Archive for the ‘Single Stream Educational System’ Category

Creating single-school system does not guarantee betterment.

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: Debates on establishing a single-school system and abolishing vernacular schools are not the key to transform the education system in this country into a higher level.

Universiti Malaya (UM) Institute of Educational Leadership Director, Prof Dr Alma Harris said Malaysia was already a unique country, thus, respecting and embracing diversity would ensure effectiveness in transforming the education system.

“In a country like Malaysia, which is multicultural, it is important for you to recognise and celebrate the different ethnics and culture. The two key points in a high performance system and countries is not only excellence but also equity,” she told reporters here today.

She was speaking at the inaugural lecture series for Arsyad Ayub Foundation on “Leading Educational Change and Transformation in Complex Times”.

As the senior adviser to the Welsh government in 2010 until 2012, Harris was responsible for the national implementation of professional learning communities to all schools and districts.

On the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025, she said it was commendable but suggested that the government should be focusing more on few important elements such as improving the teacher’s classroom practises.

She also suggested that Malaysia should not be too distracted with using the latest technology in the classroom as previous research proved otherwise.


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Quality in national schools should be addressed first, says Saifuddin Abdullah

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: While a single education system might be an ideal situation, the problem of quality in national schools should be addressed first said Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

“Unity is important and education is an important platform is fostering it among young people, but we should get out priorities right. The quality of schools has to be improved,” said the Umno supreme council member on Sunday.

He was responding to a question about whether abolishing vernacular schools would be good for unity at the 7th Annual Malaysian Student Leaders Summit Sunday morning.

He believed that many parents sent their children to Chinese vernacular schools because of their prowess in Mathematics and Science.

“There is a push and pull factor why non-Malay parents don’t send their children to national schools. It’s mainly about quality,” he said adding that even Malay parents are sending their children to Chinese schools.

An estimated 80,000 non-chinese students are studying in Chinese schools in the country.

He also believed that many national schools are becoming like sekolah agama (religious schools).

“Even I as a Malay Muslim got that feeling. My standard three daughters were singled out because she was not wearing a baju kurung. There are all kinds of stories that make people believe this,” he said.


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Call To Abolish Vernacular Schools Against Federal Constitution – Palanivel

Friday, May 17th, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: — The call to abolish Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools is not a good idea and is against the Federal Constitution, said MIC President Datuk Seri G. Palanivel, Monday.

He said the schools have been in existence for a long time, even before independence, and it is very sad to note that there are still people questioning the existence of vernacular schools.

“We are strongly against it as this is one of the rights under Article 152 of the Federal Constitution, where no person shall be prohibited or prevented from using or from teaching or learning any other language,” he told Bernama.

Palanivel was responding to a suggestion by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) pro-chancellor Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Arshad’s call to abolish vernacular schools in favour of a single stream school which uses Malay-language as a medium, at a forum, on Sunday.

“We have statistics to show that more than 1,000 Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah Tamil school students have scored 7As and 6As, so it does not matter which type of school a child goes to, they all use the same national syllabus,” he said.

Palanivel also stressed that the contributions of students to the society should be judged by the quality of students, their patriotism and what they give back as contribution to the society.

Echoing similar sentiments, the coordinator for the Action Plan for Future of Tamil Schools, Prof Dr N.S. Rajendran said this kind of stereotyping must stop for the sake of maintaining unity among the multi-racial population of Malaysia.

“Each and every one of us is responsible to promote unity and that includes the life outside of schools. It is just not fair to single out the vernacular schools claiming they work against unity when in reality there are at least five types of schools which exist and continue to grow in Malaysia,” he said.


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Single-stream schools will unify nation, say academicians

Monday, May 13th, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: Academicians have called for vernacular schools in the country to be changed to single stream schools to strengthen national unity.

They said problems of racial unity were caused from an inconsistent schooling system, with the existence of schools of various streams.

Former Universiti Technologi Mara pro-chancellor Tan Sri Dr Abdul Rahman Arshad said vernacular schools developed at a faster pace and that only 10% of non-Malays studied in national schools.

“The rest are in vernacular schools. It is clear that racism is expanding widely, this continues with private secondary schools and national-type secondary schools,” he said on Sunday.

He said the divide-and-rule concept was implemented by the British, and education now “is dividing”.

“Nowadays, if said in this manner, it will be regarded as an accusation.

“But if we still allow such schools, don’t ever hope to talk about unity, it will only be lip service,” he said.

A more strident tone was used by former Appeals Court judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah who wanted national-type schools (SJKs) to be done away with because they were not recognised under the constitution.


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Putting on our thinking hats

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Can our one-size-fits-all education system develop the type of Malaysians we aspire to become?

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

- George Bernard Shaw

THERE are only two types of schools in Malaysia, a prominent educator declared at the Yayasan Amir Trust School Programme conference last weekend.

They are the national schools and the vernacular schools; everything else in between are simply programmes offered in these types of schools, be it the trust schools, the high performance schools, the cluster schools, the smart schools or the specialty schools.

The trust school programme, a brainchild of Yayasan Amir formed by Khazanah Nasional, was set up in 2010 to improve student outcomes and school management capabilities.

Ten schools (urban, rural, science, residential, orang asli, vernacular, primary and secondary) were selected in Johor and Sarawak to form the first cohort.

What is unique is that although the guiding principles of the programme are similar for all schools, each school has its own distinctive, one-of-a-kind, differentiated and customised methods of learning depending on the needs of its students or its area of specialisation.

It is apparent that since the start of the programme, although too early to show results of overall student improvements based on national examinations, it records remarkable student attendance and improvements in its teacher up-skill training.

In theory, the pedagogical learning and teaching methods employed are not new. The teachers know this but what is more important is the support system in their work collaboration.

The teachers work along with the teaching learning assistants, apprentice teaching advisers and school heads as well as externally with parents and the community, in a symbiotic manner.

One of the schools operating the trust school programme is a science secondary residential school in Kuching and also a high performance school. It is the highest-achieving school among the 10 trust schools by virtue of its student make-up. This school focuses on developing critical thinking and higher-order thinking skills.

One of the learning methods used is Edward de Bono’s “6 Thinking Hats”. The students use role play to hone their thinking skills.

They each physically wear a different coloured hat, each denoting the specific thinking skills white thinks of the facts, yellow is optimistic and thinks of the positive, black is cautious and one has to be careful of overusing this thinking skill, green is creative and likes new ideas, red is sentimental, sensitive and emotionally driven, and blue is the leader who manages them and makes a decision guided by the principles of the thinking process.

Let us take this to another level by applying the thinking process and exploring the feasibility of the teaching and learning of science and mathematics in English in the context of the upcoming education transformation blueprint.

by Tunku Munawirah Putra.

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Single education system outdated – federation

Monday, July 16th, 2012

KOTA KINABALU: Single education system is outdated and takes away the people’s basic rights of education in their mother tongue, according to the Federation of Kwang Tung Associations Malaysia president, Datuk Tan Ten Pong.

He said vernacular school system allows the people to learn the culture and tradition of different cultures, promote unity and harmony among different races, and enhance Malaysia’s competitiveness in the global arena.

Tan was commenting on former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s recent objection to the construction of more Chinese independent schools and recognition for the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).

“In this time of globalization, and we being bombarded with so many different languages and cultures, Mahathir’s views are outdated,” he asserted when attending the second installation ceremony of the United Society of GuangDong Province Association Sabah here on Friday.

“Single education system no longer fits into the demand of the current times, as well as taking away the basic rights of the people to receive education in their mother tongue,” he stressed.

Tan further said that Mandarin is now an international trade language with the rise of China, and both the Malaysian government and Chinese government recognize university degrees in both countries.

“However, UEC has yet to be recognized in our country, causing dissent among the Chinese community.

“Although we are facing various difficulties and challenges in Chinese education, I urge the younger generation to appreciate and do not give up the opportunity to learn Chinese, to work hard in learning Chinese and hope for a better tomorrow,” Tan said.

by Chok Sim Yee.

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Role of teachers in 1School system

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

THE traditional morning greeting Selamat Pagi Cikgu that is said in unison as a teacher enters her class is no longer as enthusiastic as it used to be. In fact, it no longer seems relevant to students. More often than not, a teacher walks in and out of classrooms without any greetings or pleasantries exchanged with her pupils. There is hardly any respect given to the teacher. Have teachers become so insignificant? Do students really think that they can pass all public exams like the UPSR, PMR, SPM, and STPM without stepping into a school?

If education has come to mean only exams, testing memory and low-level knowledge skills, then, we don’t really need teachers. Again, can teachers make a difference? I am prepared to say they should, but I am not sure if they do! The question is, do our teachers have the attributes to make that difference with the current generation of students, whose attitude and demands are worrying?

Many teachers would be quick to say that they are just doing their job, which is to teach and complete the syllabus, so that their students will have a fair chance in the exams.

Are our teachers consumed only by the demands of their superiors and parents, to ensure that their respective schools attain cemerlang (excellence) status?

Most teachers will not hold themselves accountable for the policies and decisions of the school and higher authorities. They will be quick to point out that many aspects of the system are not within their control. Teaching is their job and that is what they have been trained for.

So, what are teachers taught in teacher training colleges and universities?

To answer this question, we need to reflect on the qualities of excellence among teachers. What are the attributes of excellence?

If we can determine the position and extent of these boundaries, we then have the basis for developing ideal professional development programmes that will form the basis for teacher education programmes.

Relating to current needs

Do our current programmes truly have recognisable, quantifiable and justifiable processes in place? Do these correlate to the demands of new market places and careers for new types of learning spaces?

Do these cater to a global community that is now creating “knowledge producers” rather than “knowledge consumers”? This should form the basis for a renewed focus on change for our curriculum, especially in educating and evaluation methods. Teachers need to start making a difference in a world they are seemingly falling out of touch with.

Are our teacher education programmes in universities able to create teachers with personal attributes of the type we are seeking?

Our programmes must be able to develop and enhance the quality of education we offer to our pre-service teachers.

These include attributes such as enthusiasm in educating young minds; creativity in enhancing learning; energy and resourcefulness in facilitating learning; knowledge of current thinking in evaluating whether actual learning is taking place and; dedication and commitment to real world learning processes (this has other implications).

If the answer is “no”, then we must start thinking of revamping our programmes to instil professional attributes related to the area of inquiry, particularly in curriculum processes; teaching and learning; assessment and learning; professional learning; research and learning and dissemination of knowledge and skills through writing.

Teachers, especially those at the upper-secondary school level, ought to have strong content knowledge. Therefore teacher development programmes must produce teachers who are proficient in the subject matter. The teachers must also have a sound knowledge of current issues and new information, aware of changes in the subject, and incorporate them into their regular teaching sessions.

The programmes must also be able to give some meaning and purpose for the students. This can be done by providing relevance of knowledge to real-world industry.

Enhancing communication skills

To do this, teachers must be competent in enhancing language and communication skills, and have the ability to synthesise data, discuss and present thoughts and opinions across the curriculum.

They should also be competent in presenting multi-disciplinary and multi-perspective content in an integrated way to form coherent thoughts resulting in plans of action.

Only then will our teachers be able to provide understanding and relevance to students in the incorporation of appropriate cultural, moral and ethical values everyday, be it locally or globally.

When our programmes are able to bring out and instil the above attributes among our new breed of teachers, then we can expect them to make a difference to their students.

These teachers will then possess core skills in instruction and facilitation of knowledge.

The next great hurdle in a nutshell is evaluations.

My colleagues will elaborate on this in the next article. Teachers should be able to evaluate students in meaningful ways that focus on grasps of high-level strategic knowledge, as opposed to the testing of low-level declarative knowledge.

The new breed of teachers would be:

● proficient in the usage of technology and media tools in instruction;

● capable of planning and managing a classroom;

● competent in communication skills and understand the importance of developing personal skills;

● skilled in appreciating pupils’ difficulties and proficient in differentiated instructions and evaluations; and

● competent enough to address pupils with special needs and motivate and stimulate students’ appreciation for knowledge and lifelong learning.

The new programme is no longer a dream, but one that can become a reality.

The School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Penang, is going to start the Engage Programme – Education for Sustainable Global Futures, with a number of schools, institutions and stakeholders, at the varsity to formulate a curriculum for now and the future.

We strongly believe that the programme will produce teachers who can and will make a difference.

We ask that all Malaysians be involved in the Engage Programme that will hopefully be created for and by Malaysians.

This will eventually result in a call not for separate streams of schools, but for 1School that will create a globally relevant 1Malaysia.

Prof Abdul Rashid Mohamed is the dean of the School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang. He is currently working with his colleagues on a proposal to transform the landscape of Malaysian schooling and higher education systems. He can be contacted at

by Prof Abdul Rashid Mohamed.

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Revamp Schools to foster unity.

Monday, January 25th, 2010
Ministry Of Education would like to say thank you and reffering to the Letter For Editor (New Straits Times, 14  JANUARY 2010 – REVAMP SCHOOLS TO FOSTER UNITY by MICHAEL NG, SEREMBAN).

Education in the country has continuosly and consistently aimed at fostering unity among different races. Since post-independence, the education system in the country has always stressed on achieving racial harmony by inculcating the spirit of unity as the basis for peace and prosperity of the nation. The national education curriculum used by all national schools, national type schools and private schools has uphold the importance of learning and understanding the culture and beliefs of various races through subjects such as Civics, Islamic Education and Moral Education. Universal values such as unity, valuing similarities and appreciating differences, respect and tolenrance within and among races are also taught across curriculum in all other subjects.

Students of all races and beliefs are always encouraged to participate and be involved in co curricular activities as an effort to foster unity. Co curricular activities set a stage for promoting comradeship and healthy competition among various races at all levels of education. The Ministry of Education (MOE) hopes that all positive values that has been taught and nurtured in schools will be supported and encouraged by parents and communities the students live in.
The suggestion for having only one school system in Malaysia as proposed by many poeple is a noble suggestion towards the inculcation of the spirit and establishment of 1Malaysia. However, the history of education in the country has shown that effort to establish one school system starting from the Barnes Report (1951) faced opposition from the Chinese community through the Fen Wu Report (1951). The main issue that hinders the existence of one school system is the fear of culture, values, identity and language erosion among the people of the community.

Realising and understanding the needs of the Chinese and Indian communities to preserve the culture and safeguard the growth of their mother tongues, the government through the Education Ordinance 1952, the Razak report (1956), the Rahman Talib Report (1960) and Education Act 1961 affirmed the use of ‘Bahasa Melayu’ as the medium of instruction in all national schools while national type schools are allowed to use their respective mother tongue languages as the medium of instruction and ‘Bahasa Melayu’ as a compulsory subject to learn. The Cabinet Report (1979) and the Education Act 1996 till today still acknowledged the policy in the hope of creating one united and disciplined society that is able to produce trained workforce for the development of the nation.

After 52 years of independence and continuous hard work in fostering unity among students specifically and the society generally, the MOE hopes the efforts and responsibility in inculcating understanding and appreciating diversity among the people is also jointly fulfilled by the parents, religious leaders and society at large. The existence and mushrooming of various welfare societies and non-government organizations with membership from various races and peoples from all walks of life have proven that the spirit of unity, tolerance, understanding and kidness thrive in the hearts of most Malaysians today.

The vision to see all Malaysian, regardless of race and religion, truly assimilate and stand united as one can only be achieved if everyone can sincerely embrance the spirit of 1Malaysia selflessly without condition. Towards this aspiration, the MOE will continue to nurture and expound the noble values in our children through our existing education system.

Corporate Communication Unit,
Ministry of Education Malaysia.
22 JANUARY 2010.

1Malaysia concept must start in schools

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

I APPLAUD the attempts made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in promoting racial integration through the 1Malaysia concept. Malaysians have been encouraged to get to know the cultures and observances of other races, as it would rid them of prejudiced views of others. While this effort may pave the way for better and deeper understanding among the various races, I am of the opinion that it will not see the necessary results, unless they are inculcated at a young age.

To me, Malaysians can achieve a considerable level of harmony and unity if such values are instilled in children and what better place to start than in schools.

Most children have no qualms about mixing with their peers of different racial or religious backgrounds, and school authorities and the Government should zoom in on schoolchildren to ensure that its efforts at promoting racial integration pay off.

When schoolmates of different racial backgrounds get along well, it will not take long for their parents to make that extra effort to get to know their children’s friends and their parents, who in turn may become their friends too.

Once children have a network of friends from different backgrounds, they will certainly look beyond race, colour or religion and we will eventually have a generation of 1Malaysians.

My other suggestion is for all public schools to be converted to national schools. However, the Education Ministry should see to it that each school has a good mix of all the races.

The ministry and state education departments must make it a point to ensure that there is a racial quota, and that students from each community are well represented in each school. The same should be done for school teachers, for only then can we truly say that there is racial integration.


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Education minister wants 1 Malaysia camp for students

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

SEPANG, July 20 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin plans to introduce an annual 1 Malaysia camp for students to instil a sense of unity in them.

The deputy prime minister and education minister said 1 Malaysia was one of his four key performance indicators (KPI) for the Education Ministry.

“In this camp, I hope that the eight values of 1 Malaysia will be learned and planted in all the participants and therefore help push the concept of 1 Malaysia and the national education philosophy,” he told the audience at a workshop on the Education Development Master Plan (PIPP).

Muhyiddin also stressed the importance of producing quality teachers and school heads.

“A policy to place teachers who are responsive to the needs of society is a priority. School heads must also be people who are smart in interpreting, understanding the tasks given, committed and able to increase their knowledge so they can translate the education policy to daily tasks and be able to give the best education to their students,” he said.

Muhyiddin wants the education system to continue producing knowledgeable human capital who are productive, creative and innovative.

“Priority must be given to efforts to produce students who are proficient in both Malay and English language. Therefore, PIPP must realise that education is the key to achieving a Malaysian society that has integrity, morality and ethics,” he said.

He explained that it was important for the government to continue providing the necessary infrastructure because there are still remote schools which did not have electricity and clean water.

Muhyiddin said the education system must be able to produce quality students who are capable of mastering the three Qs — intellectual quotient, emotional quotient and spiritual quotient.

“This has to be the minimum requirement which is in line with the spirit of the national education philosophy,” he said.

by Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani.

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