Thinking and Education


Continuous Education

Parents, Beware!

There are vested interests in any institution. Schools are no different. Those who stand to benefit from schools are the administrators and the teachers. School principals in Malaysia have formed 2 organizations to protect themselves; the Headmasters’ Association for Primary Schools and the Principals’ Association for Secondary Schools. The teachers are protected by the different Teacher Unions, among which the NUT is most prominent. But generally there is an unwritten code of ethics which prevents teachers from speaking up against misconduct and dereliction of duty by fellow teachers.
What has hastened the crippling of our schools is that the predominant culture of the majority is not to be a “traitor” to your own race. While one does not want to “betray” the race, the other does not want to be accused of being “racists”. We have now got to the stage where bad practices have proliferated and entrenched itself.
Head teachers and teachers are responsible for the failure or success of the students. They have been trained for the job. They are being paid for the job. Their salary is also increasing automatically every year on the assumption that they are becoming more and more proficient, more knowledgeable, more skilful to carry out their duties.
Can parents ask the teachers why their children are not doing well? Can parents ask the English teacher why my daughter’s English homework is not marked? Can parent ask the Headmaster, why the Science teacher is not doing any experiment the whole year round? Can we ask the Headmaster what is the Grade Point Average of the school in the public examination?
If you send your children to one of the “better” schools, the head teacher and his/her team will tell you how “lucky” or “privileged” you and your child are to attend such an excellent school. Just remember, when your son/daughter is doing well, it is because of US and our great sacrifice! 5 “A”s? Come and thank us.
If your son/daughter fail, well you had better take him/her out. Our good school and good teachers cannot teach “bad” students, we only teach the clever ones. Take your child out before our good name is spoilt!

Filed under: education, GPA, schools, Teaching, , ,

Why Malays Must learn Science & Mathematics

Hello Sherkawi
I think you are too entralled by the professor….I think he tends to let the rhetoric to get the better of him..
I want to send him a mail ..but dont have his I thought you can pass this to him….
He said Bring back the arts, culture etc or by 2015 there will be a catastrophy ….I can guess where he is coming from ….but the put-down on science and mathematics was just too much….the common folk and I do mean the Malays who listen to your shows might feel justified that they have not mastered science and mathematics and not even pushed their children in the same direction…if this works out then the majority population will be not equipped to deal with the new borderless world emerging….
Learning science and mathematics will train our minds to think critically as well as logically…..we will possess the skill to check for the veracity of information presented to us and not become wide eyed natives accepting whatever non-sense that is presented…the majority of people (the Malays) must have the logical skills to evaluate an event or a phenomenon from all angles…..
This “re-wiring of the brain” is very essential if the country is going to progress….the “clever” people in the country who has monopolised power and influence can pretty do much as they like because they can make the Malays see anything that they want them to see….they can do magic..we are lucky in that there are now some Malays who have become aware of the twisted logic of our leaders….they possess the skill to question how some of their friends have become rich overnight….
If the Malay mind is not critical then how will a Malay view the sudden acquisition of wealth by some people? I will give you one view…the Melayu (or Indian, CHInese) with no analytical ability will not be even asking the question..what did he do to become so rich? He can only accept the fact that his friend is rich and falling back on his cultural values..he will say…nasib dia lah….or some people are born lucky..when the flood waters rise up to your roof, what will the mind with no scienttific or mathematical training be “thinking”?
Or let us say when your kid dies in the hospital, the bridge collapses, or if you are  kept waiting for hours for a service by a civil servant…….you dont know how to ask questions…. no analyical or critical skill… just accept lah right? see prof when I was about 13 years old I came home from school one day I asked my mother how many more babies she was going to have? I had just learned about sexual reproduction! My mother said it was up to God. And when I told my mother what I learned in school she became very emotional and said she could no longer talk to me because I was too clever for her…
We need to keep the science and maths flowing freely……Naturally my mother was confused because she had to learn how to talk to her son who now can “talk” a little ……The same for all the powerful people who control the gate and the keys to the money and the resources..they will have to answer questions the newly trained mind will be asking …..if the Malays who are the majority in this country  are not given the proper training then can they ask the right question???
The Chinese and Indians they are critical..they are very critical..but whenever the Chinese or Chinese criticise the government or the power that be ……what happens? 
Dont interfere, this is our business, this is not your land, this is not your religion….
The reasons and the logic will not even be discussed…the Malay leaders will use the artistic skills ..literature, art, song and dance to talk of threats to the race, to the religion, to the culture….
All the non Malay (leaders) keep quiet..actually they are in cahoots with their Malay friends..boleh dapat hadiah jika diam……
A small number of Malays are aware…but they cannot talk..because they will be called and labelled as traitors! In fact they are caught between their conscience and their race…in the end they either keep agonisingly quiet or they begin to look for arguments and grounds to justify what is happening…
So prof we need maths and science for the Malays ..this is the key to the real developmnet of our country….more than ever now…….stress for a balanced develoment program for our children if you fact I think our  educational system at the core is already doing this…….but focusing on culture, the arts ??
If professor, your views were to prevail..we would have a real crisis in 2015….the wealth would be finished. stolen and sent off to Australia ..because nobody would know how to question, or we would be given the song and dance answer………….we would believe the spirits are in control of our bodies, the Malays would then run amock because it is part of the culture…they need to because all the problems of the country will be blamed on the Indians and what to do….?
I get your point about how learning about arts and culture can lead to perpaduan…but actually there is no logical basis to this……it will be too long for me to explain al this but let me make the same statement with a small twist..
Learning maths and science will bring about more perpaduan in our country….let me give a simple example..
Through science you learn that all living things are made up of the same material..namely oxygen and carbon dioxide, perhaps a little nitrogen..we breath in oxygen produced by the plants..this means that what was once part of a plant is now a part of us..same for eating fish…so Professor when you sit together to talk to me or will breath in and breath out..I will do the same.breath in and breath the oxygen and carbon dioxide will be floating and swirling in the I will take some of your carbon dioxide and you some of effectively..what was once a part of you have become a part of me and what was once part of me is now part of you…we are made up of the same material….this constant interchange of the same building matrials has been happening since the earth began..all the oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and other atoms and molecules went to make up living things in the past to the present..In fact we learn from science that all our cells are constantly dying and being replaced by new cells (except unfortunately for our brains) so that in reality we are a totally new person every 2 months in terms of our cells! 
Scientists estimate that average human is made up of 100 trillions cells..something like this…
100,000,000,000,000….so if we change all our cells every 2 months we would have “used” about 
6 x 100,000,000,000,000 cells in one year..and assuming that we live for 70 years ..
we would be using….
70 x 6 x 100,000,000,000,000 cells! 
Now each human cell is made up of atoms of oxygen, carbon etc….and scientists estimate there are about 100,000,000,000,000 atoms (yes..same number as cells in 1 human being)
SO total 70 year usage of freely avaliable atoms is 70 x 6 x 100,000,000,000,000 x 100,000,000,000,000 cells!
This has led some scientist to speculate that any one human being would have used atoms that once were part of some other living things from way back to now! 
In other words professor We are all one and the same!
How will not learning of science make us more perpaduan?
It is how you want to learn and what you want to emphasize. But if we learn science and maths then we are less likely to be conned by some charlatan masquerading as champions of this race, that religion, this ideology and that language….
I hope the good professor will reconsider his position on science and maths…..


Filed under: school, Teaching, ,

You Better Pay Attention!

And that was a threat from the History teacher. “I will explain it to you one more you better listen carefully!” It is funny how the teacher always believe that the problem with pupils is that they dont “listen” carefully!

If the first time the student don’t understand, explaining a second or third time might produce the same result. If you do the same thing, dont expect a different result! Perhaps the student is deaf or partially deaf and telling it another time wont help. 

We now understand better and teachers should appreciate this: some people can use their ears to learn, some learn better when you can show, demonstrate so that they can see with their eyes, and some others will only “get it” when they have a chance to “do something” with whatever you are saying. 

Teachers should prepare lessons so that different types of learners are catered for. Maybe its best if every teacher should imagine that the class in front of her is deaf. If you find yourself teaching during the last period of the morning when the afternoon pupils are coming to school, the noise will make it hard to teach. So try teaching without relying on the students’ ears. Can you? Or what do teachers normaly do in such a situation?

Filed under: Teaching


A lot of things happen in our head all of the time, even when we are asleep. Are we ‘thinking”? We can say that most of the happenings are unknown to us. But whenever we are stimulated by some outside source we respond by saying something, doing something/doing nothing, feeling something etc. WHich of the things we do constitute thinking?

Are you sure you are thinking at all?

Most of the time I would say not! We are just responding as we had been taught/programmed to respond. Or we respond in ways that are not unexpected. Parents, elders and politcians will say that we are thinking when we vote or agree with them! Teachers will say we are thinking when we give the “correct” answer. The moment you dont vote for them or you give a wrong answer,,they will accuse you of not thinking!

And then there are those who say that we are thinking when we are faced with a choice. Buy this or that, take this or the other courses, support this cause or that, take up this job or that or marry this person or that. “That” being all the other alternatives that we are aware of. Unfortunately the limitation of our awareness is the problem.

So are you thinking?

Filed under: Teaching, ,

Merdeka Merdeka Merdeka

Its August and its Independence Day for Malaysia again. 31st August. But this one is special. It is the 50th. There is a special ring to it. SO how do teachers and other educationists celebrate it?

I suggest that we all make a big resolution to be the BEST teacher we can be. There is always the excuse that we are humans and prone to imperfection and failure and consequently it is acceptable to fall short. After all we are weak.

I used to ask the teachers whether it was acceptable if the school were to FAIL to prepare pay the teachers’ pay for one or two months? Or was it acceptable for the doctor to prescribe the wrong medicine for the sick child once or twice? No, no, no…unacceptable!

Then how come it was alright for the numerous students to  fail every year? How come after teaching Mathematics for umpteen years there are 6 students failing to pass the subject in 5A Mr. Lim? How come after teaching Bahasa Malaysia for 14 years failures are still showing up in Puan Aminah’s classes every year?

We are specialists in our field. We are highly paid and always paid on time. The students and parents depend on us. We have a responsibility. We have no right to fail them. On this 50 Merdeka annivesary I call upon all teachers especially – dont tolerate your own failure. Every child passing through your hands must PASS the subject you are teaching.

That will be the greatest gift that we teachers can give to our country on this 50th anniversary of our Merdeka.

Filed under: Teaching

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