Archive for August, 2019

3,000 jobs up for grabs at 2nd Sabah Career Roadshow

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Over 3,000 job vacancies will be up for grabs, offered by 125 companies as the 2nd edition of the Sabah Career Roadshow revs up the state capital beginning on August 19.

“There will be wider job prospects awaiting job-seekers being offered by quality and credible employers joining the five-day roadshow from throughout the country, with minimum salary starting at a range of RM1,100,” said Director of Sabah Labour Department, Kamal Pardi at the press conference announcing the event yesterday.

Calling on job seekers and local youth to join the event, Kamal noted prospective employers include reputable and renowned firms such as Korean tech giants, Samsung and other companies which offer numerous benefits, including excellent boarding services for those interested to start their careers in Peninsular Malaysia.

“For youths who haven’t found jobs or those looking for better jobs, this is a priceless opportunity to kickstart your future careers at the career roadshow which will begin at Tabung Haji Kota Kinabalu,” said Kamal, noting this installment of the programme will take the roadshow to five districts throughout Sabah.

He noted the programme, headed in a joint collaboration between the Sabah Labour Department and the State Human Resources Department, was initiated at the request of Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, who is expected to officiate the launching of the event on August 19.

The career roadshow, involving teams of 4X4 vehicle convoy, will travel to selected locations which include Kota Kinabalu (August 19), Kudat (August 20), Kota Marudu (August 21), and Ranau (August 22) before the closing ceremony at Keningau (August 23).

Kamal highlighted the programme had a high rate of success in helping job seekers find employment, noting the first edition of the roadshow, held earlier this year had managed to help over 4,000 job seekers land jobs.

“Through this roadshow, we look forward to bringing job opportunities closer to home for job-seekers and youths who can save the cost of traveling long distances in search of jobs,” he said.

He reminded job-seekers to be punctual, dress decently and appropriately for job interviews which will be arranged by employers who are keen to hire suitable candidates on the spot if the interview is successful.

Adding on, Kamal also invited members of the public to join the roadshow, noting there will also be numerous skills training opportunities being offered during the programme. Among those who attended press conference included Principal Assistant Director of the Department of Human Resources Development (Skills Taining Sponsorship Division), Celestina Aaron.


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Create education system that’s ours

Friday, August 16th, 2019
The Jawi-khat issue just scratches the surface of the pluralistic Malaysian community. Until we stop being suspicious of each other and build an education system that is uniquely ours, we will remain fragmented. — NSTP Archive

TO understand the Jawi-khat issue, we should refer to the historical development of education in Malaysia.

As much as we have tried to mould an education system that is distinctively ours, the current system is one that began during the British colonial period.

During those years, communities were segregated according to economic activities. This was done purposefully.

Each community had a role to play.

The British assumed the governing role, Malays were responsible for cultivating the fields, the Chinese to manage mining and businesses, while Indians were confined to rubber estates and plantations.

This segregation was solidified when the British allowed each community to chart its own educational endeavour as there was no clear education policy.

The Malays had their own schooling system, which provided education up to primary level.

The Chinese imported teachers and textbooks from China, which had strong Chinese ideology.

Tamil-medium schools were run by untrained teachers in rundown facilities.

Finally, English-medium schools were reserved for the royals and elites.

As the multiple education systems had no coherence and cohesion, it exacerbated the division among the communities.

During the pre-independence era, there were two important education reports — Barnes Report (1951) and Fenn-Wu Report (1952).

The Barnes Report, written by the British, proposed a national school system, where primary vernacular schools maintained one single standard curriculum.

The Chinese objected this as they felt the recommendations centred on Malay supremacy.

This led to the Fenn-Wu Report, which stated that while the Malay language is to be treated as a principal language, there should be provision to recognise Chinese and Tamil as important components in defining the then-Malaya identity.

One of the core arguments was that unity could still be achieved, albeit through multiple mediums of instruction in schools.

The Barnes Report was unsuccessful and to avoid conflict, English-medium national schools were implemented according to the 1952 Education Ordinance.

As much as we have developed over the years, embracing modernity and a progressive mindset, our historical education system continues today.

May 2018 was a monumental moment. For the first time in its history, Malaysians changed the government.

New Malaysia — we thought we have moved away from race-based politics. But the current political scenario appears very much to be linked to race-based ideology.

Malays are reflected through Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia or Bersatu, and to some extent PKR, while DAP represents the Chinese and Indians.

In today’s market-driven world, education is strongly correlated to the economy.

A good education system is a precursor to a strong economy. How is the education system preparing our citizens to face the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

How can Science and Mathematics in English make Malay-sians marketable and employable, regionally and internationally?

Why isn’t coding implemented in English?

Why is the education system lagging behind Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand in international assessments such as The Programme for International Student Assessment?

The narrative has always been “us versus them”, typically used to highlight the ethno-religious division of Malay Muslims against Chinese and Indian non-Muslims.

Everything in Malaysia is interpreted from a racial lens.

The race-based political parties and education system magnify our differences.

Education reforms will merely act as a Band-aid as the wound runs deep.

Often, Malaysians love to draw comparisons with Singapore.

The first thing Singapore did upon being a separate country in 1965 was to fix its diverse education system to have a single-stream primary education.

The Jawi-khat issue just scratches the surface of the pluralistic Malaysian community.

Until we stop being suspicious of each other and build an education system that is uniquely ours, we will remain fragmented.


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NST Leader: How have we come to this?

Friday, August 16th, 2019
New Malaysia is no place for bigotry and slander

MALAYSIANS, for the longest time, have always been divided over issues of race, but never more so now. The propensity to quibble about the most trivial to the most controversial, be it in politics or social relations, is particularly trying. In recent weeks, a metamorphosis of sorts seems to have occurred.

Almost everything has a racial tone to it, from religion and education to culture and tradition. The “us-versus-them” mentality has taken over, and some Malaysians are acting with reckless abandon.

Values dear to our forefathers are set aside — we don’t acknowledge the differing views and we’ve stopped all manner of decorum. Of course, communal tensions are nothing new. But fanning them repeatedly with subliminal messages is dangerous.

How have we come to this? Where is the respect and honour? Inflammatory utterances by controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik, for instance, have further fuelled the fire of racial antagonism and diluted the cohesive unity of post-Merdeka Malaysia.

He should have known better. As a strong advocate of peace, he should remain tactful, especially when confronted with a sensitive social construct such as ours.

True, Zakir’s crusade is as sincere enough as it is with other Muslim missionaries, but it is that sincere message which is mistaken and potentially dangerous. It may be necessary to remind Zakir that Malaysians are born here, hence, he should not be allowed to offer views on our affairs, or compare Malaysia’s political landscape with India.

To cite an example, a well-known acupuncturist from Kuala Terengganu, who had been toiling Malaysian soil as one of her sons for seven generations, would be devastated at such a brazen attack, moreover by a foreigner who has taken asylum here.

To deport Zakir or strip him of his permanent resident status will lead to more controversy in the Muslim world. Malaysia has done much in providing a safe harbour for Zakir, so it is only common decency for him to keep his tongue in check.

Otherwise, a gag order may be warranted, especially on combustible issues. Let this serve as a reminder to other permanent residents that peace and harmony are essential to a nations’s security and should be protected.

And what of Dong Zong? The educationist group should live up to its name as a proponent of education, culture and development. Over the years, the group has morphed into a Chinese hardliner, insensitive to the interests of other races.

Indeed, times are exciting for Malaysians with such mercurial issues for media organisations to deliberate and publish, but industry players must bear in mind that we have a duty to disseminate fair and unbiased information, as well as good and happy news and as purveyors of peace in line with journalistic ethics.

Racial disunity will lead to a volatile climate and not only affect peace and public order, but the economy will be the hardest hit. Let our commonalities prevail over our differences and let not the introduction of Jawi or other matters divide us. Accept and embrace.

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Educational dilemmas rest on social dilemmas

Thursday, August 15th, 2019
Education success in plural societies should address the issues which drive social disintegration and enflame social distrust. (NSTP/SHARUL HAFIZ ZAM)
By James Campbell - August 14, 2019 @ 10:32am

IN plural and ethnically diverse societies, the success of educational reform depends upon the extent to which the broader society can address the problems of communalism, social division and fragmentation.

A sense of inclusivity, what some may call much needed social integration or social cohesion, is needed to overcome the constant pull of sectional division in ethnically divided societies.

Given the seemingly interminable way in which racial and religious divisions impact on educational debates and the best efforts of reformers, social reintegration and cohesion are both laudable and necessary objectives if much needed educational reform in societies such as Malaysia is to succeed.

J.S. Furnivall, who is well known to historians and political scientists for his critique ‘Plural Society’, is arguably not as well known for his observations in regard to education.

Yet Furnivall’s observations with respect to education are worth pointing out since they point to an essential characteristic of the educational dilemma in plural societies that stares at us plainly and uncomfortably.

According to Furnivall, “Education, then, is the sum of all those processes which fit the youth for social life.”

Note that education here is not defined simply as instruction nor is it limited to what goes on in educational institutions such as schools and universities.

Furnivall argues in fact that there is “a tendency to confuse education with instruction”.

Education in Furnivall’s opinion is wider and more complex than the narrow confines of formal instruction in universities and schools although it obviously includes that.

In this observation, Furnivall appears to be in good company. Educational thinkers such as John Dewey, to cite just one example, point out that education properly understood is a broad process of growth and social development.

As Furnivall points out, if a society is utterly fragmented, lacking in social integration and cohesion, then this begs the question to what extent such societies can achieve their educational aims.

What does it mean to say one is educated in circumstances where social division distrust and animus crowd out efforts at understanding and social integration?

In extreme cases of communally divided societies where any reform or positive step is torn apart by sectional interests and division, it can be tempting to ask if a society understood in any normative and integrated sense exists at all.

Furnivall argues much the same when he points out regarding the legacy of colonialism that: “Everywhere in the Tropical Far East there has come into existence a Plural Society, held together not by tradition or religion but by little more than the steel framework of the law in a society in which distinct social orders live side by side but separately within the same political unit.

“In circumstances such as these, the social life within each community tends to be disintegrated, and there is, moreover, no all-embracing social life. In the strict sense of the word, there is no society. If, then, education is the sum of all the processes which fit the child as a member of society, how can he be educated where society does not exist?”

The problem of education in plural societies is thus according to Furnivall a problem closely connected to the way in which society is integrated and made cohesive.

Wider cultural social, political and economic dynamics inform what it is to be educated. These wider dynamics impact on the discourse of educational reform and instructional practices in diverse ways.

Some people may think that if only politics, social issues, economics and culture could be kept out of education, then educators could focus on the practical problems of instruction free from outside influence. This, however, is a pipe dream.

The problems of education have always been deeply cultural, economic and political. In plural societies, the problems of social division, distrust conflict and competition are never far from educational debate.

Rather than viewing such forces as somehow extraneous to education, as if we could somehow ignore them, we need to view them as a critical part of our educational problem.

Societies divided by sectional interests, ripped apart by racial and religious division, will necessarily view all educational reform and proposals through the prism of conflict and social competition.

In such societies the problem of education and the success of educational reform will ultimately rest on addressing the wider inequalities and divisions which result from the colonial inheritance of plural society.

Educational success in such societies is therefore not simply limited to how we advance practical instruction within schools, universities and other educational institutions. Rather, success in educational reform rests ultimately upon addressing the issues which drive social disintegration and enflame social distrust. These issues incessantly pose basic dilemmas for policy makers, educators and citizens alike and their resolution would greatly add to the success of educational reform.

By James Campbell.

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Is university research good for teaching?

Thursday, August 15th, 2019
Research-inspired scholars and academics will be able to expose their students to new ideas, discoveries and knowledge through first-hand experience.

THE main role of academics at universities is to teach and do research. There are differing points of views that argue the two activities could either complement or contradict each other.

In fact, there have been allegations where academics who are too focused on research fail to bring the same level of enthusiasm to the lecture halls in their role of imparting knowledge to their students, thus affecting the quality, or bringing about a negative impact on teaching.

Associate Professor Dr Wan Zuhainis Saad, the director of the academic excellence division at the Ministry of Education’s department of higher education, noted that for academics it is very easy to quantify research work in terms of the amount of grants or number of publications, and in many promotion exercises, research outputs were given big scores.

“For young staff, the career path is very clear for promotion through research but not so in teaching. Subsequently, teaching staff will focus more on their research work and just fulfil the minimum requirements of teaching,” she pointed out.

“Research can be impactful in a positive way for teaching if researchers are able to connect their findings to the relevant courses or give opportunities to undergraduate students to participate in the research work in their labs,” Wan Zuhainis added.

But she remarked that it would be different or the other way around if researchers were doing research merely for the sake of it, with no connection to the curricula or undergraduate teaching.


Being involved in research as a student will increase independence of thought, bring about a more intrinsic motivation to learn, and enable for a more active role in learning.

Professor Dr Ishak Yussof, the pro-vice chancellor (Strategy & Corporate Development) at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), said research projects bring new information and knowledge that should be shared with students.

“The traditional roles of a university are teaching and research with the aim of developing society and contributing positively to the national economic development. Thus, the function of universities apart from offering education necessary for personal development, is to provide professional training for high level jobs required by the country’s economy. It is crucial to ensure that the university’s research is being used in the teaching and learning processes,” he revealed.

Professor Mahendhiran Nair, the deputy president (Research and Development) at Monash University Malaysia, said, “Research connects us to new knowledge in the field; identifies limitations of current knowledge; informs us on what needs to be studied, re-examined and researched further; and what measures to take to overcome the limitations of current knowledge. Research is essential to update one’s knowledge base and to enable a horizon of new possibilities,” he said.

“Only research-inspired scholars or academics will be able to expose their students to new ideas, discoveries and knowledge through first-hand experience. All others are borrowed experiences and ideas.

“Furthermore, research-intensive universities across the globe are also at the forefront of innovative and creative course curriculum design and teaching pedagogy. Through their research, they will not only continuously improve their courses, but keep these courses updated in a world that is constantly changing at a rapid pace,” he divulged.

“Research is not just about extending and generating new knowledge, but it is also about solving problems and evaluating current policies and practices,” said Professor Dr Mohamad Kamal Harun, deputy vice-chancellor (Academic and International) at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

“Any part of research — identification of the problem, the theories, the methodology or the findings — can be teaching topics and classroom discussion points. Academics are tasked to nurture critical thinkers and innovators, thus students too must be exposed and able to dissect current problems and provide possible solutions,” he said.


According to Professor Dr Noorsaadah Abd Rahman, deputy vice-chancellor (Research & Innovation) at Universiti Malaya, given the right pedagogy and lesson plans, research and teaching can complement one another.

“For example, lecturers who are doing research on a particular topic would be able to formulate assignments and group work that are more hands-on and practical, hence allowing for a deeper sense of thought towards the topic rather than imparting superficial or second-hand knowledge from textbooks or references provided by third parties — such as the authors,” she pointed out.

At Universiti Malaya, in addition to research in their respective fields, Noorsaadah said lecturers are also encouraged and given support to conduct research on their own teaching practice, through a relatively small grant known as Learning Improvement & Teaching Enhancement Research (UM LITER).

“Lecturers who undertake Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL), Action Research and Educational Research, are able to use the findings from their research to update their curriculum design, improve teaching delivery and most importantly, enhance student learning,” she said.

“For a research university like UKM, it is normal to bring research to the classrooms, not only for science or technical-based subjects but also among the social sciences classes.

“For science-based subjects, it is compulsory for the students to get involved with laboratory works which are frequently closely related to research projects especially among postgraduate students. For technical subjects like engineering or IT (Information Technology), students are frequently being asked to come up with projects to produce prototypes which are also research-based,” said Ishak.

Research elements are also embedded in the teaching and learning of social science subjects.

“Students conducting surveys or undertaking special investigations on specific issues will present their findings in the classroom under close supervision by their lecturers, which is a norm among social science students.

“To strengthen and further encourage such practices, UKM has decided to award 50 per cent of the tuition fees in the form of research grants to lecturers who supervise research students. In doing so, we believe that students will benefit in terms of pioneering frontier knowledge through research activities,” he revealed.

To bring research to the classroom, Mahendhiran said traditional and didactic teaching approaches must give way to more creative and experiential learning approaches, supported by building strong fundamental knowledge to discover the truth using the best scientific methods, innovations and knowledge.

“Sound fundamental knowledge supported by experiential learning with a dash of passion and inspiration will go a long way in helping students contextualise and apply what they learn in life. It will be an excellent recipe to enrich their learning experience and quality of life,” he said.


But does this mean that academics should put more focus on research at universities?

Professor Dr Kamila Ghazali, the deputy vice-chancellor (Academic & International) at Universiti Malaya, said the institution puts equal emphasis on both teaching and research.

“We do not lose sight of one over the other as both are very important for the university and country. In terms of annual appraisals as well as the promotion exercise, research is assessed based on the output and acquisition of grants, while teaching is assessed based on student evaluations of courses taught and supervision of postgraduate students.

“Many universities including Universiti Malaya are now offering lecturers the option of building their academic careers either via Research Pathway or Teaching Pathway, where theoretically, innovative curriculum design, excellent teaching, along with impactful research in Teaching & Learning (T&L) will be assessed,” she shared.

At UiTM, four pathways are adopted in determining an academic’s career — Inspiring Educators, Accomplished Researchers, Experienced Practitioners and Institutional Leadership describe the attributes needed to be an accomplished academician.

“While they cannot be mutually exclusive, in most cases, academics tend to display some strengths over another. Researchers, for example, tend to fare better in research activities compared to institutional leadership and as such, their promotional exercises shall consider all indicators and outputs like research grants, publications, patents etc,” said Mohamad Kamal.

“However, academics who spend more time in the classroom and curriculum construction such as those in the teaching and learning track are also expected to do research in order to enhance innovation in teaching and learning.

“This also includes action research. The findings of this type of research is equally publishable and can make an impact in the teaching of the subject matter. There are many learning problems that are yet to be solved, and there are also advanced technologies bringing new challenges that require exploration and research as to how students can learn the best,” he said.


Muhammad Afiq Hariz Khatem, who is studying for a Bachelor in Business Administration Entrepreneurship at UiTM, believes that academicians who are heavily involved in research make good teachers.

But they have to be able to also focus on their students through an innovative way of communication and learning to make sure that students are well taken care of even if the lecturers have time constraints.

“For me, the best is if the academician has field work experience in the courses that they are currently teaching. The sharing of past research and being involved in research as a student would increase independence of thought, resulting in a more intrinsic motivation to learn, and a more active role in learning,” said Muhammad Afiq.

On being involved in a lecturer’s research, he said the university should set some rules on the extent of student involvement to avoid them being used unscrupulously.

“The student should have a minimal role that is based on the consensus of the students and the university, and they should also receive certain credits in terms of financial aid or other benefits in some way as they are fully committed in the research,” he said.

Ummie Carmiela Norsam, a Bachelor of Mass Communications (Honours) Public Relations student at UiTM, also shares similar concerns about time management where academic-researchers are concerned.

“Based on my experience, some of my lecturers who are doing research and teaching simultaneously, don’t really know how to use their time properly. They will come late to class or they would not show up at all. They rarely do class replacements, instead they give extra assignments which I doubt will be of benefit to students,” she said.

On being involved with the academics’ research, she said it would be a win-win situation for both parties.

“It will benefit the lecturers as they will be able to garner different perspectives from their students, and the students will most likely gain knowledge by helping their lecturers.

“However, when the lecturers main motive is only to get ideas from the students then it becomes unfair, unless the lecturer credits them in his or her research. Thus, it’s more preferable for a lecturer to focus on one thing at a time,” she opined.

Samuel Loh Yung Jian, who is pursuing a Bachelor of International and Strategic Studies at Universiti Malaya, commented that academicians at institutions of higher learning need to have exposure to research. Not only does this improve their soft skills, he said it also helps to provide knowledge and insights from a more empirical perspective.

“If my lecturers have a holistic portfolio, that enhances their ability to deliver knowledge and educate. Nonetheless, there are those who are too academic and incapable of delivering what’s needed to their targeted audience, and heavy involvement in research does increase such a risk,” he remarked.

Loh also said that being involved in a lecturer’s research is a matter of personal preference.

“Personally, I like the challenge that comes with involvement. Not only does it help me to learn new things outside of the lecture hall, it also improves my soft skills in many areas. However, depending on the course, I too prefer having lecturers that are focused on teaching — at the very least, lecturers who can make time for their students for consultations. Lecturers from my department balance that well, and I am able to meet them outside the classroom for consultations, despite their busy schedules,” he said.

Fardila Mohd Zaihidee, who is pursuing a PhD in Electrical Engineering at Universiti Malaya after obtaining a Master of Engineering (Mechatronics), is of the opinion that researchers do make good, if not better, teachers.

Research projects bring new information and knowledge that should be shared with university students.

“Every academician can teach theories to students, but only those who are involved in research can relate the theories to current scenarios and future developments in their field. Furthermore, with an in-depth understanding from their experience in research, they can provide relevant examples and analogies to further support the theories being taught,” she said.

For Fardila, hands-on activities enable her to understand theories better, which helps to generate interest in her area of study.

“As the field evolves, research activities allow me to connect the theories I have learnt to recent enhancements in that field. Involvement in research creates a more effective learning environment, where theories are applied in real-world situations.

By Rozana Sani.

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Advice to student counsellors

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

LAHAD DATU: The role of counsellors is not only to provide student counselling services but also to assist teachers in cultivating good values ​​in the school. Therefore, each counsellor is responsible for developing their skills in dealing with current issues and challenges.

Malaysian Counselling Board (LKM) President Assoc Prof Dr Wan Marzuki Wan Jaafar said The Continuing Professional Development Programme for registered counsellors is an integrated effort of the Board of Counsellors to ensure that they are provided with knowledge, skills and professional practice through well-planned and systematic training programmes so that the counsellors can provide the best ethical service to the community.
“Therefore, I urge every registered counsellor to constantly improve their skills through various professional development activities so that we can be more competent in providing counselling services for the community’s benefit,” he said.
He said this at a recent Lahad Datu District Education Office Counselling Enhancement Workshop held at the Open University Malaysia (OUM) here.

The programme is co-organised by the Lahad Datu PPD Psychology and Counselling Unit (UPsK), OUM and the District Council of Counselling Teachers.

The event saw 50 participants from counsellors from schools, public and private agencies including Counselling Teachers from Lahad Datu, Kunak and Tawau participating in the workshop.

The programme was officiated by UPsK Counselling Officer Abdul Nasil Taibon representing Lahad Datu District Education Officer.

The workshop was also held to ensure that Guidance and Counselling Teachers were always relevant to the “educational transformation” that focused on quality student and school enrolment by 2025.
“As a unit focused on teacher competence, the workshop is helpful in providing the sharing of current information and current knowledge to counsellors and guidance counsellors,” he said.

By: Ibrahim Tabir.

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BED and BECE Students of 2016 Completed Studies

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

Are you very enthusiastic about choosing a career in education, with ideas and desire to motivate and inspire young minds? If so, Bachelor of Education (Hons) (BED) and Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Hons) (BECE) studies at SIDMA College UNIRAZAK Sabah is waiting for you to grab it!  You can choose to specialise in early childhood or secondary education; and soon you will graduate and be prepared for a rewarding and successful career in education sector.

In Malaysia, there is always a demand for qualified teachers in early childhood preschool, primary and secondary schools, particularly in the rural settings of Sabah. Students who have graduated with an education degree from SIDMA College UNITAR or UNIRAZAK Sabah, will possess the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude needed to venture into a diverse education services and management either in kindergartens, primary or secondary education. They will learn on how to foster the capabilities of children and young people with diverse backgrounds and needs. They will be trained to develop the skills needed to become critical and effective teachers for advanced professional practices in the future.

On 14 August 2019, a batch of 39 Bachelor Education and 36 Bachelor of Early Childhood Education students who have completed their 14 weeks teaching practicum (internships) on-site at various schools/preschool have undergone actual school working experiences that allows them to practice and demonstrate their developing skills and competencies in their career; prepared,produced and submitted their practicum reports and portfolios for assessment and moderation purposes by the panel of qualified and highly experienced practicum supervisors.

The students, from the October 2016 batch of students, were headed by Mr Mohd Fikri Mohd Shah, (President, 2018/2019 Student Representative Council). Other than submitting their practicum folios for evaluation and moderation of marks, they also conveyed their special thanks and sincere appreciation to Prof Dr Morni Hj Kambrie, (Chairman and Founder of SIDMA College); Madam Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO), Mr Louis Jais (Academic Manager) as well to all lecturers and staff of the college; for their undivided support, sacrifices, patience, understanding and faith in them to see them get through especially in their time of need and also to the whole college staff for their continuous prayers which had made it possible for them to complete their studies, including their recent teaching practicum projects.

Madam Jenifah Abdullah, a former senior education officer with the Sabah Education Department who is currently a staff of the college, took the opportunity to conduct an impromptu grooming and professional sharing session to these soon-to-be teachers and advises them to read and learn more on the industry’s (education industry) expectations, and the real world demands of fresh graduates.

To ensure the student empowerment in learning, the 21st century teaching, she added that new teachers are encouraged to engage in self-evaluation and reflection to relate theory into practice. Self-reflection and self-evaluation are required for all new teachers during their teaching in schools. It’s through such practices that new teachers are able to demonstrate increasing ability to manage issues and problems related to their teaching experience; it can also improved self-esteem, teaching competencies and the management of the teaching climate in classrooms.

Prof Dr Morni congratulated the students for successfully completed their studies despite all odds. He said that “It is one of the great accomplishments of your life. It means your lifetime of education has paid off in the form of a Bachelor of Education degree or Bachelor of Early Childhood Education”.

Congratulations! Take some time off and enjoy as you deserve it; though you need to prepare soon after as it is also the time to get busy joining the “real world” and finding a school that will enable you to start your career in teaching. The college true success will be seeing that the students are successful in life; that will be the best gift for all staff and the college, he added. So work hard and achieve your success! Prof Dr Morni concluded his speech.

Other than education, at SIDMA College UNIRAZAK Sabah various courses are offered as follows:

  • Master of Management
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Education (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Early Childhood Education Hons)
  • Bachelor of English (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Management (Hons)
  • Diploma in Early Childhood Education
  • Diploma in Management
  • Diploma on Occupational Safety and Health

SIDMA College UNIRAZAK Sabah September 2019 Intake of new students are now in progress. SPM/STPM/Diploma school leavers are warmly welcomed to visit the college located at Jalan Bundusan, 88300 Kota Kinabalu to get more information and also to register. You can also make enquiries by calling SIDMA Hotlines 088-732 000 or 088-732 020 or Whatsapp to 013-865 4877. See you soon!

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Khat will be an activity with three pages – Maszlee

Friday, August 9th, 2019

PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry stands by its decision to implement khat in vernacular schools, nearly a week after Putrajaya said the Malay-Arabic calligraphy would be made part of the Year 4 Bahasa Melayu syllabus beginning next year.

Education Minister Maszlee Malik said that khat would only be an activity, not a subject in itself, taking up three pages of the textbook.

He also said it would be up to teachers to decide how they want to teach it.

“Khat will go ahead, but will not be included in examinations or tests,” he said at a special press conference here which was also attended by his deputy Teo Nie Ching, the Star reported.

“We hope that with the Cabinet’s decision on khat, the issue will not be raised anymore and create any misunderstanding.”

The move to introduce khat was met with protest from some, including Chinese and Tamil interest groups who said it would not help vernacular school students increase their standard of Malay.

Segments of DAP grassroots office bearers were also against the move.

The ministry previously said that plans to introduce khat – which it called an integral part of Malaysia’s national identity – had been around since 2014.

When asked if students could choose not to learn khat, Maszlee said it would be up to the teacher.

On Sabah and Sarawak’s opposition to khat, Maszlee said the states are part of the country.

“So according to the constitution, education is a federal matter,” he said, reiterating that the move to implement khat is merely a continuation of the decision by the previous administration.

With this decision, vernacular schoolteachers can opt to teach khat if they want to. Teachers at national schools, however, are still required to teach it as part of their Year 4 Bahasa Melayu subject next year as scheduled.

Originally, the Ministry said that the introduction of khat as part of the Bahasa Melayu subject for Year Four pupils would be implemented next year as planned.

It would have involved all primary school students, and would have been done via six out of 164 pages in the new Bahasa Melayu Year Four textbook as part of the language art activities.

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Engaging audience key to public speaking

Friday, August 9th, 2019

KOTA KINKBALU: The most challenging task in public speaking is to grab the attention of the audience and to maintain it throughout the whole speech.

It is truly disheartening when after two minutes of a speaker commencing a speech, the audience starts looking through the window or chatting or worse still yawning widely.

Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. However, the skill to engage the audience in public speaking is important in many sectors such as marketing, teaching, politics, community work and many others.

Sabah English Aspiration Society (SEAS) has given a serious attention in nurturing this skill at the young age.

During the recent SEAS English Camp held from Aug 3 to Aug 4 at the SJKC Pei Yin, Membakut, Engaging the Audience Competition was the peak event of the camp.

Out of over 200 participants, about 20 students age between 10 and 12 years old were recruited to participate in the Engaging the Audience Competition.

Each participant is mentored on one to one basis by a coach.

The coaches are Malaysian students who reside in the United Kingdom, mainly from London and Manchester.

Nur Ashiera Natasha from Inanam, Kota Kinabalu emerged champion and took home the Zainal A Sanusi Trophy.

She was mentored by Assoc Siti Nur Syakirah Mohd Fauzi from London who was very excited that her talented young mentee is not only passionate about public speaking but also confident.

Annabelle Magdalene and Lucas Chong, both from SJKC Kung Ming Beaufort, won second and third places, respectively.

Mohd. Adib Abdul Rahman from Windsor, England who led the team of judges had a tough job in deciding the best amongst the young talents.

The participants of the Engaging the Audience Competition also had an opportunity to get tips from a renowned international trainers in public speaking, Ahmad Fikri and Jamilah Samian.

SEAS President, Dr Zainab Kassim said that this year, the English Camp by SEAS is held concurrently with Active Learning Workshop for the teachers and Parental Skill Workshop.

This year also saw the emergence of SEAS Kitchen which was in charge of the food and drinks during the camp and SEAS Martial Arts which performed during the closing ceremony.

Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Education and Innovation Jenifer Lasimbang officiated the closing ceremony of SEAS English Camp 2019.

In her closing speech Jenifer shared her experience on learning English the hard way during her time.

She is very pleased that SEAS conduct English Camp every year which creates a golden opportunity for the students.

The Assistant Minister also expressed her gratitude to all sectors which made the camp successful namely Elyna Wong, the principle of SJKC Pei Yin Membakut and her team, Sirhajwan Idek from Keningau Vocational College and his superb team of 35 facilitators and Julie Ezwin and Salina Othman from United Kingdom with their team of UK facilitators.

About 30 UK facilitators came to help the SEAS English Camp 2019 in Sabah and paid for all their travelling expenses themselves.

Dr. Zainab in her closing speech expressed her appreciation to Budreh Hj Ahmad the Beaufort District Education Director for his support to SEAS.

This year the English Camp was participated by 200 students from almost 20 schools from all over Sabah and Labuan.

She attributed the success of this year’s camp to the able management and leadership of the camp director, Zaiazieyana Yanti Zainal, SEAS Secretary,  from SK Pengiran Jaya Membakut.

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Hari Raya Aidiladha Goodies distributed to SIDMA Staff

Friday, August 9th, 2019

Hari Raya Aidiladha, also called the feast of sacrifice, is an Islamic festival that falls on the 10th day of Zulhijjah (the 12 month of the Islamic calendar. The event is to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s) complete faith and trust in God. This was related in the story of God commanding Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, Ismail (Ishmael), a commandment that Ibrahim responded to with obedience. God stopped him and provided him with a sheep to substitute as a sacrifice, instead of his son. The festival also marks the end of the Hajj (the Muslim pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

In conjunction with this year Hari Raya Aidiladha celebration which falls on 11th August 2019; Prof Dr Morni Hj Kambrie, SIDMA Chairman and Founder; with full collaboration from SIDMA Staff Welfare Association (PKKKSS) distributed goodies to SIDMA staff at SIDMA College Sabah Atrium on 08 August 2019 (Thursday).

According to Prof Dr Morni, it has been customary for SIDMA College to distribute goodies to staff celebrating the main Malaysia national festival such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Hari Raya Aidiladha, Harvest Festival, Christmas and Chinese New Year as one of their Corporate Social Responsibilities to share and to celebrate together with the staff as one big family. He also expressed his appreciation and recognition to all of his staff for their great services and contributions rendered by them throughout the year.

Goodies of basic festive necessities which comprises of chicken and beef were handed out to the staff by Puan Azizah Khalid Merican (CEO) on behalf of Prof Dr Morni who has earlier engaged with other commitment outside Sabah. Puan Azizah was accompanied by Puan Azlina Ngatimin (Director, Corporate Marketing and Business Development), Mr Zain Azrai (Chairman, PKKKSS) as well as other SIDMA staff.

Mr Zain Azrai, on behalf of all PKKKSS committee members and SIDMA staff thanked Prof Dr Morni and the Top Management for their generosity, the sharing and caring attitudes for the staff well-being and happiness; particularly during such auspicious occasion such as Hari Raya Aidiladha.

Prof Dr Morni and family, Madam Azizah Khalid Merican and family, Mr Zain Azrai and family, Managers, Heads of Departments and family also shared their warm Hari Raya Aidiladha greetings to all lecturers, staff, students, parents, relatives and friends. Have a blessed, joyful and safe Hari Raya Aidiladha everyone!

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