Archive for category Education
— Disappointed Mom | January 22, 2013
The Malaysian Insider
JAN 22 — As a new school year is under way, it is not only students but also parents who feel, wary and uncertain of the expected changes in Year 2013.
Now that the excitement of the newly launched education blueprint has settled, what awaits Malaysian students and their parents? As a mother, I had a cursory glance, knowing fully well that the next education minister will freely make more alterations.
Through the years one thing has remained constant: the innumerable changes to the education system — the earnestness of the previous and current education ministers in implementing gross and drastic changes has turned our kids into collateral damage in their frenzy to garner votes.
Perhaps the first to lose trust in our education system are Malaysian ministers and senior government bureaucrats, who in much haste are sending their own children to private English schools or to overseas institutions — a clear indication of the dismal level and standard that our education system has sunk to.
Read the rest of this entry »
by KJ John
Jan 15, 2013
In 2007, I wrote a column entitled, ‘Why I will not vote for BN’. No one then really took me seriously, although I was told that MCA circulated that column during the MCA central committee meeting. Even later, a representative of the then chief secretary told me, but after the fact, that the man was not too happy with my column either.
My retort: Well, he could have easily called me to understand my reasons and explanations, if he was interested to listen. If they could listen, then the government maybe could have addressed those reasons well before the general election. Finally, PM Najib Abdul Razak is trying, but is it too late?
This time around, allow me to state positively why I have no choice but to still vote for Pakatan Rakyat again. I will record three reasons in this column. Neither is this because I love BN any less, it is just that given our real choices and options, the unknown angel is better than that of the known devil.
My first reason is the ‘Allah’ issue and how it has been so badly handled by the BN government, and why they need to better understand the real issues about the true and real etymology of the ‘Allah’ word. My good friend and fellow writer to Malaysiakini, Bob Teoh, has documented the core issues quite well for all those interested to know the truths about this word. His book is entitled, Allah: More than just a Word.
I will not explain all the reasons involved here, which the High Court judgment by Lau Bee Lan has argued rather well. Citizens should read this judgment before talking about this issue. Read the rest of this entry »
— Izham Ismail
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 15, 2013
15 JAN — Semalam, kita digemparkan oleh sebuah video yang disebarkan di YouTube, memaparkan perjalanan sebuah forum yang diadakan di Universiti Utara Malaysia. Forum tersebut bertajuk “Seiringkah Mahasiswa dan Politik” dan perkara yang mengejutkan adalah tindakan panel forum terbabit, Saudari Sharifah Zohrah Jabeen yang memberi respon kepada pertanyaan pelajar UUM, Bawani dengan cara yang agak keterlaluan.
Berikutan daripada video ini, pelbagai reaksi telah diberikan oleh semua pihak terutamanya para mahasiswa. Majoriti mahasiswa merasakan bahawa perkara seperti ini tidak seharusnya berlaku apatah lagi tujuan forum tersebut diadakan adalah untuk menjadi medium interaksi dalam kalangan mahasiswa dan ahli panel berhubung isu-isu politik. Malah, selaku Presiden Suara Wanita 1 Malaysia, sebuah NGO, tindakan tersebut sememangnya tidak boleh diterima dan secara peribadi, saya masih tercari-cari rasional saudari Sharifah bertindak sedemikian.
Saya tidak mahu mengulas dengan lebih terperinci tentang intipati kenyataan Saudari Sharifah kerana saya percaya, semua sahabat mahasiswa sudahpun menonton video ini dan mendengar dengan jelas “hujah” yang diberikan oleh Saudari Sharifah. Perkara yang ingin saya tekankan adalah berkenaan soal integriti Saudari Sharifah yang saya kira tidak menggambarkan profesionalisme yang sepatutnya, sesuai dengan status beliau selaku seorang Presiden.
Saya percaya dan sentiasa akan percaya, semua orang mempunyai hak untuk menyatakan apa yang dirasai. Segala firasat, teori, pandangan mahupun kritikan sewajarnya diberikan ruang yang adil untuk disalur dan dikongsi. Apatah lagi, dengan adanya forum sebegini, soalan-soalan “panas” memang merupakan sesuatu yang pasti dan atas sebab itulah, ahli panel perlu bijak menangani.
Selaku mahasiswa, kami sentiasa mempunyai aspirasi yang tersendiri. Biarpun kami mungkin berbeza ideologi sesama sendiri, bernaung di bawah berlainan panji, waima menjadi ahli fikir neutralisasi, ada perkara yang kami kongsi merentas seluruh universiti. Kami berkongsi bahawa hak mahasiswa itu perlu dibela, suara mahasiswa itu perlu dijaga, malah hati, maruah dan pendirian mahasiswa itu perlu diutama. Atas dasar inilah, pelbagai forum atau debat dilaksanakan di peringkat universiti agar medium ini diangkat sebagai saluran idea mahasiswa sekaligus menjunjung semangat demokrasi.
Namun, sayangnya hal ini seolah-olah tidak difahami oleh Saudari Sharifah. Read the rest of this entry »
― Darren Nah
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 16, 2013
JAN 16 ― Malaysians all over the globe are pouring spiteful derision at an unknown, supercilious lady, Shahrifah Zohra, whose bubbling partisan affinities and inability to address the contentious issues posed by a contrarian student, Bawani KS (now an overnight sensation), led her to do what all noisome vixens do: Raise a whole lot of malarkey and hullabaloo about monkeys, cows, goats and, yes, even sharks.
Her bestial [pertaining to beasts] diatribe came in an interminable, rapid fire succession. Shahrifah Zohra went from calling Ambiga (a Malaysian public figure fighting for free and fair elections) an anarchist, to asking the student, Bawani, to leave the Malaysia given Bawani’s dissatisfaction, and to then doling out Galaxy Notes gratuitously to a body of passive, browbeaten students who was indifferent to the whole Orwellian mis-en-scene, and merely parroted affirmatives and clapped in support of both sides. In Shahrifah Zohra’s deluge of half-baked, quasi-educated Malay-English creole verbiage, many might mistake her fulmination to be a truculent message sponsored by the Selangor Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
However, Shahrifah Zohra does artfully credit Ambiga, the “anarchist,” with one thing: enlightening Malaysians to human rights, which in this case, it so happens to be the right of free speech. Shahrifah Zohra, of course, in trumping the right of every individual to free speech, does not hesitate to remove her opponent’s (Bawani’s) microphone, and quickly proceeds to up the volume-ante to an audibly deranging holler.
Aside from the (hopefully) non-permanent ear damage that Shahrifah Zohra’s twenty-minute harangue has caused, it is very odd that Shahrifah Zohra should undermine her own case by saying that “it is my human right to speak, and you to listen” (paraphrased). Read the rest of this entry »
— M. Lee
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 15, 2013
JAN 15 — I was extremely disappointed with the conduct of Sharifah Zohra Jabeen as seen in the video at the UUM forum that has gone viral.
As a labour market and development economist, I agreed with Bawani’s statement implying that the economic impacts of educational funding have to be properly analysed to make the right policy directions.
Many countries around the world such as Australia and United States have constantly studied the best educational strategies that will develop and educate the nation. Albeit they are already developed nations.
It is not to my intent to say that the Malaysian government is not trying to adjust and design optimal education policies. However, Sharifah Zohra Jabeen has seemingly assumed the role of a government representative by replying “if you equate Malaysia to other countries, what are you doing in Malaysia? Go to Cuba, go to Argentina, go to Libra, go everywhere.”
My question is: has she been elected as a representative of the government? Is this the stand and belief of the government and the university?
What is more appalling is for an academically trained person to provide such a statement in an academic institution. Read the rest of this entry »
Pengiraan Detik 98 Hari ke PRU13 – Malaysia berhak mendapat kedudukan lebih tinggi berbanding tempat ke 36 di dalam indeks “Negara terbaik untuk dilahirkan” EIU
Pada Pengiraan Detik 98 Hari ke Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13, Malaysia diingatkan bahawa negara ini berhak mendapat yang lebih baik untuk semua aspek kehidupan di dalam negara ini baik politik, ekonomi, pendidikan, sosial, budaya dan persekitaran.
Malaysia tentu sekali berhak mendapat kedudukan lebih tinggi berbanding tempat No.36 daripada 80 negara di dalam indeks “Negara terbaik untuk dilahirkan pada 2013” dalam usaha Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) mengukur negara mana yang memberikan peluang terbaik untuk kehidupan yang sihat, selamat dan makmur. Read the rest of this entry »
by Azly Rahman
12:22PM Jan 4, 2013
If it is indeed true, as recently reported by Malaysiakini that 49,000 ‘stateless children’ are not going to school because they do not have identity cards, then something must be done to immediately address this issue of fundamental human rights. They must be allowed to go to school by any means necessary as the government resolves the issue of their ‘stateless parents’.
This ruling regime will be committing an act of the worst form of mental slavery should these children not be allowed to have the basic education and the right to be intelligent. If, as alleged, this regime can grant identity cards to newly-arrived immigrants in prepration for the coming elections, we must insist it to be able to do this for these children.
You, in the government, will be called a ‘pariah regime’ if this is not done for those children. The implications of not having those children schooled will be devastating; a reaffirmation of the vicious cycle of poverty, alienation, dehumanisation, and the fast-track way to build Malaysia’s prison-industrial complex. These children are already ‘drop-outs’ even before they enter schools!
What is wrong with our education system when we are now seeing a ruder apartheid-isation of schools? We continue to see the growth of a hideous class and caste structure in schools, from smart schools for the children of the rich to ‘pariah schools’ for the children of the abject poor. And now in the case of the ‘children of stateless parents’, we even have no schools for children of the abyss of the underclass, especially Malaysians of Tamil origin. Read the rest of this entry »
98-Day Countdown to 13GE – Malaysia deserves higher ranking than No. 36 placing in the EIU “Best country to be born” index
On the 98-Day Countdown to the 13th General Elections, Malaysians are reminded that the nation deserves better on all fronts of national life, whether political, economic, educational, social, cultural or environmental.
Malaysia definitely deserves higher ranking than No. 36 out of 80 nations in the “Best country to born in 2013” index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) attempting to measure which country provides the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life.
The 10 top-ranking nations in the EIU “Best country to be born in 2013” index are:
7. New Zealand
10. Hong Kong
Malaysia is outranked by Taiwan (No. 14), United States (No. 16), UAE (No. 18), South Korea (No. 19), Kuwait (No. 22), Japan (No. 25) and Britain (No. 27). Read the rest of this entry »
Let 2013 end the national deformations and usher in an era of genuine national transformation by electing a new Pakatan Rakyat Malaysian government for the first time in 55 years
For nearly four years, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had been promising one transformation programme after another – government, economic, political, educational, social, etc all under an overarching slogan of 1Malaysia under one agency or another.
All these pronouncements and initiatives have achieved is to earn the nation the epithet of “The Acronym Nation” while national deformations in all aspects of national life have proceeded unchecked.
Najib’s four-year premiership will be remembered by Malaysians as an administration of plunging global indices, and this unpleasant fact has been underlined by three international reports in the last month of this year, viz: Read the rest of this entry »
Najib’s proposal to source English teachers from India is “crossing of the Rubicon” marking the failure of the Malaysian education system to reverse declining standards and to prepare the new generation of Malaysians for the challenges of the 21st century
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s proposal in New Delhi yesterday to source English teachers for Malaysian schools from India in a bid to help alleviate the shortage of teachers in English and to improve proficiency of the language in Malaysia marks the crossing of the Rubicon for the Malaysian national education system – as it is a sad admission of the failure of the Malaysian education system over the decades to arrest and reverse declining educational standards and to prepare the new Malaysian generation for the challenges of the 21st century.
In the recent past, Malaysia had been sourcing English-language teachers from the United Kingdom and the United States, ignoring the rich reservoir of available local talents to teach the English language. Now the Prime Minister is proposing to source them from India. Will Malaysia next source English teachers from the African continent?
This is undeniably a grievous psychological blow to the nation which had rightly prided itself as a country with high international standards and attainments in English language when it achieved Merdeka in 1957, and should now be sending Malaysians as English-language teachers all over the world, including India, as one of our precious international assets.
Instead, Malaysia has degenerated to become an importing nation for English-language teachers from foreign countries. What a national shame! Read the rest of this entry »
— Blue Christmas
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 21, 2012
DEC 21 —I just received a notice that the first school staff meeting in preparation for the 2013 school term would be held on December 24.
At first I let it pass and marked the date on my calendar and then I realised it would be Christmas Eve. That is the time when friends and family call on us, when the general mood is about looking back on a wonderful year and planning for an even more wonderful year ahead.
Took a second look at the schedule and it reads a meeting for every day after Christmas Day all the way to December 29. Now that’s the time when families get their children’s stuff ready for school — new shoes, bags, uniforms and water bottles. That is also the time when old friends come back to their hometowns to their aged parents and ask for forgiveness and blessings for a good year ahead. They take the extra time to bond with old classmates and the malls, restaurants and the teh tarik places get filled up with fun, joy and merriment.
Then it dawned on me that this holiday mood happens on Hari Raya Puasa, on Chinese New Year and on Deepavali and all my friends usually get this extended holidays either through annual leave and through the extra days taken by schools. So why is Christmas different? Read the rest of this entry »
by Koon Yew Yin
As election day comes closer, we will be asked for reasons as to why we should want to change the Barisan Nasional Government (BN). When the question is put to me, I tell people that there is no need to enumerate three, four or five reasons. One reason alone is sufficient for Malaysians to elect a new government.
The reason is that the BN has ruined our educational system and put us back at least one generation in our educational standards and standing.
When the country became independent in 1957 our educational system was acknowledged to be amongst the best in the region. Today, after the introduction of NEP policies in education, we are scraping the bottom of the barrel in our standards of educational achievement at all levels. Read the rest of this entry »
For the past week, Malaysians have been waiting for comments from the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on the poor results of Malaysian students in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011 but he has disappointed Malaysians.
Since the world-wide publication of the TIMSS 2011 results on December 11, Muhyiddin had commented on everything under the sun except on TIMSS 2011 results showing unchecked plunge in the standards of mathematics and science for Malaysian students as compared to other countries – powerful testimony that Muhyiddin is neither committed nor interested in his first duty as Education Minister.
Only eight months ago, Muhyiddin shocked Malaysians claiming that the Malaysian education system is better than advanced nations on the ground that Malaysian youngsters are receiving better education than children in the United States, Britain and Germany.
But Muhyiddin’s claim has been debunked by TIMSS 2011, as in the test for eighth-grade students for mathematics, Malaysia is ranked No. 26 with a score of 440 out of 1,000, as compared to United States which is ranked No. 9 with a score of 509 while England is ranked No. 10 with a score of 507. For science, Malaysia is ranked even lower at No. 32 with a score of 426 as compared to England’s ranking of No. 9 with a score of 533 and United States’ 10th ranking with a score of 525.
Malaysia’s scores for both maths and science are below the international average, while the scores in both subjects for United States and England are above the international average. Read the rest of this entry »
I do not know whether to laugh or to cry – the standard of English in Malaysia has really fallen to disgraceful and abysmal low after four decades of Umno/BN rule.
I really do not know whether to laugh or to cry – the standard of English in Malaysia has really fallen to a disgraceful and abysmal low after four decades of Umno/BN rule.
Last week, Malaysia suffered national and international humiliation when the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study ( TIMSS) 2011 reports were released, as the nation’s ranking in eighth-grade Maths fell from 20th in 2007 to 26th in 2011 while its ranking in Science fell by an even greater margin, from 21st in 2007 to 32nd in 2011. Our average Maths score fell from 474 in 2007 to 440 and our average Science score fell by an even greater degree from 471 in 2007 to 426 in 2011, both far below the international average for both subjects in TIMSS 2011.
What is even worse, Malaysia also suffered the shame of being only one out of 6 countries out of 42 countries participating in the Maths study and 45 countries participating in the Science study to see falls in both our Maths and Science scores and ranking! Most of the other countries either improved their scores and rankings or stayed at their previous levels.
But the poor attainments of our students in maths and science when compared to international student achievements is not the only bane of the Malaysian education system.
Another equally critical area where the Malaysian education system has failed miserably is the English subject, which was poignantly illustrated in the past 24 hours, placing me in the position of not knowing whether to laugh or to cry. Read the rest of this entry »
by Azly Rahman
Dec 13, 2012
The refusal to teach Mathematics and Science in English is not just an ideological position but an idiotic one as well.
It is an attempt to self-fulfil a prophecy that the rural children, especially the Malays, cannot be challenged and must continue to be given easy passes through social promotion.
The refusal to acknowledge that English is currently a language of scientific progress, more than Bahasa Melayu, is an example of hypocrisy in dealing with success on the part of our policymakers and Malay language nationalists.
Based on spurious research findings headed by a teacher training university, sanctioned by other public universities, the government has erred in its decision that will not only impact the future of Malaysian children in a continually globalised world, where English is the lingua franca.
And this will open up avenues for the establishment of classes of schools, increasing the demand for the setting up of private schools that will emphasise the English language as a language of instruction and a rigorous curriculum that will prepare students for a competitive world. Read the rest of this entry »
— Boo Cheng Hau
30 November 2012
DEC 1 — The recently announced National Education Blueprint contains nothing new. And it shows the powers-that-be have no real intention to listen to the public or make any bold reforms to our ailing education system.
It is a repetition of the sad old story about racial prejudice, not much different from the so-called “National” Education Policy which was largely based on Umno’s Malay nationalist belief that the national language should be the sole medium of instruction.
Proponents of the Malay-medium-only policy also emphasise the Malay nationalist perspective of history that having one common language — such as in our neighbours Indonesia and Thailand — can save Malaysia from disintegration.
Racial prejudice and political demagoguery as the basis for our nation’s education agenda of true unity will not get us far. Let me prove how discriminatory is our education system and the false impressions that it projects. Read the rest of this entry »
— Hussaini Abdul Karim
The Malaysian Insider
Nov 26, 2012
NOV 26 — “Education is the most powerful weapon, we can use it to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela.
The country needs to change for the better and whoever leads the government that will be determined by the results of the coming 13th general election (GE13) must make change happen as soon as possible and not just continue with rhetoric only.
Given the political situation in the country now, and with the “help” of the Internet, regardless of whether it is spreading nuisance or pleasantries, I do not think it is possible for any coalition of political parties, either Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, or individual political parties to win by a two-thirds majority anymore.
Those days are already gone as hinted in the last general election when a political tsunami favouring the opposition happened. In the coming GE13, I think it is more realistic to believe that it will return results such as a simple majority, split votes or even a result that will culminate in a hung Parliament and there will be individuals who contest as independents or candidates who represent smaller political parties in selected constituencies to play the role of “kingmaker” after winning their respective contests in those constituencies.
It is therefore “smart” for all political parties to think about how to handle the many fence-sitters all over the country; their number is perhaps more than the total number of voters with set minds, who will determine the outcome of GE13. Read the rest of this entry »
Over the weekend, in his speech to the state-sponsored NGO gathering “Himpunan Barisan 1Malaysia” at the Putra World Trade Centre, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said:
“Why fix it (the government) if it’s not broken? It’s not broken, far from it. Our country is the envy of many other nations.”
Both at the thousand-people Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat dinner in Kota Kinabalu on Saturday night and the People’s Green Assembly at Dataran Merdeka this morning at the conclusion of the historic 14-day 300-km Kuantan-Kuala Lumpur trek, I had posed the same question whether the “Malaysian government is broken and needs to be fixed?”, and the answer is a thunderous, powerful and united affirmative!
Fortunately, the Malaysian government has not broken down completely, all the more why it must be “fixed” immediately before it reaches a point of no return.
There is a long list why the Malaysian government is “broken” after 55 years of UMNO/BN rule and needs to be “fixed”, but I will only refer to the following instances: Read the rest of this entry »
By Kee Thuan Chye
21 November 2012
It’s unbelievable how lackadaisical the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) is in collecting loan payments. These, after all, constitute the rakyat’s money, and it is the responsibility of the corporation to be accountable for it. And yet its chief executive officer, Agos Cholan, can say, in an interview with Malaysiakini, that it tells its debtors to pay whatever they can.
Whatever they can! What kind of an attitude is that? Isn’t it encouraging defaulters?
Is PTPTN not concerned about getting back the money because the money belongs to others? Is it plainly incompetent? Is it poorly run? If so, it reflects badly on the government we have.
In fact, the least the Government could do now is crack the whip on the people heading PTPTN to ensure that they do their job well, and if they don’t, it should have them replaced. Read the rest of this entry »