Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

School holiday extended to March 31

Friday, March 20th, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The one-week school holiday has been extended until March 31 to curb movement of people in view of the Covid-19 spike.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said with the extension of the holidays, parents could stay put wherever they were and would not need to return home to enable their children to go to school.

“So our order is for parents who are with their children during the holidays to continue staying on in their kampung until March 31,” he said in a press conference on Friday (March 20) on non-health related matters after a special meeting by ministers on movement control order (MCO) implementation.

Ismail said with the school holidays extended to March 31, parents would also not have to go to the office.

The decision was made to minimise movement of people during the MCO period imposed from March 18 to 31.

Recently, many Malaysians who were unaware of the significance of the order decided to “balik kampung” (return to home towns) after the order was announced, causing massive movement of people and creating more concerns that the Covid-19 was being widely spread.


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Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim appointed as Education director-general

Thursday, January 16th, 2020
Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim has been appointed as the new Education director-general effective Jan 10. – NSTP/HALIMATON SAADIAH SULAIMAN

PUTRAJAYA: Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim has been appointed as the new Education director-general effective Jan 10.

She took over from Datuk Dr Amin Senin who retired on Dec 21 last year.

In a statement today, the Education Ministry said 58-year-old Habibah will be the ministry’s 17th director-general and the second woman to helm the post.

“Habibah started her service in education in 1986 as a teacher in several schools in Selangor and Kedah, before leaving to serve under several organisations under the ministry.

“Among her positions were deputy director-general (policy and curriculum sector), Education Planning and Research Division (BPPDP) director, Performance and Delivery Unit (Padu ) executive director and senior lecturer at Institut Aminuddin Baki (IAB),” it said.

Habibah obtained a bachelor’s degree with honours in Biology from the University of Salford, United Kingdom in 1984.

Later, she furthered her studies in Education at University of Bristol, United Kingdom in 1993 and earned a doctorate in Education from Stanford University in California, United States in 2001.

With her expertise, experience and excellent achievements, the Education Ministry is confident that Habibah would be able to further elevate its achievements in line with the aspirations of the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025.

The ministry recorded its highest appreciation to Amin for his service.

By Hashini Kavishtri Kannan.

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Lincoln: All I have learnt, I learnt from books

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020
Books stimulate the imagination and drive development. – NSTP file pic

LETTERS: Malaysians, Kuala Lumpur residents in particular, should be proud that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has named Kuala Lumpur as World Book Capital 2020.

Unesco said the city was selected because of the focus on inclusive education, development of a knowledge-based society and accessible reading for all segments of the city’s population.

Credit should go to City Hall for its commitment to encourage reading. As we gear ourselves to celebrate the recognition, commencing with World Book and Copyright Day on April 23, parents should inculcate a reading culture in the young as they are the nation’s future leaders.

Books are the guardians of the past, stimulate our imagination and drive development.

They are a man’s best companion. Former United States president Abraham Lincoln said: “All I have learnt, I learnt from books.”

The more one reads, the more the mind gets stimulated.

Research reveals that intellectual pursuits like reading and regularly seeking new information keep the brain active and prevent dementia.

Works of William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Oliver Goldsmith transport readers to a realm of pleasure and joy that no other form of entertainment can provide.

Reading is like scuba diving — the deeper one delves, the greater the adventure and thrill.

Children must be reminded that benefits accrued from reading books, newspapers, magazines and periodicals are greater than reading posts on social media.

Reading is the path to knowledge and wisdom. We must derive benefit from it.

Otherwise, as the Panchatantra says: “The man who studies every book and understands, yet does not look to his advantage, learns in vain. His books are merely mental strain.”


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Dr Mahathir takes over as acting Education Minister

Saturday, January 11th, 2020
Dr Mahathir is the interim Education Minister – Photo by NSTP/AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been appointed the interim Education Minister, effective Jan 3.

The appointment was agreed to by Cabinet during a meeting on Jan 8, the Prime Minister’s Office announced today.

It is believed that Dr Mahathir will hold the position until a new Education Minister is appointed.

Dr Mahathir previously held the Education Ministry portfolio from 1974 to 1977.

He takes over from Dr Maszlee Malik, who resigned from his position on Jan 2.

Maszlee – who is also the Simpang Renggam MP and a member of the Bersatu supreme leadership council – was beset by a string of controversies during his tenure, including the issue of Jawi being taught in vernacular schools, students wearing black shoes, and free breakfast at schools, among others.

By Hashini Kavishtri Kannan

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E-learning to kick off next year

Monday, September 9th, 2019

Fun day out: Maszlee (with sunglasses) together with officials, teachers and differently abled children at the launching of the Merdeka Special Charity Run held at Xtreme Park in Pasir Gudang. — Bernama

PASIR GUDANG: Teachers in Malaysia will soon be able to teach their students through recorded materials from other outstanding teachers from next year onwards as part of the Education Ministry’s e-learning initiative.

Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the method will be introduced in schools as soon as possible as part of the ministry’s effort to speed up e-learning.

The Simpang Renggam MP pointed out that the method has already been tabled to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad several months back, and it was intended to ensure teachers would not be confined to their classrooms when teaching.

“We have several platforms that are currently being developed, and this is Dr Mahathir’s aspiration.

“The ministry is trying to start this programme next year and would make the announcement when the time is right, and maybe Dr Mahathir will officiate it,” Maszlee said when met after officiating the Merdeka Special Charity Run held at Xtreme Park here yesterday.

In a recent visit to Japan, Dr Mahathir was quoted by Bernama as saying that the government was looking into the possibility of using recorded lessons by selected teachers to be shared with other schools.

The method was aimed at, among others, simplifying and enhancing the quality of teaching back home, he said.

“We are trying to simplify teaching because (not all) teachers are the same, so what we want to do is make use of good teachers, record their lessons, and use the recorded lessons for other schools where teachers will guide the students,” he said.

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NST Leader: The importance of being learned

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019
Islam tells us that there are two types of knowledge: one is given, the other is sought. Both are important to fulfil the purpose of man on Earth. – NSTP/MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN

THE New Straits Times is a paper that lauds knowledge. It has taken this stand for the last 174 years.

Islam has celebrated knowledge much longer. To be exact, for 1,440 years. This paper’s Leader today, in its small way, joins in the celebration.

Islam grants knowledge or ilm, as it is called in Arabic, a very high place in the scheme of things. It has been so since the creation of the first man.

Islam tells us that there are two types of knowledge: one is given, the other is sought. Both are important to fulfil the purpose of man on Earth.

The seeker must ready himself to receive this knowledge. In striving shall the glory of such men be.

So readied and armed, he can then make his journey back to his true home. It is for this reason Muslims place a high premium on seeking knowledge. In fact, a prophetic tradition enjoins Muslims to seek knowledge even if it is in China (this being a distant place then).

But not all acquisition of knowledge can be considered “education”. Dr Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas tells us so in his tome Prologomena To The Metaphysics Of Islam. It must come activated with a moral purpose whose origin is in wisdom.

The Malaysian philosopher and religious scholar puts it thus: knowledge is the recognition of the proper places of things in the order of creation (adab), such that it leads to the recognition of the proper place of God in the order of being and existence.

This is knowledge properly so-called. But the road to the acquisition of such knowledge is filled with more than cobblestones.

There will be distractions, diversions and disturbance. Distress even. For the seeker and teacher. A place in paradise must be earned; it is not a birthright of any.

But we live in a world that is fast becoming secular; it is afraid of its own shadow. In such a world, religion is either in second place or no place.

The Arabic din, meaning religion, is treated as the English “din” in such a confused and confusing world.

Delirium rules. It is to this world that preacher Dr Zakir Naik has come. Our position is this: no one should stand in the way of one who wants to deliver the message of Islam.

After all, Islam is the official religion in Malaysia. Perhaps, the fault lies in the method. This can be mended. But the media cannot try him, just as they cannot try any other men. Neither can Zakir be sentenced before being tried justly in a proper court. Kangaroo courts are so stone age.

By no measure, he should be made to prove his innocence. No man should be placed in such a position. If we want a just world, we must act justly.

To Zakir, we say this: we have no problems with your message, sir, but please work on your method. The message is of Islam, one that is as old as 1,440 years.

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Dr Maszlee to pupils: Read, work hard and be trustworthy.

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

PUTRAJAYA: As the new school year begins, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik is advising SK Putrajaya Presint 14 (1) pupils to be hardworking.

“Read more books; a successful and advanced society is one that reads.

“Also, be trustworthy people, and in whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly,” he said after visiting the school on the first day of classes on Wednesday (Jan 2).

Dr Maszlee advised parents to inculcate the habit of reading in their children by asking them what they had read when they returned from school.

Mohd Izlan Mohd Ilias’s seven-year-old daughter, Nur Izzah, was so excited about the first day of school that she woke up at 6am on her own and got dressed on her own.

“I’m excited, too, because she’s my eldest, so it’s a new experience.

“She is really looking forward to starting school,” said Mohd Izlan, 36, who has three children.

Commenting on the ministry’s decision to abolish exams for Years One, Two and Three from this year, Mohd Izlan said it was a good idea, as it would further improve the education system.

Afendy Jasmi, 39, whose son Muhammad Dhiyaulhaq is in Year Two this year, said abolishing the exams would reduce the pressure to excel among children.

“It will uncover their potential in other areas,” he said.

Eugene Sylvester, 40, said by doing away with exams, children would be more geared up and would enjoy going to school.

“That’s more important, because they will be sitting for exams for rest of their schooling years anyway.”

Eugene’s Year One daughter, Daniella Samantha Anne, was holding onto her mother, Sharon Kumari Sandanasamy, while getting ready to enter her class with her pink backpack.

Guided by the examples set by her older two sisters, Eugene said, his youngest daughter should do fine in school

By Sandhya Menon
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Feeling excited and scared? It’s all part of the first day of school.

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: It’s the first day of school for many states, and for parents and children, it is always the busiest and a somewhat emotional day, especially for children who are not used to being away from home.

A brief survey conducted at kindergartens and primary schools around Kota Kinabalu found a mix of two emotions amongst school-goers – excitement and fear.

In Yue Min kindergarten at Penampang, not far from here, six-year-old Sarah Jane Roger, who has been going for pre-school the past two years, found her new school fun.

She was seen smiling from ear to ear when her mother dropped her off, and immediately tried making friends.

Not far from her, a little girl could be seen wailing and refusing to let her mother go.

The mother could be heard trying to coax her daughter – while shedding tears herself.

Another excited boy was Daylven Jacob Julius Sidin, who said he had been waiting since the night before to go to kindergarten.

“I woke up very early for school just now,” he said.

In Shan Tao kindergarten in the city, four-year-old Nathaniel Cade Nolan too could be heard repeatedly asking his mother to bring him home.

“I want to go home,” he said between tears.

His mother, Cherylene Mojinun, 32, who was also emotional, said she has to leave him at the kindergarten even though he was crying and begging to go home, because he has to learn.

“He is growing up fast, and we have to make him get used to going to school,” she said.

For Year One student Nathaniel Lee in Ranau district, some 110km from here, the first day of school was fun as he “can meet many friends” and play.

Little did he know that primary school is no longer like kindergarten, where they spend most of their time learning and playing.

By Stephanie Lee
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214 school days and 73 holidays for next year.

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

PETALING JAYA: School will reopen in all states on Jan 2 next year and a day earlier in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.

According to the Education Ministry’s website, there will be 214 school days and 73 holidays in 2019 (see chart).

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

They can also apply for cuti ganti (replacement holiday), which will require the approval of the respective state education departments.

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Best practices from top minds in sports.

Sunday, July 1st, 2018
Staff, students and visitors taking part in the interactive exercise class during the Health and Fitness Expo.

Staff, students and visitors taking part in the interactive exercise class during the Health and Fitness Expo.

EXPERTS in physical education and sports from all over the world were in Kuala Lumpur recently to attend the Third International Federation of Physical Education (FIEP) Asia Conference on Physical Education and Sports 2018.

Hosted by Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC), the gathering brought top scientists, experts and students together where they shared and discussed ideas and best practices in the field of physical education and sports.

This was carried out over two keynote sessions, three plenary sessions, six regular sessions, 47 parallel sessions and 13 poster presentations.

The conference with the theme “Physical Education and Sports Help Build a Healthy Society”, offered networking opportunities with 100 leading experts, inspiring speakers and researchers from across the globe such as the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Sweden, Ireland, Singapore, Australia and Slovakia.

The conference was held in 2014 and 2016 at Kogakuin University in Japan before TAR UC was offered the honour of hosting the third edition in partnership with FIEP Europe.

TAR UC is the second higher education institution to have ever hosted this conference.

Prof Dr Raha Abdul Rahim who is director of Excellence Planning for Higher Education Institutions Division, Department of Higher Education under the Education Ministry, was present to officiate at the conference.

She commended TAR UC for successfully bringing the prestigious conference to Malaysia to promote a healthy lifestyle and at the same time, support its aspiration to be a sports powerhouse.

“Physical fitness is a lifelong activity.

“I strongly believe there is a lot to offer and learn from this conference through its network of contacts, experts and exchange of ideas among individuals and organisations,” she said.

This is in line with Malaysia’s aim to promote a healthy lifestyle and eventually become a sporting nation in the future, she added.

TAR UC vice president Assoc Prof Dr Ng Swee Chin in her in the welcome speech, elaborated on the importance of the conference in relation to the learning and teaching of physical education.

“This conference highlights the importance of a healthy lifestyle through physical activity and sports in society.

“I hope that we can adopt some of the good practices presented in this conference and put them into our implementation plan for the diverse modes of education including physical education in TAR UC,” she said.

Dr Ng said the conference is part of the run-up to TAR UC’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2019.

“TAR UC will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee Anniversary.

“This conference is certainly a wonderful addition to our calendar of Golden Jubilee celebration activities,” she said.

During the conference, three TAR UC staff from the Faculty of Applied Sciences received special awards for their dedication in the field of physical education and sports.

Assoc Prof Dr Wee Eng Hoe was conferred the Medial Manuel Gomes Tubino Award for his immense contribution to the field, while Assoc Prof Dr Loke Chui Fung and Dr Ler Hui Yin were awarded the FIEP Commemorative Medal for their contributions to the development of physical education and sports at the international level.

In conjunction with the conference, a Health and Fitness Expo 2018 was also held at the TAR UC Kuala Lumpur Main Campus.

With the theme “Healthy Living for a Better Tomorrow”, the expo featured 27 exhibition booths showcasing various elements on a healthy lifestyle such as nutrition, sports gear, innovative exercises, supplements, health monitoring, physiotherapy and many more.

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