Civilisation, Interfaith, Peace & Security

The Ministry of Education has long acknowledged the emphasis in improving the quality of English proficiency amongst students as well as teachers through the introduction and implementation of several key policies.

The policies, which include Upholding the Malay Language and Strengthening Command of English (MBMMBI) introduced in 2010, outline the plan to strengthen English proficiency in students as the international language of communication and knowledge.

This was followed by the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 (MEB), which sets the aspiration for students to be proficient in both Bahasa Malaysia and English. Although the MEB outlines key steps needed to be taken to achieve its aspiration, there was also a need to empirically understand the level of English proficiency when it is benchmarked against internationally recognised standards.

Hence, the Cambridge Baseline 2013 commissioned by the Education Ministry and carried out to evaluate English learning, teaching and assessment from preschool to pre-university levels. The report suggested that the level of English language education system may only be sufficient for the needs of the past. However, it also indicated that the level of English is not sufficient for us to succeed as a nation in a globalised world that requires English for international communications of all kinds. Hence, what we really need to do is to reform the entire national programme for the teaching and learning of English from preschool to graduation.

Genuine change can only be brought about by the adoption of a holistic and integrated approach. This can be carried out by putting together a coherent programme that encompasses every component of the education system relating to the delivery of the English language programme — curriculum, teaching and learning, and assessment.

This is what the English Language Road Map 2015-2025, led by the English Language Teaching Centre, sets out to do. To ensure that learners achieve what they are capable of achieving, we need a continuous and sufficient supply of high-calibre English teachers, learning materials of international standard, and a conducive and supportive learning environment.

The formal learning of English has to be supported by a highly immersive English-rich environment (e.g. the Highly Immersive Programme at school level, and the ecosystem for English Language Learning at tertiary level), which extends learning to spaces beyond the classroom, so that learners can apply what they learn in the classroom to real-life situations.

The road map provides an overview of English language education in Malaysia, covering all stages of learning from preschool to tertiary education, from pre-service to in-service teacher training, and the development of coherent learner-oriented programmes at every stage complemented by reliable and valid methods of assessment. It sets proficiency target levels (generally known as aspirational targets) for learners at all stages, and includes an implementation plan to ensure that learners progress from the current situation described in the Baseline Study in 2013 to the 2025 target.

The baseline study as well as the Cambridge Evaluation Study 2017 evaluate where our students and teachers actually are when referenced against the 2025 Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) aspirational targets. Components of the CEFR include the global proficiency scale and the “can do” statements. The CEFR distinguishes five communicative skills, namely listening, reading, spoken interaction, spoken production and writing. Although the CEFR is targeted at understanding students’ English proficiency, English language teachers too have an important role to play in the implementation of the reform and will have to be at a certain skill level.

The same goes for teacher trainers (i.e. lecturers at the Teachers Training Institutes and universities) who deliver the courses to pre-service teachers. This is important to ensure that teachers are fully familiar with international standards in language teaching and learning.

The adoption of the CEFR at school level will have consequences for Higher Learning Institutions (HLIs). The primary and secondary curriculum for English language has been aligned to the CEFR progressively starting with Primary 1 and Form 1 in 2017 through the revised Standard Curriculum for Primary Schools (KSSR) and new Secondary School Standard Curriculum (KSSM).

Students will take the English language paper in the national assessment that is aligned to CEFR in 2021 (for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) and 2022 (for Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah) respectively. English language programmes in HLIs are also being aligned to the CEFR, so that the learning experience provided for secondary students going up to university is integrated and continuous. HLIs will, therefore, retain the responsibility to devise their own CEFR-aligned English language programmes.

The idea of the ecosystem is that the different components (including classroom and beyond classroom activities) work smoothly together to optimise the learning experience for the student.

The ultimate goal is to create a favourable campus-wide ecosystem for learning English, placing the students in a collaborative learning atmosphere and requiring them to put into practice what they learn in the classroom, so that they are able to develop their skills and knowledge in line with the expectations of the jobs market.

Dr Amin Senin is director general of Education and Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir is director-general of Higher Education, Education Ministry

Published in: The New Straits Times, 22 May 2019

Source : https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2019/05/490405/rethink-revamp-teaching-and-learning-english

In the past, fasting was attributed to human spiritual belief in worshiping God for meditation reasons. It has been practised for thousands of years in serving various purposes of life. It is still a practice today. Generally, the practitioners are subjected to certain dietary procedure which trains them to be better disciplined to gain better self-control.

Fasting to Muslims is a practice of abstaining from food and drinks, sexual contact, arguments and unkind language or acts from dawn to sunset. It is the fourth pillar of Islam. 
Sunday, 17 December 2017 13:39

The knowledge factory

The university — as an institution that explores the many facets and meanings of existence through its manifestations of knowledge, and its efforts to imbue its charges with the critical and analytical faculties to fathom the multiplicity of creations — is a thing of the past. This institution is no longer a sanctuary to explore esoteric ideas and thoughts, and engage students in critical and dialectical discourse in exploring the physical, metaphysical, metaphorical dimensions of knowledge.......................Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)

 

Thursday, 23 April 2015 15:00

Starving for wisdom

"We are drowning in information while starving for wisdom". That epigram from E.O. Willson captures the dilemma of our era. Yet the solution of some folks is to disdain wisdom. "Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists?" Rick Scott, the Florida governor, once asked. A leader of a prominent Internet firm once told me that the firm regards admission to Harvard as a useful hueuristic of talent..................Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)
Published in Media Articles
Saturday, 04 April 2015 14:53

Producing values driven graduates

The much anticipated Malaysia Education Blueprint (Higher Education) is expected to further encourage a change in values in the current national education environment. Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) Chair of Islamic Leadership Professor Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak said it was vital for the nation to.................Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)

 

Published in Media Articles

Education is a means of gaining knowledge and developing good habits. There is no greater asset that a young person can obtain than a good a education. An uneducated or poorly educated person is unlikely to have a good life. Talented individuals may find ways to servive, but for the uneducated........... Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)

Thursday, 21 August 2014 13:41

Are our varsities still relevant?

OUR universities play an indispensable role. They are factories for the country’s talent, ideas and innovation. Thereby, they contribute to economic growth. Their teaching nurtures impressionable and young minds to become better citizens and future leaders. The impact of a university education on the student’s intellectual capacity is enormous. It expands minds and the capacity for thinking and comprehension. One can readily sense the contribution of each progressive level of academic study to the intellectual capacity of an individual. Universities improve cultural and political understanding by offering a safe environment for dialogue and debate. With their democratisation, universities have become vehicles for social mobility.….......Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)

Published in Media Articles
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 10:00

Modern education for Muslims

The infamous Boko Haram sect erupted on the world stage in 2009 with their aim to establish an Islamic State. Since their subsequent radicalisation resulting from harsh treatment at the hands of State security forces, they degenerated into harassing  innocent civilians, especially schoolchildren. Boko Haram’s approach is aligned with certain influential opinion-makers in the Muslim states, who teach that receiving a modern education is evil and forbidden as the popular name of “Boko Haram” implies............ Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)

 

I have been a mariner for many years and what makes me stand in awe of the creator is the realisation that the planets and stars consistently do what they are doing so that the navigators (on ships) of the world can navigate safely from one point to another. The elevation of the stars above the horizon, its bearings, its time of rise and set have all been tabulated. The heavenly bodies can only be tabulated by man if there is a power that holds and directs them all together with such precision............. Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)


There is an old saying that God Almighty has created three kinds of beings: angels with reason but without passion; animals with passion but without reason;and men with reason and with passion. If passion prevails over reason, then animals are better than men, but if reason prevails over passion, then men are better than angels. Nearly two centuries ago the German  philosopher Immanuel Kant predicted that eventually the world order would come about either through intellectual or moral insights or through the experience of chaos. We are still in a position to make that choice............ Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)

 

My generation grew up at a time when colonial hang up was at its peak. Our older generation had been slaves and had a huge inferiority complex of the British. The school I went to was similar to all elite schools in Pakistan. Despite gaining independent, they were, and still are, producing replicas of public schoolboys rather than Pakistanis.I read Shakespeare, which was fine, but no Allama Iqbal - the national poet of Pakistan. The class on Islamic studies was not taken seriously, and when I left school I was considered among the elite of the country because I could speak English and wore Western clothes........... Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)


Page 1 of 2