WELCOME to DESS DAHASRY of MALAYSIA..

Sunday, October 31, 2010

HISTORY vs GEOGRAPHY...


Something's not right here... How come Geography is sidelined in the SPM? And History is made a compulsory pass in the SPM.. Why is that English is not made a compulsory pass, after all the fuzz on MBMMBI was made.
During my school days, Geography was made compulsory for Science students to take in the SPM (it was MCE at that time).
Geography is the study of the earth. Everything about earth, it's physical, it's inhabitants, climate, latitude and longitudes, time zones, vegetation, and so and so.. No wonder we have global warming these days because people don't study geography anymore !!
History, on the other hand, is the study of what had happened in the past. So, we study things that happened yesterday, yesteryear, yester.., yester... So, we study backwards...

I came across these two articles today and would like to share them with you:


No place for Geography

THE Education Ministry had some years ago made History a compulsory subject for all SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) students. Recently it stated that from 2013, all students must obtain at least a pass at SPM level.Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Education Minister, said this was like Bahasa Malaysia where SPM candidates must pass before they could get a certificate.
The Ministry will also introduce History as a subject to all Year One pupils in 2014.
While the move to give History such an elevated status should be welcomed, it has been at the expense of sidelining the importance of Geography in secondary schools.
As it is, Geography as a subject has already moved down in terms of importance.
Several schools in Seremban, Negri Sembilan, have already dropped the subject from their SPM list since it is an elective, and this in turn has reduced the number of candidates sitting for the subject in the STPM examination. I am sure there are schools in other states that have also done the same.
Up to the 1980s, Geography covered all the continents of the world and was made compulsory for all Science stream students in Forms Four and Five. Geography is the study of the earth.
It helps students to have an understanding of the countries so that they can relate to what they read in the newspapers or views on television. From trade and commerce, the subject touches on a country’s imports, exports, vegetation, weather, population, economy, demography, wildlife, forests and industries, and the type of natural disasters it is prone to such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and typhoons.
With fewer students studying Geography, we Malaysians will one day become like some foreigners in the West, who think Malaysians live on trees! I recall reading about the 10-year-old English girl Tilly Smith who saved her family and friends from the deadly 2004 tsunami on a beach in Thailand because she detected its arrival by observing the bubbles on the shore, as she had learnt about it in her Geography lessons.
I have never regretted studying Geography as I have always found it interesting and informative. The authorities, by giving importance to History, have sidelined Geography even further.
The government should not be hasty in making decisions especially if it was done with an ulterior motive or political agenda. Ultimately, it is the students who will suffer.
Jesu Maria Selvam.
The Star. 

History – a much maligned subject

WITH the announcement by Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that History would be a must-pass SPM subject for 2013 (The Star, Oct 23), there has been many reactions from politicians, university dons, and amateurs.
There is indeed a need for History textbooks to be re-written, and done so with reference to professional historians, with evidence and research to verify the facts written in the books.
The fact is, there is room for much improvement in the textbooks.
It is unbelievable that much of the so-called “facts” in them do not hold water.
Forget the heated discussions on the “hidden history not much talked about,” such as the left-wing movement.
Even the most basic idea about the concept of history is laughably asinine.
For example, a Form 1 History textbook mentions the origin of the term “history”.
Instead of saying that it originated from the Greek term Historia, meaning inquiry or investigation, and based on the tome of the “Father of History” Herodotus of Halicarnassus, this textbook simply mentions it as being a fairytale, as history is just that: his-(or her) story.
Of course, the entire discussion of re-writing textbooks is but a part of a larger issue: the dignity of history as a subject.
History has been much maligned, especially by politicians with interest, no matter where they come from.
As such, History today has been taken out of the hands of the university professionals by pseudo-historians, biased politicians and amateurs for their own manipulation.
It is small wonder why History is not taken seriously by students.
If indeed History is to be respected as a legitimate subject, then it must be given back to the historians so that they can produce good history textbooks, and without interference from interested politicians or narrow religious views.
In this case, History must be given the same authority as Science in class.
The Theory of Evolution is thankfully allowed in Biology in Malaysia, even though it is rejected by the religious class with no basic knowledge in science.
As for the politicians and the idea of political correctness, their views must be taken with a pinch of salt when writing History textbooks.
The latest call by politicians for equal space for all (supposedly ethnic) communities in History books to show a sense of fair representation is quite flawed from a historian’s point of view.
This is based on the politically correct, but flawed, premise that all communities contribute equally to national development and historical change.
Nothing can be further from the truth.
The idea of history is to see change through the ages, and how change is achieved or who contributed to that change.
E. H. Carr, the author of What is History, a textbook on the philosophy of history among university students, pointed out that historical change is achieved by the dominant group or dominant force, and that this force forms the backbone of the historical narrative.
To diminish this role of the dominant group (ethnic or class) due to the idea of equal representation of other ethnic groups is another form of bias and twisting of history.
By all means, tell the history of all ethnic communities, as well as other communities in society.
But do not let History be cheapened in the process due to political correctness or bias.
RUZAINI FIKRI,
Kuala Lumpur.


Have a nice day....

Rain and Thunderstorms Coming our Way..


The Meteorological Department have forecast rain and thunderstorms for the whole week beginning today for the northern states of peninsula Malaysia, especially Perlis, Kedah and Penang. It's gonna be a wet,wet, week folks..


As an additional fact, our neighbour, Thailand, is already facing bad weather all day, last week. 22 of the 67 provinces in Thailand are under water, flooded since last week. The water level is reportedly residing..., and where else are the waters heading, if not, Malaysia !!


So, get ready PERLIS, Kedah and Kelantan. These are the three northern states of Malaysia that will receive those waters first !!!
Perlis folks..., have you bought all the necessary food stock? Who knows.., the big flood in December 2005 is about to repeat itself... Be prepared !!

Have a nice day....

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cyclone hit Perlis...

Date: 28th October 2010 (Thursday)
Time: 5.15pm
Area: Jejawi, Kubang Gajah, Arau, Perlis.

This must be the first time in history. I haven't heard such thing before this in the last 30 years of my stay in Perlis. There were a few cases of heavy thunderstorms, but this time it is big !!
About 50 houses were damaged in the so called "cyclone" and the affected areas were mainly in Kubang Gajah, an area between Jejawi and Arau, Perlis.
Here are some of the photos:

photos from The Star...

 
Have a nice day...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

MATHS EASIER to MASTER in ENGLISH or CHINESE.

Studies have shown that mastering Maths is easier using English or Chinese... I'm not a language expert, but that's what "they" found out... It has to do with the vowels involved. Let's give this guy a chance to explain:

Language: Fewer vowels key to mastery of Maths

2010/10/27
CHANG KAW CHIN, Johor Baru, Johor
letters@nst.com.my


THE first hurdle a pupil has to overcome in learning Mathematics is the multiplication table. A student's love of Mathematics or the fear of it in later life is probably influenced by his or her first encounter with memorising this table. If memorising is akin to singing, then the "song" is much easier if it is a catchy five-vowel musical beat like the cha cha.

In English, 9x9 is "nine nine eighty one" (five vowels). In Chinese, it is "jiu jiu pa shi yi" (five vowels). In Bahasa Malaysia (BM), it is a mouthful "sem-bi-lan sem-bi-lan la-pan puluh satu" (12 vowels).

This is just one window in the multiplication table, which has 80 more.
And it is no coincidence that the table stops at the nine slot, because anything more than nine is also a mouthful in any language, e.g. 11x11 is "eleven eleven one hundred and twenty-one" (13 vowels in English) and "shi yi shi yi yi pai er shi yi" (nine vowels in Chinese).

BM is the national language, period. Going beyond this, the top 10 per cent of the cohorts could be bilingual or more, who are able to learn Maths in any language.

It is the different shades of grey in between, the average, the above average and the below average, that the Education Ministry needs to be kinder to by not making their life more difficult.

Many romantics, including MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, are urging Malaysians to master three languages: BM, English and Chinese. Let us be realistic. If mastering a language is defined as being able to speak, read and write in that language proficiently, then most of us ordinary folk are monolingual or parts thereof, half in one language and half in another, or tiga suku in one and satu suku in another.

When my children were in school, they struggled to work out Maths mentally in English and put the answer down in BM. Now, I see my grandchildren also struggling mentally first, in English or Chinese, and then answering in BM.

It must be emphasised that BM is a very "persuasive language". A couple of months ago, I was in Srinagar, India, enroute to the skiing resort of Gulmarg. When we saw that we had a 40-year-old jalopy to get us up the winding, snow-covered mountain road, most of us were reluctant to go along.

We changed our minds when the driver pleaded with us: "It is old but safe. Come lah." The driver later told me he had been selling carpets in Penang for a number of years.

"Come lah" said in earnest was so much kinder, pleasing, pleasant and "persuasive".

But having said that, empirical knowledge tells us it is easier to learn Maths in English or Chinese.

p/s:  I bet language (BM) fanatics wouldn't agree with this article... That's normal.. Language teachers are never good in Maths, anyway...


Lawn Bowls - The Mahsuri Cup 2010.


Siblings Daeng Dessy Dhabita Dahasry(14) and Daeng Dhadyry Dahasry(13) will pair up to represent MSN Perlis in the Mahsuri Cup International Lawn Bowls competition beginning today, 27th October 2010, at the Lada Sports Complex in Langkawi. The pair will have their first game at 11.00am, followed by another two matches scheduled at 6.00pm and 9.00pm. respectively...
Both brother and sister picked up the game this year and this is their first competition in as many competition.
Good Luck to both of you...


Have a nice day...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The "Tuition On Air " Workshop.


Date: 26,27 October, 2010
Place: Tasoh Lake Resort, Perlis.
Subjects: Maths, Science and English.
Level: SPM students

The Yayasan Tuanku Syed Putra's "Tuition On Air" held its workshop at the Tasoh Lake Resort for two days.
160 students attended the workshop. They were from all secondary schools in Perlis, except SMK Derma and SMK Tuanku Syed Putra.

Have a nice day....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Malaysia's Top Hits - The PPSMI issue..

NATIONAL  ISSUE... The PPSMI

You just cannot hide it !!  It's all over the country. It's all over the local newspapers.. It's been said over and over again..  Everyday !!!
Now I'm wondering... Who is listening ??
I just have to keep highlighting it every now and then...
In today's NST papers, 24 Oct. 2010...., there are 7 voices:

BILINGUAL OPTION: It's like learning all over again

I REFER to "Bilingual options for students and teachers" (New Sunday Times, Oct 17). I was from the pioneer batch of Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) policy in 2003 when I entered Form One.

Switching from Bahasa Malaysia in Year Six to English in Form One was difficult for me. It was like learning Science and Mathematics all over again.

But I am glad that move came along because I am now studying in a local university and it is so much easier to learn because most of the subjects are taught in English.
When I first entered the university, I had friends who could not even string together a simple sentence in English. Three years later, their English has improved tremendously due to exposure to the language. How is this a drawback?

Students who enter Form One in 2012 are going to face double hurdles, learning Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia and then in English, when they enter Form Six or other higher learning institutions. As a student, I would not wish this switch upon anyone else.

S.P
Kuala Lumpur


BILINGUAL OPTION: Let us use English

AS a parent with three children in national schools, I would like the option to continue with the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) policy. I feel that we should encourage our children to excel in their studies in any language that they are proficient in.
Although some quarters have said that it is not necessarily important for our graduates to be speaking the Queen's English, it is important that if and when they communicate in the English language, it is comprehensible and understood.

Sadly and shockingly, I have come across professional working adults unable to speak coherent English, which makes conversation very frustrating.

As much as I would like my children to master our national language, they would reach their potential faster using English.

I am not objecting to those who are more comfortable with their mother tongue but let us have the means to help our children progress in a predominantly English-speaking world.


ROZITA HARUN
Kuala Lumpur


BILINGUAL OPTION: It is disruptive

WE must not teach Form Four students Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia in 2012 because by then, all of them would have had nine years of studying the two subjects in English. It will be most disruptive for them.

It is mind-boggling to think that after only two years, the students would have to learn the two subjects in English again for the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia examination and when they enter universities.

This will surely make affected students and their parents angry.

CHEN HENG KONG
Kota Kinabalu,
Sabah

BILINGUAL OPTION: Not against BM

MALAYSIANS have never been against Bahasa Malaysia as our national language. In fact, we support the use of Bahasa Malaysia as the language of unity.

There are many non-Malays who are proficient in Bahasa Malaysia. I know of tuition centres where some Bahasa Malaysia teachers are non-Malays.

But our government has failed to recognise the importance of English in its transformation programme.

TAY CHIA PENG
Kuala Lumpur 

BILINGUAL OPTION: What's at varsity?

WHEN I sat for the Penilaian Menengah Rendah examination last year, I was puzzled as to why the examination papers for Science and Mathematics were in two languages when we had studied them in English. It was confusing.
Next year, those in Year One are going to learn the two subjects in Bahasa Malaysia. How will they fare in university?

As we all know, Science and Mathematics are taught in English at higher learning institutions.


CHIN CHUN HOE
Kuala Lumpur


BILINGUAL OPTION: Reconsider move

EVER since the Education Ministry decided to abandon the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) policy, there have been many appeals and calls to continue teaching the two subjects in English.

More people are now showing an interest in private and international schools.

Though these schools are costly, parents are willing to incur the cost so that their children will be able to learn the two subjects in English. Hopefully, the government will reconsider its decision.

SAMUEL YESUIAH
Seremban,
Negri Sembilan


BILINGUAL OPTION: Plan properly


I AGREE with Mak Chee Kin, Datin Freida Pilus and Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim that the whole academic bilingual transition should start at the bottom (i.e. Year One) and progress henceforth until the students have finished their secondary school education at Form Six, and not change anytime in-between.
What will be carried out will instead only serve to confuse the students instead of augmenting their grasp such subjects.

I sincerely hope more concerned parents will make themselves heard.

J.A. KOK
Labuan


P/S:
Are our voices heard??
Have a nice day........................


Women's Cretarium - Perlis Open 2010.


The Perlis Cycling Association organised the Women's Cretarium Open Championship in Kangar today. Actually, this is the first time such an event is organised by the National Cycling Federation of Malaysia, according to Mr. K.S. Maniam, the chairman of the federation.
Teams from Terengganu, Penang, Kedah, the Armed Forces (ATM), Johore and Perlis took part in the event.
Terengganu came out champions in both the individual and the team event.

The Chairman, Mr. K.S. Maniam and the Director of MSN Perlis, Mr Azhari....
 The Winners....from Terengganu...
The race marshall...
Have a nice day.....

Friday, October 22, 2010

PPSMI and PPSMM....

PPSMI  vs  PPSMM

I received a pleasant surprise this morning.., at 9.42am.  An email from the Prime Minister of Malaysia, inviting me to have dinner with him, at his official residence in Putrajaya on the 5th of November, 2010. I was speechless for about 10 minutes before breaking the news to my colleagues. You know how I felt.... I was over the moon !!! Better still, I was over planet Pluto !!!

Okay.
What I'm about to write in this post suddenly pop-up after receiving that email. I was wondering..., wouldn't it be nice if Malaysian schools have two mediums - the Malay Medium and the English Medium - like we used to have in the 60's and 70's... But this time, only for Science and Maths subjects. Let's call it the PPSMI medium and the PPSMM medium.
PPSMI will have Science and Mathematics in English, while PPSMM will have Science and Mathematics in Malay. Wonderful idea, isn't it? I think I'll forward the idea to the Prime Minister at the dinner, this 5th November.
In this way, parents who have 2020 vision don't have to send their kids to International schools or private schools in Singapore. We don't have good private schools in Malaysia.., except for, that Kolej Yayasan Saad (KYS) in Malacca...
Parents who are so inclined to Bahasa Melayu can send their kids to normal schools that have the PPSMM medium. They don't have to complain anymore about the difficulties studying Maths and Science in English..
That brings to the question of the choice of schools that provides the PPSMI or the PPSMM. All daily schools will cater the normal PPSMM. Selected high performance schools (Sekolah Berprestasi Tinggi) like Sultanah Asma in Alor Setar and Cluster schools (Sekolah Kluster) like SMK Derma, Kangar, will cater for the PPSMI.  Now....that's what I call  "Fair and Square"...
I'm sure a lot of teachers themselves will agree totally on this idea.. If you not well versed in English, go to the normal daily schools... Don't make so much noise after this... and make sure your own kids stays with you !!

Just for your information, I've received a lot of positive feedback from my former students all over the world, stating that the PPSMI had really helped them in their tertiary education. I dare say, all of them. Nobody is complaining. Even, lecturers in universities and institutes of higher learning have expressed satisfaction on the standard and attitude of the product of the PPSMI students in their English classes. They claimed that the students are more capable of speaking better English compared to the previous batches. What is more important is their attitude towards the English language... That's positive feedback !!! You can refer to a comment on my post recently on "The importance of the PPSMI".

Well, well, well.... I hope this idea will matters soon... Abolishing the PPSMI is a big mistake !! Take my word for it...
Have a nice day...

p/s:
As usual, I'm not alone. 2 comments in the NST today to support my views...
Science and Maths: Our kids shouldn't be left behind
I REFER to the report "It begins next year" (New Sunday Times, Oct 17) and wish to state that the Education Ministry has done a grave injustice to our children, including the children of teachers, who want to continue to pursue the learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI), a policy implemented by our visionary leader and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The ministry has said that the bilingual option will be available for schools to choose next year until 2015.

As head of the parent committee of SMK Seri Hartamas, I urge our Science and Mathematics teachers in this school to continue to teach these subjects fully in English until 2015, allowing the Form One students coming in next year to completely learn these two subjects in this language until they finish, reflecting the results of an earlier survey among our parents.

This appeal, in line with the spirit of the Education Act 1996, which states that children should be educated according to the wishes of their parents, will better prepare our students when they leave to pursue Form Six/college and be on a par with Malaysian students at international schools comprising children of policymakers who claim this is the best they can do for our children.
If policymakers are truly sincere about the education of our children, then we would like to see our children being educated on a level playing field with their children and, therefore, vie equally for the 3.3 million jobs that the Economic Transformation Programme will create for them.

PPSMI has made the national schools the school of choice and they are not necessarily confined to urbanites but people as far as the interiors of Sabah and Sarawak.

In turn, national schools are best at nurturing integration at an early age without having to wait for Khidmat Negara (National Service).

The learning of Science and Mathematics in English should not be exclusively for the rich. Isn't "inclusiveness" the word of the day nowadays?

The decision to support PPSMI is to give students of national schools the right to the best education the country can provide. The slogan "people first, performance now" must be executed, not just uttered.

We urge the government to give schools the option to teach mathematics and science in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin or Tamil, not forgetting that the students of national schools are the rakyat, too.


SALMAH ABU BAKARHead of Parent CommitteeSMK Seri HartamasKuala Lumpur

Give them a choice
IN the reply by the Corporate Communications Unit of the Education Ministry (NST, Oct 11) on the topic of reverting to the teaching of Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia, spokesperson Mohd Solihan Badri said that the decision to reverse the language of instruction was in line with Article 152 of the Malaysian Constitution, which ensures the freedom to teach in other languages, including English, Chinese or Tamil.

He said it was also in accordance with the Education Act 1996 (Act 550), which states that the national language is the main medium of instruction, including the teaching of Science and Mathematics in national schools, while Chinese or Tamil can be the main medium of instruction in Chinese and Tamil schools.

To fulfil the provisions of the two acts, this means that Science and Mathematics can only be taught in three languages, that is Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese or Tamil because there are essentially national schools, Chinese and Indian schools in Malaysia (if we do not take into account private schools).

As a 39-year-old Malaysian, I am grateful for having learned Bahasa Malaysia and English for it is Bahasa Malaysia which is the "glue" of Malaysians and English, the language of local and international competition.

Bahasa Malaysia helps me converse and connect in my dealings with people working in the ministry while English is used whenever I do online research for data and knowledge presentations.

I am lucky to have travelled to some Asean and Asian countries and have seen how students there are taking every opportunity to speak English with foreigners and friends alike. Please remember that Malaysia is a trading nation, beautifully located in the middle of all the larger trading continents, connecting the West with the East.

The importance of Bahasa Malaysia should always be enshrined because we are all Bangsa Malaysia. At the same time, we must realise that to learn in universities, exchange or absorb knowledge from elsewhere, and to get more foreign investments into Malaysia, the ability to think and speak English is also of equal importance, more so now that our neighbours around us are narrowing this gap in English.

We should also realise that rules made a decade ago were for that time and purpose while in this decade, with knowledge readily available through the Internet via laptops, iPhones or iPads, we should make teaching in English a choice for the parents, and work according to demand and supply. Here I propose two things:

One, to amend the Education Act of 1996 (Act 550) to be relevant and include English in obtaining knowledge.

Two, to let parents have a choice by getting the Education Ministry to look into allowing urban national schools to continue using English side by side with Bahasa Malaysia. I am very sure there are many Malaysians who understand that English will provide their children that extra edge in life later.

Lastly, how about some input from Victoria Institution, Penang Free School and the La Sallean schools, which are great in producing high-calibre students, statesmen and professionals? 
2010/10/21
RICHARD GUNN KEAN SENG, Penang
letters@nst.com
Have a nice day....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

MELAKA MAJU 2010...


Date: 20.10
Year: 2010
Time: 2010 hrs

Congratulations to the State of Malacca !!! You are the first state in Malaysia to be called a developed state. High 5 !!! Give me 5 !!!
Nice figures too...,  date: 20 - 10,  year: 2010, time: 2010 hrs.
Congratulations to all Malaccans......

Have a nice day...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Importance of PPSMI...


Today, I had a huge debate with several of my colleagues in the school canteen.. It's about PPSMI. What else..
We, as parents, are very concerned about this national issue. Of the six colleagues, one teacher is really against the PPSMI. He, of course, teaches Bahasa Melayu.. He cited the rural students having difficulties in learning Science and Maths in English.. Not his kids, of course.. His kids are in town, learning Science and Maths in English..
Bahasa Melayu is the medium of teaching in all schools in Malaysia. It has been so since independence and it took one man in Malaysia to make a small change to have the two subjects to be taught in English. This man has 20-20 vision and he made one bold move in 2003 to introduce the PPSMI. Of course, there was chaos in the early implementation of the PPSMI, but as years go by, everybody noticed the benefits of the PPSMI. Those students entering tertiary education benefited a lot from PPSMI. The standard of English, as a whole, was even better among students...
But, as of next year, the PPSMI will be off..., slowly, as it seems.. The first batch of year 1 in 2011 will have their Science and Maths in Bahasa Melayu. Back to square one.

The recent "Budget 2011" was addressed  as the budget by the people... The PPSMI will be scrapped out by the Ministry of Education beginning next year. How nice if the PPSMI issue is to be judged by the people.. Parents should have the choice of sending their children to schools that have PPSMI. This means that students who have bright futures should be given the opportunity to study Science and Maths in English, in line with preparing them to further their studies abroad or local varsities...  They don't have to be that good in English. It's just that they are exposed to scientific terminologies in English at school level... That helps a lot !!!
As usual, my views are also shared by parents all over the country... Here are some of them:


Tuesday October 19, 2010. The Star.

Science and Maths: Fitting square pegs in round holes

BASED on the Education Ministry’s Schedule for Policy Transition from PPSMI (Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English) to MBMMBI (Upholding Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthening the Command of English), Science and Mathematics will be taught solely in Bahasa Malaysia in all national primary and secondary schools by 2016.
However, students in Forms 6, matriculation and universities will study the two subjects in English as it is done now.
I find a serious mismatch here between students learning Science and Maths in Bahasa in secondary schools and potential Science and Maths teachers being trained in the two subjects in English in universities.
The Ministry is implementing its plan to have only graduate teachers in all secondary schools and according to the Schedule, all Science and Maths graduates would have studied the two subjects in English in Form 6, matriculation and university but they will go back to schools to teach the two subjects in Bahasa.
Are we not fitting square pegs into round holes as far as the language of instruction is concerned? Would their competency be compromised? Would we not be sacrificing on quality? This predicament will magnify itself after 2015.
The Schedule is consequential to the proposed policy change. It spells out the subsequent steps to follow in the years to come. But it cannot be right if there is an inherent fault in the policy change. As it is, it does not compute!
To remedy the mismatch, schools should be allowed the option to continue teaching Science and Maths in English at secondary level. This is the desire of many students and parents.
If we can have a budget by the people as proudly proclaimed by the Prime Minister, let’s also have an education system by the people.
LIONG KAM CHONG,
Seremban.



Maths and Science: Questions need to be answered
2010/10/18
F.S.Klang, Selangor
letters@nst.com
I REFER to the article, "It begins next year" (NST, Oct 17). As I read this news, a few questions arose:

- Is the decision to phase out the teaching of Science and Maths in English next year an apt one?
- Why now, when it's only two months shy of a new school term?
- How would my child cope when her early education is in English?

Any parent facing the same dilemma would be able to relate to my anxiety.
As a student of the 1980s to 1990s, my early education was in Bahasa Malaysia.
Tertiary education, however, was in English.
I am currently a part-time educator.
From my experience, I find that students are able to cope with the transition of learning in English.
This does not pose a problem as these children are being taught from their early pre-school years in English, in line with the current syllabus.
I also see a lot of differences and how at ease these students are when Maths and Science are taught in English. They are comfortable with the language.
This is not only true with Indian and Chinese students, but also with Malay students.

As a parent with young children and upcoming leaders, I would definitely prefer my child to have an early start in education and not let them be guinea pigs of hastily-made policies.
I do not want them to go through their education without mastering any language, whether English or Bahasa Malaysia.
It is also a fact that the outcome of any policy can be known only after many years, not within a mere six years.
I appeal to the government to let the teaching of Science and Maths in English to continue for now.
Phase it out gradually.

I hope the Education Ministry will consider the best option for these young children who are the leaders of tomorrow.

Math and Science: Sliding backwards

2010/10/19
L. CHOO, Kuala Lumpur
letters@nst.com

WE will deprive the young ones who are starting school next year of a great start to education through picking up Science and Maths in English. We were, not long ago, applauding the bold and wise stand on raising the bar in the standard of English.

But, now, we are sliding back.
Schools and institutions that feel strongly about this decision should protest against it for the sake of our young ones. 


My personal comment:
Actually, the idea of the PPSMI is great... But, the implementation was bad.. And to scrap it might be a BIG mistake !!
Just for thoughts..
Have a nice day.....

Monday, October 18, 2010

Education Fund from the State Government.


The Perlis State government today issued the "education fund" (dana pendidikan) to all local undergraduates pursuing their studies in local or foreign universities. The cash incentives were handed to the parents of the students at a special simple ceremony in Perlis's Putrajaya at 2.30pm today.

The SUK building a.k.a. Perlis's Putrajaya.

I was invited by my old friend, the Education exco, YB Japferi Othman, to sit at the main table together with the VIPs during the occasion.

As the smallest state in Malaysia, the education fund was not that much, but it helps meet ends need for most of the parents, especially the rural folks...  I am one of them... Thank you Perlis !!!

Have a nice day....