Archive for March, 2019

NST Leader: Rebuilding the nation

Sunday, March 24th, 2019
New Malaysia under construction. Rebuilding the nation isn’t just the work of the government, though a bulk of it is its responsibility. – FILE PIC

IF Malaysia were a website you will get this message: New Malaysia under construction. A rebuilding of the nation, no doubt.

The Pakatan Harapan government has spent the better part of the last 10 months in this mode fixing institutions. Understandably so. For the last six decades or so we have been operating under some institutions that were creaking under the strain of a failed trust system.

Chumocracy didn’t help. On many international rankings we have performed poorly.

Take Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2018.

Malaysia was placed 61 out of 180 countries while our southern neighbour Singapore was ranked as the third least corrupt in the world. Some of the criteria Transparency International uses to measure public-sector corruption include rates of bribery, diversion of public funds and conflicts of interest. Unsurprisingly, 1Malaysia Development Bhd has done quite a bit of damage. Ease of doing business in Malaysia, too, needs fixing.

Our overall ranking in ease-of-doing-business may be a decent 15 in the world, but starting a business here is mired in bureaucracy. Malaysia is ranked a pitiful 122 in this category.

The reason is plain to see: there are close to 10 procedures to follow before we can get a business registered. And it takes 13.5 days to get through this maze.

Investors may not be too pleased. Our bureaucrats must be told that there is a better clime just across the Johor Causeway where two procedures and 1.5 days later a business is registered for good.

On press freedom, too, our rank is dismal. In 2018, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Malaysia 145 out of 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index. This is a one-rank drop from 2017. Understandably, Singapore was ranked 150. We may think this something to write home about, but stop and think.

Even India where journalists are killed is ranked 138, though not a placement to be proud of. We must aim higher. If we can’t be like Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland or Switzerland (the top five in the index), we must at least be like Costa Rica, ranked 10th. RSF said it has the best record in Latin America on respecting human rights and free expression.

Costa Rica is known for having an enlightened media legislation that affords significant level of freedom. This we must emulate.

To get there we need to abolish or amend some laws. Not because they are there; but because it will do us great good. Among them are the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

Rebuilding the nation isn’t just the work of the government, though a bulk of it is its responsibility. We, who people Malaysia, have a role, too. Writing in the New Straits Times op-ed piece on March 20 titled Building A Place Called Trust, Datuk Dr Anis Yusal Yusoff, the deputy director-general of the National Centre for Governance, Integrity & Anti-Corruption in the Prime Minister’s Department, says we each have to develop a right mindset in the little areas we are in charge of in our daily lives.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/leaders/2019/03/472351/nst-leader-rebuilding-nation

Let’s teach our kids social media literacy

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019
Social media has enabled everyone to be media producers and disseminate their creative content across the world.

LIVE-streaming is a feature available on various social media platform such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, used for one to broadcast in real time. Unlike videos that can be uploaded on social media accounts which is pre-recorded and can be edited before being published, live-streaming showcases the raw footage of an event which is aired simultaneously as it is being recorded.

During my stint in corporate communications, the department often utilised live-streaming to broadcast press conferences, speeches and important events. I have seen a lot of social media influencers voicing their opinions via live-streaming. It provides a no-holds-barred platform for people to share anything from their mundane daily activities to concerts they attended, cooking experiments and exercise regime. Beauty product and make up aficionados, usually share the process of dolling up themselves. Popular image consultants discuss about communication skills and personal branding. Politicians use it as a platform to conduct live question and answer sessions with their followers.

There are also technology savvy lecturers who conduct their lecture via live-stream, when they are away for conferences or research field work. The nifty feature, creates an opportunity for people to easily communicate in real time with their thousands of followers. In addition, it is also a cost effective option for one to create visibility and awareness on an issue, a particular brand or champion a belief.

However, the recent live-streaming of the Christchurch shootings is an example of how technology can be easily misused and manipulated. In the words of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during that country’s parliament sitting last Tuesday, “There is no question that ideas and language of division and hate have existed for decades, but their form of distribution, the tools of organisation, they are new”.

The social media has enabled everyone to be media producers and disseminate their creative content across the world. A media producer, nowadays, is an everyday person, like you and me. They don’t necessarily have to be financially sound or have a crew of cameraman, soundman and editor. The mere act of updating your status on Facebook or sharing pictures on Instagram are examples of how almost everybody with a social media account are acting as media producers. Yes, there may be rules and regulations when uploading videos, text or pictures online, but when one streams live, it is quite difficult for lawmakers to monitor what is being aired

The killer’s decision to use social media to broadcast his attacks shows how crucial it is to inculcate good media habits in our society in order to produce responsible media producers. It is increasingly important to create awareness on how to be responsible social media users.

As a media scholar, I would like to see media literacy embedded into our education curriculum. This is simply because, being media literate does not merely mean that one becomes critical and discerning when engaged with the media. It also underlines how to be responsible media producers when sharing our thoughts, videos or other creative content.

Knowledge in media literacy also teaches what one can do when they come across contents which are dangerous, inappropriate, threatening or provocative. In a delphi (a forecasting process framework based on the results of several rounds of questionnaires sent to a panel of experts) study a few Malaysian researchers and I conducted, it was discovered that a local media literacy curriculum should touch on communicator’s rights and responsibility, in order to create a responsible media content.

By Dr Sabariah Mohamed Salleh.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2019/03/472086/lets-teach-our-kids-social-media-literacy

Advice to education officials

Thursday, March 21st, 2019
RANAU: State Education Director Mistirine Radin called on educators, especially principals, teachers and senior officers to understand and appreciate the “New Narative of Education Practices” as a guide to empowering world-class Malaysian education.
She said the National Education Philosophy (FPK) calls on all parties whether the Ministry, Department, District Education Office (PPD) and school level to implement “Narrative” as part of an educational practice.

“We all need to understand the goals of the FPK which clearly states “Education in Malaysia is a continuous effort towards furthering and developing the potential of individuals”.

“This is done to create a balanced and harmonious human being from intellectual, spiritual, emotional and physical based on trust and belief in God.

“The effort is to create Malaysians who are knowledgeable, skilled, noble, responsible and capable of achieving their well-being and contributing to the harmony and prosperity of the family, society and the nation,” she stressed.
Mistirine told teachers everywhere to make education as belonging to all, and same goes to the culture of Malaysian society that should not be separated from them.
Also held was the “New Narrative Practice of Education” briefing, presented by Unit Head, Development Unit and Registrar of JPN Sabah School Management Sector, Juanaidi Yunus.

Sector Head, Sabah NRIC Academic Management Sector, Abidin Bin Marjan presented a briefing on the Abolition of Practice of Level 1 Examination and Evaluation Assessment in Classroom (PBD).
In conjunction with the programme, several schools received a Certificate of Appreciation based on school achievement, namely SK Kota Belud, SJKC Chung Hua Kota Belud, SK Taginambur Kota Belud, SK Kopuron Telupid, SK Pekan Telupid, SK Bundu Tuhan Ranau and SK Malinsau Ranau.

By: Clarence G Dol.

An Exciting and Engaging English Week

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

ENGLISH WEEK 2019

Unified English Club in collaboration with Unified Drama Club has organized English Week 2019 in SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah from 11th March until 15th March 2019. English Week is an annual event conducted by the Unified English Club which acts as a platform for students to enhance various skills of English language through an active engagement in the activities outside of the classroom.

Together with Unified Drama Club, the week was packed with numerous interesting activities such as Mic Talent, Spelling Bee, Scrabble, Charades, Treasure Hunt, and Movie Day. The event also aimed to cultivate students’ interest in learning English through fun and engaging activities.

The week started with the much anticipated ‘Mic Talent’, where participants have the freedom to express themselves through acts such as singing, stand-up comedy or acting as long as English is used as the medium. The event ended with ‘Hello & The Gang’ as the winner – a 10 – member choir team who sang their hearts out in rendition of “I believe I can Fly” by R.Kelly ,defeating the ‘Last Minute’ team and our solo singer, Shirley Sebius Niun which was placed in the 3rd place.

Three activities were held (Spelling Bee, Scrabble and Charades) on the second day. Conducted at East 1, the Spelling Bee activity concluded with Nathania Adria Kandee Mosninoh who buzzed her way to victory, spelling 38 out of 42 words. Rafhael Tangkung emerged as the champion, followed by Cherisena Joflin in 2nd place and Dayang Nabilah Syuhada Rosli in 3rd place for scrabbles. Charades, one of the activities aside from ‘Mic Talent’ and ‘Movie Day’, was introduced to English Week by Unified Drama Club where participants needed to find ways to act out English words for their friends to guess. Newcomers duo, Christa Natalia Chong and Dessy Alvierra Hiew won the the 1st place beating six other participants.

The week continued with ‘Treasure Hunt’,which was held at the Atrium SIDMA College. Semadi Nadai team won the 1st prize, by being the first team to complete all the obstacles followed by Avenger team in 2nd place and R5 team in 3rd place .The next activity, ‘Movie Day’, was conducted after working hours at West 1 with the movie voted by students, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”.

The closing ceremony was successfully held at the Atrium SIDMA College on 15th March 2019, with the guests, Adjunct Professor Dr. Morni Kambrie (Founder and Chairman of SIDMA College), Puan Azizah Khalid Merican (Chief Executive Officer, SIDMA College Sabah), guests from Universiti Tunku Abdul Razak (UNIRAZAK) Kuala Lumpur along with Unified English Club Advisor, Miss Yvonne Barnabas, Miss Constance Joy and Ms Rachell Maycy as well as Unified Drama Club Advisor, Miss Ivy Evannie and Miss Audrey Gee Edmon.

The event managed to attract participants from Faculty of Education and Humanities, Faculty of Business Technology and Accounting and Diploma in Early Childhood Education. Many of the students when met, expressed their pleasures in joining such developing programs. It is hoped that from the event, students will have the opportunities to acquire new knowledge and enhance their creative growth.

Read more @ https://www.sidma.edu.my/index.php/en/all-bulletin/89-news/207-an-exciting-and-engaging-english-week

OATH-TAKING CEREMONY FOR JANUARY 2019 INTAKE

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

A total of 97 new students made their pledge of allegiance to the rules and regulations of the SIDMA College Sabah, UNITAR Sabah Regional Centre and DOSH, Kota Kinabalu on 15 March 2019.

Organised by the Students Affairs Department (STAD) and Students Representative Council (SRC), the programme was held for the 2019 new intake students to formally promise and pledge the oath to commit themselves fully to the ethical practices, be active and responsible students as well as abiding to all rules and regulations of college and respective university.

The oath-taking was led by Adjunct Professor Dr Morni Hj Kambrie (Founder and Chairman SIDMA College Sabah) and Assistant Professor Dr Zuhaili Akmal (Chief Student Experience Officer, UNIRAZAK).

Also present at the ceremony were Puan Azlina Ngatimin (Director, Corporate Relations and Business Development), Madam Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO), Mr Lim Chin Tong (Registrar), Managers, Heads of Departments, coordinators and staff of SIDMA College Sabah and UNITAR Sabah Regional Centre.

Dr Morni congratulated the students for choosing SIDMA College and UNITAR Sabah as the institution to further their tertiary education. He too provided reassurance to students that their welfare and future are in good hands, and at the same time encouraged them to do their parts by putting in full commitment, self-discipline and fully immersed themselves in their studies in order to be able to materialize their dreamt future.

He added that SIDMA College Sabah and UNITAR Sabah Regional Centre being in its 17th year of success has produced successful graduates who are currently holding respectable posts and careers in various fields, both in the public and private sectors throughout Sabah and Sarawak.

Earlier, Dr Morni during his introductory speech welcomed and expressed his appreciation to Asst. Prof. Dr Zuhaili Akmal for his continuous passion, efforts and supports towards youths of the country; and has been ever willing to be with SIDMA Sabah students particularly during historical events such as this ceremony, despite his busy schedule in giving motivational talk to youths throughout Sabah.

Asst. Prof. Dr Zuhaili Akmal then gave a short speech, welcoming and enlightening the students about what to expect in university and also motivate them do to what their heart tell them. He added, “The soul inside and the kindness that you had are the most important requirement”.

For more information on any of the above courses offered at SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah, please browse SIDMA College Sabah Website, or at SIDMA College Facebook Account: “SIDMA College”. Potential candidates can visit SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah Campus at Jalan Bundusan, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, or call the campus hotline number: 088-732000 or 088-732 020

Read more @ https://www.sidma.edu.my/index.php/en/all-bulletin/89-news/206-oath-taking-ceremony-for-january-2019-intake

Building a place called trust

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathr Mohamad launched the NACP in January. The Plan outlines a wide range of strategies to promote integrity and good management in political governance and public sector administration. Bernama

THERE is a little known place in the Scottish Hebridean islands in the United Kingdom called the Isle of Skye. It is said to have rugged and mountainous landscapes graced with deep lochs. No highrises, no discarded waste. The scarcely scattered white-washed cottages in this place show one how nature has ruled over human creation.

But beyond the physical attributes, there is something more to this isle than its landscape. It embodies the epitome of TRUST. One magazine wrote that on the corners where paths cross, there are ‘product boxes’ where people leave their homemade jams and free-range eggs. Passers-by come, take what they need and leave their payment. Doors in homes are left unlocked. One can leave cars there with the windows open, and the only thing that will enter is the rain.

This is called integrity. This is called good governance. This is what I envision for our country. This is what I pray that one day every nook and cranny of Malaysia will become and that we do not take what does not belong to us, and we guard and protect with all we have, what is given to us to honour.

The example of Isle of Skye is the basis upon which we approached the National Anti-Corruption Plan. It isn’t just a plan, as cynics and critics would say, plucked from the air. The goal of the Plan is to create a corruption-free society governed by the principles of integrity, accountability and transparency.

The focus of the Plan is clear — and that is to ensure every agency and ministry in the public sector institutionalises good governance in every part of their work. Why focus on the public sector, one may ask? The answer is simple. If public governance is not strengthened first, we cannot move to ask others to put their houses in order.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched the Plan on Jan 29. It essentially identifies six key corruption-prone risk areas; political governance, public sector administration, public procurement, legal and judicial, law enforcement, and corporate governance.

Again, the process of ascertaining these was done through public surveys, interviews and research. We engaged many components of society — public and private sectors, civil society and the media. The Plan is an amalgamation of information we received from this work and on completion, we had independent anti-corruption specialists review our work.

I think it is important that we also understand why we had listed out the nature and points of corruption. A content analysis of about 20,000 reports received by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission from 2013 to 2018 found that more than 80 per cent were concerned with four causes; administrative failures (36.43 per cent), conflict of interest (33.12 per cent), weak internal control and non-compliance (18.97 per cent), and lack of transparency (6.45 per cent).

When we look at the areas prone to corruption from the same data we had, we found that the procurement sector recorded the highest number of complaints (42.8 per cent).

That’s why a special section in the Plan focuses on public procurement

Beyond the Plan, our greatest challenge remains, as the government and people of Malaysia, our understanding of the roles of our government, private sector and public. I constantly argue that we have a somewhat warped view of this and frankly we are not alone here in Malaysia. To some, it is almost like watching the movie Matrix.

A lot of things in movies like Matrix are used as metaphors for our fixed views of ‘reality’. Rarely do we observe the world for what it is. It is much simpler to build a perceived order, load our preconceptions and baggage onto them to the point it simply becomes conducive and comfortable for us.

When we become fixated on a certain world view, and when that world view is simply wrong we open ourselves to the ramifications that come with living a lie, and that is exactly what we are going through today — the bite of reality of having condoned a culture of corruption for decades.

I often use the examples of nations such as Somalia, Zimbabwe and Myanmar which all have comparatively high CPI (Corruption Perception Index), coming in at 180, 160 and 132, respectively, to further demonstrate my point. Such positions within the CPI have ultimately left these countries in shambles economically, socially as well as politically.

Meanwhile, Malaysia ranks 61 within the index.  Admittedly, we are a far cry from achieving the corrupt-free status enjoyed by nations, such as Denmark, New Zealand and Finland, which rank 1, 2 and 3, respectively, on the index.

Attitudes and mindsets cannot be measured by Key Performance Indicators. They are intangibles.

The real engine to any delivery is mindset. Mindsets are defined by the culture we ultimately inculcate in this system. It is defined by the Isle of Skyes that we each develop in the little areas we are in charge of in our daily lives at work.

By Datuk Dr. Anis Yusal Yusoff .

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2019/03/471024/building-place-called-trust

NST Leader: Rethinking the role of ‘kaum ibu’

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019
For example, holding English classes for the “kaum ibu” traders at Pasar Payang in Kuala Terengganu. Imagine them being conversant in English — besides helping them entrepreneurially, it’s easier for their children to pick up the language. This is good, socially and economically. NSTP/GHAZALI KORI

NO, it is not yet Mother’s Day, but now is as good a time to write about mothers or “kaum ibu” and how their roles have evolved over the years.

Since the days of yore, mothers have played a crucial role; they are the primary caregiver across all cultures, the first teacher, counsellor, family model, the emotional backbone in a family.

Mothers stayed at home and tended to the house and children, while fathers went to work.

While this still rings true in many families today, since 2000 there has been a marked increase in diversity in a household. The modern mother gets married, pursues her career first and has children at a later age. Or, has a family first, then returns to work.

Whatever the priorities are, it is always the essential primary bond within a family that has shaped a mother’s role.

Can mothers today with all the modern conveniences still play that crucial role? We live in a contemporary society with an unending litany of ills.

A society that wants a high female labour participation rate, but sometimes without the provision of necessary childcare support and other facilities, although Malaysia is not alone in this.

A 2011 study by the Social Issues Research Centre on the British household said it is “impossible to trace the changing face of motherhood and the complex social networks” in which they have grown over the years.

It is, however, “possible to plot the changing face of motherhood in more recent times, examine what has changed, and where it might be going in the future”. In the Malaysian context, it means a rethink of government policies on women.

The deputy prime minister recently said the government’s target was to have women account for 30 per cent of those in decision-making positions, especially in the private sector, by 2030.

What do women want, beyond having a family and successful career? An educated citizenry? Or, economic growth without balanced development? One thing’s for sure, we have to stop imitating the west where mothers are constantly manning the conveyor belts and the family left to fend for itself. Less copying, more originality.

Women must be educated, particularly those from the rural areas. Even the least able should have that coveted Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia.

For example, holding English classes for the “kaum ibu” traders at Pasar Payang in Kuala Terengganu. Imagine them being conversant in English — besides helping them entrepreneurially, it’s easier for their children to pick up the language. This is good, socially and economically.

The hope is that somewhere along the line, intellectual stimulation occurs. Mothers must be given a choice to accommodate work and caregiving.

They must be developed within the context of a family. Government policies should include this — allow mothers to work and have that peace of mind. It is all about bringing heart and soul into governance.

By NST .

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/leaders/2019/03/471026/nst-leader-rethinking-role-kaum-ibu

Service-learning prepares graduates for the future

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia students at the My Asean Community Initiative in Kampung Sanchey, Wilayah Kratie, Cambodia.

STUDIES have identified positive improvement in the competencies of students who attended internship or industrial training.

In other studies, significant changes were noted in undergraduates’ attributes after they completed certain courses, particularly in terms of their teamwork skills as well as professional abilities.

However, not all undergraduates completed their industrial training or have internship opportunities.

Not all educators emphasise improvingtheir students’ generic and professional skills in the classroom or projects.

At the same time, the classroom or lecture method of learning does not give students “real experience”. Learning in the classroom is limited to discussions and learning theories. Real-life situations, as some scholars argue, can only be experienced in field studies outside the classroom.

The Education Ministry stresses on the implementation of High Impact Educational Practices which include 11 best practices in teaching and learning.

Among them are firstyear seminars and experiences, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, writing-intensive course, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, diversity or global learning, serviceor community-based learning, internships, e-portfolios, capstone courses and projects for final-year students.

These practices have been widely tested and shown to be beneficial for college students from many backgrounds.

So, what is service-learning? It is defined as a method of teaching and learning that utilises experience in providing service to the society.

It is an approach that combines academic learning objectives, soft skills and students’ community service by giving meaningful contributions to society. Service-learning has been widely implemented in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia since 1970s.

The method has its root in John Dewey’s theory of experience. Although Dewey never addresses the specifics of service-learning, yet his writing closely informs and links the philosophy of education to theory of inquiry, experience, social service and social transformation.

Experiential learning is a process of learning through experiencing or learning by doing.

It immerses students in an experience and then encourages them to reflect on the experience in order to develop new skills, new attitudes or new ways of thinking. Technically, servicelearning is part of experiential learning that ful fils a course’s learning objectives by performing services in the community.

Srvice-learning is part of an experiential learning approach that links students with their immediate community. It differs slightly from volunteer work although many consider the two comparable. This transformative method of teaching and learning provides avenues for students to engage in structured activities intentionally designed to enhance their learning and community service while fulfilling their needs.

Service-learning blends community service with specific course goals. At the beginning of the term, students will be informed from the course syllabus that community service will be part of their assignment and assessment, and that service-learning is one of the approaches of learning they will experience.

By the end of the semester/course, meaningful learning aims and community service can be reciprocally achieved.

So what are the advantages of servicelearning?

It increases retention of academic

content by providing students with experiences that have real-life consequences.

The students may find out that the science and theories they learn in classes are relevant and applicable in real-life situations. In a long run, service-learning produces future-ready graduates who are holistic and are able to function well in a society.

Various studies on service-based learning have proven that students can improve their academic achievements, build leadership skills and strengthen their desire to serve the community. In fact, experience in service-learning has given students the added professional and career advantage, apart from inculcating civic consciousness and providing ethical services to society.

It also improves and fosters students’ life skills and qualities such as self-discipline, team-building, collaboration, respect for others, respect for quality work, character growth and interpersonal and community engagement.

University students are exposed to positive community service experiences during their undergraduate years, which allow them to learn about life skills and build understanding and caring connections to the world around them. In addition, students connect with people living abroad which enriches knowledge and broadens their horizon and way of thinking.

By Dr Najah Nadiah Amran.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/education/2019/03/471168/service-learning-prepares-graduates-future

STEM policies set for an evolution

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

Dr Maszlee Malik (left) together with Serena Zara Taufiq (centre), founder of Serena’s Secret, a jewellery startup

THE Education Ministry will be implementing three policy shifts in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education under the STEM For All (STEM4ALL) initiative, says Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.

He said this during his keynote address at the opening of the BETT Asia 2019 Summit in Kuala Lumpur recently.

“While the demand is growing for STEMrelated roles, the supply side is worrying as the number of students taking up STEM subjects had dropped from 48 per cent in 2012 to 44 per cent last year.

“In facing these challenges, the ministry cannot just continue emphasising STEM without putting intervention plans in place,” he said.

The three shifts are to increase the students’ interest in STEM, to expand access to learning STEM subjects, and to evolve STEM to STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Arts and Mathematics).

According to a survey by the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry, Maszlee said nearly 70 per cent of students said they had low interest in STEM subjects because the teaching was too theoretical.

“Hence, one of the initiatives in the STEM4ALL movement will be ensuring that STEM learning is experiential and meaningful for everyone,” he said.

Maszlee said his ministry was focusing on getting teachers on board the paradigm shift by launching a new STEM teacher competency framework, which would shape how future STEM teachers are trained and assessed.

“We also want to expand the access to learning STEM to those in rural communities, low-income families and students with special needs.

“This year, we will be piloting an approach to go directly to rural schools accessible only by boat and dirt roads. We want to bring STEM to them and work with schools to organise experiential activities.

“We are not just looking to put the ‘R’ and ‘A’ into STEM, but STEM into ‘R’ and ‘A’. The introduction of STREAM highlights the relevance and importance of STEM education in all facets of our lives,” he added.

Maszlee launched the STEM4ALL campaign in collaboration with Microsoft Malaysia, an initiative that aimed to bring together parents, educators, students, the private sector and policymakers towards advancing equitable and inclusive STEM education for all Malaysians.

At a round table session, Microsoft Asia-Pacific Education director Don Carlson discussed about creating a culture to deliver 21st century learning.

He said Microsoft was paving the way to transform education in Malaysia by positioning technology at the forefront, and empowering students and educators through innovative programmes.

“I like the idea of what the ministry is doing in regard to STEM. We have to make STEM fun. If you ask a child if he or she wants to be an engineer, he will probably say that’s for boring old people.

“What if, instead, we asked them if they want to solve some of the world’s biggest problems like climate change? Well, that’s the sort of thing that engineers do. They solve problems,” he said.

Carlson said the country was in need of data scientists as stated by Maszlee.

“We are working on the Microsoft Partnership Programme to set up contents, certification, and maybe, a virtual lab.

By Zulita Mustafa.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/education/2019/03/471176/stem-policies-set-evolution

Resource for ready teaching and learning materials

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019
Teaching and learning content is ready for teachers to use in the classroom on Frog Boost.

Ready teaching and learning content and materials covering all core subjects for primary school up to secondary level will be made available in May through Frog Boost, a content repository on the Frog Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) platform which is accessible to schools across the country.

The operator of Frog VLE, FrogAsia Sdn Bhd, said this move will help ease the burden of teachers who are often hard-pressed for time to prepare teaching and learning content and material for the classroom as well provide ongoing assessment for students.

FrogAsia’s executive director Lou Yeoh said in May, content, and quizzes for subjects such as English, Bahasa Melayu, Math, Science and Sejarah will first be available for national type secondary school (Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan) to be followed by vernacular primary schools (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina and Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil).

“Since introduced in July last year, Frog Boost now has Mathematics, English and Science contents and quizzes available covering the syllabus from Primary Year 1 to Form 5 of secondary school. It offers more than 135 million items of teaching and learning content ready for teachers to use, instead of having to develop their teaching materials from scratch,” she said.

“At FrogAsia, we applaud the government’s aim in easing the burden of teachers as we believe in making a difference in the education landscape across Malaysia. FrogAsia believes that it is important for teachers and students to have access to a repository of high quality, credible content. That way, teachers can save time creating content, besides sharing their own content with other teachers across the country,” said Yeoh

Lou Yeoh.

She said Frog Boost is free of charge.

“However, users need to log in into Frog VLE website using their Yes ID, Yes ID without a domain, and their national registration Identification Card (NRIC) number. This feature is available for teachers, students, and parents.

By ROZANA SANI.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/education/2019/02/461334/resource-ready-teaching-and-learning-materials