Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

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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Dr Mohd Gazali takes over as secretary-general.

Sunday, July 1st, 2018

DATUK Dr Mohd Gazali Abas (pic) has been appointed the new secretary-general of the Education Ministry.

He takes over from Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad who went on mandatory retirement on May 22.

Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, in a statement, said Dr Mohd Gazali was previously the secretary-general of the Human Resources Ministry.

He had been in the civil service for 32 years since joining the Administrative and Diplomatic Service on Jan 13, 1986, he said.

“He has gained extensive experience in economic and financial management as well as human capital development,” he said.

Dr Mohd Gazali had also served as the National Institute of Public Administration director; Human Resources Ministry deputy secretary-general (operations); Economic Planning Unit Human Capital Development Section director and Network Asia Pacific Schools and Institutes of Public Administration and Governance executive director.

Dr Mohd Gazali holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from Universiti Malaya, a Master’s of Business Administration (Finance) from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom and a PhD in Global Information and Telecommunications from Waseda University, Japan.


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Don’t spoil your child

Sunday, May 20th, 2018
Children should be taught about the concepts of responsibility and accountability from an early age. FILE PIC

RECENTLY, a Twitter user uploaded a photo of a banner hanging on the gates of a school in Subang Jaya, and it went viral for all the right reasons.

The banner read, “If you are delivering your child’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, shoes, instruments, etc., please TURN AROUND AND LEAVE. Your child will learn to solve problems and take responsibility for the consequences in your absence. Thank you.”

When I saw it, I couldn’t agree more.

Clearly, the school was prepared to face potential backlash or, at the very least, harsh criticism from parents, otherwise the banner wouldn’t have been hung on the school gates in the first place.


When I was growing up, my parents did a good job in teaching me the concepts of responsibility and accountability. I would be given reminders in matters pertaining to school, house chores and everything else in between. However, if I forgot to do something important, I had to accept the responsibility and impending punishment.

I remember once when I had forgotten to bring my homework to class. The teacher had reminded me countless times to bring it on that day, but it slipped my mind.

As much as I knew that I could try my luck by calling my mother, who was at home, to ask if she could bring it over to school and pass it to me, I knew that it would be a futile attempt.

I knew that I would probably get a lecture instead and nowhere closer to my homework, so I braced myself for the worst.

Needless to say, I was made to stand the entire period in class as a punishment for not doing what I was told to do.

I was the only one who had forgotten and the embarrassment hurt me more than anything else. That being said, I learnt my lesson. I told myself that I would never be careless again.

When I got home, I told my mother about the incident. To my astonishment, she admitted knowing I had forgotten something important because I had left it on my bed that morning. Feeling upset, I asked her why she had not just taken a drive to school to pass it to me.

She smiled and said that I wouldn’t have learnt my lesson if she had done that. I had no choice but to agree with her.

Her method could sometimes be misinterpreted as uncaring, but I knew that it was the right way to teach someone an important life lesson.

That was almost two decades ago.

So, when I saw the viral tweet, I appreciated the effort that the school has taken to instil good values and educate children to be accountable for their actions.

If there is one thing that I have noticed about the current generation of students, it is that many of them are sheltered and most times end up becoming rather spoilt.

They don’t bother to understand the concept of responsibility because they almost never need to bear the consequences of their actions, or lack thereof.

It is high time parents went back to how things were. Don’t spoil your child by being there a lot more than necessary. Your children will still be able to do fine in school if they forget to bring their pocket money or text- books. If anything, it would teach them to be more responsible in future.

I understand that parents do not want their children to endure pain and suffering, but, sometimes, it’s a necessary evil to educate them.

Instead of spoiling them, let them learn.

Instead of providing too much, let them seek.


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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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