we do to try to develop pedagogical methods from a concept, the basic recognisable shape still shows.

So are we actually changing anything by innovation and change? Well, despite it all, I would say yes. Like the mini we continue to add better systems and methods to assure that effective and useful learning takes place.

Changing the system

Apprenticeships are now offered by many firms. This training method is extremely well developed now, providing an industry specific on-the-job training with firms such as Jaguar Land Rover UK and Mercedes Benz Malaysia (cars again!). Apprenticeships are seen as the way forward in training but they, of course, are not a new concept. Around the globe, the practice of a youth apprenticed to a master of a trade, such as the black smith in England or the Wau Maker in Kelantan, is the traditional handing down of skills. Our industries, once again, are recognising the value of this; really only revamping what we have already seen. This could also be said to be true for progressive education systems which, very simply put, subject students to fewer hours in school, focus less on classroom activities and more hands-on learning by discovery; on the whole taking a less formal shape with an emphasis on participation and collaboration. Ironically, this is probably akin to the shape of education a time long ago where the day of “the school” or “the classroom” had not even dawned. The young of the world were taught in a less formal situation in the family or village according to the immediate environment and needs. Practical life skills would have been the lesson for every day; hands-on learning!

What then made us decide that it would be better to gather up all the young and pack them into a room? Do we not create an abstract nature to most topics with a move away from the practical?

So we should ask ourselves, “Is the Finnish system the educational utopia that we all seek or is it merely the utopia for now? What are we seeing? Could the global movement towards collaborative and theme-based learning mean that we can see the object of our quest to discover educational perfection? Or, is it merely a step along the way?”

A friend once said to me; an absolute cynic I might add: “Stick to one way of teaching for all of your career and you will be right several times.” So is this what we are to expect? Will the Finnish and other forward looking nations decide, at some point in the future, that formalising the systems is what provides for effective learning? What, by the way, do we all need in our development? Is it the social aspect of our development? With the advance in communication technology, could we be looking at societies ironically losing social skills by the advance in communication in isolation?

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Education needs major transformation, says report

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

EDUCATION needs a major transformation to fulfil its potential and meet the current challenges facing humanity and the planet, according to a new Unesco report launched in London recently.

The new Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report by Unesco shows the potential for education to propel progress towards all global goals outlined in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs), China’s Xinhua news agency reported. There is an urgent need for greater headway in education, the report says.

“On current trends, the world will achieve universal primary education in 2042, universal lower secondary education in 2059 and universal upper secondary education in 2084. This means the world would be half a century late for the 2030 SDG deadline,” the report warns. The report, titled, “Education for people and planet”, shows the need for education systems to increase attention to environmental concerns.

“While in the majority of countries, education is the best indicator of climate change awareness, half of the countries’ curricula worldwide do not explicitly mention climate change or environmental sustainability in their content,” it says.

“A fundamental change is needed in the way we think about education’s role in global development, because it has a catalytic impact on the well-being of individuals and the future of our planet,” said Unesco director-general Irina Bokova.

“Now, more than ever, education has a responsibility to be in gear with 21st century challenges and aspirations, and foster the right types of values and skills that will lead to sustainable and inclusive growth, and peaceful living together,” she added.

The report urges education systems around the world to take care to protect and respect minority cultures and their associated languages, which contain vital information about the functioning of ecosystems.


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Putting a stop to inconsistency

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

CM warns that constant change in Putrajaya’s policies has stunted quality of education in Sarawak

Adenan signs a poster as a launching gimmick for the 51st Sarawak School Principals Education Management Convention. Looking on (from left) are Simanggang assemblyman Datuk Francis Harden Hollis, Bukit Begunan assemblyman Datuk Mong Dagang, Rakayah, Lingga assemblywoman Simoi Peri and Engkilili assemblyman Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa. — Photo by Chimon Upon

Adenan signs a poster as a launching gimmick for the 51st Sarawak School Principals Education Management Convention. Looking on (from left) are Simanggang assemblyman Datuk Francis Harden Hollis, Bukit Begunan assemblyman Datuk Mong Dagang, Rakayah, Lingga assemblywoman Simoi Peri and Engkilili assemblyman Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa. — Photo by Chimon Upon

SRI AMAN: The state will no longer tolerate Putrajaya’s constant flip-flop policies on education.

In saying this, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem stated that the state government will be firm with the federal government on education policies in Sarawak because the constant change in policies had affected quality implementation and physical growth of education in the state over the past 50 years.

He was not happy that after 53 years, there still exist many dilapidated schools across the state, particularly in the rural areas, which are without basic facilities such as electricity and treated water supply. Many schools also lack basic infrastructure besides not being linked by road.

The chief minister added that the government has to set aside some budget to overcome the physical shortcomings of schools in the state as it can’t depend solely on its federal counterpart.

“After half a century, we are still left behind (in education facilities) and this is not acceptable. We should be on par with the peninsula.

“I know that to build facilities and infrastructures is not easy but after 50 years, Sarawak ought to be on par. Instead, we still have schools that ‘fell into the river’ and students who go to school barefooted,” Adenan said when officiating at the 51st Sarawak School Principals Education Management Convention at Hotel Seri Simanggang here yesterday.

Also present were state Education director Rakayah Madon and Sarawak Secondary School Principals Association president Ibrahim Jamain.

Adenan blamed the policy makers in Putrajaya for hindering the growth of education in the country as the constant changes in policies were confusing students as well as educators.

Adenan (seated centre) has his picture taken with participants of the convention. Also seen (seated from left) are Lingga assemblywoman Simoi Peri, Rakayah, Simanggang assemblyman Datuk Francis Harden Hollis and Bukit Begunan assemblyman Datuk Mong Dagang.

Adenan (seated centre) has his picture taken with participants of the convention. Also seen (seated from left) are Lingga assemblywoman Simoi Peri, Rakayah, Simanggang assemblyman Datuk Francis Harden Hollis and Bukit Begunan assemblyman Datuk Mong Dagang.

He cited the use of English to teach Science and Mathematics as an example of flip-flop policies, saying each time a new minister takes charge of education, there will be new programmes.

“One of the big mistakes we (government) had made was to downgrade the use of English language in education. Why can’t we have both?” he asked.

He described English as the language of commerce, science and technology as many important publications on these subjects are in English.

“Here in Sarawak, we are multilingual but in the peninsula, the inability of most people to speak in languages other than their native tongue of either Malay, Chinese or Indian, is a result of bad (education) policies.”

On the 4-day convention which takes place till July 20, the chief minister urged delegates to discuss ways on improving the mastering of English language among students.

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Better approach needed, teachers and educators told

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

SIBU: Teachers, teacher trainers and managers of education have been told to acquire skills in having a better approach in management and teaching methods.

State education director Rakayah Madon told an academic conference on “Innovation, a catalyst to propel an innovative generation” over the weekend, said such skill was necessary in view of globalisation brought about by the advent in information technology.

Some 380 teachers from throughout the state attended the conference held at University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS).

The event on Sunday saw three academic papers presented in the plenary session. This was followed by 36 papers presented at the parallel session in order to pave way for teachers and educators to discuss on critical issues in education for the betterment of teaching and learning in school.

This conference was a collaborative effort of Education Department Sarawak, University College of Technology Campus Sarawak and SMK Sacred Heart Sibu. As a joint effort, Swinburne University of Technology Campus Sarawak, Curtin University Sarawak and University Putra Malaysia Bintulu were also giving their full support in this conference.

“Due to globalisation, the role of education has become a very challenging one which is different from yesteryears. The process of education and educating in the class now needs to shift to the new era in accordance with the changes in the world,” she said.

She said in view of this the conference was very much needed to empower education and strengthen the role of teachers as facilitator in the classroom.

“We go for innovation, action research and retraining teachers so as to upgrade the quality of their service to the target group which is the students,” she said.

SMK Sacred Heart principal David Teo said the hallmarks of their success in staging this annual conference were entrenched in the consistency and sustainability in the development of their niche area – innovation and research in the process of teaching and learning.


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New Zealand Institutions To Showcase Quality Education In Malaysia

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

SINGAPORE, Aug 12 (Bernama) — New Zealand will showcase its high quality education system to Malaysian students when Education New Zealand (ENZ) hosts its annual education fair at the One World Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

ENZ is the New Zealand government agency responsible for marketing the country’s quality education internationally.

The fair will give students and parents the opportunity to speak directly with 11 New Zealand education institutions, including the Auckland University of Technology, University of Auckland, University of Canterbury, Lincoln University, University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington, University of Waikato, Otago Polytechnic and the Southern Institute of Technology.

Immigration New Zealand and the Choose New Zealand Alliance will also be at the fair to provide students and their parents with relevant information on studying in New Zealand.

ENZ regional director Ziena Jalil said Malaysia was an important market for New Zealand education institutions.

“With more than 1,800 Malaysian students studying in New Zealand, institutions in the country are committed to providing high quality education opportunities for Malaysian students,” she said in a statement here.

Ziena said this year’s New Zealand education fairs offered a one-stop shop for its education institutions to showcase career paths, courses for undergraduates and post-graduates, and campus life to Malaysian students.

“We warmly welcome students from Malaysia to study in New Zealand, which is a safe place to learn and grow.

“It is the first country in the world to put in place a Code of Pastoral Care for International Students, which institutions must sign up to and abide by to enrol international students,” she said.


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State Education Department implements EKSA

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

KOTA KINABALU: The State Education Department hopes to further improve its service with the implementation of the Public Sector Conducive Ecosystem (EKSA) certification awarded yesterday.

The department’s director Datuk Jame Alip said that EKSA has also been implemented in all district education offices (PPD) as of 10th June this year and will eventually be implemented in all schools across the State “All schools (in Sabah) starting this year should be exposed to EKSA and start implementing it,” said Jame.

He added that the EKSA implementation is also a criteria in the Ministry Star Rating evaluation, which is in line with the department’s goal in quality improvement and holistic quality management approach.

Jame was speaking during the Opening Ceremony to the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) EKSA Audit Exercise Certification Ceremony at the State Education Department, here, yesterday.

EKSA is an improvement of the 5S practice that has already been implemented in all PPD and most government agencies.

The benefits of EKSA include image improvement in the corporate public sector, creating a conducive work environment and encouraging creativity and innovation.

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