Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

 

 

[Zorro]              :  Are you a registered Voter?

Cheryl                : Nah, I’m not really into all that. It’s not like it makes a difference anyway!

Bernard             : Well, then you don’t have a say in anything that happens in the country. So don’t complaint.

Cheryl               : Isn’t that my right as a citizen, to say something, especially if it is wrong?

 

                           ” My dear, voting is a privilege. It gives you a voice. It gives you the power to make a difference.

                              Whether you decide to use that privilege or give it up, is up to you. But don’t you dare say anything, if you don’t

                             contribute  because you have revoked your right by not voting.”- Bernard of Zorro Unmasked]

 

* my conversation with Bernard@Zorro, a very nice old man, I met during my days as an active blogger at National Press Club. Bernard has since passed on [ 2014], but he has always left a lasting impression on this once young lady.

My journey as a researcher led me to my journey as a blogger. I became more of a blogger than a researcher by the time I completed my masters in early 2009. I was a true-blood blogger, my spirit was full of fire- I wanted to make a difference, I had learn so much in my journey as a blogger. This was the time I met the likes of Haris Ibrahim, Malik Imitiaz, SK Thew, Walski, Marina Mahatir, Anura Bird, Bernard@Zorro that opened my eyes to the importance of of making a difference of having a voice.

Does it matter? Why? Let me tell you why.

Why you should RECLAIM your Rights?

  • You can make a differenceUSE your VOTE! Why let someone else decide for you? You have a voice- that is your vote.
  • It’s a privilege. Vote on behalf that those who can’t. Many minorities and under-represented groups do not have a right to vote around the world. Did you know that women fought for the right to vote?
  • Feel underrepresented? REPRESENT! Are you one of those passionate Facebook or Twitter warriors that has a lot to say about what the government should and shouldn’t do? Do you feel that they could do better? Do you feel your state does not get what it needs:?
  • $$$$$/ RM Each vote equals money. YOU DECIDE THE CAUSE, it is your Money that fuels the state. Don’t you care where your money goes? Money that your MP [Member of Parliament] will fuel to causes he thinks is good, is needed and necessary. You think there is a need for more Youth Education? Local Content? Child Abuse?
  • CANCEL out someones Vote. Your decision to vote might cancel out someone else’s vote. Your vote could be the decider, of whether that corrupt person continues to yield power in your state. Also it balances the votes out, so at least those in power will feel the pressure to WORK and not laze around. Majority votes make it too safe, makes the winner feel too much pride that they forget, they serve the nation.
  • Be a True Malaysian. Have a VOICE! Yes ,exercise your participation as a citizen. Don’t call yourself a citizen, for without this vote, you have no voice. Want to have a voice? VOTE!
  • Want stability? A prosperous economy? VOTE! Want someone who talks sense, knows what he is doing with the country’s billions? Want someone who not only has a background in Finance  but an expert in it, running the Finance ministry? Put him or her there! How many of your Ministers know anything about their Ministry?
  • Want to be Educated? VOTE! Wonder why English keeps failing among our ministers, our graduates? Who makes those policies? Who do you want sitting in those seat deciding the fate of our future? Without knowledge, our country will perish.  Do you really want to leave our education system in the hands of those who know nothing? You enjoy policies changing every 5 years at the whim and fancy? English in Science, Malay in Science [Recall being part of this system?]
  • Want a Job/ starting a business, based on how awesome you are? You decide policies on tenders [who gets them], diversity in jobs not based on race/religion, job opportunities etc
  • Unhappy with companies polluting our rivers? Getting rid of our beautiful Penang hills?  Constant water cuts or electricity? You have a choice, don’t let them. It’s your backyard, your land, your rivers, your home. Put those who know what they are doing in place. VOTE!

At the end of the day, it is your choice whether to vote or not. But as a very wise old man told me once,

   “Voting is a PRIVILEGE. You have the power to make a difference, it just whether you want to make a difference or just rant”.

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“I just don’t get it, if your stupid it is OK..you know but the problem is..YOUR NOT! You guys are intelligent but then when you guys give me work like this……arggh “

Anyone listening to this conversation would think that I was really getting it bad with the person in question, but in the contrary the person in question is not only one of the most respected persons in my books but also a man I totally care about and love. He often reminds me of my father. If I were to use any words to describe how he is to me, it would be “tough love”.

The man in question is my professor. I met him in 2002 when I first entered University Sains Malaysia to purse my undergraduate studies in Communication. Not liked by many due to his hard exterior and sarcastic comebacks, students would stay away from him. I on the other hand thought he was brilliant (yes and extremely sarcastic!)

Sitting in one of his first classes, the moment he started talking.. I stopped and listened attentively (why it was such a big deal? Simple… because I hardly listened, instead I would normally draw cartoons and what-nots when a lecturer speaks.. most of the time as I my attention span was minimal). But the moment the man opened his mouth, brilliance just came out so effortlessly. It was so clear. Another thing that I liked about him was that he did not give a damn about what people thought about him. He was smart and he knew it. He did not let anyone step on his head or give him crap. Admired that.

I used to drop by his office and see him off and on, for no particular reason. Back in university, I was a public relations major, so off the grid for someone like me. Hence, it meant hardly any dealings with prof because he was the journalism head but somehow I was drawn towards journalism and their lecturers. I was more in-tune to anything related to journalism or these lecturers and who would have thought that I would purse journalism in my postgraduate studies, but that is a different story altogether.

As I admired him to bits and thought he was of such brilliance when I decided to purse my postgraduate studies, naturally he became my supervisor. Trust me it was hard being his student. He expected nothing but the best and anyone who knows me academically, as a student knows that I have a million ideas (working, productive ideas) but sadly my organization skills when it comes to putting those thoughts in order was awful. He had to deal with that throughout my 2 years of doing my postgraduate studies in the area of new communication technology. I wanted to quit many times as it was really tough. But having him on-board was one of the reasons I stuck on- I knew he would ensure I gave quality.Conversations like above would always occur and every time I call him I feel like I’m walking on glass as I was nervous (I always wanted to please him and sound smart), hence I would make even more mistakes and blunders than normal.

As the years have passed, I have gone through so much academically and work wise. In my classes, I mirror him in many ways with the way I teach and I always tell my students about his brilliance and how he has mentored me all this years. Everything I do academically largely relates to my prof and his ways of teaching, his ideas and thinking..I owe the little parts of brainy me…to him ….how he has developed how I think critically.

He has always been there to support me and I notice that during every big decision of my life, I’m always either consulting my parents and prof. What he as taught me in class, during my post-grad and even the life lessons, as I entered the working world has been priceless.

I never really knew the depth of his influence on me and what I have achieved… till last Friday, as I walked down the hill in USM after meeting my current supervisors… I remembered his email recently also asking me if I was okay as I had resigned and started my own business, I mean my time lecturers could not be bothered about you let alone what you do after you leave their class but prof was always different.

I realized that I have never really thanked him for being there for me. For being my mentor all these years…for being the one who believes in me. He is one man besides my father than makes me cry, proud and happy with my achievements and progress. He makes me strive and be all that I can and I’m forever thankful and blessed to have such an influential figure in my life. My mentor 🙂

Thank you, prof.

The title itself of this post, rings close to home. Anyone …especially those who have known me from school days, will understand why my blog title reads…. “Rebel With A Cause”..

From school days, I’ve always been known as the rebel. I was always the one to not only ask, demand and get what I think is right from the get go. I’ve always asked why and I always stood up for what I thought was right at any given point, even since primary school.

Of course being so young, my bold and direct approach was not always taken kindly, earning me the reputation of the troublemaker.
Now that I’m older, has much changed? Perhaps not.

In some circles, I’m still known as the trouble maker (especially in the office among the management staff-I’m sure of that!). Well in an industry like mine, I’m considered pretty young hence again the young complex…so I should not be so bold nor say what I think is right, no no no….

But I am such…I will not accept things just as it is, I will question you till you turn blue… if you do not have your facts right. I have no fear of superiors or influential people if they are wrong in my eyes (can be a bad thing, trust me:)..the list goes on…

I guess I should thank my parents for that, although some might find that it is a value that a woman should not really uphold to that sort of level (as it creates two folds sometimes three folds of issues that keep coming).

Of course as I get older, the rebel part of me has changed in many ways and the issues I fight for differs…When I was younger it was concerning issues that affected me directly and as I get older it concerns the people around me…

My kids (no not my biological ones) know for a fact that they can come to me, at any given time with an issue and if they have solid reasons or facts to back their claims, I will defend them, even if it makes the management frown. Making me not so popular with the management that has had severe blows to my career. despite my credentials of being highly educated, passionate, pro-active, a problem-solver and good with the kids.

But like I’ve said many a time, we make our choices 🙂

For the longest time (the last 6 years-yet it seems so long), almost most of my career I have been an educator and if I can say, a damn good one. I teach with passion, I go the extra mile for the student and my relationship with them goes far beyond the classic classroom teacher-student, as I know them as, not only students but individuals in their own right.

In this last 6 years, despite it all, I’ve been the rebel in college many a time when I bring up issues that affect my students and their education. Trust me, when you try to do the right thing people will come after you, I had a knife so close to my back for the last 2 years, it was hard to breathe, yet I continued on and did the best I could,for as long as I felt the cause was worthy.

That time has passed though and like every rebel with a cause, it’s time for this rebel to have her own cause….this time around I’m doing something for myself. My students might find it hard to see me in any other role, trust me it was hard in the beginning, to imagine myself doing anything else.

I love education, I love educating but mostly I LOVE my students …and when I can make a difference in their life, even in the slightest, smallest portion……..it makes my day. I will continue to love what I love but not at the expense of having to lie or cheat, hence my decision to have my own cause, a cause that might not be as potent as my other causes previously, but just as important perhaps to my development as an individual.

I will come back one day and return to my passion of educating in colleges or universities but for now the educating will take place via something much more calm, peaceful, soul soothing….for a change, my hands will do the talking (god knows, my mouth needs a break :).

So do visit me in my new venture, support me if you can (mimarsehomespa.wordpress.com)

I know it’s something new and perhaps something you would have never imagined me doing,but all you need to do is look at me, to know, that this is good for me. It’s super good( god you should look at my skin now!) and if you could see my soul, I would tell you it’s doing the LAMBADA 🙂

I’m happy and I hope all of you are too 🙂

So for now, the rebel’s cause will be soul soothing 🙂 It’s funny eh, from a rebel who used to be called Baasha to one who practices calming, soothing energy for the soul. My my how we change…

It’s funny really how things work these days…

I mean you would expect that in a service line, there was actually be service. Heck, it would be a given.

Not something you fall upon by chance but something you would come to expect, after all it is the service line. You would expect the company providing the service and the staff that build and serve it as a support system to actually do the SERVICING bit.

But let’s be practical.
I mean who am I kidding…service?
Not known to most Malaysian companies. There have not the slightest clue on how to operate in a manner that would be expected of them, unless of course there are monetary returns on their part or if it is a temporary condition. Yes, if it is a temporary condition-now, that would not be an issue.

A smile, a polite gesture-yes, that would be easy but expect that long term? A genuine attempt?…let’s just say that it would not be safe to hold your breath.

What is most disappointing about the service line is when it affects one of the most important institutions in the country,heck the world…

Education…an industry that is close to my soul-after all I have been apart of it from the age of 3 (from kindergarten to grad school and now being an educator myself).

You would think as years pass by that the standards would get higher, as improvements are made and people get hold of new technologies. But in fact the lies, the unacceptable services is what you can expect ..at most. But of course at the get go, things will be rainbows and sunshine….and wham the next minute, it’s like something hit you and you have no idea what it was…

Ironic eh?

The sad thing is that service is merely a front-right until they get the cash checked. Then you can forget about the smile, the polite gesture and sadly at times they will forget that you were/are indeed a paying client at one point. It’s awful in education especially because its a hefty investment-we are not talking about a thousand or 10 thousands dollar, but at any given time its easily 30,40, 60 and the numbers keep getting higher.

Service on the other hand is worse than ever. Paying clients have to be at the mercy of these people who are supposedly taking care of them. They are scared to say anything, because well… that’s how they have been brought up and the education system perpetuates that exact teaching- question no one in power.

Simple-rule but of course every now and then there is hope with some who do not play default in that very system…Thank god for small mercies, eh?

Being Malaysian..Asian we are suppose to uphold certain tenets, values that makes us a culturally enriched society. But from what we commonly see on a daily basis, I dare say across the industries- it is more of the same thing. It’s is the perpetuation of unacceptable norms, that over a period of time has become okay.

It’s okay to be a unproductive member of the company, as long as your good at sucking up and covering your tracks. It’s alright to cheat, lie, manipulate as long as profit is the outcome-yes, it doesn’t matter how you got there. It’s okay to behave cowardly and hide behind your student’s skirts, so to speak when things get rough. It’s okay to assume that people are at your mercy, people are born to serve you and people need to take your crap.

But hey, when the unacceptable becomes the norm- you either sit there and take it or you fight it. When you have fought for the long haul and it is the best you can do, then you decide to become one of those robots and surrender to the system or you leave and uphold the principles that make you who you are.

Simply put its choice we make in life. That is the only thing that sets us apart.

What’s your choice????

Teluk Intan or known to the old timers as Teluk Mak Intan or Teluk Anson, is a small town located in the town of Perak.

This quaint town has grown from days of small roads and 1 fast food restaurant and a small mall to a 2-3 way roads (bigger than you can imagine) for a small town gal anyways! Now, the town even has a Mc Donalds drive-thru and our very own Giant. To the many who know me online, I’m an original Penangnite but truth be told I am a small town gal from Teluk Intan, Perak.

I’ve not ever mentioned this little town that I hail from but today, I find that it requires saving, it requires a spot on my blog, it requires highlighting matters that should not be overlooked ,just because it is a small town. Very aptly, the issue at hand leans very close to my passion, the field of education.

San Min Su Wa is a Chinese private school funded by the public through donations (they collect up to RM240k at one given time to fund the school). It is located at Jalan Sg Nibong, 36000 Teluk Intan. It is well equipped with computer and projectors. Hell, they even have a multimedia room. They are very big on extra-curriculum activities like singing, dancing and constantly entering competitions. Academically, the kids do not fair too well but often the majority of them pass (according to inside sources: they are “passed” if you get what I mean). I was told that the kids here are “skilled in English”. They can barely speak a sentence in English and we are talking about 16, 17 year old (but they can differentiate a verb, a clause and other parts of english! What’s the blady point if you can’t speak a word of English!). Guess what, these are the same students who come to me a couple of years later at college level and torture the living day light out of me. God, help me!

Most of the kids are fairly rich and have serious attitude problems. They are all mostly daughters and son’s of local businessman in town and most, show no regard to studies, as they feel they can always fall back on their parent’s businesses. Even their English teachers can barely carry the language well, to make matters worse they translate English words they teach to Mandarin (how does that help in any way? I have no idea). For those who might say, eh it’s hard to teach kids who can barely understand English, so translation is the way to go. I refuse to believe that as I encounter the same problem and my kids improve drastically after being exposed to methods of Ms.C and these are the same breed of UEC kids. If they show me attitude and if do not put effort, I fail them.

A local source tells me that educators are often made to pass students who do not deserve to pass (this also happens in local colleges that are not monitored well, I’ve seen it happen before, thank god my college has pre-boards for examination regulation).

his continues to occur in schools and colleges, when will it stop? To make matters worst, the management treats the educators in a very shameful manner, that “pisses the shit outta me”. An inside source tells me of the occurrences of the following incidence;

1.Teacher’s salary for the month of December has not been given to the teachers because of fear that they will resign at year end so the salary will only be given to teachers the
following year, towards the end of January. ( To my knowledge: People depend on their salaries on a monthly basis to pay bills at the right time and of course eat! It is their “rice bowl”
or periuk nasi”. I’m single and if I were to get my pay late I’d suffer, so I pity those teacher’s with families. It is year end furthermore,people have to pay for school uniforms,
stationery etc.
2. They have a steady input of part-timers that teach specific subjects. These teachers have been teaching for sometime at the school and have been paid on a monthly basis whether
there is classes or not. All of a sudden, there start cutting teacher’s salary into half as school holidays are approaching without giving further notice.
What do teachers who depend on the salary do when half their pay has been taken from them? Also they leave out teacher’s from the schedule and do not inform the part-timers that
they are no longer necessary. This is a plain injustice.Again, what do the teachers do? Have they, no courtesy? What about people who depend on it for a living!

It saddens me that this is the state of our education. This school is a perfect example of a mill that is churning out robots, who leave the school with minimal knowledge and impact. We are supposed to nurture the kids not numb their minds. Educators are treated like crap which is yet another sad revelation of what happens in this small quaint town.

Some might say this happens in all schools or colleges, so why this one. Firstly, I have an inside source to this particular one, to prove what occurs behind the doors! The rest (about other institutions) is based on speculation rather than evidence, so I can’t name specifics. Here, I can.

San Min Su Wa better buck up and hold up the integrity of its school as an education pillar of this town. I will not rest if nothing is done till words gets out about what happens in this schools especially if it does not improve in the near future. My question here is, what sort of governance is occurring if education becomes yet another shopping mall churning out certs/degrees and what nots to the non-deserving and treating their staff like pieces of crap. How are we to sustain the countries developments if this is the quality of graduates and teachers? How are we to turn a blind eye to the injustice occurring to this small town teachers! I can’t..can you?

Website: http://www.sanmin.edu.my/ (Fully in Chinese, you’d think your in China!)

Facebook Page of the school: http://www.facebook.com/pages/SEK-MEN-SAN-MIN-SUWA/58362455931?v=info

Apparently common decency and etiquette comes in rare doses especially in the vicinity of Selangor specifically in Subang Jaya. On a daily basis, I travel en route to work using the road that leads to SS15 shop houses that is home to many banks namely RHB, Maybank and Public Bank. Parking is scarce if you at all can find any. So if your working there and have no parking in your workplace try coming before 7.30am in the morning to secure yourself a car park, otherwise it is total madness. As the picture below demonstrates, people just DO NOT CARE. They leave their cars double parked on both sides of the road, not bothered about anyone but themselves;

It annoys the living daylights out of me! The fact that people could not be bothered. This does not only occur around the banks but also at the back closer to SRI KL, whereby parents and restaurant goers at SS15 park their vehicles blocking people constantly. Both my dad and I ran into a similar issue when we went to dine at a restaurant in that area. We had to wait a good 15 minutes while this woman ate her lunch and walked out slowly and apologized. These people do not really care and their apologies do not mean very much. They will sit and watch as you hon or frantically search for the owner of the car while they eat their hearts out because they just could not be bothered. This has to stop!

Where is MPSJ! Why are they allowing these morons to cause jams and more problems! I get stuck in a jam around Taylor’s College at about 3.30pm everyday because the parents refuse to be considerate and park accordingly. They just wait in the middle of the road for their kids. I know you have money but you do not own the road. Many a time I have been tempted to walk out of the car, leave my car there and tell one or two of these parents about decency.

All I am asking for is some common decency and consideration for others besides yourself.

How are you to teach your children if you yourself have no sense!

So in the future before you park, use your brain and learn;n

Never leave your car unattended when you are not in the car and no one else is in it!

Do not double park on both sides of the road, it creates a jam!

Do not park your car in the middle of the road while you wait for your child to walk out slowly(we all have better things to do and some of us have to get to work!).

Simply said: Use Common Decency, it is not hard. It is just a practical thing to do!

Hmm, I’m sure that a lot of you are probably rolling your eyes to title I’ve put above. Some of you might be rather annoyed, some might be wondering what the hell has gotten into me.

Now, now hold on to your horses. The phrase mentioned above is not an original phrase by me rather it was related to me by a student in one my presentation skills class. For a persuasive assignment, one of my students actually did some research ( yes, not many do) on this topic, it completely intrigued me.

As most who know me will know I’m very into communication technologies and try to input as much technology I can in and out of my classrooms and life be it as a student or an educator.

Reading through Malaysiakini I stumbled upon and article on Facebook Messages <“Malaysiakini on Facebook Messages: Do not Use it Solely”>

of which Onn Yeoh was talking about how Facebook is basically trying to take over the world (ok, fine! He did not say those exact words!) but he kindda implied that this social media is trying to incorporate email, chat, sms all under one roof. Which is of course is rather impressive, but do you really want to have an email account with Facebook, the same place where you whine, shout, reveal personal stuff about yourself on a daily basis? I think not, but then again, that’s just me. I’d like to keep my life separate!  Anyways, that brought me to reading a short 3-liner  Onn Yeoh had written about the Internet and its ability of making us shallow that prompted me to look Nicholas Carr up.

Nicholar Carr is a tech writer who often writers about social,political and economical implication of technology and has published quite a number of books that need mentioning, namely;

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google,

Does IT Matter?,

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Actually all these books appeal to me on a higher level but I really wonder if I could find them at our bookstores. Hmm, anyway the titles of his books really gets my brain working on over-drive. Ever since, my student made his persuasive arguments on the matter, it really made me think. What is the Internet Doing to Our Brains?

If you have a chance, please read <a href=<“http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/6868/”><is Google Making Us Stupid”> It is really one solid article that makes you really think.

Closer to home, what is the damned Internet doing to my students!??

As his article states,  <“Nicholas Carr”> it has really changed not just the way we read but think and do.  The following statement says;

“As we are drained of our “inner repertory of dense cultural inheritance,” Foreman concluded, we risk turning into “‘pancake people’—spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button.”

It’s true, its correct, its right…however or which ever words you use. Google…The Internet allows us to know more, find out more but as the statement above reflects, how much do we really know? When we read an article online, how much of it do we read? Do we really concentrate or skip to another within minutes as we lose interest and skim an jump to the next best thing…as the processes repeat itself we ended up having everything but nothing at all.

I see this with my students every day, heck I see it within me sometimes. Has the Internet, has Google made us stupid? We depend on it for everything . We not bother to spell anymore. Why bother,you can after all Google it! When I give some terms to my students to look up, their idea of studying or researching is Googling it and that’s how they come up with amazing answer for mass communciation terms that relate to Futton mattresses!

I think it is hard to make sense of data if you have no knowledge and that what I tell my students daily. Google enables these kids access to convenience…makes their lives easier…allows them to “NOT THINK” and brains rot. If you use Google wisely, now that is a different matter but how many of us actually do? We look for the shortest, simplest, easiest article to read if we do need to read it. We select and choose articles based on our political, social beliefs. There is no such things as reading everything and forming an opinion. We often form opinions out of dust these days. Is it that we do not know better? Heck, we do!

But it is just so easy to Google and let it do the thinking. Well don’t be surprised if the computers and networks take over.  To think that we are the most intelligent species on earth because of our ability to think yet we have made devices and continue to create devices that will do, just that for us. Are we the artificial intelligence? Oh, god….What is the world coming to? What are we coming to?

 

 

The US spend about 5.7% and the UK 5.3%. Malaysian spending is relatively high compared to other countries and we should be having no problem with skill and talents to transform from a middle income to a high income economy, Ramakrishnan (right) addeD -an excerpt from Malaysiakini, you can access the article here <“Fruits of Education Policy Flip Flops”>.

Is it that we are not spending enough money? That apparently does not seem to be the problem. Then why is it that we are not able to transform our students to fully functioning adults that are capable of contributing towards the transformation of middle income to a high income economy. Where does the problem lie?

Are our students stupid or are we? That’s the question that each of us should ask ourselves.

Is it that they are just so stupid that no amount of pouring of funds into this education sector will help pull us out of this dilemma that we are currently facing? Is it that simple? Can we hold on and actually honestly say that times have changed and students are just not as smart as before, they just don’t care anymore, they just could not be bothered…..they are just bottom line STUPID.

Coming from the point of view of an educator, I strongly disagree that our students are in fact stupid or that they cannot become fully functional adults that can contribute towards the economy, towards the betterment of the country. It pains me to hear the mention of the word ‘waste’ when it comes to the education of our students, our future leaders (by this I do not mean politicians necessarily rather leaders in their own right (from various fields/areas of interest). Are we truly wasting our resources, the country’s sweat and blood on education?

Hmm I’d say yes and no. Is resources being wasted? Yes. Are we wasting them on the students necessarily? Nope.

Well it is really simple actually. I think Malaysia has a syndrome. We love to see pretty things. We love when things APPEAR to be working even if the insides are all rotten or the insides have no substance. We love to see fixtures, designs, accessories ….basically anything that compliments the main entree or the main big idea. The problem here is that most often, our main big idea, our concepting is hardly apparent if there is any to begin with. Our main ideas always fall through the cracks. Let me give you a very simple example that I often relate to my students in their law class to demonstrate them why we should care or bother about politics about its effect on us, whoever we are!

Maths and Science in English

“I would not say it (English language instruction) was a complete failure, but it did not achieve what it was supposed to achieve,” Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin

told a news conference on Wednesday.

 

– backed by the government and opposition parties, it is said that teaching these subjects in English would be phased out in 2012.

(read here, for a Reuters article <“Malaysia to End Teaching Maths and Science in English”>)

 

Flashback in time: Little Lesson on History of English in M &Sc

< 1957  English Medium of Instruction

>1957  Malay Medium of Instruction

2003   Review of medium of instruction, policy changed to English Medium of Instruction for Maths and Science ( in an effort to increase English speaking/writing skills among Malaysians)

2010 Due to pressure from certain parties( I say it just political will) the decision was once again changed and medium of instruction reversed back to Malay.

 

Hmmm now why the change of policy all of a sudden? Whatever happen to the plan, the policy of using English in schools to improve our students ability and competitiveness in the real world? Yes, I totally agree, perhaps the results are not as amazing as you would expect or want. But anyone who is a teacher knows for a fact that you cannot change a student’s ability overnight. It takes a lot of effort, a lot of time before a student masters or picks up on a skill that you might want him or her to learn especially if to begin with him or her have a poor command of the subject matter.

So, when our dearest education ministers cites decreasing grades as a reason for the policy to be reversed. I sit here….annoyed at the stupidity that is becoming Malaysia. We expect overnight changes, be in the our government, our political parties, our children, our environment, our everything. We believe that there is somehow this ‘fix it tape or secret glue’ of some sort that can immediately make things better, makes things work hence our predictability in regards to our lovely, lovely policies (and mind you this does not end in the education industry or sector but every single thing/issue/event/area in the country). Hence, we take the easy way out. We often opt for short term goals.

Exhibit A: Our Policy of English in Maths and Science

Exhibit B: Research Grant Abuses ( read here letter)

It is WE that are to be blamed!

WE teach our students to take the easy way out through the policies that we implement, the ‘excellent examples’ we set through action…

WE teach them that it is alright to take shortcut

WE teach them that it is all about the end product it does not matter how you get there

WE teach them  to ran away and back out at the sight or sound of any glitch or difficulty

We teach them all these things in so many ways, in the things that we do, in the actions that we take.. in the words that we partake in. WE TEACH THEM!

So don’t for even a moment tell me that our students are not good enough. They have been crippled! They gave been given crutches. We often preach about how the Bumis get the quota to enter local universities that render them helpless.

Are we not doing that to all our students, all those who are educated under the Malaysian education system. It is not that we lack students who are intelligent, creative, interesting, capable….. and the list goes on.  By this I do not mean the top scorers necessarily. Some of the most intelligent students (all rounders) are not necessarily the ‘swallow and vomit’ kind rather those who have been told that their talents are of no use or not a talent, those who hide in the shadows as they do not conform, those who could not be bothered because we have taught them not to care (for fear of them becoming smarter or overpowering us -politically, economically, culturally …). If I continue to give my current students the tools, the knowledge to understand the bigger picture of life, if I could, I can tell you that they would overtake all these sad people that are in the driver’s seat and they would indeed be able to contribute to the betterment of this country!

National Education Policies….Malaysian Plans (year after year), the funneling of millions and millions of dollars are not going to be of any use to our students if we do not teach them better by example!

If we continue to throw chairs and tables and ugly words at each other during parliamentary sessions!

If we continue to flip-flop our policies to suit our agendas, politics, our religious fanaticism..

If we continue to take the easy way out each time and teach them to run instead of fighting for what they believe in..

If we continue to mould them into nothing but robots that can only absorb but not react!

Now, tell me are we stupid or are our students stupid?

 

 

 

 

 


 

Forum: An Islamic State after 50 years?

Forum: An Islamic State after 50 years?

Date: 25 July 2007 (Wed)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue:KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall

Speakers:

Ambiga Sreenevasan, Bar Council President

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, HAKAM President

Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, PKR Secretary-General

Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General

Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader

Enquiries, call 03-79578022 (Lau Weng San)


Friends or Foe” blog forum will be held today at 2pm.The Anwar Ibrahim Club AIC with the cooperation of Blog Bugs under its sponsors Friedrich Naumann Foundation. The Internet community is invited to join this event. A certificate of participation will be provided and entry to the event is free for all!

Forum on Blogs “Friends or Foe”

Date : 22 July 2007
Day : Today, Sunday
Time: 2 pm

Location: Shah’s Village Hotel PJ (sebelah A&W, PJ)
Near LRT Taman Jaya

Panel of speakers :
1. Soon Li Tsin http://polytikus.com

2. Jemeriah Foo (jeremiahfoo.com)

3. sultanmuzaffar (http:sultanmuzaffar.blogspot.com)

Food and drinks will be provided.

Organized by the AIC and Blogs Bugs

Sponsored by:
Friedrich Naumann Foundation

For further information please call Rahimi Osman at 012-2676500

http://www.anwaribrahimclub.com/?p=54