Archive for category Education
Stop making the Deputy VCs as sacrificial victims when the people who should resign are the DPM and Education Minister Muhyiddin and the VC Amin Jalaludin for continued political interference against academic freedom and excellence
The Deputy Vice Chancellors, Professor Dr. Mohd Hamid Abd Shukor (academic and international) and Professor Datuk Dr. Rohana Yusof (student affairs) should not be made sacrificial victims in the continued political interference with the once leading university in the country.
If any body should quit their posts, it is the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for continued political interference against academic freedom and excellence in University of Malaya and the Vice Chancellor, Professor Datuk Dr. Mohd Amin Jalaludin who had dismally failed to stand up for the academic staff and the university students in University of Malaya against such political interference by the politicians from Putrajaya.
The greatest tragedy of University of Malaya is that it has fallen off from the pedestal as one of the leading world universities even in the sixties and seventies, left far behind by its earlier peers and even equals among the leading national universities in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia and there are no signs that University of Malaya is on the bend to restore her prestigious world top positions for academic freedom and excellence some forty years ago. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malay Mail Online
January 20, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Malaysia has been ranked 35 out of 50 countries in international business school Insead’s global talent competitiveness index (GTCI) for 2014, trailing behind Singapore, which retained its number two spot for a second-year running.
The index placed Switzerland at number one, followed by Singapore and Luxemborg in second and third places, while Australia came in at number nine.
Malaysia scored higher than China, Brazil and Greece, which came in at number 41, 49 and 50 respectively.
The study, produced by Insead along with the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore (HCLI) and Adecco Group, measures a nation’s competitiveness based on the quality of talent it can produce, attract and retain.
This is the second time Singapore, the only Asian country, was featured in the top ten rankings of the index.
Malaysia moved up two notches from the number 37 spot in GTCI’s 2013 rankings index which continues to be heavily-dominated by European countries. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
16 January 2015
I have always wondered why parents (and even many students) in Malaysia are obsessed about getting into the right schools so that their children can get the best education.
They pressure their children to get good grades so they can get into schools like fully-residential schools (SBP) and MRSMs (Mara Junior College).
Some even go to the extent of faking their addresses so their children can get into their choice of non-boarding schools that are not in their living vicinity.
Even my parents did the same for my brothers and I. They didn’t fake our address, but they did make sure we got into the “best” schools – I even had to go to a fully-residential school. Read the rest of this entry »
By Zurairi AR
The Malay Mail Online
January 11, 2015
KUALA KRAI, Jan 11 ― Schools here reopened today for the start of the new year, but students in flood-stricken Manek Urai have yet to commence with lessons as cleanups are expected to last another week.
Clad in colourful casual attire and rubber slippers instead of the usual white-and-navy-blue uniforms, the students in SK Manek Urai here spent their time lounging around gawking at army personnel and volunteers, from their still wet classrooms.
This month marks the first anniversary of Yusof Ismail, 49, as the school’s headmaster after transferring from his hometown of Tanah Merah last year.
He admitted that the floods, which submerged two of the schools four storeys, were a major setback.
“It’s my personal challenge this year, to rebuild this school from the ground up. I am starting from square one now,” Yusof, with his black pants tucked inside a pair of yellow rubber boots, told Malay Mail Online during a visit this morning. Read the rest of this entry »
Never before have there been so many time-bombs ticking away in Malaysia which could spell disaster for the nation if they are not defused or detonated
(Speech at the DAP Gelang Patah forum “1MDB in RM42 billion debt – Is Malaysia on the Verge of Financial Turmoil” in Johor Baru on Tuesday, 16th December 2014 at 8 pm)
My first book “Time Bombs in Malaysia” in 1978 quoted my speech in Parliament on the Third Malaysia Plan in July 1976 where I warned that several time bombs were ticking away in Malaysia and unless these time bombs were defused, Malaysia could be blown to smithereens.
I would never imagine that today, more than 36 years later after the first edition of “Time Bombs in Malaysia”, we are faced with even greater dire straits as never before in our nation’s history have we a situation where so many time-bombs are ticking away in Malaysia which could spell disaster for the nation if they are not defused or detonated.
The RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, which is the subject of tonight’s forum, is one such Time Bomb in today’s Malaysia.
This mega financial scandal, exposed by Pakatan Rakyat MPs Tony Pua and Rafizi Ramli, is now also being questioned by UMNO forces led by former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Mahathir, his cohorts like Tun Daim, to the extent that a police report against 1MDB has been lodged by an UMNO division leader, creating huge waves in UMNO.
Until the seventies, when there was greater regard for good governance, public integrity and financial probity, the biggest financial scandal was the RM65 million Bank Rakyat scandal.
The then Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn, who could not stomach any corruption or misuse of power, was shocked by the RM65 million Bank Rakyat scandal and insisted on parliamentary accountability and a White Paper was issued following a Price Waterhouse inquiry into the Bank Rakyat scandal – and the RM65 million Bank Rakyat was the subject of parliamentary debates and scrutiny in 1979.
Since the eighties, corruption and financial scandals increased by leaps and bounds from the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal, the RM600 million Maminco tin-buying scandal and the RM1.5 billion Co-operatives Finance scandal in the 80s, to the RM30 billion Bank Negara foreign exchange scandal and RM11 billion Perwaja scandal in the 90s, and the multi-billion ringgit Scorpene and defence procurement scandals and the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone scandal in the last decade.
Now, Malaysia has shot into the stratosphere of mega-financial scandals running into tens of billions of ringgit which is becoming the rule rather than the exception, with the RM42 billion 1MDB Scandal reigning currently as the King of Mega Scandals – and I leave to Tony Pua who, together with Rafizi, have become the unchallenged authorities on this “mother of all scandals” to elaborate later at this forum.
But the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal is not the only Time Bomb now ticking away in Malaysia. We are faced with a host of economic, financial, political, education, race and religion, nation-building Time Bombs which if not defused or detonated will spell disaster for Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »
Would Najib ask all the 34 UMNO/BN Ministers who send their children to private or international schools, whether local or foreign, to resign for their lack of confidence in the Umno/BN national education policy and system?
Malaysians must thank the former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir Mohamad for highlighting the scandal of more and more Umno/BN Ministers and leaders sending their children to private or international schools, whether local or foreign, as it has been a standing example in the past decades of the hypocrisy of UMNO/BN leaders who preach one thing for ordinary Malaysians but do the exact opposite for themselves and their family.
Would the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak ask all the 34 Umno/BN Ministers who send their children to private or international schools, whether local or foreign, to resign for their lack of confidence in the Umno/BN national education policy and system?
I have been informed that one of the first things a Minister of the Najib Cabinet did on his appointment was to transfer one of his children to an international school.
Is this because Malaysia’s education system sucks, stuck in the bottom third of the countries surveyed in international assessments and not making any significant moves towards the upper tier of the top one-third of the countries with 15-year-olds in Shanghai, Singapore and South Korea performing as though they had four or even five more years of schooling than 15-years-olds in Malaysia in mathematics, science and reading? Read the rest of this entry »
Let all the 33 Cabinet Ministers reveal whether their children and grandchildren had been educated under the national education system or whether they are products of private and international schools, at home or abroad
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir has warned that the social-economic disparity in Malaysia will grow bigger with rich parents sending their children to study English in international schools and abroad while the poor are left behind in national and vernacular schools here.
The former Prime Minister was not revealing any secret when he said that Ministers send their children to private schools and international schools which use largely English as the teaching medium, whether at home or abroad, as this phenomenon started not now but during his 22-year premiership from 1981-2003.
Surely Mahathir was not unaware that his own Ministers were sending their children to private and international schools, whether locally or abroad, demonstrating their lack of confidence in the national education policy and system?
Although the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had boasted that Malaysian youngsters are receiving better education than children in the United States, Britain and Germany, even UMNO leaders and delegates do not believe him – which is why he would not dare to ask the Umno General Assembly to endorse his claim as he would be in for a shocker! Read the rest of this entry »
Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein is anticipating that the motion on vernacular schools will be the hottest topic at his party’s general assembly to be held next fortnight (Nov 25-29).
The call to abolish vernacular schools, termed Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan – SRJK (C) for those using Mandarin as medium of instruction and SRJK (T) for those using Tamil – is expected to dominate the debate by Umno delegates.
Among the SRJK vocal critics are Umno’s Cheras division chief Syed Ali Alhabshee and Petaling Jaya Utara deputy division chief Mohamad Azli Mohemed Saad.
Urging their abolishment, Syed Ali said vernacular schools are seen as the platform for fostering thick racial sentiments. He was reported by FMT on Oct 7 as saying that such a negative development could bring about division and discord between the people of various races in the country.
Syed Ali is an advocate of single-stream education where all primary schools must teach in the national language, Bahasa Melayu, in the Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK). Read the rest of this entry »
By Azly Rahman
Nov 14, 2014
I am hoping that either the Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat will take up the idea of this new brand of schooling to propel to country into a new era of educational reform as we approach 2015.
The initiative should be started by the Selangor government run by Pakatan to showcase what the BN regime has not been able to do in meeting the schooling and human capital needs of the 21st century, as well as for national unity. I have been writing about this model for years and have even proposed to educational leaders from both governmental camps. I call this initiative Akademie Renaissance (AR) Schools and would like to see it come to fruition in my lifetime.
This initiative will propel the state of Selangor into a major phase of educational reform, partnering in its effort to showcase the nation and other countries a model of a truly global school that harmonises technology, culture, and total human development from the level of kindergarten to graduate school.
It will have its mission in preparing children to become global citizens and experts in the fields of study they will choose as a career, through a systematic process of schooling of the highest standards, from kindergarten to high/secondary schools.
The educational objective is to create ‘academies’ that will become ‘feeder schools of choice’ (specialised) to prepare students for entry into top Asian, American, British, and other world universities of high standing in which English is the medium of instruction. The initial project will be the building of secondary/high schools. Read the rest of this entry »
Call for return of student activism on national issues in universities and abandonment of all pending plans to penalise Fahmi and university students for Anwar programme in University of Malaya on Oct. 27
The nine charges slapped on University Malaya student leader Fahmi Zainol by the University of Malaya in connection with Anwar Ibrahim’s return to his alma mater university on Oct. 27 and the show-cause letters to eight other University of Malaya students as well as pending disciplinary actions against other university students from other pubic universities must deplored in the strongest possible terms.
They must be dropped completely as they reflect a Barisan Nasional government and university administrators who can only think of how to control and brainwash students, instead of cultivating and grooming a new generation of thinking and critical citizens, which is essential if Malaysia is to stand tall in the world in competition with other countries in this age of science and technology.
Malaysian education, whether primary, secondary or university, are facing a prolonged crisis, which is translated into lesser competitiveness for Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »
2015 Budget – A Critique (1)
by Economic Observer
17th Oct 2014
The Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister in his opening remarks observed that economic planning and policies of a country need to be adjusted according to developments and challenges in the domestic and external environment.
He went on to add that Malaysia is in need of a move to be an economy based on knowledge, high skills, expertise, creativity and innovation.
A laudable statement indeed which will not be disputed or attract criticism. However, this statement is nothing more than a platitude and rhetorical in scope. It is patently clear what the challenges are.
The nation is grappling with the dangers associated with the continued brain drain, and the continued neglect of the education system. Read the rest of this entry »
By Helen Warrell
October 7, 2014
More than 150 years ago, the Catholic cardinal John Henry Newman set out his vision for a university as “a place of concourse, whither students come from every quarter for every kind of knowledge”. As students have become more mobile, and higher education institutions more international, Cardinal Newman might be surprised at the truly diverse concourse of the modern education market.
Driving the globalisation of universities are children from the middle classes in emerging economies who aspire to highly skilled jobs. In Asia especially, the development of universities has not kept pace with rising levels of affluence, creating a shortfall of places. As a result, western economies are vying to attract a growing pool of youngsters looking to study abroad. And in fast-growing nations such as India and Brazil, the race to build more universities is on.
Much of this change is necessitated by sheer demographics. More than half of India’s population is under 25 years old; by 2020 it will be ahead of China as the country with the largest population at tertiary-education age. The flow of Chinese students overseas is expected to grow as much as 15 per cent a year until 2018. Already, 2.5m students globally are studying outside their home country, creating a sector worth $30bn a year for the US, the UK, Canada and Australia, according to the Parthenon Group education consultancy. Read the rest of this entry »
No joke, UM ranked among world-top 300 Universities in Times Higher Education ranking, but this UM is not University of Malaya but a university most Malaysians do not know
I could not believe my eyes when I received an email yesterday proclaiming “UM ranked among world-top 300 universities in Times Higher Education World University Rankings” as every informed Malaysian should know by now after a week-long controversy that University of Malaya had suffered the ignominy of being excluded from annual Times Higher Education (THE) Top 400 University Rankings for the fifth consecutive year since the launch of the series in 2010.
When I opened the email, I found that it was indeed true that “UM ranked among world-top 300 universities in THE rankings” but this UM is not the University of Malaya but an university most Malaysians had never heard of before.
This UM is the University of Macau.
The email contained a press release issued by the University of Macau (UM) on 2nd October 2014 that it had been ranked among the world’s top 300 universities, between 276 and 300, by THE World University Rankings 2014-15, and that “this is the first time UM made the list, and, it should be considered an outstanding and momentum building result because merely a few years ago the university were not in the top 400”.
The “UM” announcement, which was forwarded to me yesterday, went on to say:
“In recent years, UM has made a great effort to improve teaching and research, following international standards and making significant social and global outreach.
“In particular, it carried out a comprehensive reform of its undergraduate curriculum, established the Honours College, incorporated international perspective into its curricula, implemdenting an unique ‘4-in-1’ model of education (which consists of discipline-specific education, general education, research and internship education, as well as peer and community education) and established Asia’s largest and in-depth system of residential colleges.”
The UM statement went on to say that while UM welcomes the good results of THE ranking, “it would nevertheless like to stress that the university is not working for a place in the ranking” but “takes to heart the principal reason of education, namely it works to provide the best education for Macao kids to be outstanding global citizens of the 21st century”.
The University of Macau was founded in 1981 as a private university and only became a public university with Macau’s handover to China in 1999. Read the rest of this entry »
Will Najib mention in his 2015 Budget speech on Friday the exclusion of Malaysian universities from the THE Top 400 University Ranking for fifth successive year?
Will the Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak mention in his 2015 Budget speech on Friday the exclusion of Malaysian universities from the Times Higher Education (THE) Top 400 University Ranking 2014 for the fifth successive year?
Or has he forgotten and regretted his challenge to the University of Malaya nine years ago to be among the world’s Top 50 universities by year 2020, which is only five years away?
Three weeks ago, Najib twittered congratulations to the five Malaysian universities which were ranked higher in the Top 400 of the QS World University Ranking 2014, namely University of Malaya (UM) ranked 167 last year to 151; University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) from 269 to 259; University Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) from 355 to 294; Universiti Sains Malaysia from 355 to 309; Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) from 411-420 to 376.
But there has been a deafening silence from Najib as well as from the DPM-cum- Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in the past week over the exclusion of Malaysian universities in Top 400 in another global university ranking – THE University Ranking 2014-2015. Read the rest of this entry »
by Bakri Musa
6th Oct 2014
A Modest Proposal for the Champions of Ketuanan Melayu (Part III)
[In Parts One and Two I suggested that we should focus on enhancing Malay competitiveness and productivity instead of forever begrudging the success of non-Malays or bemoaning the presumed deficiencies of our race and culture. We should begin with our young, the best of them, those at our residential schools. Have high expectations of them, put them through a demanding program, and expose them to rigorous competition.]
The key to any high performing school is the teachers. Both Korean schools (Daewon and Minjuk mentioned earlier) actively sought graduates of top universities to be on their staff. Such highly qualified teachers inspire their students. And when it comes to writing letters of recommendations, those teachers carry much weight, especially when students apply to their teacher’s alma mater.
You do not need and it is impossible for all your teachers to have sterling credentials, only that there should be a critical number of them to set the tone and change the culture. Besides, there are many excellent teachers who are graduates of lesser universities.
Look back at MCKK of yore, with Oxbridge and London University graduates on its staff. At KYUEM, a local college prep school with exemplary record of student achievements, most of its teachers are local but there are sufficient graduates of top universities, including the headmaster, to set the pace and establish a high academic ambience.
On another level, it would be difficult for a local graduate to understand the intricacies and nuances of applying to top foreign universities, or the challenges of attending one. Read the rest of this entry »
Hold a referendum to let the 50,000 undergraduates and post-graduate students of UM and UKM decide whether to join or boycott the THE university rankings
The Universiti Malaya Students Association (PMUM) has come out in support of Universiti Malaya and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia opting out of the annual Times Higher Education Top 400 World University Rankings.
PMUM president Fahmi Zainol said the two universities deserve praise for their move, pointing out that the institutions have been plagued with problems for being too focussed on rankings.
I can understand the view that quality education is not dependent only on university rankings and that universities should not be too obsessed with them. In fact, it has been asked: “University rankings: reliable or rubbish?”
The Norwegian government has even commissioned a study of the placement of Norwegian universities in global rankings and concluded that university rankings are “useless” as a basis for information if the goal is to improve higher education as they are so based on subjective weightings of factors and on dubious data. This Norwegian report was described as “A Kiss of Death for university rankings” by a Norwegian academician.
There are undoubtedly pros and cons on university rankings.
Have Fahmi thought through the whole subject of university rankings and are his views his personal ones, or the official view of the PMUM Executive Committee, as well as representing that of the UKM Students Council?
Are they the views of the 50,000 undergraduates and post-graduate students in the two universities?
If Fahmi is opposed to UM and UKM taking part in the annual THE World University Rankings, why does he support the two universities taking part in the annual QS World University Rankings and UM’s decision to take part in the THE World University Ranking in 2018 when UM is more ready to compete with other established universities around the world?
It would be a good for hold a referendum to let the 50,000 under-graduates and post-graduate students of UM and UKM decide whether the two university should join or continue to boycott the THE university rankings, and let the proponents of both the pros and cons of the argument to state their case, not only to the university student-and-lecturer population but to the nation at large.
This referendum proposition is a subject which PMUM and the UKM Students Council should seriously consider to take up with the university authorities. Read the rest of this entry »
Muhyiddin should initiate a review to end the policy of boycott of UM and UKM in the annual THE World University Rankings to demonstrate our seriousness in wanting to restore the international reputation and academic excellence of Malaysian universities
For the third day in succession, the Barisan Nasional owned/controlled mainstream mass media has maintained a blanket of silence on the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2014 in tandem with the Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Barisan Nasional leaders also going dumb on the latest world’s Top Universities Ranking because of the shame and disgrace of not a single Malaysian university able to crack a placing among the Top 400 Universities listing for the fifth consecutive year.
This is a most strange and abnormal international behaviour, for in the past three days in countries which realize the critical importance of education in determining the future of their economies, the THE World University Rankings 2014 released on Thursday had dominated the public domain and debates, with their mass media and public opinion leaders either celebrating the success of their universities or lamenting their setbacks in the latest THE Top 400 University rankings.
For instance, while the US and UK media reported on the continued dominance of their universities in the Top 400 Universities Ranking, they also warned that “Western leading universities risk declining, Asian institutes keep rising in new rankings”.
Similarly while Australian media take pride in not only having world-class universities but a world-class university system, they worry whether such world standards could be maintained with the full deregulation of tuition fees underway in its radical reform programme, as reflected in headlines like “Australian universities rise in world rankings but report questions proposed tertiary education reforms”. Read the rest of this entry »
Congrats to BN-owned/controlled “mainstream mass media” in achieving a world record in ignoring THE World University Rankings 2014 for two consecutive days because not a single Malaysian university made it to the Top 400 universities list for fifth year
Congrats to the Barisan Nasional-owned/controlled mainstream mass media in achieving a world record in ignoring the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2014 for two consecutive days because not a single Malaysian university made it to the THE Top 400 Universities list for the fifth year in succession.
The THE Top 400 World University Rankings 2014 show a “power shift” from the United States and United Kingdom to the Far East.
While US and UK universities continue to dominate the THE World University Rankings 2014, they are starting to lose ground to East Asian rivals.
What should concern Malaysians is why this shift of higher education excellence from the West to the East has by-passed Malaysia.
Some 24 Asian universities are now in the top 200 compared with 20 a year earlier. This includes two listed in the top 25 – Tokyo University and the National University of Singapore.
In the top 400 universities list, 52 are from Asia, comprising Japan 12, China 12, South Korea 9, Hong Kong 6, Taiwan 6, India 4, Singapore 2, Thailand 1.
But there is not a single Malaysian University not only in the Top 200 but also in the Top 400 universities listed in the THE World University Rankings, not only for 2014 but for the entire five year THE World University Rankings series since 2010. Read the rest of this entry »
What is Najib and Muhyiddin going to do about the crying shame and national disgrace that not a single Malaysian university could get into the THE Top 400 World University Rankings 2014?
Today the media of all countries with higher education masterplans and strategies to take their people and economies to greater heights are focussing and debating the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2014, and the performance of their universities – with the exception of Malaysia.
Not a word in the Malaysian mainstream media owned or controlled by the Barisan Nasional parties about the THE World University Rankings 2014 and the dismal performance of Malaysian universities.
The reason is simple. For the fifth year in succession, since the launching of the THE World University Rankings in 2010, not a single university had made it into the THE Top 400 University Rankings.
The Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin maintains a conspicuous silence about the continued exclusion for the fifth year of Malaysian universities from the THE Top 400 Universities, just as he had continued to maintain a conspicuous, inelegant and infamous silence about Malaysia’s poor performance in the 2011 TIMSS (Trends in International Maths and Science Study) and 2012 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) both of which fell during his term in the education ministry.
Muhyiddin is only good in eating sour grapes with regard to the ranking of Malaysian universities in international university rankings. Read the rest of this entry »
Latest rebuttals to the DPM and PM’s boasts of Malaysia as “world’s best democracy” and “world’s best education system”
Malaysians woke up this morning to further and latest rebuttals to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s boasts of Malaysia as the “one of the world’s best education system” and “world’s best democracy”.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s boast that Malaysia has “one of the world’s best education system” was given a bloody nose by the report that Malaysian universities again failed to make the cut to this year’s Times Higher Education (THE) top 200 global rankings while Singapore’s National University (which shared the same beginnings with University of Malaya) leapt into the top 25 universities list.
The Malay Mail Online in its report “Malaysian universities not in top 200 global rankings, Singapore’s improves” said the latest index shows a significant drop for Malaysian universities from last year’s ranking.
Muhyiddin has been Education Minister for more than five years since 2009.
He should make a Ministerial statement when Parliament resumes next Tuesday on Oct. 7 why all efforts during year tenure as Education Minister for over five years have failed to restore Malaysia’s high international standing in university academic repute and excellence in the fifties and sixties – to the extent that for five consecutive years, none of the Malaysian universities had been able to be ranked among the THE Top 200 University Rankings. Read the rest of this entry »