Archive for category Education

I am Muslim, I don’t have a ticket to heaven

Fa Abdul | August 13, 2015
Free Malaysia Today

How can we eradicate racism when we have half brained teachers who teach absolute nonsense to our children?


Nine year old Alicia who goes to Sekolah Kebangsaan Sri Hartamas came home from school last week and asked her mom if she will end up in hell when she dies.
“Mommy, Lina said her teacher told the Agama class that when we die, the Malays will go to heaven and non-Malays will go to hell. Is it true?”

Eleven year old Yasmin who goes to Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Desa was confused over who her friends should be and decided to seek her mom’s advice.

“Ummi, my Ustaz says it is haram to be friends with Olivia and Annie. He said it is because they are not Muslim. But I like Olivia and Annie, they are my best friends. Will God be angry with me if I talk to them?”

Both incidents you just read about aren’t made up. The names have been changed to protect the identities of the children but the stories are very much real. Read the rest of this entry »

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Academic freedom, critical thinking tools to fighting extremism, forum told

by Jennifer Gomez
The Malaysian Insider
17 June 2015

Universities have a role to play in preventing fanaticism and extremism from festering in society, academic Professor Dr Ibrahim Ahmad Bajunid said, warning that Malaysia was at a turning point.

Ibrahim, the deputy vice-chancellor of INTI-Laureate International University said extremism was taking hold and urged intellectuals to reclaim their fundamental rights.

He also said the Malays were “cultural prisoners” in Malaysia and that in many ways, the non-Malays were freer than the Malays in this country.

“When university people surrender and are not courageous and allow lesser thinkers take over because of their articulation and their loudness and their mechanism of power, they can actually oppress the masses.

“It is tragic when they oppress the intellectuals and the intellectuals accept the oppression,” he said.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Fivefold increase in GDP if every Malaysian teen educated, study claims

The Malay Mail Online
Thursday May 14, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 ― A new study claims that Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could multiply by as much as 500 per cent if the country is able to ensure that every single 15-year-old achieves a basic level of education.

The study on global school rankings by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates Malaysia’s growth potential at 505 per cent of its current GDP, indicating a direct correlation between education and economic growth.

The report, jointly written by Stanford University’s Eric Hanushek and Ludger Woessman of Munich University, said that a country’s standard of education is a “powerful predictor of the wealth that countries will produce in the long run”.

It also warned that countries that maintain poor education policies and practices will remain in a “permanent state of economic recession”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Don’t rely on our university rankings alone, QS tells Putrajaya

by Anisah Shukry
The Malaysian Insider
2 May 2015

Despite Malaysian universities’ continued strong showing in QS Quacquarelli Symonds’s world rankings, the London-based firm has cautioned Malaysia not to solely rely on its results to gauge the performance of the nation’s varsities.

While Putrajaya often cites QS’s rankings as proof Malaysian universities are world class, QS head of research Ben Sowter agreed with Times Higher Education (THE) that Malaysia must refer to multiple sources to get an accurate picture of how local varsities fare compared with the rest of the world.

“Ours is only one of range of publicly available measures. Universities and policy-makers should combine data from multiple sources to form an accurate diagnosis of their strengths and weaknesses,” Rowter told The Malaysian Insider in an email interview.

“We strongly discourage anyone from making important choices on the basis of only one input.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Disaster in our educational system

By Koon Yew Yin
Apr 24, 2015

COMMENT Recently, I received an urgent note from a student who is doing matriculation in a government school in Kedah where tuition and accommodation costs are covered by the state. I

have been helping her with financial assistance for food and miscellaneous expenses since her father is unemployed and she is a deserving student from the poorer class.

Her letter reads as follows:

“Hi sir it’s me …. sorry for disturbing sir. Sir I want to ask sir something. Sir I really need sir’s help. Sir if can sir can bank in some of the money before I further my studies in matriculation.

“Sir I need to buy something as preparation to further my studies in matriculation sir. so please help me sir. I really don’t know who to ask help. That why I am asking sir’s help. please sir. I hope sir can help me because I don’t know who to ask. sir I hope sir can understand me and give me some support. Thank you sir. I hope sir will reply my letter as soon as possible. Thank you a lot sir.”

I have shared this letter with friends not simply to provide an example of the extent of financial desperation and need that hundreds of thousands of poor students in our country face everyday in their lives.

I am also sharing it to show my concern with the standard of English proficiency of our younger generation who are going to colleges and universities. This is not an isolated example. I am sad to say that the overwhelming majority of the students that I am presently supporting have equally low standards of the English language.

These students represent the better ones among their classmates in school. I shudder to think of the standard of English proficiency of the average students in our secondary schools. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dad pens anguish over ‘burn, rape’ daughter calls

by Prof Dr Mohamad Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi
Mar 20, 2015

The latest incident about a BFM newsreader being threatened with death, rape and being burnt alive by those whom I assume to be Malay-Muslim netizens brings forth serious questions for this country. Is this country safe for our children to live in?

If a simple point of view is raised against such issue as hudud or even such issue as democracy and clean elections can produce outbursts of murder, rape and burning people alive, what does it say about our country, its citizens and our leadership? Where did this culture come from?

I have noticed that the ones making threats of this nature come from mostly Malays who I assume are Muslim. Where did we, as a nation go wrong in educating these Malays? What are we teaching in our secondary schools? More importantly are our public universities producing people of such culture?

I sincerely hope that those who made the threats have never stepped foot in our public universities because if not I would like to ask these vice chancellors, what kind of Malay Malaysians are you producing? Read the rest of this entry »

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IGP’s English standard incomparably low

Thirdly, On Monday, DAP MP for PJ Utara, Tony Pua, tweeted in anger when he heard that Nurul Izzah was arrested under the Sedition Act in relation to her speech in Parliament last week when she went to the Dang Wangi Police Station to keep an appointment with the police for her statement to be taken over the #KitaLawan rally in Kuala Lumpur on March 7.

This attracted a tweet directive from the IGP, namely: “@PDRMsia akan panggil YB ini menjelaskan apa maksud beliau dgn ‘Royal my foot’. Adakah ditujukan kepada Raja2 Melayu?” (@PDRMsia will call this YB and ask him to explain what he means by ‘Royal my foot’. Is this aimed at the Malay Rulers?)

Khalid was referring to Pua’s tweet “Bastards. Real bastards. Royal my foot”.

I agree that Pua’s tweet was in bad taste. But it was not a crime. Was Pua’s tweet aimed at the Malay Rulers?

Not to mention the police officers, I believe the overwhelming majority of school children with decent command of English language will give the IGP a strong unambiguous answer – No, it is not aimed at the Malay Rulers but the Royal Malaysian Police. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia needs not only a new Finance Minister, but also new world-class Education Minister

Calls on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to stand down as Finance Minister led by DAP MP for Kluang and DAP National Political Education Director, Liew Chin Tong have reached a new crescendo with last Friday’s statement by the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin withdrawing blind and total support to Najib’s handling of the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, with the triple position:

1. That the Auditor-General should audit freely and independently, and tracing back to the accounts in 2009 when 1MDB first started, not just the accounts of 2013, as well as a forensic audit to ensure “there is no corruption in 1MDB transactions.

2. That the Public Accounts Committee begin investigating 1MDB without having to wait for the outcome of the Auditor-General’s findings.

3. No bail-out of 1MDB whether in the proposed disposals of lands in Tun Razak Exchange and Bandar Malaysia which were “obtained from the government on the cheap”.

However, the nation needs not only a new Finance Minister, but also a new Education, a need driven home after Muhyiddin’s speech today admitting his shock with the poor performance of Malaysian students in international assessments, despite the millions of ringgit being spent to improve the education system.

What is most shocking about Muhyiddin’s “shock” is that it has to take him 15 months for the Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Education Minister to be shocked by the dismal performance of Malaysia’s 15-year-olds in the three subjects of mathematics, science and reading in the 2012 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), when the results were released 15 months ago in early December 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

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Idris Jusoh’s statement: refreshing and disappointing

— Lee Hwok Aun
The Malay Mail Online
FEBRUARY 28, 2015

FEBRUARY 28 — Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh’s opinion piece, defending his description of Malaysian universities as world class, is refreshing – and disappointing. Kudos to him for responding to criticisms in this manner, instead of deriding detractors or going into “I was misquoted” hiding.

However, his article merely inflates his original contentious remarks: Malaysian universities are world class because they are a popular destination for international students and Universiti Malaya has a decent spot on the QS university rankings. He hardly brings anything new to the public arena. In fact, some of the evidence he presents refutes his own position. He also tries to portray critics as having their hearts in the wrong place, instead of fixing his head on confronting their arguments directly.

Idris draws on a UNESCO report which appraised Malaysia’s relative popularity as a tertiary education destination. Unsurprisingly, cultural compatibility, low cost and good value feature prominently. Malaysia is considered good for the price, and the price is relatively cheap. This is not indicating that our tertiary education is bad, but it is far from a vindication of high quality and world class.

Idris adopts a simple definition of world class: among the best in the world. It must be noted that we are speaking of universities and education systems, not individuals. This is an important distinction, because Idris lists out a number of personal academic achievements – award winning professors, inventors, and student debaters – as evidence of our institutions’ world class status. I am not devaluing these achievements, but pointing out an inconsistency in his argument. Read the rest of this entry »

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Which Minister is prepared to bell the cat and move a motion in Cabinet on Wednesday to demand that Ismail Sabri should apologise for his racist call on Malay consumers to boycott Chinese business or be sacked from the Cabinet

The Cabinet is meeting on February 11, its sixth meeting in the new year of 2015, after playing truant for three weeks from Dec. 18, 2014 to 6th January 2015 with Ministers going all over the world on holidays in the midst of the worst floods catastrophe in living memory in Malaysia – and even the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who had to cut short his golf holidays in Hawaii, could not recall all his Ministers to return home which was why the Cabinet could not meet on Dec. 31, after missing an earlier Wednesday Cabinet meeting of Dec. 24, 2014.

The February 11 meeting in two days’ time is shaping up to be a very important Cabinet meeting – the last opportunity for the 35-Minister Cabinet to redeem itself and salvage whatever is left of its credibility by righting a terrible wrong it committed at its last Cabinet meeting in sanctioning, condoning and defending the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri’s racist call to Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses.

What is deplorable and unforgivable is for the 35-Minister Cabinet to do something which all religions and all sound education systems in the world would deplore – to claim and demand that a rabid racist call on Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses which is clearly wrong and threatening the very fabric of Malaysia’s plural society is not only right, but must be accepted as right by all Malaysians.

It is a stand that no religion or education system can accept. Read the rest of this entry »

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With UMNO’s Kangkong Professors running riot with their illiterate interpretation of national developments, Malaysia’s university ranking can only plunge further south without hope of restoring our former world-class university status

UMNO’s Kangkong Professors have been running riot with their illiterate interpretation of national developments, and the most recent example is the Bernama report yesterday entitled “Local Council Elections Contravene Constitution, An Attempt To Create Autonomy: Analysts – by Erda Khursyiah Basir”.

It quoted Kankong Professor (1), Universiti Utara Malaysia’s Dean of the College of Legal, Government and International Studies, Asso Prof Dr. Ahmad Martadha Mohamad and Kangkong Professor (2), Universiti Utara Malaysia senior lecturer in Political and International Studies, Md Shukri Shuib, to ground the allegations that the “DAP’s endeavour to hold local elections in Penang” is seen as “an attempt to challenge the Federal Constitution” and “turn the Pearl of the Orient into an autonomous states” which “only serve to shatter racial unity and adversely impact nation-building efforts”.

It is sad and tragic that the Dean of the College of Legal, Government and International Studies of a local public university does not understand the Federal Constitution or he would not say such a nonsense about the DAP challenging the Federal Constitution for holding the view that local government elections should be restored 50 years after suspension in 1965, at the time on the ground of threat of Indonesian Confrontation.

Can the Kankong Professor who holds the exalted position of Dean of College of Legal, Government and International Studies explain how the DAP’s position that local government elections should be restored, which the then Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman had promised would be done once Indonesian Confrontation ended? Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »

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Malaysia ranks 35 out of 50, loses to Singapore in talent competitiveness index

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 »

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Can we have equal education for all in Malaysia?

Zan Azlee
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 »

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In Manek Urai, school’s in but mud and water keep classes from starting

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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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The case for vernacular schools

By Center for Policy Initiatives (CPI)

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 »

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Building schools for all Malaysians?

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 »

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