Archive for the ‘Educational Issues’ Category

Public assistance needed after fire damages Penampang school hostel

Monday, March 5th, 2018

Fire at the hostel.

KOTA KINABALU: The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin in Penampang is appealing to the public for assistance to help the 117 male students after their hostel was damaged by fire this morning.

Its Chairman Adelaide Cornelius said the boys were left with only the clothes on their back.

“What is in dire need at the moment are mats, mattresses, pillows, bed linen, clothes and shoes as well as things like toothbrushes, pails and towels,” he said when contacted by The Borneo Post.

According to Adelaide, the students are from Form 1 to Form 5 and are from all over the state as SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin is a sports school.

There are also students who come from the interior areas of Sabah, he added.

“We are appealing to the public to help these students. They can contact me at 013-8845645 or Boniface Edwin Amir for futher details on what is needed. Alternatively those who wish to donate cash can do so to the PTA’s account at Alliance Bank. The bank number is 101230010009479,” he said.

Fire at the tw- storey building broke out at about 7.30am and firemen from the Penampang, Lintas and Kota Kinabalu rushed to the scene. They arrived at 7.39am and had the blaze under control by 8.07am.

It was put out at 9.02am, a statement from the State Fire and Rescue Services Department’s Operations Centre said.

According to the statement, a total of 53 firemen, four fire engines, two EMRS and four utility responded to the call for assistance.

by Nancy Lai.

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Teachers, students must have mutual respect in classroom

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018
(File pix) Teaching and learning can take place only if there is discipline in the classroom. Pix by Muhammad Sulaiman

ACCORDING to a report, cases of parents lodging police reports against teachers are on the rise and are occurring almost every week.

Most of the reports involved disciplinary actions taken against their children by the teachers.

Reports were lodged for the simplest of reasons such as their children being scolded by the teachers.

Most of these cases do not warrant police intervention and can be resolved amicably in the school.

Parents need to understand that learning and teaching can take place only when there is discipline and mutual respect in the classroom.

No learning can take place if there is indiscipline.

When a child continuously misbehaves in class while a teacher is teaching, the teacher will have to discipline him.

There are many ways a teacher can discipline a child such as ordering him to stand up, reprimanding him, scolding him or tapping him on the shoulder.

Sometimes, the teacher may discipline the child beyond the permissible boundary if the child is difficult or relcalcitrant.

Parents who are unhappy with the mode of punishment should exercise restraint and approach the school principal to resolve the matter.

Sadly, some parents rush to the police station to lodge reports against the teachers.

Dragging teachers to court damages the integrity and honour of teachers.

Parents need to follow the standard operating procedure in dealing with teachers who may have abused their children.

Parents are not allowed to barge into the school and confront the teachers.

The unhappy parents should see the head teacher or principal, and make a formal complaint.

All parties will be heard and the principal will ensure that the mediation is done in an amicable manner.

If the teacher is wrong, he or she must apologise to the parents. If the child needs medical attention, the cost must be borne by the teacher.

If the child is wrong and deserves to be punished, the onus is on the parents to apologise to the teacher.


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Towards Holistic Education: Do Not Make Sending Children To Tuition Class A Trend

Monday, February 12th, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 (Bernama) — Sending children to tuition classes merely to see them getting good examination grades should not be adopted as a trend but instead, parents should look beyond their children’s academic excellence.

Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said parents should always talk to their children to enable them to identify their tendencies, abilities and real interest in school.

“Do not make sending children to tuition class as a trend. Discuss (with children) about it first and think whether it is considered as ‘needs’ or not,” she told Bernama here today.

She was commenting on the current trend where parents regarded good examination grades as a benchmark for their children’s intelligence and ability to succeed, hence, sending their children for tuition classes.

Elaborating, Noor Azimah said the obsession among some parents in filling up their children’s free time with tuition classes even at a young age could actually rob them of their childhood.

She said every child had his or her interests such as in sports, which parents should encourage their children to explore.

Echoing similar views was National Union of the Teaching Profession president Kamarozaman Abd Razak who said with the national education policy changing towards a holistic education, sending children to tuition classes for the sake of academic excellence was worthless.

“It is good if parents send their children to attend an extra class to improve their English or Islamic education. But it is better if parents spend their money in the PIBG (parents-teachers’ association) for the association to carry out activities that can hone students’ skills and character development,” he said.

By Syamsiah Sahat and Norhayati Mohd Akhir


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Charting the journey forward

Sunday, February 4th, 2018

The English Language Roadmap 2015-2025 is a “really inspiring” model which other countries should study, says Cambridge Assessment English (policy, projects and partnerships) director Dr Hanan Khalifa.

It’s an ambitious vision for the country’s future, giving every pupil a high level in both English and the national language.

“It’s easy for a government to set ambitious targets, but what’s special about the roadmap is that it includes a detailed, realistic plan for achieving these targets. It also covers the whole education system from primary and secondary to university, which is visionary,” she says.

Echoing her sentiments, Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (Melta) president Prof Dr S. Ganakumaran describes it as a positive step forward, saying goals, and targeted outcomes, are clearly stipulated in the strategic plan.

“But one of our education system’s biggest flaw is that we’re always doing things in a hurry, and expecting immediate results.

“Often, we launch a programme when we are ill prepared. We start a programme even before training the teachers, preparing the materials, and developing the assessment.

“We must reflect on our failed and abandoned projects, to learn how to do things better so that our education will have a progressive, and sustainable future,” he thinks.

Dr Surinderpal Kaur, the deputy dean of postgraduate studies at the Universiti Malaya Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, says the roadmap is good as it addresses what’s wrong with our system, and clearly sets the way forward.

“But we launched it before having all the infrastructure in place. So now we have to make some tweaks and be open to constructive criticism. Modifications are needed but it shouldn’t be anything major. No flip-flops or our education system won’t have sustainability and continuity.”

In August 2016, the Education Ministry launched the roadmap to continue enhancing English proficiency among teachers and students.

Focused on the country’s 40,000 English teachers, the roadmap is part of the implementation of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 to reform English Language education in the country.

In preparation for the roadmap’s implementation, master trainers and observers were trained on the CEFR by Cambridge English in 2016.

The roadmap uses the CEFR and was produced by the English Language Standards and Quality Council. The council is made up of a panel of experts and the director of Cambridge English’s English Language Teaching Centre.

A detailed analysis of English language learning in Malaysia, have been produced for the ministry, says Dr Hanan.

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Schools in Sabah urged to achieve KPIs

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Education Department director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul urged schools in the state to boost efforts to achieve the five main Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of its Integrated Development Plan this year.

The five focus areas which are contained in the department’s Integrated Development Plan from 2017 until 2019 are academic management, school management, teacher management, student management and service management.

As such, Maimunah urged Sabah schools to improve their leadership elements as it was crucial in ensuring that the KPIs were achieved.

“For academic management, we aim to increase the KPI for the minimum mastery level for the 2018 Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR) to 61 per cent compared to 55 per cent last year.

Meanwhile, for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), we have set the state’s National Average Grade to 4.18 points and 2.80 ploints for the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) examination.

“For school management, we aim to improve Band 1 and Band 2 schools.

Among the numerous strategies implemented included ensuring that the general guideline for the task implementation of principals/headmasters is mastered and the execution of ‘Standard Kualiti Pendidikan Malaysia Gelombang 2’ (SKPMG2) is applied to all school management aspects,” she said in her speech during the department’s 2018 New Year Message event.

For teacher management, Maimunah said all schools in the state were required to fufill a basic quota of 90:10 as this year the department aimed 90 per cent of its teachers to be Sabahans.

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Malaysia To Co-host ‘Going Global’ Education Conference

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 (Bernama) — The Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia and the British Council will co-host ‘Going Global’, the world’s largest open education conference this May 2 to 4.

British Council Malaysia director, Sarah Deverall said the conference, to be held in the Southeast Asian region for the first time, would be participated by 75 countries worldwide.

“Malaysia is a natural choice of venue for this year’s ?Going Global’ with its strong global connections, growing reputation as a regional education hub, and as one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

“We are proud to be able to deliver this year’s conference with co-host, the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia, and the ASEAN Secretariat as supporting partner,” she said after the soft launch of ‘Going Global’, here, today.

Since its inception in 2004, ‘Going Global’ has become an annual event alternating between the United Kingdom and major international cities, including Dubai, Miami and Cape Town.

With the theme ‘Global Connections, Local Impact: Creating 21st Century Skills, Knowledge and Impact for Society-Wide Good’, the topic will be discussed by various panellists across 40 sessions over three days.

Meanwhile, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri ldris Jusoh said the theme was timely as it reflected the importance of establishing global connections in the higher education sector as the ministry was preparing to face the 4th industrial Revolution.


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Total lunar eclipse observation Jan 31

Monday, January 29th, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The 30-storey aluminium and glass building of Yayasan Sabah Group (YSG) Headquarters, the Menara Tun Mustapha, in Likas, will be one of the locations in the country to observe the total lunar eclipse on Jan 31.

According to its Group Manager (Corporate Communications) Sam S. Karnail, YSG, together with the Sabah Stargazer Association, will be holding the event which provides an opportunity for the public to witness the total eclipse of the moon, expected to take five hours and 17 minutes.

According to him, based on the earlier statement by National Space Agency (Angkasa), eclipses are taking place when the moon is rising in the eastern horizon, while in Sabah and Sarawak, this phenomenon will begin after moonrise.

“The eclipse will start at 6.51pm on Jan 31 when the Earth’s penumbra start touching the moon’s face, while at 7.48pm partial moon eclipse begins where the moon is getting red. The total eclipse begins at 8.51pm where the public will see the moon completely red with the maximum eclipse phase is at 9.29 pm.

This is when the moon is closest to the centre of the shadow. The overall eclipse ends at 12.08 midnight on Feb 1,” he explained.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly behind the Earth into its umbra.

This can occur only when the sun, Earth and moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle.

This total lunar eclipse is also famously known as Blood Moon, as the moon turns red, which will be fully visible in Kota Kinabalu. When the eclipse of Jan 31 is almost over, the moon had just crossed the perigee position a day earlier with a distance of 358,993 kilometres from the Earth, making this eclipse as “Supermoon Eclipse”.

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No Urgency To Build More SJKC For Now – Mahdzir

Monday, January 29th, 2018

KUALA NERANG, Jan 27 (Bernama) — There is no urgent need to build more National Type Chinese School (SJKC), says Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

He said building new schools in both urban and rural areas should be based on the growth of the local population density.

“To construct a new school, we should look at the necessity first. If the area shows vibrant development and economic activities with a high population living there, only then can we build a new school to meet the needs of students.

“If one school has 3,000 students and cannot accommodate all of them, it’s just logical to build a new school,” he told reporters here today.

Mahdzir was commenting on the insistence by the Dong Zong (United Chinese School Committees Association) that the government build 34 other SJKCs following approval for the construction of 10 SJKCs by end of 2017.

He said that last year, the federal government through the Education Ministry had approved the construction of 10 SJKCs in Johor and Selangor, which were expected to commence within the next two years.

We (ministry) will focus on the construction of these 10 schools first. However, we do not reject requests from any party for the construction of a new school but detailed study needs to be carried out first before any decision can be made, he said.


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Schools must accept stateless children

Sunday, January 28th, 2018
Mahdzir (third from right) watching SK Bandar Seri Putra pupils make popcorn.

Mahdzir (third from right) watching SK Bandar Seri Putra pupils make popcorn.

STATELESS children must be allowed to study pending their citizenship application even if the school has not received an official directive from the ministry.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said schools must not turn these children away.

“This is the age of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). Schools must be proactive. Once a minister has made a statement, schools must follow. The circular will arrive later,” he told a press conference at SK Bandar Seri Putra in Hulu Langat on Monday.

On Jan 23, sisters V. Agilandaiswary, 12, and V. Thuranayagi, 11, were finally back in SJK (T) Mak Mandin, Butterworth, after getting their temporary permit from the Education Department.

The family’s plight was highlighted by The Star after a press conference at their home in Ampang Jajar on Jan 13, urging the Education Ministry to expedite the issuing of the half-yearly permits to the three siblings.

On Jan 21, the parents of Mark Cyril Holloway told Sunday Star that their adopted son has secured a place at SK Bukit Damansara, but they were worried that red tape would hinder the seven-year-old’s right to education.

Stephen Charles Holloway and Lam Swee Theam were told by the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Education Department that Mark must at least have a citizenship certificate or an international passport for the department to consider a place for him in school.

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Evaluation Study On School Bag Weight Being Conducted

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

ISKANDAR PUTERI, Jan 16 (Bernama) — The School Pupil Bag Weight Evaluation Study which is currently being conducted will come up with a report in one month, Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan said.

He said the process of gathering information had been initiated by the State Education Department and the District Education Office of several states which visited schools.

“Once the process is ready, the information will be sent to the ministry to be tabled before Education Minister, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

“This study is aimed at finding solutions to the issue of heavy school bags. We have asked for cooperation from school authorities such as headmasters and teachers to not allow their students to carry bags for a week-long learning but to only carry books based on the daily schedule.

“Based on my own observations, these heavy bag cases are less likely to occur in Tamil National Type Schools (SJKT) and some of these issues are not caused by heavy book load but the use of wheeled school bags,” So, we must scrutinise this,” he told reporters after opening the SJKT Ladang Bukit Serampang here today.

In another development, Kamalanathan said 12 out of the 37 SJKTs outlined in the 2012 Special Plan Package had already been completed and they were already in use.

“A total of 12 schools are completed and are being utilised, 12 are completed and are waiting for the Certificate of Completion and Compliance from the local authorities while the remaining 13 are in various stages of construction.

“The construction works started in 2014 and are expected to be completed after taking into consideration the approvals received from the local authorities on the SJKT sites,” he said.

Kamalanathan said the total cost of construction of these 37 schools was RM216 million and were implemented by Indian contractors.


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