Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Evolution of Education (Part 1)

Monday, April 24th, 2017

THE education system, as a whole, has faced challenges that changed its traditional status quo of seeking knowledge and wisdom to unravel truth of the mystery of Man and his internal and external universe. For the tenets of education have been to contemplate the mysteries of life and existence and to develop man’s intellect to respond to and control the environment.

The acquiring, exploration and development of such knowledge began with the shamanistic exposition of existence and its attendant manifestations; to explain phenomena and mysteries of life by ascribing them to supernatural powers, namely the spirits. It later moved to the monasteries, madrasahs and mosques where people acquired knowledge to better understand the Almighty’s intention.

These thoughts and knowledge were embodied into various oral traditions, written treatises, oracles, and religious compendiums, epics such as the RamayanaMahabharata and Homer’s Iliad. The Islamic world prides itself with the development of knowledge as reflected in the works of Rumi, Al Farabi, Al Ghazali, Ibn Rushid, Ibn Khaldum and the Prophet’s Hadiths.

Such knowledge became the basis of ideologies that governed man’s individual and communal living. Early knowledge was religiously inclined, but with scientific principles veiled in esotericism.

This repository of early knowledge, but with scientific principles veiled in esotericism that began in madrasahs, ashrams and churches as spiritual and divine knowledge, has gradually turned secular as Man acquire the intellect to explain the natural phenomena as not the work of spirits, but due to scientific reasons.

Then, developed institutions of knowledge that were referred to as university with the purpose of educating for life and for a profession and, which was also later recognised as ivory tower, the citadel of knowledge.

As a result, the initial religious based knowledge changed from the philosophical rhetorical discourse to the functional and utilitarian. And with the industrial revolution, it further transformed the perception of knowledge from the divine wonderment of ontology and its reflections on daily life to the materialistic mechanistic application of living.

The concept of the ivory tower was a catalyst in the development of secular knowledge. Science and mathematics, which initially were couched in esoteric, mystic and celestial domain from the time of the Greeks in such works as those of Archimedes, came to the fore as secular scientific disciplines that began with Galileo Galilei in the 16th Century. It gained momentum in the 17th Century with Isaac Newton and with Albert Einstein in the 19th and 20th century, among other notables physicists and mathematicians such as Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman and Stephen Hawking.

While Europe and the Islamic world were advanced in the quest for both religious and secular scientific knowledge, education and knowledge development were in its infancy in the Malay World including Tanah Melayu. It was mainly informal and experiential, acquiring knowledge for survival.

With the coming of the Arabic/Islamic influence to this region, education and the acquiring of knowledge was institutionalised in the religious schools called madrasah, where the Quran and other Islamic teachings were taught with Arabic and Malay as the medium of instruction.

The British brought in the concept of western education when they colonised Tanah Melayu and named it Malaya. The first English school, the Penang Free School, was set up in 1816, followed later by other grammar and technical schools. Alongside the English schools were the Malay medium schools located mainly in the rural areas but with a few in the urban vicinity.

Before the Second World War top local students pursued their tertiary university education in England while some went to Raffles College in Singapore set up in 1928. The best students pursued medicine at the King Edward College of Medicine in Singapore, which was established in 1905.

University of Malaya was established in 1949 in Singapore after merging The King Edward College of Medicine with Raffles College. The rapid growth of the university necessitated the setting up of two divisions in January 1959, one in Singapore and one in Kuala Lumpur. These two divisions became separate institutions when the University of Malaya (Malaya) was established in January 1962.

by  MOHAMED GHOUSE NASURUDDIN.

Read more @ http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnist/2017/04/233124/evolution-education-part-1

University Students Should Learn Social Entrepreneurship – Mary Yap

Friday, December 16th, 2016

SHAH ALAM, Dec 15 (Bernama) — Higher education institutions are urged to inculcate social entrepreneurship among students in efforts to produce graduates who are innovative, holistic and balanced.

Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Datuk Dr Mary Yap Kain Ching said the move was important for students to enable them to get closer to the community apart from making them more sensitive about social issues.

“The institutions and universities should guide the students in social entrepreneurship as it should be developed so that students can practice it even after they completed their studies.

“It is also important that students are able to generate new ideas on social entrepreneurship to help communities affected by natural disasters, either locally or outside the country,” she said when closing the ‘Disaster Management 2.0: Developing Social Entrepreneur’ convention organised by the University of Science and Management (MSU), here, today.

Social entrepreneurship refers to entrepreneurs whose success is not only measured by profit but also the benefits that can be shared with the public.

Meanwhile, MSU president Prof Tan Sri Dr Mohd Shukri Ab Yajid said that the convention was focusing on post-recovery for victims of natural disasters by using social entrepreneurship methods.

“This is the university’s efforts to produce excellent graduates not only from the academic point but also in terms of soft skills.

BERNAMA.

Read more @ http://education.bernama.com/index.php?sid=news_content&id=1312137

Transforming through knowledge

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

EDUCATION is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world, said the late Nelson Mandela.

Sharing this sentiment, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has been on a quest to advocate the concept of ‘education for all’ since its inception in 1988.

COL is the world’s only intergovernmental organisation that strongly promotes the development and sharing of open learning and long distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.

It held the Asia Regional Consultation for Open Educational Resources (OER) conference in Kuala Lumpur last week.

The conference themed “Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education: From Commitment to Action”, was hosted by Asia e University (AeU) and held in partnership with Unesco, Slovenian National Commission for Unesco and Unesco Chair on Open Technologies for OER and Open Learning (Joef Stefan Institute, Slovenia) with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (United States).

(Sixth, seventh and second from left, front row) Dr Yap, Prof Asha and Prof Ansary pose for a group photo with the international participants at the closing ceremony.

(Sixth, seventh and second from left, front row) Dr Yap, Prof Asha and Prof Ansary pose for a group photo with the international participants at the closing ceremony.

COL president and chief executive officer Prof Asha S. Kanwar said that OER provides quality material from anywhere in the world and should be made available for free so that “good educational material” are accessible by everyone.

“This must be made available free to everyone else so the best content, which can be used, reused, repurposed and translated, is accessible even by the remotest corners of the world, greatly reducing the cost and increasing access to education,” she said during the OER opening ceremony.

“In most cases, all the good teachers are in cities. The poor children in remote areas do not have access to them.

“However, if there is high quality content, both urban and rural area children have access to the same type of material. Thus, bridging the knowledge gap between both areas,” she pointed out.

by LEE CHONGHUI

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/12/11/transforming-through-knowledge/

Put education front and centre

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

There is a lot that bickering Peninsular Malaysians can learn from the country’s indigenous people as we continue our Malaysia Day festivities.

There is a total of some 80 ethno-linguistic groups on both sides of the pond – making up 13.9% of the 31 million total population of Malaysia – each with its own culture and territory, but the orang asal of Sabah and Sarawak and the orang asli of Peninsular Malaysia have found a way to not only learn more about each other, but also unite.

The outcome of their “union” is a stronger stand to improve their lives and defend their rights, especially in the struggle for their ancestral land rights.

This co-operation is especially benefiting the orang asli community, who are arguably trailing behind their Sabah and Sarawak brothers.

Roughing it out: SK Tasik Chini teachers helping their pupils to disembark from a boat they use to go to school with.

Roughing it out: SK Tasik Chini teachers helping their pupils to disembark from a boat they use to go to school with.

Senator in charge of orang asli affairs Senator Isa Ab Hamid, however, believes strongly that the united efforts will be more effective if they can work closely with the authorities and administration.

“As an orang asli senator, my duty is to fight for the rights and welfare of the orang asli, but in many issues, I believe we can achieve more if we co-operate with the Orang Asli Affairs Department (Jakoa), state governments, other relevant agencies and non-governmental organisations.

“I really think being antagonistic and confrontational will not resolve anything. It’s better if we sit down to discuss and work together to resolve the orang asli issues and concerns,” he says.

It’s no surprise, however, that many of the indigenous groups are resorting to memorandums and demonstrations to highlight their struggle; the socio-economic conditions of the orang asli have not changed as much as the other communities in Malaysia in the last five decades. They are losing more and more of their ancestral lands, which are their main source of livelihood, to public and private development projects.

Coming from the Kuala tribe, Isa says he can relate to both sides of the fence.

“From experience, I have seen how working together with the authorities can help, and as an orang asli myself, I think I understand where the orang asli are coming from and what we need as well as what we want for our future,” says the 49-year-old former Jakoa Pahang director who was sworn in as a senator in April this year.

Malaysia voted for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in 2007 – incidentally Sept 13 was the ninth anniversary since the UNDRIP was adopted – which establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, well-being and rights of the indigenous, including the collective right to ownership, use and control of lands and other natural resources.

by HARIATI AZIZAN.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/09/18/put-education-front-and-centre/

Ministry releases school term dates for 2017

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

PETALING JAYA: Parents will be able to plan their holidays, now that the Education Ministry has released its school term dates for next year.

Students go back to school on Jan 3 next year in all states except Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, where classes start on Jan 1.

Schools in states that observe Friday and Saturday as the weekend usually start classes or the holidays a day earlier (see chart above).

According to the ministry’s website, there will be 72 holidays and 204 school days in all states except Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu which have 205 school days.

School heads can apply for four days of cuti peristiwa (occasional holiday), which need not be replaced.

They can also apply for cuti ganti (replacement holiday), subject to approval by the respective state education departments.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/09/03/ministry-releases-school-term-dates-for-2017/

Alias Ahmad appointed Education Ministry sec-gen

Friday, September 2nd, 2016
Dr Ali Hamsa (left) handing over the appointment letter to Alias in Putrajaya on Friday.

Dr Ali Hamsa (left) handing over the appointment letter to Alias in Putrajaya on Friday.

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad has been appointed as the Secretary-General of the Education Ministry, effective from Sept 3, taking over from Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad who is on mandatory retirement, said Chief-Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa.

Prior to the appointment, Alias, 58, was Secretary of the National Security Council, Prime Minister’s Department, and had served in the civil service for more than 32 years.

In a statement here Friday, Ali said Alias, through his work in the civil service, had wide experience in planning, research and policy, human resource management as well as security areas.

“I believe that the experience, knowledge and credibility he has will enable him to carry out his responsibilities effectively and he is capable of continuing the ministry’s mission in sustaining a quality education system to build an individual’s potential to meet national aspirations,” he said.

Alias previously served as the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism; Director-General of Immigration and Secretary of the Human Resource Management Division, Home Ministry.

BERNAMA.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/09/02/alias-ahmad-appointed-education-ministry-sec-gen/

Tunku Ismail launches ‘educate people through football’ project

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

- Photo from Johor Southern Tigers' Facebook page.

Photo from Johor Southern Tigers’ Facebook page.

PETALING JAYA: Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has launched a nationwide project to educate Malaysians through football.

“Today, I would like to officially announce to Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) fans around the world that I will be launching a new project entitled ‘Educating people through football’, which will be implemented from our academy, across Johor and Malaysia,” said Tunku Ismail on the Johor Southern Tigers’ Facebook page Friday.

He said the aim of the project is to educate youths through football with the slogan “academics come before football”.

“The purpose of this is to make them better individuals in life as well as footballers or other professions,” said Tunku Ismail.

He added that JDT would take the initiative in order to provide youths with “the best education”.

“Knowledge has no boundaries and exposure is the best experience,” said Tunku Ismail.

Tunku Ismail also congratulated Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Khaled Nordin and the state government for their role in education and for their contributions towards the people of Johor.

Meanwhile, Tunku Ismail also wrote about JDT’s progress in being able to send its players and officials to Europe and Japan without any cost to the club apart from the price of the flight tickets.

He announced that through its sports ministry, the Japanese government had come up with a budget to “cater for JDT players and officials to go and learn everything regarding football projects in Japan”.

Tunku Ismail added that the club will also be able to send players and officials to Spain, Germany, and France.

“I’m blessed to know all these great people from these countries and be able to foster this relationship with their respective clubs,” he said.

Last year, JDT become the first Malaysian team to win the AFC Cup.

Earlier, Tunku Ismail had said that he felt that a major stumbling block in the growth of the sports in Malaysia is education – or the lack of it.

“Education in this country has to change first. It is about upbringing. If we have a professionally-run academy that implements professionalism, then you will have a different product. We have not had the foundation and suddenly you want to send the boys abroad,” he said.

by  P. DIVAKARAN.

Read more @http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/07/08/johor-tmj-educate-people-through-football-project/

Windfall for parents of children studying in Britain

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

PETALING JAYA: Parents with children studying in Britain are heaving a sigh of relief because the pound has weakened following Brexit.

The ringgit closed at RM5.66 to the pound yesterday, a drop of 4.67% compared to a month ago when it was RM6.03.

Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahman said tuition fees would be more affordable.

“For parents who couldn’t afford it initially, they may change their minds now,” she said when contacted.

She added that one should look at the positive instead of focusing on the negative implications.

A parent, who asked to be identified only as Auntie Chris, has a son studying biotechnology at Imperial College London, and said: “We are liquidating our accounts to take advantage of the drop in the pound, which is great news.”

She said her son, who is in his second year, planned to pursue his master’s in Britain after graduation but had put his plan on hold due to the strong pound.

“We asked him to work first, after graduating, due to the financial constraints but with the pound dropping significantly, going for his master’s may be back on the table,” she said.

Another parent, Azura Abdullah, said she did not expect her son’s tuition fees to increase any time soon.

Her son is a second-year law student at University of Exeter.

Some parents were fearful of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Despite the weakened pound, Azura felt the price of goods may increase in the short term because Britain could no longer leverage on EU trade deals, which could increase the cost of living there for her son.

“But we hope to offset this with the lower currency rate as the pound will devalue in the short to middle term,” Azura added.

Auntie Chris said she was worried that Britain’s decision may affect job prospects for Malaysians over there.

“If Britain goes into recession, it will affect job prospects for new graduates,” she said, adding that immigration controls may also be tightened following Brexit.

Chief executive officer and provost of the University of Nottingham Malaysia campus Prof Christine Ennew said parents should expect cheaper education.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/06/25/windfall-for-parents-of-children-studying-in-britain/

Tackling instant gratification

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

Consistent effort: What does it take for students to achieve their academic potential, asks the writer. — File photo

Consistent effort: What does it take for students to achieve their academic potential, asks the writer. — File photo

WHEN I was a young girl, my parents taught me the difference between two important four-letter words: need and want.

I had my first part time job at 14 years old and from that point on, I was expected to pay for the things I wanted while my parents continued to pay for the things that I needed.

My first part time pay as a student was A$3.25 (RM9.82) for my Saturday morning job and it took me two and a half months to save up for a very special pair of white denim jeans that I really wanted. Are these important life lessons still relevant now?

In contrast to my early experiences of delayed gratification, I recently overheard a small child talking to her mother while at the cash register in the supermarket. The child was commenting on how wonderful it was that her mother could have anything she wanted from a shop by simply tapping a credit card on a scanner.

The little girl then asked her mother when she would be old enough to have her own credit card so she could have everything that she wanted. The mother looked horrified!

I imagine this supermarket scene has been played out with many young children and their parents as technology replaces the traditional ways of operating. I recall, as a young child, seeing my mother put her weekly amount of “housekeeping money” in her purse and then we would go to the shops. I could see the money go into the purse and I could see it go out of the purse, and I had a clear sense of how much there was to spend and that there was a limit.

Through this, I understood that some things could be bought immediately, while we had to save for other things that we would eventually have sometime in the future.

While technological innovation has been responsible for great advances in many areas of life including scientific discovery, medicine, engineering, media, publication and education, to name a few, it had the unintended effect of producing an instant gratification generation (IGG) – who longer see the point of saving up for a special purchase, or waiting for anything. Opportunities to learn the benefits of delayed gratification are dwindling as technological advances increase exponentially.

If we want to know something, we “Google it” anywhere, anytime. If we want to buy something, there is always a credit card in the wallet. This constant access to immediate information and seemingly endless credit has trained us to believe that we should have access to whatever we want whenever we want it.

Anywhere, anytime

This notion of not wanting to wait for a particular outcome has crossed over to our education system where some students struggle with the notion of working hard at school and at their homework to achieve the grades they want in examinations at some time in the distant future.

So, what does it take for students to persist to achieve to their academic potential? There are many student attributes that can respond to this question, including persistence, self regulation, organisation skills, resilience, motivation, clear academic goals, a conducive study environment, plus good old fashioned effort.

However, according to the authors of Teaching Adolescents To Become Learners: The role of noncognitive factors in shaping school performance (Farrington, C.A., Roderick, M., Allensworth, E., Nagaoka, J., Keyes, T.S., Johnson, D.W., Beechum, N.O., 2012), there are five main groups of noncognitive academic factors that can be influential in overcoming the need for instant gratification: academic behaviours, academic perseverance, academic mindsets, learning strategies and social skills.

by DR DEBORAH PRIEST.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/06/19/tackling-instant-gratification/

    From education to careers

    Saturday, June 18th, 2016

    Fashion sense: Ellen Wilson (left) speaking with Masters in Architecture student Marwa Elbadri at the fair.

    Fashion sense: Ellen Wilson (left) speaking with Masters in Architecture student Marwa Elbadri at the fair.

    KUALA LUMPUR: “Study and Work Overseas” was one of the more popular segments with the visitors thronging the Star Education Fair 2016.

    Malaysian American Commission on Educational Exchange’s Educa­tionUSA Advising Centre adviser Kavita Chandran’s talk on opportunities in the United States was well received by both parents and students.

    She spoke on the options available for students and how they could achieve their ambition of studying in that country.

    “The first option upon leaving school is to apply directly to a university.

    “The second and what most Malaysian students do is to first complete a foundation programme locally, and then apply to a university for their undergraduate programmes,” Kavita said.

    Another popular option was the American Degree transfer programme, she added.

    Attendee Yap Wei Hon was there to gather information for his brother.

    “It is very helpful because people will be able to understand the application process better,” he said.

    StudyExcel Sdn Bhd general manager Jerry Tan, who spoke on “Choosing The Right Pathway And Study Options” advised students to choose according to their interests.

    “Career planning is studying based on your interests, not that of your friends or parents,” he said.

    Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/06/12/from-education-to-careers/