Archive for April, 2013

State VVIP visited SIDMA College UNITAR International University Sabah Information Booth

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

State VVIP YB Datuk Masidi Manjun, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah, visited SIDMA College, UNITAR International University Sabah Information Booth that was set-up in conjunction with “Ranau Career and Education Fair” held at Ranau Community Centre on 23 April 2013.

The event was organized by Human Resource Development Department (Jabatan Pembangunan Sumber Manusia) and Ranau District Council (Majlis Daerah Ranau) and SIDMA College, UNITAR Sabah was among the local colleges and universities being invited to set up an information booth during the occasion.

YB Datuk Masidi, after officiating the event, visited SIDMA Information Booth which displayed documents intended to disseminate information related to courses offered at the college.

SIDMA College, being a UNITAR International University Regional Centre, currently offers the following UNITAR courses:

a. Foundation Courses:

Foundation of Management

b. Diploma Courses:

Diploma in Management
Diploma in Early Childhood Education.

c. Bachelor Degree Courses:

Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood)
Bachelor of Education (Hons)
Bachelor of Management (Hons)
Bachelor of Business Administration (Hons)
Bachelor of Hospitality and Management (Hons)

d. Master Courses:

Master of Business Administration
Master of Education (Educational Leadership and Management

SIDMA College also offers SIDMA’s home-grown Diploma Course i.e. Diploma in Early Childhood Education.

Currently, SIDMA College also collaborated with Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS) to offer Diploma in Paramedic Sciences. Through this collaboration, more courses from CUCMS are expected to be introduced in the near future.

The general public who would like to know more about courses offered at SIDMA College may contact Ms Caprisandy (Registrar) at 088-732000 or 088-732020.

More information about courses offered at SIDMA College can be obtained from the college website:

Earlier in his speech, YB Datuk Masidi advised all students who have successfully completed their Form V or Form VI education, to further their education at tertiary level in any of the of our local colleges or universities. He also advised them to make full use of the financial assistance provided by the government (i.e PTPTN, etc.) wisely.


5 Tips on how to give Engaging Presentations

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Giving presentations is an art that can be learned through practice,  trial and error. I am pretty  sure that everyone of you have done some presenting either in front of a small group of colleagues ( e.g. at school ) or facing a bigger crowd such as the case in conferences and public speaking sessions. The degree of anxiety and stage-fright a presenter feels  varies according to several reasons most important of them is experience. Experienced presenters rarely evoke such feelings but again experience comes with time and again PRACTICE.

Today,  I am sharing with you some great tips on how to deliver an engaging presentation which I have learned from  professor Tanya. I have made a short slideshow featuring these 5 tips. Feel free to use and share the slides with your colleagues.

Here is a run-down of the five tips mentioned in the slide :

  • Never use less than 24 point font. If you use smaller font, people will not be able to see your information and you will have too much information on the slide.
  • Use bullet points. Slides do not need full sentences, and should never have a paragraph full of information.
  • Use images effectively. You should have as little text as possible on the slide. One way to accomplish this is to have images on each slide, accompanied by a small amount of text.
  • Never put your presentation on the slides and read from the slides.
  • Do not have too many slides. Definitely do not have more than one slide per minute of presentation.

by Med Kharbach.

Read more @

Prof. Dr. Morni – Forum panel during Malaysian School Principals Conference

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Prof. Dr. Morni Hj Kambrie; Chairman, SIDMA College, UNITAR International University Sabah Regional Centre, was invited to give his view as forum panel during the 52nd Malaysian Secondary School Principals Conference. The conference, which was attended by about 800 school principals throughout the nation, was held at Promenade Hotel, Kota Kinabalu from 22nd to 25th April 2013.

YAB Tan Sri Dato Hj Muhyiddin Hj Yassin, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister officiated the conference on 23rd April 2013.

A forum  held immediately after the opening ceremony to discuss on the conference theme “Excellence Leadership initiates Quality Education” (Kepimpinan Berprestasi Tinggi Menjana Pendidikan Berkualiti). Dr. Morni was assigned to give his view on “The Quality of School Based Assessment” (Kualiti Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah).

School Based Assessment is basically the abilities of school based leaders (classroom teachers) to introduce, monitor, guide, assess, record and report the however small or gradual improvement / progress made (attempt to make) by each and every child in their care.

It is the need of every teacher to provide the necessary tools, to assist, to aid, to guide, and to assess key potentials / competencies in every child, including their effective communication, decision making, thinking skills, team work, focus, impersonal skills and more, thus “able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, society and nation at large” (NPME).

Two other speakers in the panel were (i) Y. Bhg. Dato’ Mohd Ghazali Abdul Rahman, (Pengarah, Bahagian Pendidikan Guru, Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia) and (ii) Y Bhg Dr. Nai’mah Ishak, (Pengarah, Lembaga Peperiksaan Malaysia).

One of the current National Educational Reforms is the introduction of a reliable and appropriate school based assessment system to minimize the dependency of the centralized public examination system.

The rational behind the implementation of School Based Assessment is basically to achieve the aspiration of Malaysian (National) Philosophy of Education that is “developing the potential of individuals in a holistic and integrated manner, so as to produce individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and harmonic..” (National Philosophy of Malaysian Education).

The conference secretariat has selected a very relevant figure to talk on the topic as Prof Dr. Morni success began from a very simple and humble “Kampung” boy from Sarawak.

Holding dearly to his vision of earning a Doctorate (Dr) title; he even had to work to pay for his school fees, especially while he was studying for his MBA (General Management and Mis) from Stirling University, Scotland, and prior to receiving his Ph.D (Entrepreneurship) also from Stirling University, Scotland (1990).

Despite being a Ph.D graduate from England, he speaks well in Bahasa Malaysia and in his local dialect. He also leads prayer sessions in mosque and during other prayer recitation programmes. Dr. Morni is a carefree person, who can dance, sing, jokes, thus can fit in very well in the society.

Prior to establishing SIDMA, Prof has worked at SADC, Sarawak Chief Minister’s Department, a Consultant to the Philippines Government (1994-1995) and more.

The Management of SIDMA College, UNITAR International University Sabah conveyed their sincere thanks and appreciation to Mr. Liasin Bin Kaloh, President of Sabah Secondary Schools Principal Association, and its committee for inviting Prof Dr. Morni to be one of the panel for the forum in the 52nd Malaysian Secondary School Principals Conference.

Read more @

The fine art of remembering

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

STANDING out like s sore thumb has practical applications. It is an effective imagery, an aphorism that works.Men, women, girls, children, rhinoceroses, adolescents. The rhinoceros will jump out when you try to recall the list because it’s the oddity in the crowd, an animal among human beings.

Whether you remember it because it is different or because it stands out is the finer point of the argument, but you will see it used to great advantage in advertising. It may be a dromedary smoking a cigarette (Camel, of course) and your mind intuitively tries to make sense of this incongruity. The image sticks, the advertisement works.

Another experiment, this time a list of similar items (let’s say fruits) is handed out. One of them is highlighted in bright green. As expected, that’s the one that sticks in the mind. This is an observation that was made by Hedwig von Restorff in 1933 in studies conducted at the University of Berlin. She discovered that it was easier to remember an item that was isolated from a crowded or homogeneous background. The effect is now known as the von Restorff effect.

Consider the von Restorff effect in learning. Teachers can use it to advantage by repeating a point in a talk, calling it back again and again to make it stand out. Another way is by turning something memorable by using humour. People never forget something that is funny or that has funny associations. Some experts in memory remember things by using absurd  associations, the absurdity makes the item stand out.

The trigger for the von Restorff effect may go back to ancient times, when we had to be observant in order to survive. In a landscape of grass, the mind looked for things that did not fit, the shape of a lion perhaps, the stripes on the tiger as opposed to the sloping lines of the sugar cane.

Many students use the von Restorff effect instinctively, by underlining important phrases or key sentences. Some use highlighters to make the sentence stand out, but the mistake may be in overdoing the exercise, by underlining too much so that the variety is lost. It has been shown in experiments that lecturers who hand out lecture notes with underlined important parts also help students to remember.

The way our memory and attention work is oftentimes by association, but also by jolts. The out of the ordinary, the bizarre, the outstanding (sore thumb) will stand out.

According to legend, Simonides of Ceos, the Greek poet, was saved by a tap — on his shoulder — as he sat down after delivering an ode in praise of a nobleman in a banquet. Someone tapped him on the shoulder to tell him that two men were waiting to speak to him outside. Simonides left the room just in time to avoid being crushed to death by falling lintels and pillars as the banqueting hall collapsed.

by Wan A. Hulaimi .

Pressure perfect

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Sometimes we have to come down hard on our children and colleagues to attain the high standards and outcomes that we all desire.

I WAS seated in a South Indian restaurant in Taiping some time ago, when I saw an elderly Punjabi man arrive on his bicycle to buy two pieces of chapatti for himself.

I heard the waiter asking him if he wanted the chapatti to be heated.

The man nodded. Soon, the two pieces of bread were placed on the round griddle used to make roti canai and thosai.

The man then took it upon himself to take a wad of tissue from the counter and using this, he began to press the chapatti on the hot pan.

Every now and then, he inspected the chapattis. Only when they had both been thoroughly cooked to his satisfaction did he allow the waiter to have them packed.

I smiled when I saw this as I understood his actions.

Anyone who enjoys a good chapatti must understand how it is cooked.

When it is on the griddle, not only must the griddle be hot, the chapatti on it must also be pressed to ensure that every part of its surface comes into contact with the hot surface of the flat pan.

In expert hands, this takes micro-seconds!

When I began making chappattis at the age of 13, my eldest sister taught me how to identify the areas to press and how much pressure to apply.

On top of that, I had to be pretty quick to prevent the bread from getting burnt.

She also cautioned me to handle the areas of the bread which swelled carefully.

Puncture these by accident and you will get a hand scalded by escaping hot air!

People always say that practice makes perfect but I have learnt from my time in the kitchen that perfection is actually the result of the “right” practice.

Getting it right

You have to do the “right” thing over and over again to get good results.

Even in cooking this flat bread, I had to painstakingly learn how to be both effective and efficient.

by Nithya Sidhhu.

Read more @

How well do you speak?

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Speaking isn’t just about stringing words in a sentence. It’s also about pronouncing it right.

HOW can I quickly improve my English?”

This is a commonly asked question and the general response is usually “Focus on enhancing your personal macro English skills”.

The productive macro skills are Speaking, Writing and Interpreting, while the receptive ones are Reading, Listening and Viewing.

To raise one’s personal speaking prowess, it is important to improve one’s pronunciation knowledge and understand how English words are traditionally pronounced.

Another recommendation would be to focus on the spelling of the word.

Enhancing pronunciation is almost always the first and foremost imperative for a non-primary English language speaker because as soon as a person opens his or her mouth and begins to converse in English, listeners, intentionally and unintentionally, begin to make mental judgments about that person’s English language proficiency.

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter at all if a person makes grammatical mistakes or pronounces words wrongly but other times, particularly in situations where English is a communicative prerequisite, it does.

There are occasions when speaking errors made in grammar, pronunciation and stress can be quite embarrassing, not only for the speakers themselves but also for the people with them at the time or, occupationally, for the entity they represent or for whom they work.

For example, to ask, “Who are you attending the conference with?” will rarely “raise an eyebrow” even though in traditional English, one should ask, “With whom are you attending the conference?”

by Keith Wright, the author and creator of the 4S Approach To Literacy and Language (4S).

Read more @

English test for young teens

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

EDUCATIONAL Testing Service (ETS) and Eshia & Associates Sdn Bhd have entered into an agreement for the distribution of the TOEFL Junior Standard test in the Malaysian market.

The test offers an objective and reliable way to measure the English skills of students aged between 11 and 15.

“With the announcement of the TOEFL Junior Standard test in Malaysia, we look forward to working together with Eshia to assist younger students in the advancement of English language learning,” said Jennifer Brown who is executive director of the TOEFL programme at ETS.

The TOEFL Junior Standard test is offered in paper-based format and measures reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and language form and meaning.

Scores are mapped to Common European Framework of Reference for Languages levels, allowing students, parents and teachers to gauge achievement against an international standard.

The test can also be used to make placement decisions and monitor progress in English language programmes.

Read more @

8 Characteristics of the 21 Century Teacher.

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Below are SOME of the characteristics of the 21st century teacher and educator you need to keep in mind. I know some of you do not agree with describing and categorizing  teachers as being 20th or 21st century but I personally do believe in this classification .Any teacher who is using traditional methods in teaching is a 21th century teacher even though he or she is living in the 21st century. I know I will get some very mad responses but I am used to them I do love criticism when it is constructive.
Check out the concept map Andrew created featuring 8 characteristics of the 21st century educator.

by Andrew Churches.

Read more @

A deadly mode, but motorcycles hugely popular

Friday, April 26th, 2013

WORRYING TREND: Malaysia has a high rate of fatalities among motorcyclists in the Asean region.

MALAYSIA has the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of deaths from vehi- cular accidents among Asean member countries.

This is surprising given Malaysia’s higher economic development status and superior quality road system than other Asean members except Singapore.

According to a 2009 World Health Organisation report “Global Status Report on Road Safety: Time for Action”, Malaysia has 26.3 fatalities per 1,000 persons.

Passengers and drivers of motorised two to three-wheelers (motorbikes) accounted for a higher proportion of fatalities followed by passenger cars.

Their fatality rates were 58 percent and 23.3 per cent respectively. This is given the fact that Malaysia has a registered vehicle size of about 16.8 million in 2007 of which 47 per cent were motorbikes and 45 per cent were passenger cars. The 2010 data from the Transport Ministry shows that Malaysia’s fatality rate has increased to 23.7 per 1,000 persons with a vehicle size of 20.2 million.

In the same WHO report, the Philippines has a vehicle fatality rate of 20 per 1,000 persons, but other details are not available.

Third on the list is Thailand with a fatality rate of 19.6 per 1,000 persons of which motorbikes accounted for 70 per cent of the fatalities. This is not surprising as motorbikes constitute 63 per cent of the 25.6 million vehicles in Thailand.

Next on the list is Indonesia with a fatality rate of 16.2 per 1,000 persons.

Again motorbikes accounted for 61 per cent of the fatalities. Indonesia has a vehicular size of 72.7 million of which 71 per cent are motorbikes.

by Dr Chew Cheng Sim.

Read more @

Women still running behind

Friday, April 26th, 2013

ONCE again, we are in election mode and once again, candidate lists are checked to see who might be running our country next.

Some old faces are gone, some are still there but there are also many new ones.

Perhaps, there is also more drama this time, what with people who were expected to stand missing, standing as independents and other bizarre cases.

Elections are obviously when you get to know the true nature of people.

As always, I scrutinised the lists to see how many women are standing this time.

The Election Commission says that there has been a 40% increase in the number of women candidates this time.

It looked like women are finally given the chance they deserve to represent half the population.

But upon closer inspection, the numbers are not as pleasing as they may seem.

Yes, the overall numbers of women candidates have increased.

But as a percentage of the total number of candidates, they still make up only about 10% of those in the running.

This is extremely disappointing.

In the last Parliament, women made up only 10% of the total number of MPs while in the state assemblies, women made up a dismal 8%.

This is far below the 30% allocation for women designated in the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women which Malaysia has signed and promised to implement.

by Marina Mahathir.

Read more @