Archive for October, 2015

Dept outlines criteria for 300 schools to conduct classes in English and Bahasa

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

PETALING JAYA: The 300 schools involved in the Dual Language Programme (DLP) must meet three criteria – proper resources, teachers who can teach in English and Bahasa Malaysia and parents who are supportive.

Education director-general Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof, who disclosed this, said the selected schools could offer the programme to Years One and Four pupils and Form One students next year.

He also said the schools would be chosen based on “demand” by parents and school heads, besides readiness to offer the programme.

For a start, Dr Khair said the programme will be carried out in national primary and secondary schools.

Science, Mathematics, Infor­mation Technology and Commu­nication, and Design and Technology would be offered in both languages.

“The programme is in line with the Government’s objective to improve the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects,” he said in a statement.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced when tabling Budget 2016 that DLP would be offered in 300 schools.

He also announced that a Highly Immersive Programme (HIP) would be carried out.

Both programmes are part of the Government’s efforts to uphold Bahasa Malaysia while strengthening the usage of the English Language.

Dr Khair said HIP would be a programme to improve students’ English language skills by increasing its use.

Read more @

Cautiously excited over dual language move

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

PETALING JAYA: Parents are excited but apprehensive about the implementation of the Dual Language Programme (DLP).

Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said one of the conditions set by the Education Ministry was that parents should be supportive of the programme.

“We hope parents will be more assertive and express their wish for their children’s education as stipulated in the Education Act.”

Noor Azimah also believed that this programme was a more sustainable approach to teaching the chosen subjects in English.

“This is more subtle and gradual. It also enables parents to choose the medium and take responsibility for their decisions.”

The DLP is a programme where schools will be given the option to teach Science, Mathematics, Information Technology and Communication and Design and Technology in English or Bahasa Malaysia.

DLP will be offered to Year One and Year Four pupils, and Form One students.

The programme is part of the Government’s efforts to uphold Bahasa Malaysia while strengthening the usage of English.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said during the tabling of Budget 2016 that DLP would be offered in 300 pilot schools.

Parent S. Rajalakshmi, 36, whose daughter will be entering Form One next year, said she strongly supported the initiative.

She said her daughter, who is studying some of her subjects in English, would be confused if she had to study them in Bahasa Malaysia upon entering Form One.

June Lim Yu Mei, 40, who has a daughter in Year One and a son in Year Four at a Chinese school, said this was a step forward.

However, Lim expressed some concerns, including how well-trained and prepared the teachers were in teaching these subjects in English.

Parent Melissa Aminuddin said she was wary about its implementation.


Read more @

D-G: Schools can apply to join DLP

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

PUTRAJAYA: If you meet the criteria, join the programme.

Education director-general Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof (pic) said schools wanting to be part of the Dual Language Programme (DLP) were welcome to submit their application, even if they were not part of the 300 schools chosen for the pilot project.

“They must convey their interest to the district education office,” he told The Starin an interview at his office.

The district education office will then submit the application to the state education department, which will verify whether the school is ready for the programme.

The ministry, he said, had identified the 300 schools through an English lab organised by the Per­for­mance Management and Delivery Unit (Peman­du).

“The lab identified schools nationwide that are still offering the subjects in both languages,” he said, adding that most of the schools were from urban areas.

Currently, DLP will only be offered to government national schools that meet three criteria – proper resources, teachers who can teach in English and Bahasa Malay­sia, and parents who are supportive of the programme.

When asked if vernacular schools could take part in the programme, Dr Khair said they could as long as they met the Bahasa Malaysia mastery levels set by the Education Ministry.

He said there would be varying degrees of DLP offered in schools.

He explained that the school might have one class conducted fully in English and others in both languages.

Under DLP, schools will be given the option to teach Science, Mathe­matics, In­­for­mation Technology and Commu­nication, and Design and Technology in English or Bahasa Malaysia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that DLP would be offered in 300 pilot schools, when tabling Budget 2016.


Read more @

Calls for a Chinese secondary school grow

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisations, Chinese groups, residents and parents in Bercham are hoping for the Perak government’s approval for building a Chinese secondary school in the residential area.

With the approval, they believe students will be able to continue their secondary school studies swiftly in the Chinese medium.

Currently, Bercham has over 200,000 residents, with 90% of them Chinese.

There is only one Chinese primary school there – SJK Bercham – and two national schools.

Malaysia SMJK Development Committee chairman Lim Eng Hua was present to witness a dialogue between the groups, Bercham assemblyman Cheong Chee Khing and Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran last Sunday.

In his speech, Lim said the committee has constantly lobbied for the proposal to build a Chinese secondary school here, but sadly, efforts have been fruitless so far.

“The success of this proposal now depends on the unity and sincerity of all Bercham residents.

“Our committee will be behind them every step of the way,” he said. Lim said he was pleased to see so many residents and representatives coming to the dialogue to express their agreement to the proposal, because it was a matter concerning the future of children in the area.

“It is quite worrisome to know that some Chinese school kids who go on to national secondary schools drop out as they are unable to cope with the change in the language of instruction.

“Now that our country has 79 vernacular schools, with two of them still under construction, I think this proposal will not be impossible with the sincerity shown from Bercham residents,” he said.

Read more @

Decision soon on hiring of English teachers from India

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

THE recruitment of trained English teachers from India under the School Improvement Specialist Coaches (SISC +) programme will be finalised soon. Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan said in parliament that teachers would be placed in several rural schools across the country, including “hot spot” schools to help raise the competency level of local English teachers in line with the Upholding Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthening English (MBMMBI) policy.

“It had been on the ministry’s agenda to bring in trained teachers from India in the near future, to improve the command of the language in rural schools in the country,” he said.

Kamalanathan said with the SISC+ programme, teachers would be made aware of effective teaching practices and ways of managing the classrooms more efficiently.

He also said that there were some “encouraging early achievements” with the first wave of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 coming to an end.

“Of the 1.3 million pupils who went through the Literacy and Numeracy (Linus) programme 2.0 screening programme last year, 98.7% of Year Three pupils succeeded in mastering basic Malay language literacy, 99% in basic numeracy, while 83% of Year Two pupils mastered basic English literacy,” he said.

He added that last year, a total of 62 intervention modules from Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) were developed as a long-term measure in setting national curriculum standards and assessments.

Kamalanathan said in an effort to elevate the teaching profession, requirements for recruitment of new teachers had been tightened and 100% of new teachers recruited last year obtained at least 5As in theSPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia).

“Those who signed up for Teaching English as a Second Language or TESL programme are required to attain grade A in English,” he said.

Read more @


Saturday, October 31st, 2015

KOTA KINABALU: Seventeen secondary school principals in Sabah were rewarded with New Deals for outstanding performance under the Education National Key Results Area (NKRA).

Announcing this yesterday, state Education director, Datuk Jame Alip said that this is a great achievement for the principals and their schools’ staff members.

“This means a lot for Sabah because we have the most principals receiving this award compared to other states. “It is also worth noting that Papar District Education Office has four recipients,” he told a press conference at Wisma Pendidikan in Likas here.

According to him, a total of 97 secondary principals throughout the country were awarded with the New Deals where 17 were from Sabah, 13 from Kelantan, 12 each from Kedah and Perak, eight each from Selangor and Negeri Sembilan, five each from Pahang and Sarawak, four each from Terengganu, Penang, and Johor, two each from Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, and one from Labuan.

The recipients are principals of SMK Kinarut, Papar, SMK Pengiran Omar 2, Sipitang, SMK Beaufort, Beaufort, SMK Beaufort 3, Beaufort, SMKBongawan 2, Papar, SMK Bongawan, Papar, and SMK Bengkongan, Kota Marudu. Others are SMK Balaban Jaya, Beluran, SMK Abaka, Tawau,SMK Ulu Sapi, Telupid, SMK Sandakan, Sandakan, SMK Kundasang, Ranau, SMK Takis, Papar, SMK Nambayan, Tambunan, SMK Gunsanad 2, Keningau, SMK Sri Nangka, Tuaran, and SMK Sindumin, Sipitang.

“Each of these principals will get cash reward of RM7,500, 62 of the teachers of these schools will get RM1,800 each, 1,131 of the teachers will get RM900 each, while all 227 non-academic staff members of the schools will get RM500 each.

“Collectively, all 17 schools will get a total of RM1,413,790 in cash reward,” Jame added. Meanwhile at the same event, he also announced that the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination will start from Nov 2 till Dec 8.

He said that within the same period, the Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) and Malaysian University English Test (MUET) will also be conducted.

“I’d like to stress here that I expect maximum integrity from the invigilators and all involved. This duty is a responsibility and it has to be carried out with integrity.

“The state Education Department has also prepared special operations such as Ops Payung and Ops Topeng to face any eventuality particularly flood and haze, so candidates can continue to sit for the exams.


Read more @

SAM is now in Kota Kinabalu

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

KOTA KINABALU: Singapore Maths learning has arrived in the State capital with the franchisee, SAM, opening its doors at 88 Market Place.

“In Singapore Maths, we don’t just go through worksheets! SAMencourages learning through concrete, pictorial and abstract approach, where teachers are free to use any tools that children are familiar and love, to learn the concept of Maths.

Maths is about understanding and thinking development if children learn it the right way. Maths should not be learned through rote based memorization and procedurally. If they have to memorize and strictly follow rules without understanding it, they are no different from robot or calculator.”

Young children need the imagination to visualize word problems. Visualization helps children understand word problems. At SAM, we ask children to draw as we tell the word problems as stories.

Many of the Singapore top primary school students are given access to e-learning on top of classroom homework to differentiate the learning. Similar approaches are being adopted by top schools in US, Europe, and even our international schools.

SAM is pleased to announce that all our students will be given access to Matholia Singapore Maths e-learning tool, to provide the differentiation and to help our students to accelerate their Maths learning. Weaker students will learn more and quicker while stronger students will have the chance to learn beyond.

Identified by key experts as the 21st century model for education, Blended Learning is a new way of learning, with a mix of traditional pedagogical methods and new learning technologies.

Read more @

Sharks hunted in Sabah

Friday, October 30th, 2015

KOTA KINABALU: The sight of hundreds of shark fins being dried in the open outside a shop here is further evidence of the marine creature being intentionally hunted down, Sabah Shark Protection Association (SSPA) chairman Aderick Chong said.

Chong, who went to the shop yesterday after receiving photographs of the fins, estimated that they were stripped from at least several hundred sharks.

The fins, he said, were being sold at between RM1,000 and RM1,300 or more depending on their size.

“The sheer number of the fins indicates there is a supply chain from the sea to the shops,” he said in an interview.

He said the large quantity of the fins being displayed in the open also appeared to ignore Sabah’s stand of pushing for shark conservation.

Chong said a shop assistant acknowledged that the shark fins were sourced locally from Sabah but claimed that most of them were old stock dating back to 2010.

“I find that difficult to believe,” Chong said.

Last month, Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the Sabah government’s request for a ban on shark hunting and finning in the state was unnecessary.


Read more @

Public universities feel the pinch

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

DEAR, oh dear, Budget 2016 has not been kind to public universities at all. There has been an average cut of 15% for all university funding. Some unlucky ones have their budget slashed by as much as 27%.

Naturally, there have been some rumblings, namely that such cuts are inconsistent with the Govern­ment’s claim that we are going to produce world-class universities, on par with Oxford no less.

How can such a thing be done if we spend less money on our universities?

Actually, this cut does not come as a surprise to me at all.

The Government has been saying it wants to do this for many years already. In fact, we can expect even more cuts over the next few years.

One of the reasons why they want to spend less money on universities is because they believe that universities should be autonomous.

This may sound a bit weird and that is because it is.

You see, when one talks about autonomy in the context of higher education, what it means is that institutions of higher learning are relatively free to manage themselves, determine their academic policies and have their own educational values free from state interference.

However, when the Government talks about university autonomy, what they mean is that the universities are free from government funding.

I kid you not, they view economic autonomy as a value in itself.

Therefore, by cutting university funding, universities are less dependent on Government for money and they become more autonomous; isn’t that what academics have been screaming for all these years? We should rejoice.

Of course they say nothing about the increase of any real academic autonomy with the reduction of funds; where the poorer we become, the less they will interfere in our campuses.

But then, that would just be asking for too much.

Therefore, we have a situation where universities will get progressively less money but the Govern­ment will still have all sorts of influence in our affairs.


Read more @

Critical To Improve Quality Of English Language Teachers

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

SEREMBAN, Oct 28 (Bernama) — It is critical for the Education Ministry not only to provide sufficient English Language teachers but also to improve the quality of these teachers.

Deputy Education Minister Senator Chong Sin Woon said based on studies, quality teachers were the most important element in improving the quality of English Language in the country.

“Which is why we have many programmes to have quality English Language teachers who meet the standards. These include bringing in native speaker teachers for us to help schools which are weak in The English Language,” he told reporters after launching the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) Malaysia 2015 Conference, here last night.

He said although the government had terminated the Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI), it did not mean that the government did not want to improve the standard of command in English.


Read more @