Archive for October, 2011


Data shows better Maths, Science results during PPSMI

The Parent Action Group for Education (Page), who are at the forefront in the struggle to have Maths and Science taught in English, today said that research findings found that the performance of students in the subjects of English, Mathematics and Science improved when the latter two subjects were taught in English.

Quoting research by the 2010 update report for the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals for Malaysia, Page said that results show that the policy was starting to work when the decision to abolish it was made.

The results also showed an improvement in performance in mathematics and science in rural schools.

english medium for maths and science education in chinese school“PPSMI is working, even for the rural students… (The examination results) show improvement in English, no reduction in Bahasa Malaysia and improvements in Science and Mathematics in the last few years,” Page said, referring to the policy by its Malay language acronym.

Tracing performance national and vernacular school performance in science and mathematics from 2001 to 2009, the research found that the passing rates were “the highest in 2007”.

It took a dip in 2008 but picked up again in 2009, which was the same year the government decided to phase out the policy. The policy was introduced in 2003.

“The best achievement in English was in the year 2008, and the trend is on the incline since the start of PPSMI,” Page said.

Student performance in Bahasa Malaysia remained constant, showing that the policy had no effect on mastery of the national language, although some decline was seen in vernacular schools.

The study traced a big dip in passing rates for lower secondary assessment (PMR) in Science and Mathematics in 2004, but marked improvement from 2006 to 2009.

“English improved, evident in the year 2003 and 2009 with PPSMI in operation. Bahasa Malaysia remained constant throughout,” Page said.

‘Rural students did better’

The Education Ministry also refutes claim that rural students are left behind by PPSMI, as these students consistently outperformed their urban friends in the subject of Science while it was taught in English.
“The highest achievement in Science (pass rates for SPM) was in 2008, by rural students… Clearly the rural students were able to cope with PPSMI,” the NGO noted.

Rural students also showed improvement in Mathematics, with SPM pass rates for the subject on a significant upward trend since the introduction of PPSMI.

“The best percentage increment (of pass rates for mathematics for SPM) took place between the year 2009 and 2010, recorded by rural students,” it said, referring to a leap of about four percent.

Rural students followed an upward trend in English with the passing rate for the subject up from 61.4 percent in 2004 to 71.2 percent in 2010, while in urban areas, students performed 7.3 percent better in 2010 compared to 76.4 percent in 2010.

Consistent with PMR and school examination results, passing rates for Bahasa Malaysia in SPM remained fairly constant from 2004 to 2010.

According to Page, this evidence clearly goes against claims by the government as well as anti-PPSMI PAS-led Gerakan Mansuhkan PPSMI (GMP) who claimed that only 3 percent of pupils benefit from the policy.

Data shows better Maths, Science results during PPSMI
Oct 29, 2011 – Malaysiakini


No English option for maths and science, says Muhyiddin

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin insisted today there will be no leeway for schools to continue using English to teach mathematics and science despite sustained pressure from parents’ groups.

The deputy prime minister told reporters today that allowing schools to choose whether to stick with teaching science and mathematics in English (PPSMI) or convert to Malay would result in a “mess”.

“It will be difficult to plan. If a school chooses English, or Malay, how will we provide teachers?” said Muhyiddin (picture), who is also education minister.

Pro-English lobby groups like the Parents Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) have sought the reinstatement of PPSMI after it was abolished in 2009.

PAGE has urged that schools be allowed to teach science and mathematics in English, stating that it has phone numbers of 100,000 parents who are in favour of it as it opens more doors for their children.

It said in a press release today that exam results at all levels have shown “improvements in English, no reduction in Bahasa Malaysia, and improvements in science and mathematics” since PPSMI was introduced in 2003.

“PPSMI is working, even for the rural students. That is the conclusion that can be derived from the (UPSR, PMR and SPM) examination results,” the group said.

No English option for maths and science, says Muhyiddin
October 29, 2011 – MI


The bottomless pit – Audit Report

OCT 25 — The headlines in the news are crying foul over the extravagance, abusive and utter lunacy in the way the government and its machineries have spent our money. Nine ministries and government departments over spent the allocations, 50 per cent failures under poverty eradication projects, procedures were breached, the Bukit Jalil stadium is not save and too many others that need not be mentioned here.

In short the vast preponderance of funds for the ministries, departments and government agencies could become a “bottomless pit” for the taxpayers. Please be aware that in the 2010 budget allocation 73 per cent was for operating and 27 per cent for development expenditures; a skewed proportion.

That is why there was a delay in announcing the audit report done by the PAC. The whole debacle reflects how irresponsible the government is. This is bad governance.

Unfortunately there is no indication that the government is trying to improve its performance. The government still holds back and distort the process of development and will continue to disproportionate the poorer and weaker of society. The government will continue to withhold critical budgetary operational information to the public.

Ministers and other public officials will continue to be unaccountable or not answerable for their actions. The government will continue appointing the wrong people for the job resulting in lack of vision and no clear direction resulting in failures; double handling and wasted effort. The interface between the public and private sectors will be hampers with red tapes.

Contracts are still being awarded through negotiations. The government will continue to spend money on unnecessary expenditures. There will be more money-making schemes. There will be more borrowings and depletion of our funds. There are no “wastage”, “leakage” and “corruption” in the Umno/BN government’s dictionary.

In short the government will continue with what Umno wants, without acknowledging what the rakyat wants. Excuses, justifications and cover ups will still be the norm.

While many have strongly urged the government to practice “good governance” it will never be carried out.

Malaysians please wake up before disaster befalls us.

* Nawawi Mohamad reads The Malaysian Insider.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.

The bottomless pit — Nawawi Mohamad
October 25, 2011 – MI


Primary school assessment a total mess (repost)

Education system already in a total mess.

Last year it was called Sistem Pentaksiran Pendidikan Kebangsaan (SPPK). My school was one of the pioneers of the project. The Ministry of Education thought that exam oriented approach to teaching was not fair to all the students. The argument was that six years of primary education should not be concluded in 50 minutes of multiple choice questions. The intention was good. It still is.

Now with Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah (KSSR) comes Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah. You may have heard of it. The Minister of Education refers to this as PBS and it was meant to ensure that no pupil will be left behind due to unfortunate circumstances. It being school based means that the teacher knows best when to assess the pupil.

This school based assessment is a yearly assessment and it contributes 40 percent towards the UPSR final grade. At the beginning of the year we were told that only five subjects were involved namely Bahasa, English, Mathematics, Science and Physical, Sports, Cocurriculum Activity Education.

The school was to prepare files aplenty. The most notable one would be the ‘Showcase’ file in which we store the pupil’s best piece of work throughout 6 years as evidence. It sounded O.K. But that was the beginning of the year.

And so we opened all the necessary files. The bigger the school population, the more files needed. Each of the teacher in charge of assessment was provided with a Performance Standard Document as a guideline. It was published by the Malaysian Examination Syndicate. Bear in mind that this was last year’s edition – the one used by the pioneer schools.

One thing that was wrong with it was that the documents for mathematics and science were still written in English. This raised questions but the teachers being jacks of all trade did not complain at this point. Where there is a will there is a way. School based assessment was up and running by late January.

In April, we were told to halt the school based assessment pending for the arrival of new Performance Standard Documents by the Malaysian Examination Syndicate. All assessments done up until this point was deemed invalid. School based assessment was put to a halt at this point.

In May, we were informed that the school based assessment now involves every subject in KSSR including Information and Communication Technology Element which is not even a subject taught by any specific teacher. Even the newly minted Bahasa Arab for KSSR was not spared.

Continue reading ‘Primary school assessment a total mess (repost)’


No action against trio behind Teoh’s death

KUALA LUMPUR: No legal action will be taken against the three anti-graft officers held responsible for Teoh Beng Hock’s suicide given the lack of investigative evidence, Parliament was told today.

Minister in the Prime Minister Department Nazri Aziz said the Attorney-General “was not compelled” to pursue the case but will do so if new evidence surfaces.

“The AG is not pursuing legal action against the anti-graft officers who drove Teoh to suicide because there was a lack of investigative evidence and witness accounts,” Nazri said in his winding-up speech on the 2012 Budget debate.

He was responding to Gobind Singh Deo (DAP-Puchong), the lawyer representing Teoh’s family who wanted to know if action would be taken against the three Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers.

Teoh, the political aide to Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on July 16, 2009 on the fifth-floor corridor of Selangor MACC’s office in Shah Alam after overnight questioning.

A Royal Commission of Inquiry, set up after a coroner’s court gave an open verdict, found excessive aggression in interrogation methods had caused Teoh to commit suicide.

Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar had said that there are no laws to charge the three with while the MACC said it will deal with them internally by setting up a special investigative team.

No action against trio behind Teoh’s death
October 24, 2011 – FMT


‘Independent body needed to end financial abuse’

DAP wants an independent Financial Accountability Commission (FAC) to address mismanagement in the government, in light of the powerlessness of the government authorities and the prime minister’s “lack of political will” to tackle the scandalous offences highlighted in each Auditor-General’s (AG) Report.

“The FAC should not be staffed with any civil servant to avoid conflicts of interest, but instead by headed by leading professionals in the field of audit and integrity such as the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) and Transparency International (TI) Malaysia,” said DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua (right).

Pua, who is also Petaling Jaya Utara MP, said the commission should be set up via an Act of Parliament and should be answerable only to Parliament, and be vested with powers to take “punitive and disciplinary actions against officers guilty of misconduct, negligence and sheer incompetence”.

He was responding to the annual report of financial horror stories in from the annual audit for which offenders never get more than a reprimand letter.

“The logical conclusion from the Auditor-General’s report is that heads must roll, but it rarely or never happens,” said the MP in a statement today.

“The government’s chief secretary Sidek Hassan (left) has the all-important role to take the necessary disciplinary actions against the relevant offenders, including the supervising officers who failed in exercising their responsibility in a diligent fashion.

“However, as informed by the auditor-general during our Public Accounts Committee (PAC) briefing yesterday, most of these offending officers are only given a letter of reprimand (surat teguran) before the cases were closed,” said Pua.

He added such a lack of decisive action leads to public servants having “little disincentive” to cut wastage and mismanagement, and encourages abuse “since the ‘rewards’ far outweigh the potential punishment”.

‘Independent body needed to end financial abuse’
Oct 25, 2011 – Malaysiakini


Probe on Pempena’s massive losses ongoing

Investigations are ongoing over the multi-million ringgit losses suffered by Tourism Ministry subsidary company, Pempena Sdn Bhd, which were highlighted in previous audit reports.

According to the Auditor General 2010 report, the cases involving Malaysian food restaurants in several destinations abroad, an e-portal and other tourism products are still under probe, although some took place as far back as 2005.

NONEOnly three cases have been brought to court, with one of them involving a civil suit against Pempena.

The cases which are still “under investigation” include the Little Penang restaurant in Hyderabad, India where renovation costs were deemed too high with suspicions of cheating involved.

“Pempena admitted to suspicious elements in the investment in Awana Hyderabad and reported the matter to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police in March 2009.

“The restaurant was sold without approval, knowledge or profit to Pempena. The matter is under probe,” the report noted.

An investigation is also underway for the Little Penang restaurant in Beijing, for which Pempena paid RM545,864 to a partner without “signing (a contract) to protect its interests”.

“The restaurant has been demolished and the investigation is underway,” the report said.

Pempena’s venture of opening a Malaysian restaurant in London also brought dismal results, raking in only GBP13,000 in 2007, falling far behind of its annual target of RM520,692.

“Pempena has yet to get any returns for its investments worth RM3.73 million,” it lamented.

“To date, the Coca Restaurant has offered to buy over the restaurant for GBP52,000, but the offer was rejected by Pempena as it was too low.”

Restaurant demolished before doors open

Pempena’s attempt at the food and beverage business also flopped locally through the Sri Kebaya Restaurant, which along with a partner was paid RM720,271 to own a restaurant in Doha.

“To date, the partner has yet to transfer the equity holdings for the restaurant in Doha, Qatar to Sri Kebaya and for seven months, the restaurant operated at a loss amounting of RM316,785,” it said.

A demand letter was sent by Pempena to the partner in September 2008 to regain RM520,271 paid to the person, but to no avail.
The year 2007 proved to be an especially bad year for Pempena, having again paid a significant amount for a restaurant in Melbourne, but it never opened its doors.

“Pempena paid RM114,000 to a partner to buy 30 percent of Airnett to open a restaurant in Melbourne, Australia,” it said.

The company also paid RM500,000 to LinkState Catering Pty Ltd in 2008, but the restaurant failed to take off.

The matter was reported to MACC and the police’s Commercial Crimes Department on the same day as the other cases, and all are under probe.

Joining the list of failed ventures which are “still under probe” is the e-Tourism portal for which Pempena parted RM2.5 million, or half of the total bill, to a company, Virtual Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

“Virtual Malaysia could not complete the portal as Pempena failed to make the rest of the payment,” the report added.

The case is still being investigated despite the case of the remainder RM2.5 million being settled out of court.

Probe on Pempena’s massive losses ongoing
Oct 26, 2011


Appeals for PPSMI as Option (Video)


Muhyiddin, oh Muhyiddin

OCT 23 — Whenever Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin opens his mouth, everyone should remember that he stands a good chance of becoming the prime minister.

Unlike Dr Novandri Hasan or Khairy Jamaluddin or some junior Umno politician, Muhyiddin is the deputy president of Umno and DPM.

I bring attention to this because of his comments vis-á-vis the now discredited allegations that Lim Guan Eng’s 16 year-old son molested a girl in his school. The principal denied the incident, saying the boy was not even in school at the time of the alleged incident and investigations showed that the girl shopped around by Umno bloggers was a foreigner. The girl has since said that she has not been in Malaysia for seven years.

So Muhyiddin’s statement that Lim must go beyond just denying this incident is strange. Either the DPM is dense or is the type of politician who loves to support the indefensible.

But since he is holding Lim to a very burden of proof, perhaps Muhyiddin also should be held to high standard regarding some allegations about him and his family.

Is Muhyiddin’s son-in-law the mover behind the billion ringgit biometric scanning project? Why was this project pushed through without a back up system?

Is it true that Prime Minister Najib Razak was against the biometric project and that it was rushed through when the PM was away?

Was there an open tender for this project or was it a sweetheart deal?

Is it true that Muhyiddin is marshalling his forces to move against Najib? Is the relationship between their wives very bad?

This is the discussion among Umno people. So please, Muhyiddin, please privide cogent evidence that all this is not true.

A bland statement of denial will not do.

* Gomen Man reads The Malaysian Insider.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.

Muhyiddin, oh Muhyiddin — Gomen Man
October 23, 2011


More confusion over the PPSMI issue

KUALA LUMPUR: The debate on the medium of instruction for Science and Mathematics is far from over.

Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong added more confusion to the subject by asking, “Who said that (there will be a switch in policy)?”

He said the Education Ministry will make an announcement “very soon” over the confusion surrounding the medium of instruction for Science subjects for students who will enter Form Four next year.

Last week, FMT reported that there was great uneasiness among parents, especially in the Klang Valley when teachers had informed their students that classes for Science and Mathematics will be conducted in Bahasa Malaysia for Form Four students next year.

There was further confusion when parents of these students insisted that they had not been officially informed of this by the respective school heads.

This batch of students who are currently in Form Three have been studying the subjects in English since they entered Standard One in 2003 and parents have voiced concern that their children may not be able to adapt to the sudden switch in language.

When asked to comment on the matter, Wee immediately said: “Who said that (there will be a switch in policy?”

“Deputy Prime Minister (Muhyiddin Yassin) has already announced a ‘soft landing approach’ to handle the matter (teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English or PPSMI), so we will just follow it.”

Gradual change

Muhyiddin’s soft-landing approach is a gradual change in medium of instruction and not a sudden change in language.

When pressed to comment on the apparent instruction from the teachers, Wee said that he could not comment on reports based on hearsay.

More confusion over the PPSMI issue
October 24, 2011 – FMT

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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?