Archive for category Education

Laying the foundation for fanaticism

– Sheela R.
The Malaysian Insider
16 November 2015

Imagine yourself to be seven years old. A tender age where your foremost consideration would be if you get to play your favourite game with your friends, watch a television programme or simply decide on which ice-cream flavour to indulge in.

Now imagine yourself at that age in a class, where a teacher talks of hell and heaven and the myriad punishments awaiting sinners and unbelievers.

The stuff of nightmares is introduced progressively to you, in the guise of imparting religious values. These visions terrify you, but you don’t have the maturity or intellect to challenge the teacher. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

No Comments

As 2020 deadline looms, Malaysian students fail to shine in science

by Boo Su-Lyn
The Malay Mail Online
November 2, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 ― Less than 13 per cent of those who sat for the Form 3 PT3 examination last year scored at least a C in both science and mathematics, Putrajaya has revealed, despite Malaysia’s aim to achieve developed nation status in less than five years.

The Education Ministry also said that the average percentage of secondary school students who qualified for the science stream, based on their results of the previous Form 3 PMR examination, only hovered around 30 per cent over the past 10 years, though Malaysia has been aiming for a 60:40 ratio of science/ technical/vocational and arts students since 1970.

“The most probable reason for this could be the new format for the PT3 science and maths papers,” Education director-general Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof told Malay Mail Online in a recent email interview, in explaining the PT3 science and maths results.

“There were very few multiple choice questions which most students are very familiar with; and the test items demand a lot of thinking on the part of the students to gauge their understanding of the subject matter rather than regurgitating rote-learned concepts.

“It does not encourage teaching to the test and teachers need to engage the students in the learning process by asking more higher-order thinking questions. It is hoped that this kind of format will encourage the students to learn meaningfully and in future, the PT3 results will become better,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

No Comments

Parliament should form an all-party Parliamentary Committee on tragedy of the seven missing Orang Asli children of SK Tohoi in Gua Musang if Government is not prepared to have high-powered commission of inquiry

Parliament should begin its 25-day budget session on Monday with a minute of silence in memory of the five of the seven Orang Asli children of SK Tohoi in Gua Musang who perished after missing from the school hostel 54 days ago on August 23.

The nation and government failed the Orang Asli children when they should be cared and nurtured to be future leaders of the nation, and the least Parliament can do is to start its new parliamentary meeting with a minute of silence for Members of Parliament, the government and the nation to remember the wasted lives of the five children ranging from seven to eleven years because of government failure, negligence and incompetence.

It is scandalous that the Ministers and ministries concerned for the socio-economic and educational upliftment of the Orang Asli community to bring them into the mainstream of national development are not taking the SK Tohoi scandal and tragedy in sufficient seriousness – as up to now, the Education Minister Datuk Mahdzir Khalid has still to visit SK Tohoi or even to utter a single word of concern!

Would Madhzir be so indifferent, irresponsible and even callous if the five kids who perished and the two kids who were found as “bags of bones” were Malay kids?

Malaysia wants an Education Minister who would show equal care, concern and compassion for all school children, regardless of their race, religion or region. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

No Comments

Can the government announce a New Deal for Orang Asli in Parliament on Monday in the debate on Teresa Kok’s urgent motion on the scandal/tragedy of seven missing Orang Asli children of SK Tohoi for seven weeks?

The announcement by the Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob that the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) will provide transportation services for 16,905 Orang Asli pupils at 94 primary schools with hostels nationwide to enable them to return home every fortnight is most laughable and grossly inadequate as a proper government response to the scandal and tragedy of the SK Tohoi seven missing Orang Asli children for seven weeks five of whom had perished.

What the country wants is not just a new transportation service to Orang Asli pupils in school hostels to go home once a fortnight but a complete review of the 58-year government programme to bring Orang Asli communities to the mainstream of national development (which is clearly an abysmal failure) and a total revamp of government services to uplift Orang Asli in all fields of human endeavour.

Why for instance, after 58 years of upliftment of Orang Asli in the country, there is not a single Orang Asli who is a Minister or even a Deputy Minister in the Federal Government, or members on State Excos in the various states with significant Orang Asli communities?

Let the Minister for Rural and Regional Development announce in Parliament on Monday on behalf of the Najib Cabinet a “New Deal for Orang Asli” in the emergency debate requisitioned by DAP MP for Sepueh Teresa Kok on the aftermath of the scandal and tragedy of the SK Tohoi seven missing Orang Asli children in Gua Musang. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

No Comments

Proper agenda for the first week of 2016 Budget Parliament beginning on Monday

Never before in Malaysia’s parliamentary democracy has so many issues compete and contend for attention in the first week of the forthcoming 2016 Budget Parliament beginning on Monday, 19th October 2015, whether the Malay Rulers’ Statement of Oct. 6; the political, economic, good governance and nation building scandals shaping up to be a “perfect storm” to batter Malaysia; the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) or the approval of toll rate hikes for 15 highways across the country.

Members of Parliament have not received the Parliamentary Order Paper for the first week or the first day of the 25-day Parliamentary meeting which is to be held from Oct. 19 to Dec. 3, but the following should be the proper agenda for the first week of Parliament from Monday.

For the first week of Parliament from Monday to Thursday, I have given notice to pose oral Parliamentary questions on the hot topics of the day, viz:

1) To ask the Prime Minister to state when and why the multi-agency Task Force on 1MDB was formed and dissolved, what it had achieved; and the reasons and scope of the new Task Force formed by new Attorney-General.

2) To ask the Prime Minister to state who had donated the RM2.6 billion deposited into his personal accounts in AmBank in March 2013; which Ministers and MPs had benefited from it; what is the balance and where are the monies. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

No Comments

Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid should agree to an urgent debate in Parliament on Monday on the SK Pos Tohoi tragedy of the seven missing children for seven weeks, leaving only two survivors

It has been reported that the Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan was ‘livid’ over the deplorable education conditions for Orang Asli children, especially in SK Pos Tohoi, the boarding school in Gua Musang where seven school children ranging from seven to eleven years were missing for seven weeks and with only two survivors.

Kamalanathan said he would investigate claims there were only male teachers in SK Pos Tohoi, as this was not supposed to happen.

As I said yesterday, the majority of the students at SK Pos Tohoi are female, but there was not a single female teacher as all the eight teachers are male. The hostel has four wardens and only one of them is a female.

What is the use of the Deputy Education Minister ‘livid’ over the deplorable education conditions for Orang Asli children when the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Education Minister Datuk Madhzir Khalid are totally indifferent and unconcerned, which was why they never breathed a word about the SK Pos Tohoi tragedy although five of the seven school children have clearly perished.

Even with the discovery the two missing children, Mirsudiar Aluj, 11, and Norieen Yakob, 10, in “skin and bones”, both Najib and Mahdzir had not shown any interest or concern?

Other Prime Ministers and Education Ministers would have already made site visits to SK Pos Tohoi in Gua Musang, but when will Najib and Mahdzhir break their seven-week silence on the SK Pos Tohoi tragedy to show their interest and concern? Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

4 Comments

Post SK Tohoi tragedy – the need for revamp of the education programe for Orang Asli students

Based on information from the Orang Asli and Orang Asli activists familiar with the issues facing the education of Orang Asli children, it appears that the tragic incident of the 7 Temiar schoolchildren who went missing on 23 August 2015 has its roots in the sad situation some Orang Asli schools and hostels (asramas) are in, and in the caliber and character of the people assigned to run them.

The school in Pos Tohoi in Gua Musang, where the 7 children were being schooled and boarded, was in a lamentable condition, sometimes with no water in the hostels, forcing the children to use the river. Broken and unmaintained fences allow easy access out the hostel grounds.

No Orang Asli teachers

There was no headmaster assigned to the school at the time of the incident. A new headmaster was posted there just the day before the visit of the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi on 28 September. The eight teachers are all male and none of them are Orang Asli. There are four wardens, only one of whom is a female. But the majority of the students are female.

School enrolment down

The school enrolment as at 23 August 2015 was 170 students, with 70 students staying in the hostel. Today, after the incident, there are 103 students enrolled, with only 12 staying in the hostel. The drastic drop on the enrolment and number of hostelites says a lot about the trust the Orang Asli parents have in the ability of the school to provide their children with a safe and conducive environment.
Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

10 Comments

Call for those responsible for the case of the missing seven Orang Asli children, with five dead, in Gua Musang to be suspended or even charged for their crime of negligence against the seven

Malaysians must hold their heads in shame at the shocking case of the seven Orang Asli children in Gua Musang, ranging from seven to eleven years, who had gone missing from their school hostel hear SK Tohoi since August 23, with the discovery yesterday of two survivors out of the seven, Norieen Yakob, 10, and Miksudial Aluj, 11, who were just skin and bones when found at a huge tree with a small hole on the ground just 1km from the school.

The other five had perished.

Malaysians must feel heart-sick that such callousness, inhumanity, negligence and gross incompetence can happen in modern-day Malaysia as to cause a human disaster and tragedy of such unbelievable magnitude.

That such a human disaster and tragedy can take place in Malaysia when we are just four years from wanting to join the rank of fully developed nations is to the eternal shame to Malaysia, and in particular the Umno/BN government of Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

4 Comments

After roads and water, Impian Sarawak offers education, medical services

BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA
The Malaysian Insider
Published: 7 October 2015 9:00 AM

Children entertained by a lion dance during an educamp organised by Impian Sarawak in Kampung Pasir, Miri, on September 23. The project is part of DAP’s community service initiative in the Borneo states. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Seth Akmal, October 7, 2015.

Ros Matius Mian has never seen her four children so impatient to go to school, with the youngest waking up even before the break of dawn to get ready for classes.

But that was the experience of many parents in the squatter colony of Kampung Pasir, 30 minutes from Miri. For about a week, their bleak surroundings were transformed into a riot of screaming kids and colourful pendants because of Impian Sarawak’s education camp.
Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

No Comments

Why there is no academic freedom in Malaysia

– Murray Hunter
The Malaysian Insider
5 October 2015

The Malaysian government is trying to develop the country into an education hub.

Most universities seek awards of excellence and to get their institutions into the rankings.

However, even with these aspirations, Malaysia’s overall rankings have been slipping over the last decade, while many other universities within the region have been rising dramatically. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

No Comments

Sack both Tajuddin and Chong as message is long overdue that Malaysians deserve Ministers and Deputy Ministers of some standard and quality and not every Tom, Dick and Harry

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, should sack both Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman and Chong Sin Woon as deputy ministers as the message is long overdue that Malaysians deserve Ministers and Deputy Ministers of some standard and quality and not every Tom, Dick and Harry should be elevated to such positions.

For some time, the caliber of Ministers and Deputy Ministers has been on a relentless downward decline like our football world ranking, which plunged to the worst-ever 171st placing in the Fifa rankings in October 2015 when we were still ranked No. 154 at the beginning of the year in January 2015.

Malaysia was positioned in the Fifa rankings at No. 79 in 1993, 96 in 1996, 107 in 2,000, 123 in 2005, 154 in January 2015 and 171 in October 2015 – embarrassing chart of a nation’s trajectory of relentless decline, also reflected in other sectors of our national endeavor.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had dismissed Cabinets formed after he retired in 2003 as Prime Minister for 22 years as “half-past six” while former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin had shown utter contempt of what he described as “deadwood” Ministers.

Early this year, I had written an Open Letter to all Ministers asking them not to be “half-past six” or “deadwood” Ministers, and for heaven’s sake, “don’t be moral pygmies and political dwarfs” but to take a stand on critical issues of the nation on behalf of present and future, particularly on the great questions of right and wrong in Malaysia.

But my Open Letter elicited no response or change, and Najib post-13GE Cabinet was a great failure and disappointment. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

2 Comments

Some answers on my RM50m donation for hostels

Koon Yew Yin
Malaysiakini
2 Oct 2015

COMMENT After the publication of my RM50 million donation to the Penang state government for building student hostels, many people, including media journalists and BFM Radio, have asked me a lot of questions. They are curious because they have not come across something like this before.

Here are my answers:

I was born on Jan 6, 1933. My father started a coffin shop at No 8 Jalan Ipoh, KL about 100 years ago. When father retired about 30 years ago, my eldest brother inherited the coffin shop. As he got older, he found difficulty to compete with the modern undertakers and was forced to close the old shop about two years ago, and my younger brother continued the coffin business with a smaller shop in Kepong, KL.

As I have 11 siblings, I always needed some things since I was a boy. I remember always feeling hungry when I was young. One can imagine how 12 children rushed for food during meal time.

This is why I want to help the poor. Besides my RM50 million donation to the Penang government to build student hostels, I have to date, given about 300 scholarships to help students from poorer backgrounds to complete their tertiary education. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

1 Comment

Soft spot for the British

– M. Bakri Musa
The Malaysian Insider
30 September 2015

The British replaced the Iberians and Dutch in Malaysia. Those colonialists carved up the Malay world among themselves, with Malaysia fortunately falling under the British while the larger archipelago going to the Dutch and the Philippines to the Spaniards.

I say “fortunately”, considering the fate of the Indonesians and Filipinos. For whatever reason the British were much more benign, or less malevolent.

Among the consequential differences, while our Indonesian brethren had to fight for their independence, Malaysians opted for the more civilised and considerably less traumatic route of negotiations. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

No Comments

Proposed RM 50 million donation to Penang State Government for building student hostels

Koon Yew Yin

On 15th Sept 2015, I met the Penang State EXCO which has accepted my RM 50 million donation under the following terms and conditions:

I wish to donate RM 50 million for building student hostels to help students studying in Penang, especially students from poor families, in their access to tertiary education.

1. All the RM50 million and the subsequent profit from the rental and other income must be used for building hostels and other associated buildings for the use of students studying in Penang. These students can come from Penang and other states in the country or even be foreign students in keeping with Penang’s need to draw on the best talent from a globalized world.

2. All construction contracts exceeding RM10,000 must be open to competitive tenders. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

3 Comments

Sabah State Government should offer RM1 million for the best History of Sabah to be written by a Sabahan which should be one of the history books for Sabah students when there is Sabah autonomy for education

Earlier today, I had suggested that Sabah and Sarawak should appoint State Ministers of Education not only in anticipation of grant of education autonomy to the states by Putrajaya, but to discuss with Federal Government and the state stakeholders on the definition and scope of state autonomy on education.

I disagreed with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that state autonomy on education for Sabah and Sarawak should be confined to administrative matters, like his announcement on Malaysia Day that 90% of teaching posts in both states will be filled by Sabahans and Sarawakians within three years, which means the increase of the number of Sarawakian teachers from 32,168 now to 38,082 in the state, with a similar increase in Sabah.

The grant of autonomy in education from Putrajaya to Sabah and Sarawak cannot solely be in terms of increasing the number of teaching posts in the two states to be filled by Sabahans and Sarawakians respectively, but must also involve devolution in the functions, powers and the jurisdiction to the two states in the area of education. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

No Comments

Sabah and Sarawak should appoint State Ministers of Education not only in anticipation of grant of education autonomy to the states by Putrajaya, but to discuss with Federal Government and stakeholders on the definition and scope of state autonomy on education

In keeping with his promise to empower both Sabah and Sarawak, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday unveiled a slew of measures to benefit both states.

He said 90% of teaching posts in both states will be filled by Sabahans and Sarawakians within three years.

With this, the number of Sarawakian teachers will be increased from 32,168 now to 38,082 in the state, with a similar increase in Sabah.

Najib said approval for tenders involving federal projects would be done at the state level by a committee comprising the state secretary and other civil servants.

A joint committee of federal and Sabah/Sarawak officers will be set up to evaluate the administrative aspects of the empowerment exercise so that it would be carried out in an orderly manner.

It is however totally unsatisfactory in the decentralisation of powers and functions from Putrajaya to Sabah and Sarawak is solely in the administrative and not in ay substantive sense. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

No Comments

Gravely concerned about whereabout of DPP Kevin Morais who is well-known as a principled, righteous and God-fearing man who brooks no nonsense for any hanky-panky and discharges his duties without fear or favour

Recently, many strange things are happening in our country which are not amenable to simple explanations.

The most recent strange happening in the country is the disappearance of prominent deputy public prosecutor Kevin Morais since Friday.

Kevin, who was previously seconded to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) until more than a year ago, was last seen leaving for work from his apartment at Menara Duta, Kuala Lumpur, Friday morning.

I am gravely concerned about the whereabout of DPP Kevin Morais who is well-known as a principled, righteous and God-fearing man who brooks no nonsense for any hanky-panky and discharges his duties without fear or favour.

The discovery of a burnt car in Kampung Sungai Samak, Hilir Perak has cast a pall over Kevin’s case.

I am concerned as among other things, Kevin was my constituent when I was Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor before I contested in Gelang Patah in the last general election. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

5 Comments

The problem with vernacular schools

Zairil Khir Johari
The Malaysian Insider
4 September 2015

A question that is often thrown at me, usually with the intention to provoke, is whether I support the abolishment of vernacular education, and correspondingly whether I believe that the answer to our national unity woes lies in having single-stream education.

My answer each time I am asked this is no, and not because I am rehearsing a political line. I say no because I am a firm believer in choice and competition in education, as well as the fact that neither language of instruction nor ethnic make-up of schools cause disunity or a predilection for racism.

To be sure, it is an easy premise to believe – if children go to schools that are made up of only one race and speak only one language, they would find it difficult as adults to mix with those who look and speak differently. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

3 Comments

Call on newly-appointed Minister for Higher Education Idris Jusoh to advise university administrators to respect the intellectual freedom of students and stop treating them as children as Malaysia aspires to university academic excellence

I call on the newly-appointed Minister for Higher Education, Datuk Idris Jusoh to advise university administrators in the country to respect the intellectual freedom of students and to stop treating them as children if Malaysia truly aspires to achieve university academic excellence in the world.

Idris should advise Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) to withdraw the suspension of two students, Hanif Mahpa and Afiqah Zulkifli for organising a forum on the goods and services tax (GST) and inviting a Member of Parliament and PKR vice president Rafizi Ramli to the forum last May. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

2 Comments

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?

COMMENT

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 »

Print Friendly

7 Comments