Archive for category Education

As Muhyiddin seems to be clueless about education in Malaysia, is he going to resign as Education Minister?

Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said during his by-election campaign in Kajang today that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is unfit to be Selangor Mentri Besar as he seems to be “clueless” about Selangor’s water deal with Putrajaya despite being the state economic advisor.

Anwar is the best person to respond to Muhyiddin’s allegation that Anwar is “clueless” on the Selangor water issue, but the Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Education Minister raises the important question whether he himself should resign as Education Minister as it is clear that Muhyiddin is quite clueless about education in Malaysia.

That Muhyiddin is quite clueless about education issues which come under his direct Ministerial responsibility is presently in full display, when he pleaded on Monday that he knew nothing about the mean, petty and punitive transfer to a rural school of the head of Suara Guru Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM), Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari, who had spearheaded the protest against the weaknesses in the implementation of the student-based assessment (SBA) system and Muhyiddin has remained in this limbo of cluelessness for the past five days. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Muhyiddin has not countermanded the mean, petty and punitive directive to transfer Nor Izzat from Jerantut to a rural school for spearheading the protest against the SBA weaknesses

The Najib administration prides itself on its efficiency and “People First, Performance Now” slogan, but almost a week have passed and the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has yet to countermand the mean, petty and punitive directive to transfer Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari, head of Suara Guru Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM) from Jerantut to a rural school for spearheading the protest against the weaknesses in the implementation of the student-based assessment (SBA) system.

Instead of thanking Nor Izzat for his contribution in forcing the Education Ministry to face up to the crisis faced by teachers as a result of dismally-conceived implementation of the SBA, resulting finally in the SBA system being put on hold last week, Muhyiddin is allowing the “Little Napoleons” in the Education Department a free hand to penalise Nor Izzat and other teachers for their courage and conviction in speaking up about the SBA weaknesses.

When Nor Izzat’s punitive transfer to a rural school with only 24 hours’ notice became public, Muhyiddin disclaimed responsibility, denying that he was involved in Nor Izzat’s transfer.

But what has Muhyiddin done in the past week to countermand Nor Izzat’s punitive transfer. Read the rest of this entry »

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Teacher in school assessment controversy warned, but says this is not for personal glory

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
February 26, 2014

Teacher Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari was warned that speaking up against the administration could cost him dearly.

His good friends cautioned him. So did his father, a teacher with 15 years’ experience.

“I am not doing this for personal glory,” the teacher caught in the middle of the school-based assessment (SBA) controversy, adding that he was doing this to champion the rights of his overburdened colleagues.

The 29-year-old, who heads the Suara Guru Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM), is adamant about seeing an overhaul to SBA even if he loses his government job along the way.

“Yes, many of my teacher friends and even my father, who was a teacher, told me that action will be taken against me if I spoke up against the Education Ministry.

“And this was proven right recently,” he said, referring to the 24-hour transfer order he received three days ago.

He was transferred to a rural school some 80km away from his previous school in Jerantut, Pahang. Read the rest of this entry »

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Muhyiddin – stop bellyache, just issue a directive cancelling all punitive actions against Nor Izzat and all other teachers for criticising SBA

I advise the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to stop belly-ache and just to issue a directive to revoke all punitive actions against Suara Guru Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM) chief Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari and all other teachers for criticising the student-based assessment (SBA) system.

What is Muhyiddin hoping to achieve by denying that he was involved in transferring Nor Izzat who had spearheaded a protest against the SBA system within 24 hours from Jerantut to a rural school in Pahang last week?

Let me tell Muhyiddin that Malaysians are not interested whether the transfer order came from the district education office or otherwise, but that as Education Minister he must take full and personal responsibility for punitive actions taken against Nor Izzat and all teachers who had criticised the SBA – and that his first duty now is to countermand all the punitive actions which had been issued not only against Nor Izzat but all other teachers who had been penalised for the courage of their convictions in speaking out against the disastrous implementation of SBA. Read the rest of this entry »

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All disciplinary action against SGMM chief Nor Izzat and all teachers who criticised SBA should be immediately withdrawn

With the suspension of the controversial School-Based Assessment (SBA), the Education Ministry should also revoke all disciplinary action against Suara Guru Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM) chief Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari and all teachers who criticised the SBA.

The heavy-handed response by the Education Ministry to penalise Nor Izzat and teachers who have come forward to criticise the SBA is totally uncalled for and unjustifiable and must be deplored as a very mean and cowardly manner to suppress legitimate criticism in the education service.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should give his personal attention to ensure that all disciplinary actions against Nor Izzat and teachers who had criticised the SBA should be revoked immediately.

The SBA fiasco transforming teachers into data entry clerks, forcing teachers to get up at 2 or 2 am just to input the grades of students because of online network problems, should be an expensive lesson in the so-called educational transformation of the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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Putrajaya clamps down on dissent, transfers anti-assessment system teacher

by Lee Shi-Ian
The Malaysian Insider
February 22, 2014

The man behind the teacher pressure group’s planned protest today against the student-based assessment (SBA) has been given a 24-hour notice of transfer to a rural school in Pahang in what is seen as Putrajaya’s clampdown on dissent by civil servants.

Despite the sudden transfer notification, teacher Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari, 29, who is the Suara Guru-Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM) working group chief, refused to be cowed and said the protest would go ahead as planned.

The group planned to gather at the Bandar Baru Bangi mosque prior to the rally.

Nor Izzat, who has been called “Guru Setahun Jagung” (greenhorn teacher) by the ministry for being a vocal critic of the SBA, said his transfer was proof that the Education Ministry was exercising its powers over him.

He told The Malaysian Insider that his good friend and colleague, Mohd Zulkefli Seman, who teaches at the same school in Jerantut, Pahang, also received a transfer letter yesterday morning.

Nor Izzat said Zulkefli was not a SGMM member, but had accompanied him to meet with Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh last year. Read the rest of this entry »

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On the eve of the Teachers’ Spring?

Azly Rahman
Malaysiakini
Feb 14, 2014

“School-based assessment”, “Data-driven decision-making”, “Professional Learning Communities”, “Systems-based schooling”, “Authentic-based assessment”.

All these are nice words for Malaysian schools to have but alien to teachers driven to death by administrative work to even understand let alone enculturalise scientific thinking in teaching and learning and in managing student progress.

We have a society with scientific buzz-word and sloganism governing, but not yet a society whose members value scientific and rational thinking. That is why we have tribal practices in schools, of:

*Magic pills administered for students taking tests;

*Magic and miracle water drank to increase intelligence;

*Strange sounding pills sold to enhance brain power;

*Teachers punishing students to eat grass, asking them to go back to where they belong, and all kinds of methods used to punish children not skilled in memorising facts that will become obsolete.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Needed – Kajang Declaration on Sanity

Azly Rahman
Malaysiakini
Feb 7, 2014

Blatant racism, religious bigotry, school culture degenerating, public display of hatred, urging this or that kind of jihad at times for reasons unknown, the vigilantes taking over when law and order seem to be at a critical breaking point, mass feeding of the public with stories that hath no educational value and even devoid of moral sensitivity, frequent public protests plagued with character assassinations rather that the focusing on issues to be collectively addressed as a nation, parang-wielding robberies in broad daylight on an almost weekly basis, rising number of cases of children missing, political moves crafted and executed in desperation that weaken due process in democratic culture sorely in need of sane progression, politicians producing statements in arrogance on pressing devoid of intellectual depths, the intensification of effort by fascist groups to incite violence progressively in hope that the bloody riots of May 13, 1969 is to be re-enacted on a larger scale perhaps.

The media as a technology of consciousness shaper both at the level of Grand and Subaltern Narratives have been successful in playing the role of creator of peace and destroyer of it, as if there is no difference between good and evil in the way we use the materials to build this nation. Read the rest of this entry »

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What a waste of a good generation

Azly Rahman
Malaysiakini
Jan 25, 2014

Are we addicted to testing the child in school? Tests, tests, and more tests. Test anything that moves.

But what is the child’s mind and how to understand it to make Malaysian schools more than just training camps for dull young minds?

The mind is all these: active, ready to learn new things, always hungry for knowledge, for deeply engaging environment of exploration that can be offered by the system.

The mind is not a place to be made idle, or a temple of boredom, or a funnel to shove in mere facts, useless information that has no relevance to the idea of meaning and learning, or have no sense of connection to the child’s experience.

The mind has to always be in a mode of higher order thinking, of the excitement generated in the upper brain or the corpus callosum and not be placed in the reptilian mode of “fight or flight”, where the body is to be caned and punished for not memorising by teachers who wish to impose their own understanding of things, or by those who think they have the answers to everything, or for teachers afraid of children’s questions.

Learning that is not active will certainly activate the mode of resistance in the child’s consciousness. The more the child is bored, the more he/she will rebel – silently or violently – because his intelligence is not respected, nurtured, or challenged to greater heights. Read the rest of this entry »

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Vow to uphold justice and vanquish all forms of injustices

Let me wish all Hindus a happy, joyous and meaningful Thaipusam.

Thaipusam commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a Vel “spear” so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman.

It is an occasion for devotees to pray to God to receive his grace so that bad traits are destroyed.

On the occasion of this year’s Thaipusam, let us all vow to uphold justice and vanquish all forms of injustices so as to realise the Malaysian Dream – a united, successful democratic, prosperous and competitive Malaysia where there is justice, rule of law, good governance, religious harmony and zero tolerance for corruption, and where every Malaysian, regardless of race, religion or region has a rightful place under the Malaysian sun. Read the rest of this entry »

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Penang Free School “free”

by Lim Wee Seong

Dear YB Lim,

There was an article written on your blog by Mr. Allen Chee titled “Unfree Penang Free School” regarding the jawi writing on the main entrance to Penang Free School.

Many attempts were made for many years to remove but no one had the guts to do it. It is my great pleasure to inform you and readers of your blog, in 2013, with the new headmaster En.Jalil Saad (an Old Free) together with The Old Frees Association (PFS Alumni), manage to do the school justice by changing the jawi signage to a new one signage, announcing the celebration of 200th year Anniversary in 2016.

Thank you.

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The National Education Blueprint, an epic fail

By S.Ramakrishnan | JANUARY 09, 2014
The Malaysian Insider

It is no longer a point of contention: Our education system is indeed failing and failing the economy.

Even a member of the cabinet, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapha Mohamed, has called for a total overhaul of the education system if Malaysia were to reach the goal of being developed by 2020.

The 2012 international student assessment (Pisa) results point to the stagnant bottom position held by Malaysian students in mathematics, science and reading. The Pisa results rank Malaysia at 52 out of 65 countries.

Even the launch of the Malaysian education blueprint does not seem to make any impact to allay the fears that the education standards are slipping and slipping badly. All the Economic Transformation Programme and Government Transformation Programme initiated by Pemandu since 2009 have not brought about any significant achievements.

Bottom of the class
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Apakah Umno telah berubah daripada sebuah parti pembina negara menjadi parti pemusnah negara dengan sokongan Muhyiddin terhadap protes di luar gereja dan Noh Omar mempertahankan protes Umno Selangor terhadap Kristian?

Peristiwa-peristiwa yang berlaku pada beberapa hari pertama tahun baru 2014 membuatkan rakyat Malaysia berfikir tentang masa depan negara ini.

Salah satu persoalan meresahkan rakyat Malaysia ialah sama ada Umno telah berubah daripada sebuah parti pembina negara menjadi parti pemusnah negara dengan sokongan Muhyiddin terhadap protes di luar gereja dan Noh Omar mempertahankan protes Umno Selangor terhadap Kristian.

Pada hakikatnya, sokongan yang diberikan oleh Muhyiddin dan Noh Omar terhadap tindakan haram dan bertentangan dengan perlembagaan oleh Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Jais) yang menyerbu Persatuan Alkitab Malaysia (BSM) dengan bantuan penuh Polis membangkitkan persoalan serius tentang keikhlasan, keseriusan, dan komitmen para pemimpin Umno terhadap jaminan asas kebebasan beragama yang diberikan oleh perlembagaan untuk semua rakyat Malaysia, selain Penyelesaian 10 Perkara yang disahkan oleh Jemaah Menteri pada April 2011 untuk mengakhiri kontroversi Alkitab.
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Five national crisis scorching the country should top the agenda of a National Reconciliation Summit of BN and PR leaders

For ten days between the Christmas National Open House 2013 in Penang on December 25 and the 2014 New Year monthly morning assembly of civil servants in the Prime Minister’s Department this morning, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak disappeared from the public view.

Apart from the 2014 New Year Message on New Year’s Eve, which would have been drafted by his coterie of highly-paid consultants well in advance, there was not a word from the country’s Prime Minister although the country had never swirled and whirled with more disturbing developments and events which included:

• The deepening economic crisis caused by a series of price hikes and looming avalanche of more price hikes in the coming weeks and months culminating in the introduction of the GST at six per cent in April 2015;

• Crisis of deteriorating national educational standards for the past decade, with the country heading further south with the results of TIMSS 2011 and PISA 2012, and the Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin making himself “scarce” from public to avoid having to “square the circle” of how Malaysian students can perform several educational miracles under the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 to catapult to top-third of TIMSS and PISA international educational assessments when Malaysian students have continued to plunge in international educational standards;

• Crisis on the corruption front, despite the biggest budgets in past few years for the anti-corruption agency, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. In the last 19 years when Transparency International maintained its Corruption Perception Index, Malaysia achieved the dubious distinction as one of the countries which had been downgraded both in TI CPI ranking and score, as well as losing out to several countries which had lower CPI ranking and score in 1995.
Now, we are at the risk in the near future of being overtaken by countries including China and Indonesia which had been behind Malaysia and at the bottom of TI CPI in 1995. Read the rest of this entry »

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The 2014 school year to produce Malaysia’s first batch of “miracle students” who would catapult to top-third of international educational benchmarks in 2021 and 2022 has started but Muhyiddin is still mysteriously silent how this “miracle” is to be achieved

The Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should be the most excited man in the country, as he should be conscious more than anyone else that the new school year of 2014 is the most special, historic and even unique in the nation’s 56-year history.

This is because entering school this year will be Malaysia’s first batch of “miracle students” who would rank among the top-third of world students in international educational benchmarks for critical subjects, whether TIMSS (Trends in International Maths and Science Study) or PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), at the beginning of the next decade.

That is IF the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 (MEB) launched by Muhyiddin in September last year is to achieve its objective, that by 2021-2025 or Wave 3 of the National Education Transformations under the MEB, the performance of Malaysian students in international education assessments like TIMSS and PISA would be in the “top third” of the systems.

The opening of the 2014 school year for 449,067 Year One pupils nationwide, which began yesterday for Johore, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan and today for other states, should therefore be specially exciting and challenging for Muhyiddin, if he is really expecting the present batch of Year One pupils to perform an “educational miracle” to double leap-frog from the present bottom-third to top-third of world educational assessments like PISA and TIMSS in a decade.

In fact, not only the eyes of the country but the eyes of the world should be focussed on the present batch of 449,067 Year One pupils to ascertain whether and how they could do what no other country or batch of students had ever done or attained, i.e. to achieve a triple “hop-step-jump” from the bottom-third to the top-third of international educational benchmarks in a decade. Read the rest of this entry »

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Let parents have bigger say in tweaking our half-century old education policy

— BH Toh
The Malay Mail Online
December 29, 2013

DEC 29 — More than fifty years ago, Malaya achieved independence through cooperation among the various races. Native Malays formed the biggest ethnic group. Besides many other smaller indigenous groups, the Chinese and Indians were the second and third largest racial group at time.

Given the highly complex and diverse racial mix with each group speaking mainly their own respective mother tongues without a common language, our leaders at that time must have, after careful and cautious considerations, prudently decided that it is best to accommodate the mother-tongue language demands of the larger racial groups. Chinese and Indian vernacular schools were allowed to continue alongside mainstream schools that were mostly English medium ones legacy of the British era.

Eventually, all those English medium schools became Sekolah Kebangsaan, using our National Language as the main medium of instruction. While these vernacular schools struggled along at times, they managed to survive and some are actually doing quite well today in terms of enrolment. Read the rest of this entry »

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National shame that foreign bodies like World Bank more concerned about Malaysia’s educational crisis and deteriorating educational standards than even the Education Minister himself

Since the publication of the 2012 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) results more than three weeks ago, the World Bank has come out with a special report themed “High-Performing Education” in its latest issue of Malaysian Economic Monitor, organised a forum in a local university presenting the World Bank report zeroing on the question whether Malaysia can develop a high-performing education system to support our high-income aspirations and featured in several online and printed, local and foreign, media reports (including Wall Street Journal on Christmas Eve) quoting World Bank officials from its Bangkok office attributing the cause of Malaysia’s poor performance in international educational benchmarks to inefficiencies in the Malaysian education system in the allocation of resources for education in the country.

The World Bank’s “Malaysian Economic Monitor:High-Performing Education” is an indictment of the Education Ministry and the national education system for failing to provide access to quality education to Malaysian schoolchildren 56 years after Merdeka as Malaysia has one of the most inefficient Education Ministries and education systems in the world although the Education Ministry has been allotted RM54.6 billion in Budget 2014, highest for any sector.

As a result, the World Bank Monitor in Chapter of its report states (para 90):

“Malaysia’s performance in standardized international student assessments is below what would be expected of a country with its income per capita or level of educational expenditure, and well below the performance of the high-income economies that Malaysia aspires to compete against for innovation and knowledge-based investments. Moreover, performance appears to have deteriorated over the past decade.”

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Malaysia deserves a new Education Minister who is fully committed to resolve the national education crisis with a practical and achievable action plan to transform the country from a mediocre to a world-class education system

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is trying to minimise the enormous damage caused by the three-week-long thunderous silence of the Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to the “triple whammy” of relentless erosion of educational standards in the country, viz

* 2011 TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study);

* 2012 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment); and

* World Bank’s adverse Malaysia Economic Monitor themed “High-Performing Education”.

In his Facebook post yesterday, Najib said Malaysia is capable of providing the best education system for all with the co-operation of all stakeholders, i.e. parents, educators and students themselves.

Describing the issue of education as closest to his heart, he also acknowledged that various efforts had to be taken to empower the national education system which “encompasses all aspects of human capital development inclusively as well as bridges the education gap between the urban and rural students”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kudos to CDC Director Masnah for the first decent government response on Malaysia’s poor performances in 2011 TIMSS and 2012 PISA results which only highlights the cowardice of Muhyiddin in continuing his irresponsibility in refusing to own up to the crisis of deteriorating educational standards under his watch

Kudos to the Curriculum Development Division director of the Ministry of Education, Dr. Masnah Ali Muda, who has finally come out with the first decent government response on Malaysia’s poor performances in the 2011 TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) and the 2012 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment).

I am not fully satisfied with Masnah’s statement but it only highlights the cowardice of the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in continuing his irresponsibility in refusing to own up to the crisis of deteriorating educational standards under his watch.

I do not deny that I had been badgering Muhyiddin almost daily since the release of the 2012 PISA results three weeks ago on 3rd December to come clean with Malaysians that the country is facing a full-scale educational crisis with deteriorating educational standards under his watch in the Education Ministry since April 2009.

Muhyiddin had been the lynchpin of an elaborate national conspiracy to make Malaysians believe the delusion that they have a world-class education system with the ever-increasing and unprecedented number of students scoring As for all subjects in local examinations especially PMR and SPM when the standards of Malaysian students were actually suffering serious deterioration in the past decade as evident from international educational benchmarks like the global assessments of TIMSS, conducted for eighth graders every four years, and PISA, conducted for 15-year-old students every three years. Read the rest of this entry »

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No graduate in Kota Marudu village – DAP


by Mariah Doksil

Borneo Post
December 21, 2013

KOTA KINABALU: Likas assemblyman, Junz Wong has urged Deputy Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap to explain why more than 50 per cent of federal scholarships allocated to Sarawak and Sabah students to pursue their education in local universities allegedly had no takers and as such given to students in Peninsular Malaysia.

He said it is impossible for Sabah not to have students who qualified to receive federal scholarships, especially when the government is very proud to have one of the best education systems in the world.

“The ‘loss’ is not the latest story for Sabah and Sarawak, as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Joseph Entulu has revealed that it has been going on since 2008.

“According to Entulu, only 499 out of 1,000 scholarships allocated for both states were successful in their application in 2008, while in 2009 only 402 successful. He also said the situation was the same for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012,” said Junz in a press conference at Bandaran Berjaya Shangri-la Hotel, yesterday.

Also present were DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, DAP Sabah chief Jimmy Wong, Kepayan assemblyman Dr Edwin Bosi and Batu Kawan MP Kasthuriraani Patto.

Junz made the call after Kit Siang called on the government to set up a Parliament Select Committee for the amazing performance in the recent Penilaian Menangah Rendah (PMR) examinations. Read the rest of this entry »

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