Archive for July, 2019

Proving success starts with independent learning

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

ONE of the ways to learn is through self-discovery. Discovery learning is in fact a form of enquiry-based learning whereby students are posed with questions, problems or scenarios rather than just an instructor presenting facts.

In a way, the students will have to find things out for themselves by looking into problems, and asking questions.

This form of learning is usually coupled with the presence of a facilitator who guides the student in identifying the problems and poses questions to direct the student to develop knowledge or discover solutions.

This form of learning is usually used in small projects and investigations, as well as in research.

Today the Kumon Method has helped students to study independently in a world that has increasingly become more diversified.

From humble beginnings

The Kumon programme uses a discovery learning method to help children develop critical-thinking skills while progressing independently through a carefully crafted curriculum.

The programme was the brainchild of Japanese high-school educator Toru Kumon, who in 1954, developed Mathematics worksheets on loose papers for his son Takeshi as a way for him to learn.

Toru wished for Takeshi to become fully prepared for the rigorous high school and college entrance exams in his future. With the success of the method Toru was encouraged to develop the Kumon Method and by the following year, a math centre using Kumon worksheets opened in Moriguchi city in Osaka.

By 1974, Kumon expanded overseas, establishing a New York centre, followed with centres in Taiwan in 1975, Brazil in 1977 and Germany in 1979. As enrolments outside Japan increased to 10,000, more centres were established — Hong Kong and Canada in 1980 and Australia in 1984.

Today the Kumon Method has helped students to study independently in a world that has increasingly become more diversified.

It is an ongoing process, with as the method is refined by closely observing students and learning from them.

In order to inculcate that joy, it is essential to start off the student at a point that they feel is comfortable for their abilities.

Learning through one’s own successes

The method essentially helps students to learn independently using worksheets, with guidance from Kumon instructors. When a child enrols with Kumon, the instructor will set a written assessment to gauge where the child’s ability stands.

Kumon instructors then create an individualised study plan that helps to build better study habits, concentration and understanding of fundamental topics.

As students progress, Kumon instructors will incrementally raise the difficulty level enough to keep them challenged and motivated. The instructor will update this plan regularly to match the ability of
each student.

This allows Kumon students to start studying at a point where they can solve problems easily without using age or school grade level as factors. Doing so allows students to experience the joy in learning.

When students find that they can they can solve problems themselves and receive a 100% score, that boosts their confidence and increases their anticipation to learn more, allowing them to advance to subsequent worksheets without difficulty.

But in order to inculcate that joy, it is essential to start off the student at a point that they feel is comfortable for their abilities.

This builds a solid foundation for study, to which students can independently develop their academic ability.

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Health Ministry: Ban ‘ghost smoke’ candy even if it is not harmful.

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry did not find any forbidden ingredients in the controversial “ghost smoke” candy but product seizures were made because it violated labelling requirements.

“There were no forbidden ingredients but the product was seized because the content did not match what was on the label,” said Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye.

He said that the candy had been analysed by his ministry and added that all of its ingredients were permitted for consumption.

However, he did not elaborate on its ingredients.

Dr Lee also said that the details of the importer and manufacturer were unclear and added that the Ministry remains firm in its decision to ban the product as it mimics smoking and could encourage children to take up the habit.

On Tuesday (July 23), Dr Lee revealed that the ministry had formed a task force to scrutinise the ingredients of the candy.

By Jo Timbuong
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Sabah Education Dept: Use of ‘ghost smoke’ candy not observed beyond Papar district.

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Education Department says they have not received reports of the ‘ghost smoke’ candy being consumed beyond the Papar district.

Its director Mistirine Radin said reports of the candy being consumed had so far only come from Papar.

“We have yet to hear of similar incidents in other districts,” she said.

She said they were investigating the matter and had not received any statement from the Education Ministry over the issue.

“The Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) of a school in Papar lodged a report after they saw pupils allegedly taking the ‘ghost smoke’ candy,” said Mistirine.

She said the PTA reported the issue to the Papar Health Office and they subsequently informed the Papar Education Department office to issue letters to schools in the district warning them about the matter.

The consumption of the ‘ghost smoke’ candy is alarming to parents as they are unsure what ingredients are used to create the smoking effect and whether consuming the candies is harmful

By Stephanie Lee

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Re-sitting exam: Waste of time?

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

THERE are many students who have done very badly in their final examinations and do not know what to do next. They feel lost and withdraw themselves into their own world.  Whenever you ask them to re-sit, they are not very happy. They give many reasons for not doing so. They actually need help and guidance.

David (student)

David, for instance, failed his A levels. In fact he did very badly. Actually David is a very smart student.

He passed his SPM with flying colours. He didn’t really know what to do next. During an education exhibition, there was this college offering one – year A Levels.

They convinced him and his parents that he need not waste two years doing his Pre-U. He can take a short cut and save one-year.

Since he is a bright student, he can sail through his A Levels without any doubt.

With the assurance he got from the college, he enrolled for the one-year A Levels. Unfortunately, he was unable to cope.

In the Primary and secondary schools he studied everything in Bahasa Malaysia.

Most of the subjects were in Bahasa Malaysia. Suddenly, he has to do all the subjects (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) in English. Firstly, his English was weak. Secondly all the subject terminologies were in English.

He was struggling with his studies. When the results came out, he found that he had failed miserably.

The college told him that he could study on his own and re-sit. He tried that too but he was not successful. He failed again. He lost almost RM 40,000 doing his A Levels.

Today he just locks himself in his room and wants to be left alone. He is very reserved and feels very shy.

All his friends who did Matriculation and STPM have gone into tertiary education. As for David, he is still stuck with his A Levels.

The elders in his family advised him to enroll in another college and re-sit for the A Levels. But David is hesitating to do so.

Students like David must face reality. They have been studying in the Bahasa Malaysia stream for eleven years.

Suddenly, if they want to switch to taking A Levels in the English Stream it is not going to be easy.

Firstly he must master his English. Next he has to learn the subject terminologie  in English. This is going to take time.

The College should not have misled David. If he had taken the two-year A Levels, perhaps he would have coped with his studies.

What should he do next?

There are several options:

(a) He could enroll himself in a college and re-sit for his A Levels. Although his peers will be laughing at him from behind his back, but who cares. This is your life. You do what you feel is right. Ignore their remarks.

(b) He could switch to a different Pre-U such as SAME, Foundation Program, Diploma Programme, etc. There are “stiff” Pre-U programmes and “easier” programmes. Many easier Pre-U programmes are based on 60pc course work and 40pc final exam. Why not bite what you can chew?

(c) Find out about your ambition. Which career are you thinking of? Look at the various routes. There are competitive courses which requires you to have a good A Levels. There are also courses which only requires just any Pre U. You can also do a Diploma and reach your career path.  Be realistic.

Re-sitting exams

When you sit for an exam many factors could influence your results. You may be sick on the examination day and you didn’t do well in your examination. You had “examination fever.”

Your spotted topics that did not come out in the exam.

You misunderstood the question and wrote out of point. The examination format was changed and you didn’t know. You were not really prepared.

Something happened on your way to the examination hall. Someone close to you passed away.

Whatever it is, please re-sit and give yourself another chance. You don’t have to worry about what your peers or people around would say. This is your life. If you want to re-sit, it is your choice.

by K. Krishnan.

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SIDMA College Student Representative Council Handover and Installation Ceremony

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

An official handover ceremony for the newly selected members of the SIDMA College Student Representative Council (SRC) was held at SIDMA College’s Student Lounge on 19 July 2019. The ceremony marked the transition for the SRC as the Council of 2018/2019 officially handed over the reins to the incoming council of 2019/2020.

Prof Dr Morni Hj Kambrie (SIDMA College Founder and Chairman) announced his great pleasure to witness the handing over of responsibility from the 2018/2019 Student Representative Council to the successor.

On behalf of the college, Prof Dr Morni congratulated and thanked the previous SRC for their commitment, efforts and time taken to carry out their responsibilities and tasks throughout the year. He, too, welcomed and congratulated the incoming SRC committee members as new leaders to represent their fellow students

Prof Dr Morni added that the Handover Ceremony highlighted not only the change in student leadership, but also the making of student leaders and the importance of leadership, responsibility, discipline and good practices in SIDMA College Sabah. By taking up the role of SRC, the college provides the learning opportunities towards better self-development and greater opportunity to be engaged in community and solving social issues; thus helping to strengthen one’s character and confident to serve the larger community.

He reminded the new SRC leaders that upon receiving the handover of the SRC office, it comes with the key responsibility of upholding the service in carrying out the SRC duties with full commitment and purpose.

Despite having tight schedule, Prof Dr Morni took time to urge all students to seize their learning opportunities available in the college in order to pursue excellence in their studies amid all that they are going through.

SIDMA College key goal is to help all its students to gain their necessary industry-ready skills, technical knowledge, collaboration and teamwork as well as creativity and imagination to help them to succeed in whatever path that they eventually choose.

The Handover Ceremony began with a very touching speech by the outgoing President, Fikri Shah. In his speech, he thanked the outgoing council as well as all SIDMA staff who have collaborated and supported them throughout their tenure in the SRC. Fikri Shah then handed the SRC file to Coster Baragang as a symbolic for the handover.

The ceremony concluded with Prof Dr Morni being given the honour to present Certificate of Appreciation to the old council members as token of appreciation. The new council members were presented with their letter of appointment as new council member for 2019/2020.

Present during the ceremony were Puan Azlina Ngatimin (Director, Corporate Relations and Business Development), Puan Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO), Managers and Heads of Departments, and all Student Affairs Department staffs.

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Taking TVET to the next level

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

TECHNICAL and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) graduates are highly sought after and parents and students alike should not shy away from this field.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the employability rate of local polytechnic and community colleges reached a record 96% in 2018.

“(This is) a marked improvement from the year before,” he said during the certificate of collaboration signing ceremony between the Education Ministry and four industry partners on Wednesday.

The industry partners are Berjaya Corporation Berhad, Tropicana Corporation Berhad, Naza Group and Top Glove Corporation Berhad.

Although there has been a rise in employability rates, Maszlee said more needs to be done to attract more students to the TVET sector.

“We have embarked on many efforts to raise the standard of TVET in Malaysia,” he said.

These include the setting up a TVET Empowerment Committee to make TVET the “career of choice” among Malaysians and working with the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and Skills Development Department (JPK) to create a single quality assurance system for TVET, he said.

“We need to be future-ready and world class,” he said, adding that they also want to be industry-driven like in Germany and China.

He said that the ministry is going to increase the number of TVET programmes and courses on offer.

He added that only 5.6% of students, which is around 22,000, enrolled in TVET programmes in 2018.

“Industry-driven TVET is key because it needs to be the primary choice for students,” he added.

Maszlee said this certificate of collaboration marks the next large step between the public and private sector to “take TVET to the next level.”

“The ministry is committed to establishing more ground-breaking partnerships.

“We are speaking with key companies across all economic sectors,” he said.

During the ceremony, Berjaya Corporation Berhad chief executive officer Datuk Seri Robin Tan Yeong Ching said expanding partnerships such as this should help ensure the sharing of industry knowledge and practices, facilities and technology.

However, it is not enough for students to have the right knowledge related to their field.

“They must also develop soft skills such as communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the right attitude in order to secure jobs and advance in their careers,” he added.

To this end, he said, Berjaya Corporation views this collaboration with the ministry as a “smart partnership” to enable students from polytechnic and community colleges to obtain internships and career opportunities with the corporation.

Naza Group chief strategy officer Azrul Reza Aziz said this collaboration will enable the company to facilitate and provide industry expertise in terms of curriculum development related to the relevant sectors.

Tropicana Corporation Berhad Marketing and Sales and Business Development managing director Ung Lay Tin said: “Tropicana is thrilled to share in this endeavour, sharing our venues as training spaces, opening doors for opportunities for real-world work experience and creating relevant joint training programmes.”

Top Glove Corporation Berhad manufacturing and operations adviser Datuk Dr Andy Seo commended the Government on their initiatives to reduce unemployment rates and provide a better space for highly-skilled local talent.

He also said that the company hopes to recruit at least 1,000 TVET talents, crucial to their expansion plans, next year for jobs in their Malaysian factories.

By Rebecca Rajaendram

Let’s fight for a policy that’s best for our kids

Sunday, July 21st, 2019
It is important that students not only understand English as a subject but also comprehend English as a medium of instruction.NSTP/File pic

I Was only 13 years old when the government decided to introduce the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) in primary and secondary schools in Malaysia.

At that time, I had completed Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and was enrolled in a new private secondary school.Unaware of the heated debate behind the policy, I was thrilled about the change.

I already loved reading English fiction and my family habitually spoke in English.Best of all,my new teachers were fluent in the language and superb at their jobs.

Fast forward to 16 years in the future and in an institution where I teach public speaking on weekends, my student is looking at me with a flash of panic after I asked for her opinion on a current issue.

I can see her mind working, eyes darting back and forth in thought and as she took a deep breath to speak, she suddenly changed her mind, shrugged her shoulders and abruptly sat down. Later,I found out that the student had opinions on the matter but didn’t know how to express them in words, and in particular, in English.

She told me that her thoughts were in Bahasa Malaysia, which meant she would have to go through a translation process in her head before speaking in my class.

This made it difficult for her to deliver speeches confidently and even when she didn’t understand some of the English words I was using, she confessed that she was usually too embarrassed to ask for clarification.

This troubled me because after graduating from high school and university with (relatively) good grades,I was a huge proponent of PPSMI.

Joining the ranks of students and teachers who were disappointed with the reversal of the PPSMI policy in 2012, I believed the policy had helped me tremendously as a science-stream student sitting the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia and subsequently gave me a competitive edge in university and in the workforce.

Now that the debate on the policy has started once again, I am not so certain. In hindsight, I realise that my circumstances put me in an advantageous situation in relation to studying Science and Maths in the English language.

I was fortunate to be fairly fluent in English and was enrolled in a private institution where the teachers were highly trained and effortlessly bilingual.

Others were not so fortunate.I suddenly recalled conversations with my cousins during Aidilfitri celebrations back in the kampung where they told me of their struggles with the switch in the medium of instruction and the difficulty they had in understanding new concepts.

Personal experiences aside, let’s look at some hard truths. In a context where the government had in the past flip-flopped on this issue to the detriment of all stakeholders,getting it done right is more important than getting it done quick.

With the bill to amend the Constitution to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 recently passed,education is of utmost importance to better empower our youth for the future.

Therefore, even though the PPSMI policy has been riddled with issues of politics, race, culture and nationality, it is now time to put such sentiments aside, capitalise on the spirit of bipartisan support and fight for a policy that is best for our future – our children.

But how do we bridge the gap between needing to increase Malaysia’s English proficiency levels to fuel economic growth and yet ensure students understand the concepts being taught in a foreign language?

Echoing the sentiment of the National Union of the Teaching Profession urging the government to learn from its past mistakes, a ‘bottom-up approach’ is needed to sustain the PPSMI policy.

I believemore should be done to improve teacher education.

Maths and Science teachers should be bilingual,to better understand and teach the subjects.

All schools, especially those in rural areas,need to retrain their teachers to adapt to the change.

Across the board, standards of English proficiency should also be improved by investing more in English education and information technology capabilities.

It is important to ensure that students not only understand English as a subject, but consequently, also comprehend English as a medium of instruction.Failure to do both would lead to students not learning English, and not learning anything at all.

I believe that everyone is eager to welcome back the policy.Parents are eager to better equip their children for the future.

The government is eager to reintroduce a sustainable version of the policy. I am eager for my students to speak confidently in English, empowered by better proficiency and understanding.

Nevertheless,we must ensure that Malaysia is not only eager and willing, but also able and ready for the change.


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Which is the best way to read?

Sunday, July 21st, 2019
Courses at universities use both printed and digital reading materials.

JUST about everything nowadays is going digital. When it comes to electronic books (or e-books), however, there has been a lot of discussion and debate on their usefulness and relevance.

The printed form has notable, good qualities including being easier on the eyes and less distracting.

But the benefits of e-books are aplenty, such as being lightweight and flexible and interactive. And they can be read in the dark.

Law student Adnan Yunus, 20, from Inti International University, said his course utilises both printed and digital reading materials.

“Students here usually use reading materials adapted from notes that have been prepared by lecturers. The primary material that students and lecturers still rely on are hard copy textbooks. However, we are also encouraged to undertake extensive research online.”

Nurul Nabilah Sulaiman, 24, a quantity surveying undergraduate from International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), said: “Our lecturers provide materials online. We are also encouraged to read books so that we can get the bigger picture of what the topic is all about.

“There were one or two classes which required us to purchase reference books,” said Nurul.

Do students read texts on-screen as effectively as they do on paper? Can students learn better from one type of reading material compared to the other?

HigherED spoke to students and lecturers from various fields to get their views.


IIUM Psychology student Rayhana Talib, 23, said that students in her course are expected to purchase printed textbooks which are usually also available in digital form.

The fourth-year student said: “In class, I prefer digital books because of easy access through devices. Plus, you don’t have to carry heavy textbooks to classes.”

“From experience and research, I find that digital resources allow one to skim over information very quickly, which is extremely helpful and complements conventional lectures and classes.

“With e-books, I save on paper and money. Some students also feel that physical textbooks are expensive and I agree that this is one downside. But a visit to the library never hurts. I have been doing so throughout the course of my studies,” said Rayhana.

Muhammad Haziq Shaharuddin, 20, a dentistry undergraduate from Universiti Malaya, said that his lecturers provide online reading materials and he prefers going digital.

“Lecture notes can be accessed through Spectrum, our university’s online learning management system. For additional reading, lecturers will recommend textbooks which we can buy in printed or digital form.

“Digital materials have definitely helped me learn and understand my lessons better compared to printed books. Instead of just reading through long text and pictures, I learn through videos and interactive notes as well. This makes learning much more interesting,” said the first-year student.

Muhammad Haziq added that it is also easier to take notes during lecturers and classes using a digital device.

“I use a stylus pen and an app called Notability for highlighting and jotting down notes. The app allows me to open two files simultaneously on a screen which is useful when I want to write my notes while referring to an e-book.

“My digital notes are a lot more organised and colourful compared to ones written on paper. The fact that I can zoom in and out of the screen helps me a lot”.

The first-year dentistry undergraduate added that it is more convenient, saying: “Every morning I just pack my device in my bag and I’m good to go. There’s no need for me to bring thick and heavy books or files to class when I have everything that I need on my iPad.”

Michelle Lim Ke Wei, 22, who studies at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, does not encounter problems studying using e-books.

“I highlight my notes on my iPad and it is very convenient. Normally, I will download the notes from Google Classroom or from a website journal and save it in PDF format.

“Printed books usually do not include the latest news on certain topics of discussion. Hence, I go for digital resources to help me better understand certain issues in my studies.”

Michelle Lim Ke Wei enjoys reading e-books and taking notes with her iPad.


However, there are also many students who find reading printed materials and books as being a much better option for learning and studying.

Both Adnan and Nurul Nabilah said that they prefer reading printed books.

“I find that I am able to absorb information better when they come from printed materials,” said Adnan.

“I also find that hardcopy books are more convenient compared to digital resources. Reading on-screen can be problemetic when they is lagging issues that happens from time to time when using a digital platform or device,” added Nurul Nabilah.

Ethan Wong Hsien Aun, 20 from Monash University Malaysia, agrees that physical books help him learn more effectively.

“The conventional pencil-and-paper approach to taking down notes allows me to retain and recall information better.

“By physically writing, I can make sense of my notes. I can draw mind maps and I connect pieces of information together faster,” said Wong, a tropical environmental biology undergraduate.

Wong added that he may use e-books during lectures but he does not do so when it comes to doing revisions.

“I normally transfer the e-notes onto paper by writing them all out as preparation for examinations.”

“I try to reduce my dependence on reading digitally because it can be glaring and it makes me susceptible to slacking off as I may scroll through social media. The sound of a notification can also rob my attention and disrupt my focus,” said the third year undergraduate, who added that he would put away his laptop and other devices when carrying out revisions.

For Adnan, he needs to internalise information that he has learnt, as it is not just about retaining them. This is why he prefers physical books.

“The best way to remember a subject matter is to create and draft out our own notes on a piece of paper or by using mobile devices. This allows us to identify important points and to critically analyse and decipher what is important.

“With on-screen reading, I rarely find the right source on a subject immediately. It is important for students to know what they are looking for. With physical books, the sources of information are more specific,” he said.

Adnan said that although a vast amount of content exist on digital platforms, it can easily cause him to lose concentration.

“Personally, reading on-screen is a challenge because my attention and focus are constantly disrupted.”

Adnan added: “I often go through research databases to gain additional information which is important when studying for exams.

“Searching for information online can be tough as it is mentally exhausting and there is endless amount of information to sift through.

“For me, reading from a physical textbook or journal for a couple of hours is more manageable. I find that I am able to retain information better this way,” he said.

For Nurul Nabilah, reading physical books leads to a better understanding. “I am able to take down notes and scribble, especially the parts which I do not understand. Later, I can refer to my lecturers or friends who can help me.”

Despite preferring e-books for in-class references, Rayhana still relies on physical books for revision.

“In understanding what is learnt, they are a much better option. They have fewer distractions — as people tend to multitask when on their devices — and it is easier to read and comprehend information when you can flip through pages.

“When preparing for exams, there are a lot of materials to read. So, if I rely on digital resources, it will take a considerably longer time to finish reading and comprehending it all. I would also need time for my eyes to rest and recover from the glare of the screen,” said Rayhana.

Muhammad Haziq, meanwhile, uses the iPad to access e-books when preparing for exams.

“The iPad helps me study faster. Whenever I need to search for something, instead of flipping through the pages, the search bar leads me to the exact page or content. I use this tool a lot and this helps me save time.”

However, he admitted that there are distractions. “Sometimes I do take a break to watch Youtube videos or play games,” he admitted.


Dihlvinder Kaur Gill, an INTI International University Law lecturer, said that using e-books is a positive step forward.

“When used simultaneously, online and printed resources provide students with a versatile learning experience. Interactive materials serve to enhance the students’ understanding by reinforcing concepts through a visual manner and encourages active learning.

“I usually assign additional reading materials which include case studies in both printed and digital formats,” said the senior lecturer.

Associate Professor Dr.Tan Chee Pin, Mechatronics Engineering programme head at Monash University, said that digital materials provide a more thorough form of guidance.

“Students are able to see and piece relevant concepts together more easily, as opposed to having the facts displayed all at once.

However, Tan personally prefers printed books. “There is a great advantage to having physical books — it feels more natural and it is easier to annotate and manipulate. It is more engaging to have something physical, especially if the topic is deep and requires a lot of abstract thinking.”

Associate professor Dr Firdaus Hariri, the deputy dean of UM’s Dentistry Faculty, said: “People today want everything to be at their fingertips. I think most institutions are moving towards e-books and e-learning.

“Subjects such as Anatomy are now being taught via virtual reality. Students can have immediate access to digital resources during discussions and clinical sessions.”

Dr Roziha Che Haron, a quantity surveying lecturer at IIUM, said that she prefers students to use and refer to printed materials for certain subjects.

“For instance, in principles of measurement, students need to be equipped with the Malaysian Standard Method of Measurement (SMM).

“But there is a need to adopt various techniques to better teach the younger generation. E-books make them adept at understanding subjects better,” Roziha pointed out.

Pamilia Lourdunathan Andrew, a psychology lecturer at IIUM, said: “Digital books are more appealing as they can be accessed while waiting for public transportation or during train rides.

Printed books are still preferred by students.

However, Pamilia highlighted that printed books are equally important.

“For example, dated books from founders of psychology theories are vital for learning, and not all of these are readily available online,” said Pamilia.

Associate Professor Dr. Dorothy Dewitt, from UM’s Education Faculty, said that e-books can enhance students’ learning experience.

“With digital resources, you can utilise both audio and visual channels. If students just read and read, they won’t remember what they are supposed to learn,” said Dewitt.

She cited Allan Paivio’s dual-coding theory, which claims that people learn better when they utilise two channels at the same time.

Dewitt added: “By using a device to read, you can synthesise information and write as you read which makes it very useful. And when you click on a certain hyperlink, you will find further resources.

“Looking at research and our students, most of them, especially the undergraduates, prefer the online version. But some older students who are doing their masters and PhD still prefer hard copy books.”

By Rayyan Rafidi.

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Lam Thye calls for task force to address school bullying

Sunday, July 21st, 2019
Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye says a special task force should be set up to look into the problem of bullying in schools. — NSTP/RAMDZAN MASIAM

GEORGE TOWN: Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye says a special task force should be set up to look into the problem of bullying in schools.

He said the rise in bullying cases of late warranted action on the part of the Education Ministry.

He said video footage that had gone viral recently showed that such “acts of violence” were not confined to boys, but involved girls as well.

“This is a serious matter which warrants the ministry to do a thorough study into the causes of these acts of bullying that are on the increase in schools today.

“Is it due to lack of discipline among students or external factors, such as what they see on the outside, including television, that are influencing them?

“Or could it be due to stress among students?

“As I said, all this needs very thorough studying.

“I am sure that the ministry is able to get the experts.

“The Parent Teacher Associations must also be involved because their children may be the victims or the perpetrators,” he said at a motivation camp for UPSR students organised by the Eco World Foundation, here, today.

Lee, who is the chairman of the foundation, said schools were not only for educating students to be good academically. He said character development was equally important.

“The inculcation of noble values are also in schools where students are taught noble values… but to what extent are students putting it into practice? I think these things are very important.”

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) recently issued a stern warning to the public not to spread video footage of a student being bullied as it had the potential to fuel racial sentiment.

Lee said Eco World Foundation was committed to helping students under its Student Aid Programme (SAP) despite funding challenges in the current uncertain economic situation.

By Audrey Dermawan.

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Digital gaming industry can generate huge returns

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia needs to continue to focus on the digital gaming industry as it can help generate a lucrative income for the country, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo (pic).

He said the industry had improved vastly alongside other digital entertainment industries such as film making and animation series that have raised the country’s stature in the world.

He noted that in 2017, some 60 local game-making studios recorded exports worth RM600 million.

“Apart from the ability to generate billions of ringgit for the national economy, it can also create employment opportunities, especially for young people,” he said in his speech at the Kre8tif! @Schools programme, here, Saturday.

According to him, positioning Malaysia as a hub for the digital content creation industry will also attract more foreign investment.

Gobind said the country actually had great but lesser-known talents such as Wan Hazmer Wan Abd Halim, who was the lead designer for the “Final Fantasy XV” video game.

“Previously Wan Hazmer worked in Japan with a world-renowned gaming company, but he has now returned to Malaysia to help local talents,” the Minister said.

Gobind also congratulated Animonsta Studios for their latest animated movie, BoBoiBoy: Movie 2, releasing on August 8, which will also be hitting cinemas in Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and Vietnam.

In the meantime, he emphasised that the development of the digital economy in the country should be inclusive so as not to sideline the disabled community.

“Let’s work together to build a Malaysia that is digitally inclusive,” he said, citing his Ministry’s co-operation with telecommunications companies such as Celcom, Maxis, Digi, UMobile and YTL to introduce special mobile phone packages for people with disabilities.

He said the special prepaid and post-paid packages were very beneficial to the group, as it would give them the opportunity to use the Internet as a platform to trade, and help them live more independently.

Commenting further, Gobind said the Kre8tif! @Schools programme for special needs students introduced by the Ministry and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), would allow them to learn about creative technologies such as ‘3D modelling’ and animation.

Kre8tif! @Schools, he said, was a commitment by both his Ministry and MDEC to actively develop the creative digital content industry.

“We have many other programmes in the pipeline to ensure the Malaysian digital economy continues to grow and the people can enjoy mutual prosperity,” he said.

Meanwhile, at a press conference after the event, he said the Ministry would take appropriate measures to help film industry players in the country to venture into animation.