Monday, June 14, 2010

Teacher extraordinaire

Remember Pn. Vasantha, the guru cemerlang who gave us a talk during our final year at IPBA? Well, she recently received a very meaningful accolade from MIT. The award is to recognise "outstanding contributions of secondary school teachers who inspire a love of learning".

What was most heartwarming about the achivement was the message her student wrote her. It reads:

“Thank you for showing me the stars and teaching me how to reach them. You challenged my mind and touched my heart. You taught me all I needed to know about determination and hard work by the simple eloquence of your example. Thank you for being the difference that will help me make a difference. You are special.”

I also liked her advice for fellow teachers:

1) "You always have to do more than what you should"

2) “Always remind yourself that you can make — or have made — an impact and changing someone’s life for the better, is the best reward one can get.”

Enjoy the article!

Teacher extraordinaire

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Something to ponder

A simple truth: “if one wants something to be attended to, mastered and subsequently used, one must be sure to wrap it in a context that engages the 'emotions'. Conversely, 'experiences devoid of emotional impact' are likely to be weakly engaging and soon forgotten, leaving nary a mental representation (Gardner, 2000).”

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A small stop in the journey

Comment by SOO EWE JIN

THE results for the PMR are out today. Sometimes we forget that the Form 3 students come from the length and breadth of the country.

Not every student will have the privilege of being ferried to the school in a nice car, accompanied by an equally anxious parent, to see how many As will show up on that slip of paper.Not every student will have the privilege of being featured in the newspapers or TV station jumping for joy. Or being interviewed about their study techniques or the rewards that await them.

The majority of the PMR students, if you put things in their proper perspective, will quietly collect their results and prepare for Form 4. Some may not even be able to collect their results because of the floods, but life still goes on.

The obsession with As is primarily an urban phenomenon. It used to be crucial only at the pre-university stage, but over the years has crept downwards so that even 12-year-old children sitting for the UPSR are subjected to unnecessary tension.

I am reminded today by what my Form 3 teacher advised all of us in her message in our class magazine.

She wrote:

“Put in total dedication in your studies,

Pursue learning with real interest

It is such spirit which will carry you

Far deep into fields of knowledge

Be humble in your achievements

The truly great man is never puffed up

Rather he stands in awe

In realisation that there's still so much

To know which is beyond him

Never be discouraged by failure

Not all are born great

But many achieve greatness

Through sheer industry, determination and perseverance

School time is also the time to build up

Precious, meaningful, lasting relationships

Be interested in the world around you

Be intelligently informed

Don't develop into scientific recluses

Remember sports, music, literature and the arts

Have much to offer to help build you up into well-balanced individuals

Able to understand, know, enjoy better

The world you are living in.”

This teacher has touched many lives. She has helped produce her fair share of multiple-A students but she also knew that the ordinary students without the As can go on to lead meaningful, rich lives, if they are well-rounded caring individuals who recognise that results are not the be-all and end-all of the school journey.

To all students taking the PMR results today, by all means rejoice in your distinctions, but do not despair over your credits and passes.

Life is a journey, and the PMR is just a little stop along the way for you to pause and reflect, and to move on.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Students 'should use Wikipedia'

By Alistair Coleman
BBC Monitoring
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has said teachers who refuse younger students access to the site are "bad educators".

Speaking at the Online Information conference at London's Olympia, he played down the long-running controversy over the site's authority.

He said young students should be able to reference the online encyclopaedia in their work.

Mr Wales said the site, which is edited by users, should be seen as a "stepping stone" to other sources.

As long as an article included accurate citations, he said he had "no problem" with it being used as a reference for younger students, although academics would "probably be better off doing their own research".

"You can ban kids from listening to rock 'n' roll music, but they're going to anyway," he added. "It's the same with information, and it's a bad educator that bans their students from reading Wikipedia."

In 2005, at the height of the controversy over the site's accuracy, Mr Wales told the BBC that students who copied information from Wikipedia "deserved to get an F grade".

Mr Wales said the website still lacked the authority to be used as a citeable source for college-aged and university students.

But he said new editing and checking procedures had made Wikipedia more trustworthy.

Changing procedures

Since the controversy, in which it emerged that the "free editing" policy had allowed articles containing inaccuracies and bias to appear, the site has introduced a system of real-time peer review, in which volunteers check new and updated articles for accuracy and impartiality.

Despite advances in technology, there are no plans to automate this process. "There is no substitute for peer critique," Mr Wales told delegates.

It is this perceived lack of authority that has drawn criticism from other information sources. Ian Allgar of Encyclopaedia Britannica maintains that, with 239 years of history and rigorous fact-checking procedures, Britannica should remain a leader in authoritative, politically-neutral information.

Mr Allgar pointed out the trustworthy nature of paid-for, thoroughly-reviewed content, and noted that Wikipedia is still prone to vandalism.

But Britannica and Wikipedia should not be seen as direct competitors. Wikipedia, he said, had made the use of encyclopaedias "trendy and popular" with young people, which could only benefit Britannica's subscription-led service.

Content licensing

Jimmy Wales also said that the Free Software Foundation would be rolling out a new version of its free documentation licence, which Wikipedia may adopt.

Although Wikipedia allows users to copy, modify and redistribute information, commercially or non-commercially, the new licensing regime, based on the existing Creative Commons scheme, would "bring Wikipedia into line with the rest of the free content culture", if adopted.

Mr Wales reiterated his commitment to keeping the Wikimedia Foundation free of corporate sponsorship, and of major donors who might want control of online information.

"We are the Red Cross for information. We won't sell out to Google," he said.

The foundation is, however, expanding into the search function, with July's announcement of the Wikia search facility which combines open-source searching and social networking.

"This is a political statement against proprietary-driven software tools," Mr Wales said. "Wiki wants to give people the maximum freedom to do good."

Also on Wikipedia: Japanese workers in Wikipedia row

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Condolence to Subashini

Membaca seharusnya mengheret manusia ke arah ketamadunan, bukan kematian.
Ali Bukhari Amir
Sun | Nov 25, 07 | 11:48:45 am MYT

Kita baru dikejutkan dengan kes membunuh diri yang menimpa adik Subashini baru-baru ini. Menurut laporan, gadis itu membunuh diri kerana tidak mencapai matlamat 4A dalam UPSR. Terbaru, wujud bantahan ke atas Hospital Seberang Jaya. Pentadbiran hospital itu dikatakan tidak mengendahkan pesakit sehingga menyebabkan kematian anak itu.

Sebenarnya, hal ini boleh dilanjutkan kepada beberapa isu. Pertama, hal yang menimpa pelajar USM di Desasiswa Harapan sekitar 2003-2004 di mana seorang mahasiswa Cina tahun pertama dijumpai mati menggantung diri, dipercayai kerana gagal mendapat kursus yang dipohonnya. Tapi, nantilah kita ceritakan dalam tulisan akan datang.

Kes bunuh diri melibatkan Subashini juga boleh dilihat daripada isu kedua iaitu ‘jenayah’ kementerian yang merangsang masyarakat secara tak sedar, mempengaruhi minda bawah sedar sehingga mereka 'tension' kalau gagal mencapai kecemerlangan menurut kemahuan Kementerian Pelajaran.

'Jenayah' kementerian pelajaran ini amat merbahaya jika dibandingkan kegagalan hospital menyelamatkan nyawa pelajar yang kecewa dengan keputusan peperiksaan mereka. Tapi, hal ini juga akan dibincangkan dalam tulisan seterusnya nanti, insya Allah.

Namun, kes ini jika direnung sedalam-dalamnya, ia berkaitan dengan amalan pembacaan, iaitu perintah yang dianggap suci dan mulia. Pembacaan ke atas ilmu, kembara meneroka pengetahuan adalah wahyu pertama turun ke atas umat manusia seluruhnya; Iqra'.

Iqra’ atau perintah membaca ini sepatutnya mengheret manusia dan kemanusiaan ke arah pembinaan tamadun yang segar dan pembangunan negara bangsa yang lebih bermaruah lagi dihormati. Apa yang pasti setakat ini, rakyat mungkin salah bacaan atau memegang amanat bacaan daripada penguasa yang ghairahkan pencapaian tinggi di dalam akademik. Ucapan-ucapan ini adalah ucapan yang mencederakan batin anak-anak.

Kadangkala kita terfikir, bagaimana mungkin Iqra'- tuntutan Ilahi mengundang kematian manusia? Tuntutan perang serta jihad saja yang boleh mendatangkan kematian. Atau pun, mungkin ada masalah lain dalam pelajaran kini yang silap? Atau hal ini berakar daripada manusia pemegang dasar dan bukan kesilapan sistem pendidikan itu sendiri.

Tetapi bagi Presiden Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam SeMalaysia (Gamis) Mohd Dzul Khairi Mohd Noor, beliau lebih cenderung memusatkan perhatian ke atas budaya ilmu kalangan mahasiswa yang masih belum mencapai tahap membanggakan.

Dalam satu kenyataan, beliau menyifatkan peratusan pembacaan pelajar amat rendah jika dibandingkan negara yang dilihat tak setanding dari segi kemajuannya dengan Malaysia .

Timbalan Menteri Pelajaran, Dato' Noh Omar, berkata di dalam satu kajian, jumlah buku yang dibaca pelajar Australia ialah 180 buah, diikuti Indonesia (94), India (130), Negara Thai (56) dan Brunei (26). Tapi, kita cuma 12 buah buku selama tiga tahun pengajian.

Di dalam kajian itu, jumlah buku yang dibeli pelajar Australia ialah 160 buah, Indonesia (43), Thailand (31), India (75) dan Brunei (15), berbanding Malaysia hanya empat buah untuk tiga tahun pengajian (enam semester).

“Timbul persoalan, adakah pembinaan budaya intelektual dan paradigma pemikiran masyarakat di Malaysia sudah pincang dan merudum menyembah bumi?

“Kebimbangan ini timbul ketika memikirkan bagaimana bangsa Yunani suatu ketika dulu diliputi pemikiran dan kepercayaan bahawa kecantikan itu adalah merujuk terhadap tubuh badan yang tiada seurat benang. Justeru, tidak hairanlah segala lukisan dan seni ukir akan menumpukan ke arah itu,kata Mohd Dzulkhairi.

Malah, tambah beliau, meskipun tamadun itu memiliki ahli falsafah seperti Socrates juga Aristotle, yang memiliki pelbagai idea melangit namun, Will Durant dalam The Story of Civilization menggambarkan kehidupan mereka yang terdiri daripada ahli fikir: Kami mempunyai institusi pelacuran kelas tinggi (courtesans) untuk keseronokan, gundik untuk kesihatan harian tubuh badan.

Jadi, tidak hairan sebenarnya kerana tamadun Yunani meskipun hebat tapi kemungkaran yang berlaku adalah disebabkan tiada panduan kitab suci. Mereka cuma memiliki pemikir yang bukan terpelihara daripada kesalahan. Logikkah Malaysia menjadi sedemikian?

Berdasarkan senario yang berlaku di Malaysia berdasarkan kajian tersebut, salahkah ditafsirkan ia adalah petanda bahawa corak pemikiran masyarakat Malaysia sukar diubah atau salah cara dalam mengubah?” tambah Mohd Dzulkhairi.

Di sini, terbentuk suatu persoalan lain, adakah sistem pendidikan itu ada masalah ataupun penggubal sistem pelajaran itu bersalah ketika menyusun dan merapikan dasar pelajaran?

Beliau turut mempersoalkan: Adakah corak pemikiran sebelum kedatangan Islam seperti Animisme, Dinamisme, Megi Religi masih wujud dan sukar diubah atau dipisahkan dari pola pemikiran masyarakat Malaysia ? Kalau bukan begitu, jenis apakah pandangan hidup atau pandangan alam dalam kalangan penuntut ilmu di Malaysia ?

Saya tertarik kaedah pembacaan seorang tokoh iaitu Dr. Fadzilah Kamsah yang pernah mengatakan bahawa beliau membeli buku setiap minggu untuk dihayati dan difahami.

Tahap pembacaan yang luas adalah antara batu loncatan bagi mengembalikan kesedaran keilmuan dan tradisi idealisme yang mencapah. Jika ini tidak dicapai, bila akan tiba saat masyarakat membudayakan tradisi tersebut? kata beliau.

Di dalam hal ini, Mohd Dzulkhairi berkata, budaya ilmu tidak sekadar memahami sesuatu bidang saja, malah yang lebih utama ialah sikap menjelmakan sifat keilmuan yang multi-disciplinary (pelbagai bidang) dan inter-disciplinary (rentas bidang).

Tapi, adakah sifat ini mampu dicapai kalau hendak dibanding kajian bancian pembacaan itu? Semua ini pasti tertumpu terhadap pelajar universiti.

Apatah lagi kita akan mengumumkan IPT yang merintis status Universiti Apex, tahun depan sebagai landasan pantas untuk menjadi universiti bertaraf dunia, katanya.

Di dalam kesimpulan awalnya, Mohd Dzulkhairi menyifatkan, bahawa walaupun majoriti masyarakat kita adalah "Melayu Muslim", namun kelemahan kita yang berlaku kini adalah disebabkan kerana jarak antara pengamalan kepercayaan hidup yang dianuti dengan cara hidup yang begitu jauh.

Jadi, binalah konsep Tauhidic Worldview yang menitikberatkan soal proses keilmuan dan realisasi Integrated Knowledge,ujar beliau.

*This article view is based on education and civilisation principles from Islamic perspective. I welcome other educational views. BTW, education is all about improvement right? May Subashini's 'sacrifise' wake others up.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Laporan Khas: Kuasa guru dikembalikan
Oleh Azrul Affandi Sobry
Kementerian mahu rombak garis panduan, mudahkan tangani disiplin pelajar

KUALA LUMPUR: Kementerian Pelajaran mengkaji kemungkinan mengembalikan kuasa guru dalam mendisiplinkan pelajar, termasuk merotan di khalayak ramai, bagi memastikan pendidik dapat menjalankan tanggungjawab itu dengan lebih tegas dan berkesan.Timbalan Ketua Pengarah Pelajaran, Datuk Alimuddin Mohd Dom, berkata garis panduan sedia ada perlu dikaji semula supaya masalah sosial di kalangan pelajar dapat dikawal dengan kaedah pendisiplinan yang tidak terlalu terikat dengan pelbagai peraturan.“Kita perlu lihat sama ada membenarkan tindakan yang tidak keterlaluan oleh guru dalam proses mendidik pelajar. Ini perlu kerana kadang kala guru sebagai manusia bertindak sedikit keras apabila berdepan dengan pelanggaran peraturan yang berlaku di depan mata,” katanya kepada Berita Harian.Baru-baru ini, Timbalan Menteri Pelajaran, Datuk Noh Omar, berkata kementerian dalam proses meminda Peraturan-Peraturan Disiplin (Pelajar) 1957 bagi mengemas kini peraturan dan tindakan yang boleh diambil guru terhadap pelajar bermasalah.Beliau berkata, akta berusia 50 tahun itu terlalu umum sehingga mengeliru dan menyukarkan pentadbiran sekolah melaksanakan hukuman terhadap pelajar.Alimuddin berkata, peraturan terlalu ketat mengongkong guru dan secara langsung membataskan tugas pendidik untuk menjalankan tanggungjawab sebagai ibu bapa pelajar selama mereka di sekolah.Malah, guru sukar menegur kesalahan pelajar di luar kawasan sekolah kerana tiada peraturan membenarkan berbuat demikian.“Lebih mengecewakan apabila ibu bapa sering mengambil pendekatan salah dengan beranggapan anak mereka tidak bersalah dalam apa saja keadaan walaupun selepas diberi penerangan oleh pentadbir sekolah.“Ibu bapa sepatutnya faham bahawa apa saja tindakan guru adalah bertujuan mendidik dan kebiasaannya hukuman yang diambil adalah pilihan terakhir selepas pelbagai amaran diberikan.“Rasanya lebih baik guru menghukum pelajar daripada langsung tidak mengambil tahu apa berlaku kepada muridnya. Kesudahannya, murid itu juga yang rugi,” katanya.Sementara itu, Pengerusi Lembaga Penasihat Kluster Kecemerlangan, Tan Sri Dr Abdul Rahman Arshad, mencadangkan supaya sekolah kluster menjadi perintis pelaksanaan peraturan disiplin yang lebih tegas dan membabitkan lebih ramai guru.“Jika ada ibu bapa yang tidak suka anak mereka ‘disentuh’, jangan hantar anak mereka ke sekolah kluster kerana di situ anak mereka akan menerima didikan secara seimbang dan menyeluruh,” katanya.

I've been discussing with friends on current issues related to our education system. We think that its really sad to be an educator who cannot educate the students. We have been trained to deliver our content, educating people and inculculating the noble values. Sadly, we are not giving enough chance to educate people. Everyone seems blaming us for doing this and that. Look, teachers are facing and dealing with various kind of people. Each and everyone of them need different approaches..takkan denda budak tak nakal sama dengan denda budak nakal? Dah pakai nasihat, dia bolayan..denda fizikal la plak..asalkan tak cedera, tak patah, tak mati...tu pun takbleh? Setakat rendam dalam kolam sbb sumbatkan toilet with sanitary pad, and some other examples...what's d big deal la,kan? Dah suruh buat betul2, tapi xdgr cakap...kenala! Imagine that our own children buang sanitary pad merata2 and abes tersumbat umah..takkan nak belai budak tu kata its ok...?? dah beratus2 kali cakap tak jalan..rendam la! hoping they'll get their lesson..sadly mak bapak plak hangin! Tak nk anak tu kena denda...ajarla betul2 bgtau what can we put into the toilet bowl and what's not...or takyah anta g skolah.Senang citer! Should we implement one system where parents are responsible in educating and teaching their offspring..(playing a role as a teacher) and there'll be no more school,nak? Sikap anak2 then will reflect their parents! Should we? Makbapak pun pnah g skolah..penah kena denda dengan cikgu dolu2..yg lagi dahsyat.Hidup je..and jadi pun org! Takkan cikgu nk didik anak ke jalan yg betul pun kena marah? Now, what should we do to make sure our future generation grown up to be a great person?? I hope we'll get our power back and use it wisely!! Hidup cikgu cemerlang, gemilang and terbilang!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

cekik mencekik!

Pelajar cekik guru dibuang sekolah

KOTA TINGGI 28 Julai – Pelajar tingkatan lima yang didakwa mencekik dan menolak seorang guru sehingga hampir jatuh dari tingkat dua bangunan sekolahnya dikenakan tindakan dibuang sekolah.

Bapa pelajar terbabit memberitahu surat buang sekolah atas alasan masalah disiplin itu diserahkan kepadanya sewaktu dia dipanggil ke sekolah hari ini.

Menurutnya, dia diberitahu tindakan buang sekolah ke atas anaknya itu diputuskan dalam satu mesyuarat yang dihadiri oleh pengetua serta pegawai dari Pejabat Pelajaran Daerah (PPD).

Dia yang terkejut dengan tindakan serta-merta pihak sekolah, kecewa kerana hukuman ke atas anaknya diambil tanpa sebarang perbincangan terlebih dahulu.

Apatah lagi anaknya, menafikan perbuatannya kelmarin bertujuan mencederakan guru tersebut sebaliknya merupakan satu tindakan spontan ekoran salah faham.

“Apa yang dikesalkan saya dipanggil ke sekolah hari ini semata-mata untuk diberi surat buang sekolah malah anak saya tidak diberi sebarang peluang untuk membela diri atau berbincang.

“Walaupun anak saya nakal, berilah peluang untuk rayuan. Lagipun tinggal beberapa bulan sahaja lagi sebelum dia menduduki peperiksaan Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM),” katanya ketika ditemui di Kampung Makam di sini hari ini.

Dia berpendapat tindakan pihak sekolah itu dibuat secara terburu-buru kerana dia dimaklumkan sebelum ini perkara tersebut tidak akan diperbesarkan sebaliknya diselesaikan di peringkat dalaman.

“Bagaimanapun, kira-kira pukul 5 petang semalam saya telah dihubungi polis meminta datang ke balai untuk memberi keterangan kerana guru terbabit telah terlebih dahulu membuat laporan,” katanya.

Semalam Utusan Malaysia melaporkan kejadian seorang pelajar yang didakwa mencekik dan menolak jatuh seorang guru kerana enggan melakukan denda tekan tubi yang dikenakan terhadapnya serta dua lagi rakannya.

Dalam kejadian itu, guru wanita berkenaan pada mulanya memarahi sekumpulan sembilan pelajar yang membuat bising di dalam tandas sehingga mengganggu pembelajaran di kelasnya yang terletak berhampiran.

Mengimbas kejadian itu, pelajar terbabit mendakwa dia enggan melakukan denda tekan tubi sewaktu diarahkan oleh guru wanita terbabit kerana lantai di kaki lima tempat mereka berada kotor dan basah ekoran limpahan air dari bilik tandas.

“Guru tersebut marah atas keengganan saya berbuat demikian lalu menarik tangan kiri saya sehingga terluka.

“Saya minta guru itu melepaskan tangan saya dengan berkata ‘sakit cikgu, tolong lepaskan tangan saya’ tetapi dia tidak mengendahkannya,” katanya yang turut menafikan menolak gurunya hingga hampir jatuh dari bangunan.

Sebaliknya dia mendakwa hanya menepis tangan gurunya kerana tidak tahan sakit akibat cengkaman tersebut tetapi secara tidak sengaja tangannya pula terkena leher guru terbabit.

Sementara itu Menteri Pelajaran, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein memberi jaminan siasatan kes seorang guru perempuan yang dicekik pelajar di Kota Tinggi, Johor semalam akan dilaksanakan secara adil dan kini diserahkan kepada timbalannya, Datuk Noh Omar.

‘‘Jangan ada pihak yang teraniaya dan kita tidak mahu berkompromi dalam hal sebegini,” tegasnya.

-Maybe teachers should be trained with self-defense skills? The school is losing its 'safe compound' status. The students are getting wilder and becoming more and more violent. Oh, did i mention that teachers can't even cane their students? No, we can't pinch them either. That's why schools are dealing with many serious discipline issues. Dan kenape mak bapak masih nak menegakkan benang yg basah?? MOE, please do something! -

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Education = $$$$ - Virginity

The picture is of Adrian Lima taken from here.

Check this out: 18 year old offers her virginity for £10,000

There was a girl in Britain who put her virginity up for sale because her parents could not afford to pay for her higher education.
Clever way to get educated, eh?


Sunday, June 24, 2007

News: Helping rural pupils excel in studies


GIVING pupils in rural areas an opportunity to have access to better education is what the Sekolah Cemerlang DuPont project is all about.

The initiative by DuPont Malaysia Sdn Bhd, launched for the Hulu Langat area by Hulu Langat MP Datuk Markiman Kobiran last month, involves three schools - SK Rinching Hilir, SK Sungei Lui and SJK (C) Batu 14.

DuPont Malaysia managing director Dr A. Hapiz Abdullah said the Sekolah Cemerlang project reached out to pupils in rural schools.

It first kicked off in 2001 in the Semenyih area, followed by one in Karak in 2004.

A kick-start: Pupils from SK Rinching Hilir, SK Sungei Lui and SJK (C) Batu 14 with the officials at the launch of the ‘Sekolah Cemerlang DuPont’ project.
“DuPont is committed to promoting and nurturing an interest in Science, Mathematics and English among rural children, who do not generally get much exposure in Science-based subjects,” Hapiz said at the event’s launch at Hotel Equatorial Bangi.

He said the basic objectives of the project was to encourage the learning of Science, Mathematics and English among rural children at an early age, make learning Science fun and full of adventure and discovery and encourage creativity and teamwork among children.

The project also stresses on encouraging children in primary schools to perform better in the UPSR examination and help them develop an interest in the environment and promote greening of the environment.

The project at the Hulu Langat schools is in collaboration with the Education Ministry and will involve pupils in Year 4 and 5 with a continuation project in 2008 for pupils in Year 5 and 6.

The company would sponsor books and teaching aids.

Hapiz said 461 pupils would benefit from the project.

Among the activities planned are motivational talks for parents and pupils, tuition classes by teachers for pupils and a challenge to pupils to win the DuPont trophies for Best Science pupil, Best Mathematics pupil and Best English pupil.

“DuPont employees will visit the schools to enhance the interaction between the parties involved and monitor their progress as teachers will provide quarterly examination results of each school,” he said.

A visit to the Malaysian International Aerospace Exhibition 2007 is planned for the second term and a tree planting activity to green the earth and promote environmental awareness and sustainable development has been lined up.

“We hope these efforts will help bridge the knowledge gap between the rural pupils and their urban counterparts. This is a wonderful opportunity to prove that rural school children, given the right help and guidance are just as intelligent as their urban peers,” Dr Hapiz said.

He said seeing pupils from the previously initiated “Sekolah Cemerlang” projects excel, inspired DuPont to do more.

Hope to see more schools get this kind of opportunity.

Resource: The Star online.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Back To Our Roots

Today is Teacher's Day... This is an article written by the chief editor of Utusan Malaysia in conjunction of the Teacher's Day. Let's get back to what used to be important, appreciation and affection


Rencana Pengarang
KETIKA dunia menyaksikan persaingan sengit dalam usaha meningkatkan pencapaian peperiksaan, kecemerlangan dari segi persijilan, dan memperoleh kerjaya bernilai tinggi, ada baiknya sempena Hari Guru hari ini, para pendidik serta masyarakat diingatkan kembali terhadap idealisme perguruan.

Ini kerana apabila usaha besar-besaran dan bersungguh-sungguh oleh sekolah dan masyarakat untuk menghasilkan modal insan yang berdaya saing dalam era globalisasi, terdapat kecenderungan untuk mengambil ringan elemen-elemen kemanusiaan.

Sesungguhnya misi para guru bukanlah semata-mata menghasilkan modal insan yang dicapai melalui kejayaan memperoleh markah tinggi dalam peperiksaan dan kemampuan mereka mendapatkan pekerjaan berpendapatan tinggi.

Dalam pada perkara-perkara itu penting bagi negara membangun yang mempunyai aspirasi untuk menjadi negara maju, tetapi misi guru sebenar adalah sebagai pendidik yang memberi sumbangan untuk melahirkan warganegara memiliki nilai-nilai kemanusiaan bersifat universal.

Di sinilah kejayaan sebenar guru di mana anak-anak muridnya keluar dari sekolah sebagai manusia yang mampu bukan saja berdikari untuk mencari rezeki tetapi juga memiliki kesedaran moral untuk memperjuangkan kebenaran dan melaksanakan keadilan.

Untuk mencapai idealisme perguruan ini, ia tidak dapat dilahirkan melalui program ijazah pendidikan di universiti semata-mata, tetapi sebaliknya ia memerlukan sokongan daripada masyarakat khususnya para ibu bapa terhadap misi sebenar pendidikan sekolah.

Maka sempena Hari Guru ini, anggota masyarakat wajar memberi penghargaan kepada para pendidik bukan kerana kemampuan mereka mengajar dengan menggunakan komputer atau powerpoint, tetapi lebih penting lagi dapat menyemai nilai-nilai murni di kalangan anak-anak murid.

Kita menghendaki pelajar-pelajar yang bukan semata-mata memperoleh belasan A dalam peperiksaan, tetapi juga mereka perlu mampu berfikir, berbudi bahasa, gemar membaca buku, bersemangat untuk meneroka dan bersikap positif.

Sememangnya perkataan-perkataan ini kelihatan seperti retorik dan tidak menjejak pada realiti dunia di mana perkiraan akhir adalah markah A, ijazah, wang ringgit dan gaji serta imbuhan. Tetapi manusia tidak hanya bergantung pada kebendaan semata-mata.

Kita terus memerlukan idealisme untuk mewajarkan kehidupan. Maka bagi guru, idealisme mereka adalah usaha untuk melahirkan generasi akan datang yang bertamadun.

*sometimes the ideal can be the real deal*

Monday, April 23, 2007

Power Point Presentation?

Anna Patty Education Editor
April 4, 2007
from Sydney Morning Herald

If you have ever wondered why your eyes start glazing over as you read those dot points on the screen, as the same words are being spoken, take heart in knowing there is a scientific explanation.

It is more difficult to process information if it is coming at you in the written and spoken form at the same time.

The Australian researchers who made the findings may have pronounced the death of the PowerPoint presentation.

They have also challenged popular teaching methods, suggesting that teachers should focus more on giving students the answers, instead of asking them to solve problems on their own.

Pioneered at the University of NSW, the research shows the human brain processes and retains more information if it is digested in either its verbal or written form, but not both at the same time.

It also questions the wisdom of centuries-old habits, such as reading along with Bible passages, at the same time they are being read aloud in church. More of the passages would be understood and retained, the researchers suggest, if heard or read separately.

The findings show there are limits on the brain's capacity to process and retain information in short-term memory.

John Sweller, from the university's faculty of education, developed the "cognitive load theory".

"The use of the PowerPoint presentation has been a disaster," Professor Sweller said. "It should be ditched."

"It is effective to speak to a diagram, because it presents information in a different form. But it is not effective to speak the same words that are written, because it is putting too much load on the mind and decreases your ability to understand what is being presented."

The findings that challenge common teaching methods suggest that instead of asking students to solve problems on their own, teachers helped students more if they presented already solved problems.

"Looking at an already solved problem reduces the working memory load and allows you to learn. It means the next time you come across a problem like that, you have a better chance at solving it," Professor Sweller said.

The working memory was only effective in juggling two or three tasks at the same time, retaining them for a few seconds. When too many mental tasks were taken on some things were forgotten.

So... what are the implications for us as teachers..?? huhu..

(sorry, been busy lately.. huhu.. no good posts.. =( )


Friday, March 23, 2007

convent sitiawan.

One day in 2001.

Lesson : English
Topic : Monsoon History

"silver fish tunneling..."

Teacher : So, anyone could tell me what is the meaning of "silver fish"?


Teacher : anyone?

Teacher : yes, Khairun.

Khairun Nisa : erm.. ikan kembung mam..

*dunk* a duster hit my head.


ingat Pn Jackie shikin?

i just love my school days.

Pn Jackie is like one of the meaniest teacher alive but yes, i like her!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Pride of a teacher-to-be

Hassan Al-Banna, when being asked why he didn't write many books, replied,
"I am only interested in writing a great humanity."
Reflecting on this, I couldn't agree more that there is nothing nobler than having the oppurtunity to write a human, to shape a human-being especially when they are still raw. You can write as many books as possible, but how assured are we that people will read them? To write a human, requires patience and skills as it is a direct two-way interaction. You have to deal with many complex and unpredictable personalities.
So, this is what our future career is all about. Writing a human-being. I'm sure the most rewarding part of this profession is when we see the results of of our own writing evolves from a small caterpillar to a colourful butterfly that shines.
Proud to be a teacher :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Wow~!! Time flies really fast without we realise it,
and we, my fellow Macquarians and I, are already in Week 3 of our first semester.
Soon, most of us from Macquarie will do our microteaching presentation. For instance this week, we have Wanee and Peri who will deliver their presentations.
I wish best of luck to the both of you..

Apart from the Microteaching presentation, which is a 10-minute teaching, we also have to go to the selected schools for the observation task. I guess most of my friends in (fellow teacher trainees) other universities have to go to school too, either for their practicum (teaching) or just for an observation. Whatever it is, I hope we'll gain a lot of new knowledge as well as various and distinct teaching approaches and methods during the period of going to the local schools in Aussie, NZ and UK. Personally, I really hope to learn new and beneficial things during my observation at the local school in Aussie later. I would like to observe the students-teachers rapport inside and outside of the classroom, I would like to know how the school set up the school rules, how is the students social behaviour between thier peers, with other races and with those non-native speakers.. The curriculum of the school also should not be taken lightly. For example in Australia, different states have their own curriculum plan and in New South Wales it is named NSW Board of Studies. And different schools have different school systems and each school is not restricted to the plan that is provided by the BOS but of course, they are encouraged to follow the plan provided. There whole lot of other things too which are, for me, an eye-opening in comparison to our own standardised curriculum.

As to that, if there's any of you would like to share anything in regards to our school observations or microteaching presentations and the likes.. I think it would be interesting to see some pictures or videos here posted by any of you.. hehehe..

Until then,
All the best everyone!!
Lets do our best while we are here!!


Monday, March 12, 2007

Be a true guru


The word “guru” to denote teacher in Malay serves as a reminder to teachers of their responsibilities and duties.

FROM THE very beginning, I have, as a teacher, worked hard and diligently. I have never minded the work because I have always believed in the power of good teaching.

Even as I write this, I am aware of how strongly I believe that effective teaching does touch and change lives.

I have also grown accustomed to being called Cikgu. Everywhere I go, I am dogged by this name. Sometimes, or so it seems to me, the name my father gave me has ceased to matter.

In fact, in every school I go to, some students won’t even know my name or if they do, are rarely able to pronounce it correctly. So, under these circumstances, I have accepted the fact that my name is Cikgu.

Origins of guru

When I first started writing for The Star in 1996, my column was called “They Call Me Cikgu”.

Back then, if a foreigner had asked me what the word meant, I would have just said, “teacher”.

But there were times when I had wondered: “Why are teachers called Cikgu? How did this name come to be?”

I finally discovered the answer in the book The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

In Sanskrit , the word guru is made up of two syllables: gu and ru. The syllable gu means “darkness” while ru refers to “removal”. Guru is used to refer to a person who can dispel darkness.

Darkness here refers to ignorance, lack of understanding, skills or knowledge. It is the job of the guru to illuminate the darkness found within the mind of his disciple, devotee or student.

While God remains the supreme guru of all mankind, I believe that teachers are his instruments.

If we take teaching to heart, we ought to be able to find in ourselves the commitment and zeal to provide motivation and inspiration, give guidance, disseminate knowledge, hone skills and act as a facilitator in the learning process.

To be a true guru, however, we have to first educate ourselves and constantly improve in terms of our knowledge, skills, competencies and attitudes.

Poor English

Nowadays, we often hear complaints about teachers who lack professional competency and yet do nothing about it. While these teachers do not form the majority, they exist

In the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (ETeMS) for example, and despite numerous support and training efforts by the Education Ministry, there are still a number of teachers who are dragging their feet about mastering or improving their command of English.

One of their excuses is that the students can’t handle the language. As such, they use Malay as the main medium of instruction.

As a Science teacher I would agree that our efforts to teach this subject in English is hampered by students who are weak in the language.

Teaching them in English is an uphill task, especially when students do not come from an English-speaking background.

However, this weakness on the part of students should not be used as an excuse by teachers.

So, who is to blame when the implementation of the ETeMS policy suffers setbacks? Teachers’ attitudes, I fear, have been a contributory factor.

Some Science and Mathematics teachers have come to rely too heavily on government-supplied CDs to take on the role of substitute teacher.

I have passed Science classes where all that the students do is simply copy notes from the content of a CD projected onto a screen.

The reason? Their teacher does not speak English well and refuses to conduct the lesson in English.

A few years have passed since ETeMS was introduced but there hasn’t been much improvement on the part of some teachers, be it in their attitude or language competence.

Improve yourselves

With the introduction of English language proficiency testing, and follow-up refresher courses for those who need them, is there going to be a positive change among these teachers or are they going to protest yet again the whole idea of teaching the subjects in English?

I read an interesting snippet in the newspapers recently about the Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi, who starred in the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha”.

She had gone to The Juilliard School in New York to improve her English delivery skills. She recognised that it would be an asset and would lead to more movie offers from the West. I commend her move to spend time, money and effort to improve her English.

As teachers, it should also be our goal to continually improve and become good Cikgus.

Is Cikgu, however, the right name for a teacher? Does it reflect the knowledgeable mind of a good teacher?

What is the right name by which we should be called? Actually, we should be called Cik Guru.

And, to honour the noble meaning of the word guru, we should not be addressed by the shortened Cikgu.

However, I don’t think anything is going to change as we have become accustomed to it.

Why do some Science and Mathematics teachers keep on teaching these two subjects in Malay? Isn’t it because it is customary for them to do so?

Why do some Malaysian students keep wanting to be taught Science and Mathematics in Malay? Isn’t it because they are more accustomed to Malay than to English?

And, think of this: Even if you tell him otherwise, why will the Malaysian student always call you Cikgu? Because it is the custom to do so.

But, acceptance of what is customary shouldn’t change your realisation of the following: while you can’t change the fact that you will always be Cikgu, you can decide whether you are a true guru.

So, Cik Guru, before it’s too late, wake up and smell the coffee!


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