Archive for the ‘Literacy and Numeracy (Linus) Programme.’ Category

Encouraging children’s literacy skills through creative activities

Sunday, June 23rd, 2019

ASIDE FROM school teachers, parental guidance in introducing the concept of early literacy in fun ways is important. Early literacy skills are critical as it determines how well children learn reading and writing skills as better reading and writing skills help improve their academic achievement.

In regard to that, a senior lecturer of Universiti Malaya, Dr Mohd Nazri Rahman has taken the initiative to explore the uniqueness of Sabah’s traditional and cultural art by developing the Tuninipot Literacy-Creative Module for Children in Sabah.

This program (module) is a collaboration of the Universiti Malaya Community and Sustainability Center (UMCares) with the Department of National Unity and Integration (Sabah Branch); and the Institute of Teacher Education, Kent Campus, Tuaran.

Nazri further explained explained that the Tuninipot Module highlights the concept of Early Literacy through the traditional art of the Orang Asli community in Sabah.

Through this module, the Early Literacy skills have applied the basic techniques of early literacy teaching, which is the Sound-Word Combination Method (Ishak Haron, 2003) that is combined with the Basic Child Reading Method (Mohd Nazri Abdul Rahman, 2014).

“This module also provides children with the opportunity to learn the arts and culture of the Sabahans in an exciting and encouraging learning environment for children to read and write. This module highlights the tradition and culture of the community as a form of formal learning,” he said.

He added that through the implementation of this module, the early learning of literally does not only apply for teachers in school, but also involves parents’ commitment to teach their children to read at home.

Therefore, a workshop – ‘Teaching Children to Read Efficinetly’ – was held recently at Tadika Perpaduan Kampung Lohan, Kundasang, to help parents improve their knowledge in guiding children to read, write, and calculate at home.

Through this workshop, parents were exposed to the technique of teaching children reading through creative reading cards that can be practiced at home by parents.

What interesting was that the workshop involved of parents with their respective children which emphasised the techniques to guide children to read, write, and calculate through some fun activities in the Tuninipot Literacy-Creative Module.

Nazri also stated that the Tuninipot Module also features alphabets in the forms of creative designs based on the arts and culture of the Sabah community.

“This module also provides a new dimension in the relationship between parents, communities, and kindergarten schools in efforts to improve the children’s quality of education.

“Today, not many of us know and understand the traditional art and culture of the Sabahans. Thus, through this module, children have the opportunity to learn and experience to form alphabets using coconut leaves or painting, draw and design alphabet based on the traditional art and culture of the Sabah community.”

For Noor Baidareh Julubin, the implementation of the programme also provided new perspectives on early childhood education where the basic skills of the traditional arts and culture of Sabah society are combined with the basic skills of readers and writers.

“Even the elements of Sabah’s creativity such as weaving of coconut leaves and cinnamon, traditional songs, and folklore have developed the main source of the module.

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No more Linus programme in schools next year: D-G

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The Education Ministry will no longer conduct the Literacy and Numeracy Screening (Linus) programme in schools from next year, said its Director-General Datuk Dr Amin Senin (pic).Instead, he said, schools will determine their own ways to tackle learning difficulties faced by their students. “The ministry will always support any Linus activity, but the programme package by the ministry will be stopped,” he said after presenting his Executive Talk to staff of the Sabah Education Department, here, Friday.

The Linus programme was first introduced in 2009 under the Education National Key Results Area (NKRA) to tackle the problem of lack of mastery of the 3M skills more systematically among primary school pupils.

On the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) results this year, Amin said more pupils obtained A in all subjects, proving that the ministry was on the right track with its emphasis on minimum mastery and fun learning.”When we stressed on minimum mastery, fun learning and meaningful learning, we found that the number of ’straight As’ increased and many problems were resolved even though before this many people were worried about it,” said Amin.

“This shows that if we emphasises the real learning at the schools and make it fun and meaningful, it will end up solving a lot of our problems that we face. So this is a good sign we are on the right track.”

Amin said as a whole for the State, the number of “straight E’s” students (those who have not achieved the subject minimum mastery standards) had also dropped which was a good indicator.

“This means we have been successful in our strategy to reduce these ’straight E’s’.”Nevertheless, when we zoom in we find that certain subjects need more attention. For example, Maths and English are two subjects that we feel need more of our attention.

“We also have to look closer at districts here as we find there are certain districts that need our attention as we see the mastery of some subjects there are still at a minimum level.

“As such, I have asked the principals and the District Education Officers to give attention to subjects that have not achieved the minimum level and also (to give more) attention to these districts that need attention.”

by Neil Chan.

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The changing face of literacy

Monday, July 9th, 2018
(File pix) Reading is all about meaning-making.

IN Alberto Manguel’s bookA History of Reading (1996), the image of Gustav Adolph Hennig’s painting titled Reading Girl was selected as the illustration on its cover. With her eyes downcast almost to seem shut, the Reading Girl appears to be absorbed in a book. She cuts a familiar figure to portray the quintessential lone, almost motionless reader.

However, this image does not do justice to the complexities of reading. In fact, in his work, Manguel traces the human history of reading to demonstrate how it has changed over the centuries.

This has important implications for how reading, literacy and education are conceptualised in modern times.

In Malaysia’s post-14th General Election era, where political, social and economic changes are expected, her citizenry is optimistic about reforms that are expected to take place.

Particularly, Malaysians wait with bated breath to see how educational reforms will occur and anticipate how these reforms will affect their schools and students.

One area in which reform is much needed lies in the way reading and literacy is defined in the Malaysian educational landscape. Reading, defined by its basic function, means sounding out a written word or character, usually from a page of a book.

Yet, even as longitudinal, historical research reveals the changing face of human literacy, there is still a tendency in Malaysia to regard reading in narrow terms.

Taking the Malaysian context as an example, one can draw the conclusion that students experience school literacy largely in terms of its function. This is because students read in order to perform assessments.

In and of itself, this outcome is necessary and much lauded because basic literacy is to be expected.

In fact, this may have resulted in our present national youth literacy rate being recorded at an impressive 98 per cent. However, it may not have been sufficient to inculcate the love of reading in young Malaysians.

In trying to address this, the Education Ministry implemented the Nadi Ilmu Amalan Membaca project in national schools almost 20 years ago.

Still ongoing, the project rewards students for being widely read. Students are asked to keep a record of the books they read in a year. Details of book authors, number of pages read, name of publishers and book synopses are logged in.

While this project must be commended for its good intent, the act of rewarding reading through a narrow definition of what reading means could serve to discourage the formation of intrinsic reading choice.

This may also lead to some types of reading material being given more importance over others.

Even in young adults, the experience of reading is impossible to pin down. A collection of cross-continent research in a book entitled Young People Reading shows not only the surprising ways in which young people across the globe make meaning with multiple forms of texts and contexts, but advocates for why there be no boundaries in the first place .

The many in-depth studies in the book tell of the myriad ways in which young people choose to make meaning through multiple mediums in spite of external and often powerful impositions.

As such, today’s cutting-edge research in literacy proposes that traditional notions of reading should give way to new ideas about meaning-making.

Instead of thinking of reading as being about decoding words, it is more useful to understand reading as being about meaning-making.

This means that whether a child feels fear when reading words off a page of a horror storybook or understands that a bead of sweat on a comic character’s forehead denotes fear, it must be acknowledged that meaning-making has occurred

This new way of seeing literacy is important for our education system in terms of how teachers and students can co-create a potentially highly literate school environment, not by insisting on a narrow definition of reading, but by embracing new perspectives for how meaning-making can occur.

This can be done through collaborative efforts via school, community and even university partnerships represented on an infinite array of new medium, communicative platforms and creative technological methodologies.

By Dr Chong Su Li.

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Read, count and think critically

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017
(File pix) Digitalisation has simplified access to information and knowledge.

THE vision of a literate world has guided the United Nations in its efforts to eliminate illiteracy worldwide. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), the world literacy rate now stands at 91 per cent up from 79 per cent in 1980.

In the Arab region, the literacy rate is 86 per cent, a 22 per cent increase from 1980, when the literacy rate stood at 64 per cent. Although world society has witnessed significant progress in eradicating illiteracy, approximately 750 million adults and 264 million children worldwide are still considered illiterate. Thus, the cloud of world illiteracy overshadows the geography of world poverty.

Nonetheless, the Sustainable Development Goals have translated the vision of a literate world into a concrete action plan: Sustainable Development Goal 4.6 calls upon all member states of the United Nations to ensure that the youth, both men and women, “achieve literacy and numeracy” by 2030.

In the words of former secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan: “Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realise his or her full potential.”

The 2017 World Literacy Day addresses a subject that is even more important today owing to the digitalisation of our societies. This year’s theme, “Literacy in a Digital World”, explores the transformative power of information and communication technology in addressing illiteracy.


In my previous role as education minister in the United Arab Emirates, numerous initiatives and projects were implemented to empower youth through enhancing literacy in the age of information.

The vision was to enable youth to read, reflect and think as the first step towards building a society for the future. Eliminating illiteracy is an investment in educating humanity and in promoting a sustainable future. Access to technology is a prerequisite for a knowledge-based society.

The introduction of digital technologies — against the backdrop of globalisation — has brought people closer as communication and exchange of information have become seamless.

We are more connected than ever. In a heartbeat, we can buy our favourite book on the Internet, read articles on Kindle or even read newspapers on the airplane. The teaching environment in today’s modern classrooms has been transformed, thanks to the Internet. Students have access to the latest information technology to increase their learning capabilities and gain knowledge through electronic means.

Inevitably, digitalisation has simplified access to information and knowledge, and contributed to the alleviation of literacy at a faster rate than was the case in the past. Digitalisation has also facilitated the emergence of a new concept commonly referred to as digital literacy.

Cornell University in the United States defines the latter as “the ability to find, evaluate, utilise, share and create content using information technologies and the Internet”.

It has transformed our traditional understanding of literacy — the ability to read and write — to also include the capability of effectively using technological devices to communicate and access information.

Inevitably, the youth — at an early stage of life — are not adequately equipped with the required skills to critically analyse or question the validity of information available on the Internet.

In this regard, the youth are becoming vulnerable to the growing and alarming increase in self-radicalisation that occurs through the use of social media.

Online propaganda and ideological inspiration from sources controlled by right-wing and terrorist groups are increasingly exposing youth to heinous ideologies. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has repeatedly warned against the phenomenon of Internet radicalisation requiring “a proactive and coordinated response from member states”.

In world society’s attempts to address illiteracy, the ability to learn and write needs to also include critical thinking so as to avoid self-radicalisation, which is emerging as a major social ill.

We must respond to the rise of Internet radicalism that is emerging as an invisible force inciting the youth to join violent and radical groups, whether in the Middle East or in Europe.


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Further strengthening English language learning

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Education Ministry’s Curriculum Development Division deputy director (Humanities) Shamsuri Sujak

PUTRAJAYA: THE Education Ministry, in its efforts to help pupils acquire basic English language literacy, has taken the initiative to expand the Literacy and Numeracy Screening (LINUS) programme to include English literacy.

Based on the achievement of LINUS in 2012 with a performance close to 100 per cent for Bahasa Malaysia literacy and numeracy, LINUS2.0 was implemented as a support programme to further improve English literacy among pupils in their first three years of primary school education.

The Ministry’s Curriculum Development Division Deputy Director (Humanities) Shamsuri Sujak said the aim of LINUS2.0 was to ensure all pupils, except special needs students, master Bahasa Malaysia literacy, English literacy, and numeracy at the end of Year Three.

“Under LINUS2.0, pupils in Year One, Year Two and Year Three will be screened twice a year, first in March and then in September to determine if they are progressing in Bahasa Malaysia literacy, English literacy, and numeracy at an expected pace.

“Pupils who fall behind will have to go through remedial classes up until they are qualified to be placed in the mainstream curriculum.” Shamsuri, who is also the programme manager of LINUS2.0, said the objectives of the early intervention programme was to improve the quality of teaching and learning in English and also to increase the effectiveness of teaching and learning in remedial English classes.

“All pupils who have not mastered English literacy will be supplied the English Literacy Pupil’s Module while the teachers who conduct the classes would be supplied with English Literacy Teacher’s Module.

“These modules were developed by the Curriculum Development Division involving the English language lecturers from universities and teacher training institutes as well as English teachers.” He added that in order to implement the teaching and learning remedial class, all Level One English teachers would be given remedial English courses, namely the LINUS2.0 disclosure course, the use of the English literacy module as well as remedial English course.

“The achievement of LINUS2.0’s English literacy since it started last year has so far been excellent.

For instance, the Year One pupils in 2013 who had their second screening in September 2013, based on their Writing, Reading, Speaking and Listening skills, achieved 63.3 per cent as compared with 50.1 per cent for the baseline conducted in March 2013.

“We hope that by the end of Year 3, all pupils will be able to master English literacy,” he said.


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Improved Literacy and Numeracy Skills.

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: THE Education Ministry’s Literacy and Numeracy Screening (Linus) programme has helped provide a stronger foundation to students in their first three years of primary school education.

Kuala Selangor district education officer Rohaizan Shahid said under Linus 2.0 students in Year One to Three will be screened twice a year to determine if they are progressing in Bahasa Melayu literacy, English literacy and Mathematics at an expected pace.

The objective of the programme was to ensure the student will have the basic literacy and numeracy and helping those fall behind will catch up to the mainstream education.

The programme was taken a step further last year with earlier intervention measures introduced for students to ensure they are able to read and write, as well as possess basic arithmetic knowledge.

Rohaizan, who is also a Facilinus (Linus facilitator), said her role was to provide support to the teachers who were involved in the programme.

“There is one-on-one technique coaching and mentoring for teachers.

We were not just monitoring the teachers but also supporting and motivating them. We will also see where the strength of the teacher is and give them suggestions to further improve their teaching skills,” she said.

She said Facilinus have to attend at least two courses annually to develop themselves.

“The State Education Department will also hold meetings monthly to come up with strategies to help teachers and students. The District Education Office also supports the facilinus by advising them on the best possible methods to guide teachers,” she said.

Rohaizan said data collected has shown that the programme was successful as the number of students who could not master basic literacy and numeracy continued to drop every year.

“Last year, Kuala Selangor district recorded a 99.5 per cent success rate for Bahasa Melayu literacy and 99.7 per cent success rate for numeracy thanks to the various activities that had been carried out.

by Teoh Pei Ying.

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What teachers need to know about 21st Century Literacy.

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Technology is not only changing the way education is perceived of today but is redefining the overall education scope. It has created new sciences and reorganized the relationships between long-standing disciplines and fields of inquiry. It has also created new cultural representations and industries. At this historical moment ,  knowledge itself is in transition as new systems for the generation, systematization, surveillance, and management of knowledge are beign created.

The questions worth posing here are: does literacy have the same meaning it had in the last century? Do we need a new literacy ? what is it to be a 21 st century literate ? is reading text and communicating a good and clear spoken language enough to define literacy ? What are the prerequisites of the 21st century literacy ? Is digital literacy part of it ? are we in front of one literacy or multiple literacies ?

These questions and many others are the centre of hot and rigorous debates inside the educational spheres and policy maker salons.

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Helping Students Find Their Writing Voices

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012
Students often have a difficult time finding their unique voice and style while writing. Help them out with these simple tips.

One of the most frustrating things for writing teachers is reading papers that simply lack style. When all of the research has been completed and incorporated into the paper correctly and all of the sentences are structured well, but the paper lacks some pizazz, it can be boring to grade. Similarly, when you know a student has a great personality, but that isn’t showing up in his or her writing, it can be upsetting to know that your students can do so, much better. If you are searching for ways to help your students find their voices, try stepping back from the analytical papers. When they write about themselves, students’ voices often shine through.

Who are You?

One of the most difficult questions for students to answer is: “Who are you?” Of course, they can give you their name, age, date of birth, and all sorts of other pertinent biographical information. However, when it gets down to the nitty-gritty stuff about what motivates them and makes them tick, this can be a difficult question to answer. Have your students explore who they are and what makes them unique. In doing this, through writing, students will start to see their personalities differently and, hopefully, be able to add a little flair to their writing. Furthermore, you can have students take on different, silly personalities in their writing. If they were an animal, who would they be? If they were a book, who would they be? Doing this can help your students break their comfort zones and think about their personalities differently.

Dear John

Writing letters is a great way for students to explore their writing passion. Have them write to a famous person they’ve always admired, and then the one they absolutely hate. Explore how their language changes between the two letters. Have them write to a family member, or a teacher. Talk about what differences in language they see as their audience change. When students know their audiences, it is much easier for them to add the kind of personality their audience wants to see. When you have them write a paper, then, have them define who they are writing it for before they even start. Then, reference the letters they wrote to give them an idea of what voice to use.

What Matters to You?

When students write about what matters most to them, they will often give you the best writing you’ve ever seen. Passionate responses are usually well-written responses, and you’ll get those when you ask questions that hit home. At the very least, when students have something to say about a given topic, it can be easier for them to get their ideas down, then work on their writing style.

Get the Words on Paper, Then Edit Them

The most valuable lesson students can learn is to write first, and edit later. Often, students think that, if the words don’t come out perfectly the first time, then they shouldn’t even write them down. More dangerously, students sometimes think that whatever comes out on the page the first time, is the end result of paper writing. To help with this, have students write nonstop for five minutes about their topics.

by Buzzle Staff.

LINUS programme records outstanding success

Friday, November 30th, 2012

KOTA KINABALU: The Literacy and Numeracy Screening (LINUS) programme has recorded a 99.8 per cent success rate for English literacy and 99.9 per cent success rate for numeracy this year.

The exemplary results from the initial LINUS programme have prompted the ministry to introduce LINUS 2.0, which includes Basic Literacy in English in 2013.

Director General of Education Malaysia, Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud said that LINUS 2.0 was part of the National Education Blueprint 2012, meant to tackle the problems with English literacy among students.

“The progress achieved has also contributed to the economic development and rising living standards, irrespective of race,” he said.

He added that according to UNESCO, every 1 per cent increase in literacy would contribute to an increase of 2.5 per cent of the Gross National Product (GNP).

He also mentioned in his speech that teachers play an important role to ensure the success of the individual and the achievement of national education goals.

“Without teachers who are committed, LINUS facilitators (FasiLINUS) would not be able to record such an excellent achievement in literacy and numeracy,” said Abd Ghafar.

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LINUS programme to detect dyslexia symptoms

Monday, October 8th, 2012

KUCHING: The Education Ministry, through the Literacy and Numeracy Screening (LINUS) programme, has established an early detection ground for dyslexic students to ensure help is provided at an early stage.

All Year 1 to Year 3 students have to undergo a LINUS test to determine their level of competency in reading, writing and arithmetic (3R).

The Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah has shared that this system is trusted to be able to provide an early detection of children with dyslexia symptoms so they can be provided with special education to help them cope with their education needs.

“More public awareness needs to be created to help children with dyslexia in this state.

“They are intelligent but they sometimes find it hard to communicate or have problems with spelling.

“At times, our children are immediately accused of being slow, lazy and frequently punished in school because they fail to master reading and spelling.

“This is down to the teachers not being able to detect that those children may be troubled by dyslexia,” she said during a visit to the Dyslexia Association of Sarawak (DASwk) at their office.

In light of the situation, Fatimah has requested DASwk to step up efforts to create awareness and understanding among the society on dyslexia.

Online rehabilitation efforts should also be introduced to guide parents and teachers to assist children with dyslexia.

Awareness and information on rehabilitation should be shared with teachers in schools and parents who have children experiencing dyslexia,” she said.

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