Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

New school terms and dates

Sunday, October 8th, 2017

STUDENTS go back to school on Jan 2 next year in all states except Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, where classes start a day earlier.

There will be 214 school days. (see chart)

Students will get 72 holidays next year according to the 2018 school calendar as shown on the Education Ministry’s website.

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

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Dr Morni Thanks Teachers for their Genuine Contributions to Students Success.

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Teachers Day is celebrated on May 16 in Malaysia. This significant date is dedicated to all teachers throughout the country for their contributions in building our young generations; and also to commemorate the endorsement of the Razak Report in 1956; an educational proposal aimed at reforming the educational system in Malaya at that time (now Malaysia).

In conjunction with this auspicious occasion, Dr Morni Hj Kambrie (Founder and Chairman of SIDMA Sabah) on behalf of Azlina Ngatimin (Director, Corporate Marketing and Business Development), Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO), Managers, Heads of Departments, lecturers and staff of SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah would like to take this golden opportunity to convey our appreciation and to congratulate all teachers, regardless of whether they are in the Education Department, public or private sectors, colleges or institutions of higher learning as well as in pre-schools and nurseries, for their vital contributions towards the education and development of our young children, thus enabling them to excel holistically, and capable of achieving high level of personal well-being as well as being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of their family, society and the nation at large.

Dr Morni also convey his appreciation to Datuk Hajjah Maimunah Hj Suhaibul, Sabah Education Director, and her team of officers in the department for their genuine and continuous efforts to improve and transform the education system of the state. Datuk Hajjah Maimunah, as the Director of Education for Sabah, has planned and implemented various programmes to increase parent’s awareness particularly in the interior part of Sabah on the importance of education to their children.

Dr Morni also praised the Education Department for their commitment inimplementing the 90:10 Policy, a policy that promoted the appointment of more local teachers, who will have more awareness and empathy with the needs of rural children, and are thus able to provide the necessary platform to ensure equity among these students in schools.

Dr Morni also take this chance to convey his “Thank You” and appreciation to District Education Officers; Secondary Schools Principals and Head Masters; as well as to all teachers and school staff who have assisted SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah graduates and trainees placed in their institutions during the students’ practicum term. Thank you very much for making a difference in our students as well as in our young graduates. We are indeed grateful to know our students learnt and gained much from experienced teachers and are able to reflect on each event encountered and shared, thus enabling them to grow professionally in character, maturity and discipline; thus adding values to the future and betterment of our young generations.

Dr Morni who has personally witnessed SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah graduates; both Bachelor of Education (Hons) and Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education (Hons) as well Diploma in Early Childhood Education teachers grow to possess hearts of compassion.

He also urged all SIDMA College and UNITAR Sabah Bachelor of Education (Hons) as well as Diploma and Bachelor Early Childhood Education graduates to follow the footsteps of their mentors and senior teachers; to equip themselves with characteristics of efficient teachers, be inspiring and ever willing to assist, support and equip the young with relevant knowledge, skills, attitudes and confidence in order for them to become efficient future leaders of the country in accordance to the 2050 National Transformation Programme.

How and what we teach our young children today will determine the attitude, values, skills as well as social awareness of tomorrow’s citizens of the country.

Thank you, Teachers. Thank you very much for your dedications, sacrifices and contributions to the success of each coming generation of the nation.

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.

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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.


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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.


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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.

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