Archive for June 23rd, 2011

Chun Wai should not be blamed

By bujai | June 22, 2011

The readers’ poll on ‘Bersih 2.0’ which was carried by The Star newspaper drew mixed reactions from politicians, the media and blog writers. Some said it was tantamount to The Star throwing its full support for the planned rally next month while others described it as an immodesty.

To accuse The Star editorial team as being ignoramous and not sensitive to the sentiments caused by Bersih 2.0 is also not proper as the newspaper is professionally-led. However, professionals do err once in a while.

But to accuse The Star of committing an enormity is a bit overboard. If we expect the government, especially the Home Ministry to take a relentless action against the publication, we should may as well recap what other papers have done in the past few months. I personally believe what Utusan Malaysia did about two months ago was of ‘equal’ to that of The Star.
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Improving The Odds For Our Disadvantaged Students

By M. Bakri Musa

Students from a disadvantaged background face many challenges; thus it is not a surprise that they lag academically. This has always been true and accepted as normal. The consequence to this acceptance is that the students’ disadvantaged background becomes too ready an excuse for teachers and policymakers not to address the issue of widening educational achievement gap, blaming instead such factors as poverty and lack of parental involvement.

While those are relevant, there is much that schools, teachers and policymakers can do to turn disadvantaged students into “resilient” ones. A recent OECD study, Against The Odds. Disadvantaged Students Who Succeed in School, (PDF) confirms this. “Resilient” students, as defined by the study, are those from a disadvantaged socio-economic background relative to students in their country, and attain high scores by international standards.
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So True – but why you can’t believe everything on Internet


Now THIS is why you can’t believe any picture you see on the Internet! The guy who did these pictures did an awesome job!

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Scholarships for those who earn and need it

Yap Mun Ching
The Sun
23 June 2011

AFTER many years of opaque silence, the debate over tertiary education scholarships has finally boiled over with public demands for the list of renegade Public Services Department Scholarship (PSD) holders to be published and at least one father threatening to sue a corporate foundation for not giving his son a scholarship to Cambridge. It is a timely debate and one that stands at the heart of the transparency and accountability pledge of the government.

To find our way out of this mess, a useful starting point is the criteria for allocating scholarships which has been veiled under much secrecy. In a letter to the NST, the chairman of the Centre for Public Policy Studies, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, stated the criteria as follows: academic achievement (20%), racial composition (60%), East Malaysia bumiputra (10%) and socially disadvantaged (10%).

If this is accurate, we can trace many of the controversies over allocation of scholarship funds to this set of guidelines. If only 20% of the national scholarship budget is used to award meritocracy; it is not surprising then that the majority of scholars that we turn out are of mediocre achievement. If only 10% is allocated to support poor students; no wonder movements like Hindraf strike a chord. It is uncertain if the bulk of the 70% of racial allocation is made with any secondary criteria (e.g. meritocratic and means-tested) as well, but it is galling for this writer to recall the PSD and GLC scholarship holders who had sufficient means to purchase vehicles and designer goods throughout their study abroad. Read the rest of this entry »