Archive for the ‘Extracurricular Activities’ Category

Managing flood problems

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
During floods, on top of emergency response, there must also be planning at the pre-disaster stage and recovery process to help flood victims’ regain their quality of life and wellbeing. PIC BY SYAZANA ROSE RAZMAN

IT’S that time of the year again. In October, it rains almost everyday and one can’t help but think of how big the flood is going to be this year.

According to the World Disaster Report (2010), Asia as a whole is most prone to natural disasters.

Flood is the most common and most expensive natural disaster in the country, resulting in chaos in affected areas in terms of disruptions to daily and economic activities, damage to roads and railway tracks, vehicles, properties and even loss of lives.

In addition to natural causes, floods are mainly attributed to continuous heavy rainfall, rapid development, unplanned urbanisation, poor drainage system and environmental degradation.

The December 2014 to January 2015 floods was one of the most devastating ever experienced affecting the whole country including Sabah and Sarawak.

Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang were the hardest hit where floodwaters ravaged 190,000 hectares of oil palm plantations.

Over 200,000 people were evacuated nationwide, killing at least 20 people. The three most severely affected states registered more than half the total number of evacuees and suffered significant economic losses.

Unprecedented damage was caused to highways, hospitals, universities, schools, properties and agriculture products. Shortages of food, electricity, clean water and communication problems continued to affect flood victims.

Several initiatives were taken by the government in dealing with the flood problem.

These include the establishment of the Permanent Flood Control Commission (PFCC), flood disaster relief machinery, river basin studies, structural and non-structural flood mitigation measures, flood forecasting and warning systems, and hydrological and flood data collection stations. The main objective of the PFCC, with the Drainage and Irrigation Department as its secretariat, is to prevent and mitigate floods.

The flood disaster relief machinery under the Natural Disaster Relief Committee (NDRC) with its secretariat at the National Security Council (NSC) of the National Security Division, Prime Minister’s Department, has the main objective of coordinating relief operations in providing financial assistance from the National Disaster Relief Fund to disaster victims.

The NDRC was established in 1997 through NSC Directive No. 20 which stipulated the national policy, disaster management and aid mechanism. The NDRC followed a three-tier management hierarchy system chaired by the prime minister at the federal level, secretary of state and district officer at the state and district level, respectively.

Subsequently, in October 2015 the federal government established a special agency, National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA), dedicated to disaster risk management and/or other matters related to it.

NADMA is regulated under Directive No. 20 and all matters related to disasters are managed by three-tier committees namely; the Centre for Disaster Management and Relief Committee (CDMRC), chaired by the deputy prime minister at the federal level, the State Disaster Management and Relief Committee (SDMRC), chaired by the secretary of state and the District Disaster Management and Relief Committee, chaired by the District Officer.

It was reported that a total of 68 agencies were involved, consisting    of 27 federal agencies, 22 state and 19 district agencies, in seven service themes of disaster management structure which include search and rescue, health and medical services, media, support, security control, welfare, warnings and alerts.

Under the various five-year Malaysia Plans, the government had spent billions of ringgit on flood control and mitigation measures with substantial increment over the years. Records showed that money spent on these projects increased from RM14 million under the Second Malaysia Plan (1971-1975) which ballooned to an estimated RM17 billion between 2006 and 2020.

This showed the seriousness of the government’s commitment to prevent and reduce flood risks.

Money spent on structural flood mitigation projects alone increased four-fold from RM1.79 billion in the period 2001-2005 to RM5.81 billion in 2006-2010.

Major projects include the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) to alleviate the flash flood problem in the Kuala Lumpur city centre.

Despite all these efforts which cost the government billions of ringgit on flood control, mitigation and disaster management, a number of issues have been raised with regard to the effectiveness of the implementation of flood-related policies.

These include lack of coordination between the large number of agencies involved at the federal, state and district levels, imbalance between top-down and bottom-up in disaster management planning approaches which was heavily skewed to the former.

Others include greater emphasis on emergency response phase rather than preparedness and pre-disaster stage, and lack of planning of long-term recovery process which has affected flood victims’ quality of life and well
being.

Hence the focus of the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020) is on strengthening disaster risk management across five phases namely, prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. It was reported that the government’s investment in flood mitigation projects is more than RM4 billion beginning with 16 projects at the start of 2018.

An allocation of RM443.9 million and RM150 million was announced in the recent 2020 Budget towards flood mitigation projects and the maintenance of existing flood retention ponds, respectively. The fund should be an impetus for an integrated pro-active planning and a sustainable recovery management.

By Datuk Dr Norma Mansor.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2019/10/532457/managing-flood-problems

Exercise, eat well and save regularly

Saturday, January 6th, 2018
(File pix) Exercise will keep you fit and healthy

THE year 2017 was neither a bountiful year for me nor was it a year that I failed to control my expenses.

Thankfully, I have never indulged in extravagance. I just turned 60 recently.

Embracing a simple life enables me to resist temptations. I keep myself healthy with diet and exercise.

An acquaintance, John (not his real name), failed in business before he succeeded and retired a few years ago. He can afford overseas vacations and visits to expensive restaurants now.

Unfortunately, he has chronic ailments, for which he has to fork out more than RM1,000 a month for treatment.

Recently, he added RM200 to his monthly medical bills.

He needed a supplement to strengthen his liver due to the side-effects of prolonged medication.

He contracted his first chronic ailment in his 40s; John is in his early 70s now. Not many people are as lucky as John, who can afford quality healthcare.

Without quality healthcare to treat his ailments, he may have had eyesight or kidney failure.

If that happens, he would not have been able to enjoy coffee with me regularly.

A relative, who is in his mid-50s, underwent a bypass surgery at the National Heart Institute at a subsidised cost of RM40,000 recently.

As he had used his retirement savings to pay for his son’s college and other expenses last year, the surgery cost affected his ability to retire soon.

I understand how important it is to build one’s career, but the importance of health is vital.

Be wise and cautious with your meals, especially for those who eat outside. Healthy meals alone are insufficient. Your body needs exercise to maintain an effective metabolism to keep you fit and healthy.

Undeniably, health is more important than wealth.

However, if one aims to achieve a stable life to retire happily, one can’t overlook the importance of saving. Adopting a frugal lifestyle is the right direction to go.

At the end of the day, it is not how much you earn that matters, it is how much you save for the future that counts.

By PATRICK TEH.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2018/01/321769/exercise-eat-well-and-save-regularly

Essential for kids to have business skills

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

ENTREPRENEURSHIP is a component that has been mentioned in the Standard Docu-ment for the English Language Curriculum for primary schools.

According to the Standard Document, fostering the entrepreneurial mindset among pupils at a young age is an essential “tool” in today’s competitive and global age.

Some of the elements that are linked to entrepreneurship are creativity, innovation and initiative, which are also attributes for personal fulfilment and success.

The elements of entrepreneurship are to be incorporated in English language lessons through relevant and meaningful activities.

The English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) in Enstek, Nilai organised an Outreach Carnival with the theme, “Entre-preneurship in the English Language Teaching Classroom” at its campus late last month.

It was in conjunction with World Book Day and Copyright Day.

Selected children from 12 primary schools in the vicinity and their teachers attended the two-day workshop-cum-presentation session.

Teacher trainees from IPG Kampus Teknik, and IPG Kampus Raja Melewar, both teacher education institutes in Negri Sembilan, were also invited for the event.

At the ELTC library, about 200 schoolchildren and 40 teacher trainees were exposed to the entrepreneurial elements through activities and workshops.

The teacher trainees in groups of five, were required to design a book cover. The maxim “do not judge a book by it’s cover” shows how important the cover of a book is for marketing purposes.

The teacher trainees were taught that resilience, creativity, self-belief and hard work were important skills to overcome life’s many hurdles and challenges.

The 200 children were placed in eight classrooms and were given entrepreneurial language activities.

by SAMUEL YESUIAH.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/05/08/essential-for-kids-to-have-business-skills/

Volunteer Programme Being Considered As Co-Curricular Activity In University – Rohani

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

News Pic

KUCHING, Feb 20 (Bernama) — Volunteer programme is being considered to be listed as part of co-curricular activities for university students in Malaysia, says Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.

She said the matter had even been discussed at the National Social Council’s meeting with the aim to lure more volunteers to help senior citizens and persons with disabilities (OKU) to live as normal life as possible.

“It is hoped that the move to make volunteer programme as part of co-curricular activities will provide early exposure to students that there are people that need to be helped in the country.

“This matter is still being discussed and scrutinised with the Education Ministry,” the minister told reporters after visiting old folks home at Rumah Seri Kenangan in conjunction with Chinese New Year in Kuching, Friday.

Rohani spent over an hour mingling and distributing ‘angpau’ packets to 59 senior citizens at the home. Also present was Sarawak Social Welfare Department director Abang Shamsudin Abang Seruji.

Commenting further, she said as at October last year, 1,841 volunteers had participated in the ministry’s Home Help Services, which offer help and assistance to senior citizens and OKU nationwide.

BERNAMA.

Read more @ http://education.bernama.com/index.php?sid=news_content&id=1110612

From a hobby into a money-making business

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

KOTA KINABALU: Started from the hobby of collecting old stamps, now a 62-year-old pensioner earns about RM80,000 a year selling old items which he has been collecting since he was a primary schoolboy.

The collector, who only wants to be known as Chong said what he is earning now, is equivalent to the a year’s salary drawn by a bank manager.

“It was just a hobby at first, but when I came out to the working world, I knew it has the chance to be a good business one day,” he said.

Chong said he only started to become a serious collector when he took over a close friend’s shop in Wisma Merdeka about six years ago.

Before he took over the business, he is only a stamp collector, but now, he is collecting various stuffs – from old bank notes, vintage cameras, old pots, and even vintage radios to record players.

His interest to collect old stuff grew into a larger scale now.

He never doubted his passion but Chong who used to work as insurance agent said he never have a second thought when he took over the shop.

“I was assured about the returns when I took up this business,“ he told New Sabah Times in an interview at his shop, Ocean Art Gallery.

Chong said he has seen his friends running the business for many years and although his friend is no longer operating the shop, he is still an active collector and do his business from home.

“I am confident in this business, it is easy and leisure business for me,” he said.

How does a collector actually earn through collecting, when asked. He giggled and said that if a collector just buys and collects old stuff, that person will run out of business in no time.

He explained that a collector don’t just collect stuff, they do trading too. “If there is an interested buyer, we will sell our collection,” he said.

“Of course we do feel sentimental when it is time to part with our collected items,” he added.

Chong who has been collecting stamps for more than 40 years now said though he invested his time, passion, and love into his stamps’ collection, he would still choose to let go when an interested party offers the best deal.

Read more @ http://www.newsabahtimes.com.my/nstweb/fullstory/83984

‘Scouts a good education tool’‘Scouts a good education tool’

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: The Prime Minister says voluntary and non-political youth movements can help educate young people and improve their potential.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said in a world of many challenges, such groups, including the Scout movement, serve as a platform to equip the young with skills and tools they need to thrive.

“We are always looking to improve youth education. Through various ministries like Youth and Sports, we have comprehensive and integrated programmes that continuously provide formal and non-formal education.

“Encouraging more Malaysians to join the Scout movement is part of our strategy,” he said at the opening of the World Scout Bureau Kuala Lumpur office.

The office serves as a shared ser­vice centre for the global operations of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, which was pre­viously located in Geneva.

Najib described the Scouts – with over 40 million members in 162 countries – as an important voluntary movement that operates regardless of gender, origin, race or creed.

Scouting, he said, was more than just camp fires, jack knives and learning to tie a reef knot, but also about educational experiences.

“The very mission of scouting is to contribute to the education of young people; to develop their full emotional, intellectual, physical, social and spiritual potential.

“It is a movement that is dedicated to bringing out the best in people, helping the young develop ethics, values, leadership skills and civic consciousness,” he said.

by Mazwin Nik Anis.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/06/19/Scouts-a-good-education-tool-Najib-urges-youths-to-improve-skills-via-volunteer-programmes/

The dying art of top spinning in Sabah

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

KOTA KINABALU: Children have played with spinning tops for hundreds of years – they are probably the oldest recorded toy – but in East Malaysia they have made spinning tops into an art form.

In Sabah, particularly in the district of Sipitang, which is located about three hours on land from Kota Kinabalu, the locals used to play the top or gasing in order to improve stamina prior to doing work in the rice fields. It is also a form of entertainment for the community.

Nowadays, top-spinning the gasing serves as a sport that brings the people together to enhance community spirit.

Although the rapid onslaught of information and communication technology looks set to render local cultures obsolete, one such person strives to make sure the gasing does not disappear with time.

Haji Hamit Sadan, 71, has been making the gasing since he was seven years old and learned it from his father.

His idea came when one day while making his way to the jungle at his hometown in Kampung Pantai Lama, Sipitang, he came across a fruit which resembled the shape of a gasing. The Kedayans called it “langguai ambuk”.

As he was curious about the unique shape of the fruit, he tried to spin it and was attracted by how it spun and thought that there had to be a way to make the gasing made out of the langguai ambuk spin perfectly.

He put a stick on the top of the fruit and it really stayed and spun for a longer time. That was how the local Sabah gasing was born.

Read more @ http://www.newsabahtimes.com.my/nstweb/fullstory/68787

Playtime for Grownups

Monday, October 22nd, 2012
Has anyone ever accused you of acting like a child? It’s about time they did! No one ever said adults had to be boring – try playing once in a while to improve your mood, your body and your mind, and you’ll never feel old again.
When was the last time you played? Not the last time you humored the kids while they smashed block castles, but actually dove into the activity and ran at the blocks yourself? If you’re like most adults, it’s probably been way too long. What are you waiting for? Is it because it seems childish? What’s wrong with being childish every once in a while? Where is it written that grownups have to be serious and sophisticated all the time?

Even wild animals play – birds get drunk on rotten berries, polar bears slide down frozen hills, dolphins leap for the simple joy of it. Playtime is how biological beings unwind, relax, and remember what it means to be alive – hint: it has nothing to do with money, bills or material things.

Play can be anything that makes you happy – in fact, if it’s not fun, it’s not play. You might enjoy playing tag, or you might prefer video games. Maybe Sudoku is your thing, or maybe you’ve never met a tree you didn’t want to climb. It doesn’t matter what it is. Make an effort to play for at least a little while every day and you will absolutely see your quality of life improve.

It’s Social – But It Doesn’t Have To Be

Having a strong social circle has been repeatedly linked to longer life, better health and increased happiness. Instead of sitting in a bar drinking with your friends, why not organize a snowball fight? Or an epic game of Capture the Flag? Or Hide and Seek? Or maybe an Angry Birds showdown? Any one of these things will cause more laughter, more exuberance and more bonding than sitting in the same dive, listening to the same music while presiding over the same drinks that you’ve done every weekend for years.

If you’re not the social type, don’t feel pressured to play with others. It’s perfectly fine to play alone. Try hiking a new trail or exploring a new part of town. Take your dog to the park and just be silly. Do whatever feels right, and who cares if people are looking? If it stresses you out, it’s not the right play for you.

Divorce Yourself From The Outcome

Grownups get into the habit of basing experiences on the outcome – “I’m not gonna do all that just for that!” – sound familiar? The point of play is the experience of doing it – not who wins or loses, not who’s the better player, not whether you might become an expert someday, and definitely not whether or not you could possibly make a career out of it. It’s about losing yourself in the action – diving in head first, not being necessarily good at it, and doing it anyway because it’s just so darn fun. It’s freeing, and it reminds you that you are so much more than a sum of your talents and abilities.

It Increases Your Activity Level – Or Not

Play, by default, can increase your daily activity levels without feeling like work or exercise. Even if you regularly work out, a rowdy game of “chase” with your toddler still counts toward your calorie burn. Even days where you don’t feel like going to the gym, you might still be up for a romp in the dog park or a game of pickup basketball. Just because it’s not an organized “workout” doesn’t mean it’s not good for your body. Get your muscles moving, your blood pumping, your joints lubricated and flexible, and you’ll feel young forever.

You Become The Master of Your Own Joy

We all experience joy in our lives, but too often it’s dependent upon others. You felt joy at your daughter’s wedding, then at your grandson’s birth. You felt joy when you won that award or got that coveted promotion. You felt joy when you came into money. While all of these things are great, not one of them is 100% under your control.

With play, all you have to do is make the decision to go play, make the commitment to give yourself over to it entirely, and the joy will come. You can grab a joy infusion anytime you want, and it doesn’t matter if your daughter’s even dating, or who else is in the running for the award, or whether there are jobs available in upper management, or whether great-aunt Lucy is still alive and kickin’.

by Buzzle staff.

Schools encouraged to set up cadet team

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

KOTA BELUD: The Education Department will support applications from secondary schools throughout the State to set up United Malaysian Cadet Team (UMCT) (Pasukan Kadet Bersatu Malaysia) in their schools.

“It is a good move to set up UMCT in secondary schools. Students’ participation can motivate them to improve their self esteem and disciplinary level, and help them to avoid unhealthy activities,” State Education Department director Datuk Dr Muhiddin Yusin told the New Sabah Times in an interview after closing a four-day UMCT camp at Paradise Camp here yesterday.

Muhiddin and Fifth Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier General Datuk Abdul Halim Haji Jalal jointly officiated at the closing ceremony.

The director also commended efforts by 600 students at the camp. They represent 11 secondary schools which cater for half a million students throughout the State.

Muhiddin said these participants were exposed to various physical trainings, obstacle courses and life after school challenges.

“I am confident that these students would become future leaders and valuable assets for the country,” he added.

Read more @ http://www.newsabahtimes.com.my/nstweb/fullstory/58032

The Importance of Extra Curricular Activities in School

Monday, January 30th, 2012

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!” ~Anonymous

Isn’t this age-old proverb rightly put? A student’s school days are some of the best days of his life. These days can never be complete without a little bit of sporty excitement, a bit of adventure and the crazy strokes of a painting class. Some of the best talents around the world, attribute their extra curricular activities as the roots of their academic and career success. If you are eager to know the secret of their success, then you should definitely read my article.

Why are Extra Curricular Activities Indispensable?

Help as Stress Buster
It is humanly impossible to be fully energetic with a single activity all through the day. Nowadays, the educational curriculum is vast and ever-expanding. This can create a lot of mental and physical stress as well as a mental block to take up a study routine day in and day out. Extra curricular activities like sports, music, arts, etc., exposes students to a variety of lighter activities that help let go the mental tension and stress of studying for a short period of time. In activities like sports, there is known to be a high rush of adrenaline which soothes the strained body even as it experiences physical exertion.

Improve Health
Schooling often tends to be sedentary in nature. The load of school schedule and heaps of homework often keeps students glued to their desks. Young children need a lot of physical activity to keep them physically fit. Extra curricular activities help curtail tendencies of obesity and health related issues amongst young children while improving the child’s immunity. Also, when students are engaged in outdoor activities, they are prone to receive sufficient quantity of Vitamin D which is essential for their physical growth and development.

Help Develop Multitasking and Time Management Skills
There is no better lesson than to learn the art of balancing studies and work along with other activities. Opting for multiple responsibilities from a young age creates an acute sense of time management as well. These skills accumulate over a period of time and mold the student’s mind for a brighter future.

Search Hidden Talents
Studies do have the capacity to improve a student’s skills. However, when students are actually exposed to new and variety of activities at a very young age, they may develop their own taste for the activity and thus, parents as well as teachers can search for student’s hidden likings and talents.

Develop Team Spirit
Most of the extra curricular activities like sports, debating, etc., can never be completed without the involvement of a lot of team members. When exposed to such teaming with like minds, there is seen to be an active exchange of creative ideas and the ability to work together as a team. This creates a sense of belonging, a sense of loyalty towards the team, and development of sporting spirit. Friendships thus formed, have often survived for a lifetime.

Develop Interpersonal Skills
Activities like public speech, social service, sports develop a student’s interpersonal skills so as help them be the masters of communication in their adult life. Crucial arts such as listening skills, leadership skills, stage confidence, negotiating skills, oratory skills and logical reasoning get developed in the students from a very young age.

Create Social Responsibility Sense
Exposure to activities like social service and volunteering helps students understand true social problems since a very young age. This is known to stir the humane side of students creating a sense of social responsibility and social justice in these young minds. Students might be guided by their teachers to help senior citizens and young helpless children by organizing social visits to old ages homes and orphanages respectively. Students with previous experience in social work have reported that they feel an acute sense of owing some of their precious time and energy to the welfare of the less advantaged people.

Help in Making Dual Careers
Bookish knowledge can never be complete without its actual application. Schools stress that students must engage themselves in lots of extra curricular activities for which they are awarded grades. Such work experience goes a long way into shaping the student’s career. The nurturing of a liking for these activities from a young age, may encourage these students to take up dual careers in their adult lives. e.g. – A student who had taken up painting as part of her extra curricular activity since early age, may balance her life between a professional career and painting as an alternate career during her adult life.

by Anuja Marathe Kanhere.

Read more @ http://www.buzzle.com/articles/the-importance-of-extra-curricular-activities-in-school.html