March 27th, 2016

English classes for 15,000 teachers, be fair to English language teachers

Be fair to English language teachers

MUCH has been said about the poor proficiency and competency of our English language teachers and English language teaching.

A media report has revealed that 15,000 English teachers are not proficient enough to teach the subject.

According to the report, only 20,000 out of the 60,000 English language teachers are proficient, competent and confident to teach the language.

But before we start throwing brickbats at the Education Ministry or the English language teachers, it would be good to know the real scenario of English language teachers in our schools.

There are two types of English language teachers.

Most of our English language teachers have been trained as English teachers at teacher training institutes and universities where they took the English Language as their major.

Though they are Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) trained, they came through the Bahasa Malaysia medium of instruction in schools where everything was taught in Bahasa Malaysia except for the English language subject.

Despite this many of these teachers scored excellent results in the English language subject in public examinations.

To be an English language teacher, the candidate has to be competent and proficient in the language and this is normally assessed from the candidate’s academic qualifications based on public examinations – SPM results.

Though they have good grades in English it is not fair to compare them with teachers of the bygone era who were schooled in English schools where everything was taught in English.

The second group of English language teachers comprise teachers of other options who are proficient in English.

Since there is a shortage of English language teachers in schools these non-option teachers were given in-service training and “converted” to English option teachers.

Many senior Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil option teachers, who have studied in English schools, were co-opted to teach English in schools.

Many of them were given the impetus to attend regular workshops and courses to upgrade and develop themselves professionally and linguistically.

Good teachers are a rare breed. Let us not be too judgmental on the linguistic ability of our teachers.

Teaching is a vocation that demands devotion and dedication of a life time.

Some of the English language teachers may not be competent and proficient but they have the passion and desire to teach. Samuel Yesuiah Seremban The STAR Home News Opinion Letters 26 Mar 2016

English classes for 15,000 teachers

KUALA LUMPUR: The 15,000 English teachers, who were found ill-equipped to teach the subject, have been sent for training, said Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woon.

“We have been sending these teachers for training since 2013,” said Chong, referring to the Professional Upskilling of English Language Teachers (Pro-ELT) programme.

Teachers who failed to obtain the desired scores in the Cambridge Placement Test and British Council’s Aptis English test, he said, would be sent to training for six months.

Priority on education: Chong ‘signing off’ on the Yes, You Can campaign at the launch. Looking on are (from left) Eric, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus Head of School Dr Ganakumaran Subramaniam and SJK (C) Choong Wen headmaster Wong Shee Fatt.

Teachers who still failed the tests after training would not be allowed to teach the subject anymore, said Chong.

He was responding to a statement by Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan, who was quoted as saying that there were 15,000 teachers in the country who were found ill-equipped to teach English.

Kamalanathan had cited this as the reason why plans for a compulsory pass in English for the SPM examination in 2016 had to be postponed.

To help boost proficiency among teachers, Chong said it was also carrying out the Native Speaker Programme, which saw mentors with a native grasp of English going into classrooms and helping teachers learn creative techniques in teaching.

Acknowledging that the country’s English proficiency had been steadily declining for the past few decades, Chong said the ministry was taking the matter “very seriously” and would “face it head on”.

“I believe we need better policies as well as strategic action to rectify them,” he told reporters after launching Erican Education Group’s Yes, You Can campaign yesterday.

As a result of the sliding proficiency, the ministry, he said, had reversed its policy to teach Mathematics and Science in English in 2012.

“Schools are given more freedom now. Those which are ready, can choose to teach in English. My final wish is to see all schools adopting the English medium (for teaching Science and Mathematics),” he said.

Erican Education Group founder Datuk Eric Chong said it would be giving RM1mil worth of scholarships to 500 financially deprived students via its Yes, You Can Campaign this year.

The campaign will also be offering free workshops to 10,000 student from both primary and secondary schools throughout the nation.

Signifikan Zoo Negara, pikul haiwan masuk zoo

Signifikan Zoo Negara

ZOO NEGARA pernah menerima lebih sejuta pengunjung setiap tahun bermula 1985 sehingga 1995. Itu merupakan masa gemilang Zoo Negara yang mencipta rekod kedatangan pengunjung paling ramai.

Sepanjang sepuluh tahun itu, pelbagai program dan aktiviti diperkenalkan bagi menarik perhatian rakyat Malaysia melawat Zoo Negara. Disebabkan sokongan masyarakat itu, Zoo Negara pernah mencatat pendapatan tertinggi pada 1987.

Ditubuhkan dan ditadbir di bawah Persatuan Zoologikal Malaysia, Zoo Negara memainkan peranan terhadap pembangunan Malaysia sejak 53 tahun kewujudannya. Walaupun pada masa kini, terdapat beberapa zoo di tempat lain yang mempunyai tarikan lebih istimewa dan popular, Zoo Negara tetap utuh berada di tengah-tengah bandar raya Kuala Lumpur.

Pernah melalui waktu-waktu sukar termasuk ketika peristiwa 13 Mei 1969, persaingan dengan tempat-tempat tarikan terbaharu di ibu negara dan isu perpindahan lokasi, konflik dalaman persatuan, isu kebajikan haiwan dan kekurangan peruntukan, Zoo Negara berjaya mengharungi cabaran sehingga ke hari ini.

Perlu diingatkan Zoo Negara ditadbir oleh badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) yang tidak bertujuan meraih keuntungan, sebaliknya perlu menjana pendapatan sendiri bagi membolehkan ia terus beroperasi.


Zoo Negara menjadi tumpuan rakyat Malaysia

Walaupun pernah wujud isu desakan agar Zoo Negara diambil alih kerajaan, ia tidak sewenang-wenangnya boleh dilaksanakan. Sebaliknya kewujudan Zoo Negara yang memberi kesan signifikan kepada masyarakat Malaysia wajar diberi sokongan secara berterusan.

Kos untuk menggaji pekerja dan menguruskan haiwan yang jarang-jarang dapat kita lihat selain di dalam televisyen bukan sesuatu yang boleh dipandang enteng.

Zoo Negara mungkin banyak meninggalkan nostalgia dan kenangan indah buat anak-anak dari generasi ke generasi di Malaysia dalam mempelajari dan mengenali dunia haiwan dan alam sekitar.

Malah ia juga tidak terlepas daripada menjadi perhatian pengunjung dari luar negara yang menjadikan Zoo Negara sebagai antara lokasi lawatan mereka ketika melancong ke Malaysia.

Pasti usaha-usaha ke arah kebaikan demi kemandirian Zoo Negara yang dilaksanakan termasuk dengan bantuan daripada kerajaan tanpa berbelah bahagi amat bertepatan kerana ia membawa nama negara kepada pengunjung.

Wartawan S2, FAIZAH IZZANI ZAKARIA dan MOhamad ATHIR ISMAIL serta jurugambar NOORADZRENE MOHAMMED NOR dan ROY AZIS ABD. AZIZ menyelusuri sejarah, pengalaman dan cabaran Zoo Negara dalam berhadapan dengan arus pembangunan dan terus wujud bagi kepentingan Malaysia.

Pikul haiwan masuk zoo

KETIKA satu pameran yang dianjurkan Persatuan Pertanian dan Holtikultur (MAHA) di Kuala Lumpur pada 1958, Victor Mercy Hutson terlibat mempamerkan haiwan-haiwan peliharaannya.

Tan Sri Victor Mercy Hutson memegang anak singa yang baharu lahir yang kemudian ditempatkan di Zoo Negara.

Antara haiwan yang dipamerkan termasuklah tiga ekor Orang Utan yang dinamakan Jacko, Suzan dan Jane, selain harimau baka Indo-China bernama Nikky serta enam ekor buaya air masin.

Pameran haiwan itu menyebabkan rakyat Malaysia yang datang ketika itu teruja. Mungkin kerana agak sukar untuk mendapat peluang melihat haiwan seperti itu.

Maka, timbul cadangan agar Tanah Melayu yang baharu setahun mencapai kemerdekaan mempunyai sebuah zoo yang mempamerkan pelbagai spesies haiwan yang tidak pernah mereka lihat secara langsung.

Hutson diundang sama bertemu dengan Perdana Menteri ketika itu, Tunku Abdul Rahman untuk berbincang mengenai penubuhan sebuah zoo.

Disebabkan kekurangan dana, kerajaan tidak dapat menubuhkan sebuah zoo yang ditadbir dan diuruskan olehnya ketika itu. Justeru, Hutson yang mempunyai minat mendalam terhadap haiwan ditawarkan untuk menubuhkan sebuah zoo seperti dicadangkan.

“Apabila Tunku Abdul Rahman menerima cadangan itu, beliau mencadangkan kepada Hutson agar memilih kawasan yang sesuai di Kuala Lumpur untuk dibina sebuah zoo,” kata Timbalan Presiden Persatuan Zoologikal Malaysia, Rosly Ahmat Lana.

Tiga ekor Orang Utan yang dinamakan Jacko, Suzan dan Jane pada asalnya dimiliki Hutson kemudian diletakkan di Zoo Negara sebaik pembukaannya.

Rosly yang merupakan salah seorang anak angkat kepada Hutson menceritakan, Tunku Abdul Rahman pernah mencadangkan kawasan yang mempunyai tasik di sekitar Kuala Lumpur untuk dijadikan zoo.

“Beliau mencadangkan kawasan yang kini adalah Tasik Perdana untuk dijadikan zoo. Namun, bapa angkat saya tidak bersetuju kerana ketika itu, dia sudah nampak bahawa kawasan itu akan dihimpit pembangunan.

“Ini kerana dia melihat zoo di London mengalami situasi yang sama apabila ia dihimpit arus pembangunan. Dia tidak mahu zoo di Kuala Lumpur menjadi sedemikian,” katanya.



Kawasan tanah dan tasik di Hulu Kelang sebelum dibangunkan sebagai Zoo Negara.

Setelah Persatuan Zoologikal Malaya ditubuhkan pada 1962 bagi menguruskan penubuhan zoo, beberapa kawasan dikenal pasti sebagai lokasi untuk dijadikan zoo pertama di Malaysia ketika itu. Nama persatuan itu kemudian ditukar menjadi Persatuan Zoologikal Malaysia selepas penubuhannya diluluskan oleh Pendaftar Pertubuhan pada 1975.

Rosly yang merupakan adik kepada bekas Presiden Persatuan Zoologikal Malaysia, Allahyarham Datuk Ismail Hutson berkata, setelah tinjauan dibuat, Hutson menemui sebuah kawasan sesuai di Hulu Kelang.

“Ketika mula-mula mahu dijadikan zoo, bapa angkat saya pernah memikul sendiri haiwan peliharaannya untuk dibawa ke kawasan yang dipilih itu. Malah petugas pertama zoo dikenali Abdul Rahman pernah diarahkan pergi ke Afrika untuk mendapatkan seekor zirafah bagi ditempatkan di zoo baharu itu,” katanya.

Namun, katanya, setibanya di pelabuhan, pihak pengurusan zoo tidak membincangkan mengenai cara untuk membawa zirafah berkenaan memandangkan tidak banyak laluan yang dibina menuju ke Hulu Kelang dan melalui kawasan zoo ketika itu.


Zirafah, antara haiwan terawal yang diambil dari Afrika untuk ditempatkan di Zoo Negara pada 1963.

Jadi, mereka terpaksa melalui jalan yang berliku-liku dan jauh semata-mata untuk sampai ke lokasi zoo. Apa yang penting, zirafah berkenaan selamat sampai.

Ia merupakan zirafah pertama dibawa masuk ke zoo. Lebih menarik, zirafah itu telah menghasilkan beberapa generasi zirafah yang kemudian diberi kepada zoo-zoo lain di Malaysia.

Selain zirafah, banyak lagi haiwan-haiwan lain diterima oleh Zoo Negara sebaik sahaja penubuhannya. Kebanyakannya diderma oleh kedutaan-kedutaan negara asing yang ada di Kuala Lumpur ketika itu.

Ketika itu juga, Zoo Negara banyak menerima sumbangan dana dan bantuan dalam pelbagai bentuk termasuk peralatan dan kelengkapan zoo daripada syarikat tempatan dan antarabangsa yang beroperasi di Malaysia.

Pada 14 November 1963, Tunku Abdul Rahman merasmikan penubuhan zoo pertama di Malaysia ketika itu dikenali Zoo Negara dengan harga tiket ketika itu cuma 50 sen.

Ditanya mengenai saat-saat kritikal sepanjang kewujudan Zoo Negara, Rosly berkata, ia berlaku ketika peristiwa hitam negara pada 13 Mei 1969. Ketika itu katanya, Zoo Negara terpaksa bertahan selama beberapa bulan selepas kejadian buruk itu tanpa sebarang kehadiran pengunjung mahupun bantuan kewangan daripada mana-mana pihak termasuk kerajaan.

“Cuma pihak tentera yang membantu dalam aspek penjagaan haiwan. Selebihnya kami bertahan selama mungkin. Mujur sehingga kini, Zoo Negara mampu lagi berdiri megah memainkan peranannya kepada rakyat Malaysia,” katanya.

Mengenai perancangan masa depan, Rosly berkata, beberapa haiwan lain akan dibawa masuk ke Zoo Negara, antaranya biawak Komodo dan burung Cenderawasih dari Indonesia serta Red Panda dan Golden Monkey dari China.

4,000 tahun cari makam Ratu Nefertiti

DUNIA arkeologi Mesir purba menjadi heboh baru-baru ini apabila Kerajaan Mesir mengumumkan penemuan bukti yang boleh merungkai misteri makam Ratu Nefertiti yang tidak pernah ditemukan sebelum ini.

Sejak sekian lama, lokasi sebenar tersembunyinya makam Ratu Nefertiti yang dikatakan merupakan ibu tiri kepada Raja Tutankhamen yang meninggal dunia pada usia yang amat muda terus menjadi tanda tanya.

Namun kerajaan Mesir didakwa menjumpai bukti susulan yang dapat merungkai kedudukan sebenar makam Ratu Nefertiti yang sebelum ini dikatakan ‘makam yang hilang’.



Dinding yang berjaya ditebuk sehingga membawa kepada penemuan bilik khas makam Raja Tutankhamun pada 1922. SUMBER WWW.NGM.NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC.COM

Menurut Reuters, Menteri Antikuiti Mesir, Mamdouh el-Damaty mengumumkan penemuan terbaharu itu minggu lalu dengan menyatakan bahawa makam Ratu Nefertiti yang terkenal dalam sejarah Mesir purba itu mungkin berada di bahagian belakang bilik yang menempatkan makam Raja Tutankhamen.

Makam Tutankhamen telah ditemui oleh pakar arkeologi dari Britain, Howard Carter pada 1922 yang melakukan kerja-kerja ekskavasi di sebuah lokasi di Mesir.

Carter menyifatkan makam Tutankhamen merupakan makam raja Firaun yang paling lengkap ketika ditemui di sebuah bilik khas. Ia merupakan satu-satu makam raja Firaun yang tidak pernah diusik oleh mana-mana perompak kubur ketika itu.

Patung Ratu Nefertiti yang kini ditempatkan di Muzium Berlin membuktikan kecantikan tidak terperi ratu Mesir itu. WWW.WIKIPEDIA.ORG

Kemudian pada 2015, seorang pakar Egyptologi dari Britain, Nichloas Reeves membuat penemuan yang dianggap mampu merungkai misteri mengenai Ratu Nefertiti, seorang wanita yang memiliki kecantikan luar biasa dan pemerintah yang terkenal ketika zaman raja Firaun Mesir.

Ketika sedang mengkaji rekod imbasan makam Tutankhamen, Reeves tersedar terdapat tanda-tanda pada dinding bilik khas yang menempatkan makam raja muda itu. Ia seperti tanda sebuah pintu yang tersembunyi.

Sejak itu, kajian lanjut dijalankan dan Reeves mengandaikan bahawa kemungkinan terdapat sebuah lagi bilik di sebalik bilik makam Tutankhamen itu. Reeves kemudian mengumumkan bahawa ia mungkin merupakan makam Ratu Nefertiti.

Sekiranya terbukti benar, ia bakal menjadi penemuan arkeologi yang menakjubkan dan signifikan sejak Howard Carter menemui makam Tutankhamen.

Kes penemuan makam Ratu Nefertiti ini kini mendapat perhatian pelbagai pihak di peringkat antarabangsa yang begitu berminat terhadap Ratu Nefertiti yang meninggal dunia dipercayai kira-kira 4,000 tahun lampau.



Barangan dan peralatan bernilai yang ditemui di dalam makam Raja Tutankhamun pada 1922. SUMBER WWW.I.TELEGRAPH.CO.UK -

Nefertiti merupakan ratu yang berkahwin dengan Firaun Raja Amonhatep yang memulakan amalan penyembahan terhadap matahari.

Tidak banyak maklumat sahih mengenai asal usul dan latar belakang ratu yang cantik menawan ini namun legasi keindahan wajahnya yang dapat dilihat pada sebuah patung ukiran yang kini dipamerkan di sebuah muzium di Berlin, Jerman terus menjadi tanda tanya kepada para pakar dan cendekiawan hari ini.

Salah satu teori mencadangkan Nefertiti yang bermakna ‘wanita anggun sudah datang’ itu dilahirkan di Syria.

Pada pengumuman mengenai perkembangan terbaharu mengenai kewujudan lokasi makam Nefertiti itu, el-Damaty berkata, hasil imbasan yang dijalankan oleh Reeves sebelum ini mendapati terdapat beberapa perkara yang berbeza di sebalik dinding bilik ma­kam Tutan­khamen itu yang mungkin merupakan bahan diperbuat daripada besi dan juga organik.

Ia mengukuhkan pendapat bahawa berkemungkinan terdapat satu lagi bilik khas yang menjadi makam kepada golongan diraja Mesir purba di sebalik bilik yang menempatkan makam Tutankhamen itu.


Makam Tutankhamun dipercayai bakal merungkai misteri makam Ratu Nefertiti. SUMBER HTTP://MEDIA.NPR.ORG

El-Damaty berkata, hasil imbasan yang telah dihantar untuk analisis di Jepun juga mendapati 90 peratus bukti menunjukkan ada sesuatu di sebalik bilik makam Tutankhamen itu.

Kata el-Damaty, imbasan pada tahap lebih tinggi akan dijalankan dalam masa terdekat bagi menentukan kawasan kosong yang ditemui di sebalik makam Tutankhamen itu merupakan sebuah bilik makam yang lain.

Kemudian barulah keputusan akan dibuat mengenai bagaimana untuk membenarkan satu pasukan arkeologi akan dibenarkan memasuki kawasan itu nanti.

“Kami boleh katakan 90 peratus bahawa terdapat sebuah bilik di situ. Tetapi saya tidak boleh memulakan apa-apa langkah selagi belum 100 peratus pasti,” katanya.



Disebalik dinding hieroglif yang terukir pada dinding di dalam bilik makam Tutankhamen ini dipercayai mempunyai sebuah bilik makam Nefertiti. SUMBER WWW.ANCIENTORIGINS.NE

Penemuan makam Nefertiti itu jika berlaku, akan membantu memulihkan industri pelancongan Mesir yang menjadi teruk sejak kejatuhan kepimpinan Presiden Hosni Mubarak pada 2011.

Sementara itu, Reeves yang mengetuai pasukan arkeologi Nefertiti itu percaya, moseleum yang menempatkan mayat Tutankhamen pada asalnya merupakan bilik makam yang menempatkan Nefertiti sesudah kematian ratu itu.

Bilik makam Nefertiti itu kemudian dihadang dengan sebuah lagi dinding untuk dijadikan sebagai makam Tutankhamun yang meninggal dunia kemudian.

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Opting for what they didn't study for, thumping to a new beat, training Jacks of all trades

Training Jacks of all trades

The Higher Education Ministry aims to produce multi-disciplinary students who are not confined to a certain skill set but able to perform in various fields of employment.

IN a bid to produce more all-rounders, the Higher Education Ministry will be taking on a more flexible approach this year, including encouraging online courses.

The ministry also plans to move towards a more robust accreditation process which will enable students to take up multi-disciplinary programmes from different institutions that will still lead them to a recognised degree.



Higher Education Ministry deputy director-general (private higher education institutions) Prof Datin Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir

“One of the initiatives would be to give credits to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

“Students who take a certain number of MOOCs can be awarded degrees by local universities, provided they spend a certain period of residential time on campus,” the ministry says.

This means that students will be able to obtain a degree from a combination of online courses and time spent on campus.

The ministry says it aims to create multi-disciplinary students who are not bound by a particular skill set but are well-equipped to enter various fields of employment.

“This year, we will also encourage volunteerism among students to enhance their higher education experience.

“We hope this will help sculpt their outlook on society and make them realise that they can make a difference for the betterment of the nation,” it says.

On the growing trend of graduates pursuing jobs unrelated to their area of study, the ministry does not view this as a problem but respects every individual’s right to choose their occupation.

Ministry deputy director-general (public institutions of higher learning) Datin Paduka Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir says for many years now, young engineering graduates have found themselves work-ing at financial institutions.

“Such youths are mechanical, electrical and civil engineering graduates. Their software programming abilities appeal to financial institutions. There are many other examples aside from this,” she illustrates.

The ministry also provides assistance where necessary, including through Graduate Employability programmes between the ministry and industry players.

On students who realise they may have chosen the wrong academic field to pursue, the ministry advises them to appeal to their university or institution for a change in their course of study.

“However, this is subject to the availa-bility of places within the respective faculties and may involve the student having to extend the duration of his studies.

“Depending on how far along a student has gone, it may be worthwhile to continue and complete the programme, but they should take subjects from other faculties (as a minor) that may be of interest,” it says.

The ministry also organises a yearly nationwide carnival where the public can meet education and career guidance counsellors to ensure that students and parents are well aware of the programmes offered by various higher learning institutions in Malaysia.

“This initiative is to ensure that students enrol in their programme of choice, thus minimising the chances of them enrolling in the ‘wrong’ academic field of study,” it adds.


Thumping to a new beat

More graduates are trying their hand at jobs unrelated to their field of study, with some “changing lanes” after finding their true calling or gathering courage. This trend is expected to grow with the slower economy dampening opportunities.

“WHAT do you want to be when you grow up?”

This rather common question posed to schoolchildren is sometimes one of the most difficult to answer. Even some grown ups are still having trouble deciding on their career!

But while the reasons may vary, more graduates are taking up positions that are unrelated to what they studied in college or university.

Some equipped with professional qualifications like medicine, law and engineering find themselves pursuing more artistic and entrepreneurial jobs after realising their true passion.

Experts believe that this is not necessarily a bad thing as the skills developed from their studies can be beneficial and applicable in certain jobs.

Such a trend of graduates diverting from their field of study is also expected to grow due to another factor – the poor economy.

Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan acknow-ledges the growing phenomenon of graduates pursuing different fields.

“When the economy was stronger, graduates were privileged to have the option to turn to other professions because oppor-tunities were more plentiful during good times,” he says.

But today, graduates make the same switch, but for a much different reason – because it is not as easy to find an appropriate or suitable job in their field of study,” he says.

Shamsuddin explains that this may cause some graduates to veer off from the expected path to pursue other available careers.

“This was more apparent last year. As for this year, we expect it to be even more common since there are fewer job openings,” he says.

Citing the example of the recent retrenchments in the oil and gas, as well as the aviation sectors, he says those who have been laid off will have to find work in other disciplines.

“The situation is also compounded by the Government’s hiring freeze for civil service positions, shutting 14,000 to 15,000 vacancies,” Shamsuddin adds.

He notes that the private sector has also slowed down in hiring for new positions.

“Last year, about 26,000 people were retrenched across all sectors. We expect more job cuts this year if the economy does not improve,” he says.

The extension of the retirement age – from 55 to 60, with those originally set to retire in 2013 only being able to do so in 2018 – has also contributed to the weak labour market.

“Hence, the rate of replacing jobs is slower,” Shamsuddin explains.

While he admits some employers find it a challenge to accept candidates with qualifications that do not match their requirements, Shamsuddin says other qualities matter as well.

“The ability to communicate well, especially in English, and the right attitude are definitely strong points that employers consider,” he says, adding that new hires can always be trained to perform the duties.

But of course, not all graduates are forced into other professions because of the economy and have chosen to wear different caps based on their free will and interests.

To these people, Shamsuddin says some may even have an advantage over others who have been trained in the field.

“For example, if you have an engineering degree and you get involved in adminis-tration or management, you would tend to be more meticulous in nature,” he says.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia lecturer Prof Dr Ruzy Suliza Hashim agrees that there is an increasing number of graduates who are in fields unrelated to their study.

However, she believes it is not necessary for students to be confined to their field of study when they go out into the working world.

“Educators in the country try to develop well-rounded students. We train them so that they can do things beyond what they learnt in university.

“We want to develop students who are not just armed with degrees, but also have other skills that let them excel beyond their field of study so that they are more marketable,” she says.

Dr Ruzy Suliza, who teaches English literature, says many of her students do not end up becoming literature teachers because they have acquired skills that are transferable to other jobs.

She says some of her students work in human resources, or as journalists, event organisers and script writers.

“Anyone can obtain university books and read its contents. But what lecturers do is not only confined to the books, they equip students with the ability to think,” she points out.

Dr Ruzy Suliza shares a personal example: her son is about to graduate in Islamic finance but wants to work in social welfare.

“Hence, such a phenomenon is not unusual. It is typical of young people. If you focus on a narrow job market, there is a higher risk of being unemployed,” she says.

An education counsellor who wishes to be known only as Gijay, also notices that it is becoming more common for graduates to take up other jobs which differ from their course of study.

“Some students take up certain courses due to parental and peer pressure. Some youths take up medicine because their parents are doctors, among other examples.

“When they find it is not their cup of tea, they then push aside their degree and pursue their true passion.

“Such pressure from parents and friends is still one of the main problems faced by students in career decisions,” he says.

Nonetheless, Gijay also believes there is a silver lining in switching career paths, saying that all is not lost.

“Of course, you cannot gain back the time lost. But you can take advantage of the experience you have gained.

“For example, my training is in human resources, and when I went into banking, I came equipped with enhanced marketing skills from my experience in dealing with people,” says Gijay, who now guides students into making study choices.

He says there is a need for students to go through career and personality tests to help them learn more about themselves.

“Such efforts should begin in school during a student’s formative years. Schools should help them make decisions based on their passion and strengths.

“In this sense, school counsellors should play a more prominent role. Not only should they help with personal problems, they should also go beyond these issues and guide them to choose a suitable career,” Gijay adds.

But even if graduates find themselves on the wrong path, “it is not the end of the world”, says Utar research, development and commercialisation vice-president Prof Dr Lee Sze Wei.

“Some students end up in ill-suited courses after being influenced by friends and family. It happens.

“But even if they have completed their degree and realise they are on the wrong track, there are other options,” he says, adding that those with the time and means could consider pursuing a second degree.

Dr Lee says he knows students in science and technology courses who switched streams and excelled.

“One student from a science-based course took up political science and did really well,” he says.

Dr Lee advises students to be guided by their interests and strengths and to seek help from counsellors if they are unsure.

“The more feedback you get, the better. Utar has support services to help students and potential students.

“Parents should also always ask what their children want and avoid putting too much pressure on them,” he says.

Grey skies loom overhead

Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan cuts to the chase:

• Retrenchments in the oil and gas, and aviation sectors.

• Some 26,000 people retrenched last year. More job cuts this year if the economy does not improve.

• Hiring freeze for civil service positions closed off over 14,000 vacancies.

Opting for what they didn't study for - and it's a good trend

More graduates are now working in sectors that are unrelated to their field of study, says the Malaysian Employers Federation.

This, according to executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan, was more apparent last year and would be more common this year as there are fewer job openings.

Even some with medical, law and engineering degrees are pursuing more artistic and entrepreneurial jobs.

Experts said this may not be a bad trend, pointing out that skills developed from their studies could be beneficial and applicable in most other fields.

While some employers were hesitant to accept candidates with degrees that did not match their requirement, Shamsuddin said factors like the ability to communicate in English and having the right attitude were strengths as well.

In fact, some of these candidates may even be better than those trained in a specific field.

Shamsuddin gave an example of someone with an engineering degree but working in an administration or management position who was likely to be more meticulous in nature and better suited for the job.

The Higher Education Ministry will take on a more flexible approach this year, including encouraging online courses, to produce more all-rounder candidates for the job market.

The ministry also plans to move towards a more robust accreditation process enabling students to take up multi-disciplinary programmes from different institutions that will still lead to a mutually recognised degree.

“One of the initiatives would be to give credits to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Students who take a certain number of MOOCs can be awarded degrees by local universities, provided they spend a certain period of residential time on campus,” the ministry said.

This means students will be able to obtain a degree from a combination of online courses and time spent on campus.

The ministry said it aimed at creating multi-disciplinary students in the long run, not bound by a particular skill set but well-equipped to enter various fields of employment.

Apa patut anda buat bila 'kantoi'

KANTOI secara umumnya bermaksud terbongkar atau terdedah. Perkataan ini hanyalah bersifat bahasa slanga iaitu tiada dalam bahasa baku atau yang biasa digunakan dalam percakapan dan tulisan rasmi Bahasa Malaysia.

Kantoi adalah bahasa generasi muda hari ini. Samalah seperti perkataan "poyo, kipidap, awek, bro, cun, klebergurl, macai, wateva" dan sebagainya. Perkataan di atas boleh dimasukkan dalam daftar rasmi sekiranya pakar-pakar bahasa bersetuju, berdasarkan kriteria khusus yang menjadi panduan.

Bahasa slanga ini biasanya diguna dalam kalangan remaja untuk berkomunikasi secara verbal mahupun media sosial. Penulisan dan perbualan rasmi jarang menggunakannya.

Yang membimbangkan kecenderungan portal-portal berita berbahasa Melayu yang selamba menterjemahkan bahasa Inggeris ke bahasa Malaysia menggunakan kaedah Indonesia. Torque ditukar jadi tork, walhal istilah rasmi ialah kuasa kilas; suspension jadi suspensi (istilah rasmi: sistem gantungan).

Sama ada penulisnya benar-benar rendah pengetahuan mengenai Bahasa Malaysia atau sangat malas hendak menyelidik, tidaklah kita tahu. Apapun, setakat ini sahajalah hendak sentuh hal serius. Mari teruskan dengan Merrepak.

Merrepak hari ini menumpu kepada perihal "kantoi". Jelas pemilihan perkataan slanga kantoi disasarkan kepada semua usia dengan menghuraikan situasi agak memalukan ini, dan cadangan kepada anda untuk menanganinya bukan secara fizikal.

Kantoi cuti sakit

Jumaat beritau bos tak sihat, minta cuti sebab hendak jumpa doktor. Pagi Sabtu dalam grup Whatssap seseorang ucapkan dia "Sudah terbang ke? Selamat bercuti!".

Tak. Dia tak kantoi. Dia jumpa doktor di luar negara (sila bersangka baik, walaupun mata pandang ke siling).

Kantoi tertekan 
video terlampau

Semasa duduk santai di ruang tamu bersama ibu dan adik-beradik, semua sedang tekun membelek gajet elektronik masing-masing. Anda sedang membelek Facebook. Tak semena-mena video ternyala dengan suara nyaring. Video terlampau! Terkial-kial anda menutupnya tetapi terlambat. Semua termasuk ibu memandang anda dengan pandangan tajam.

Pergi ke setting Facebook dengan mematikan fungsi automatik video. Cara hendak menjelaskan bagaimana video terlampau ada dalam Facebook kepada ibu anda, pandai-pandailah sendiri.

Kantoi ponteng kelas

Esok ada latihan ujian Kemahiran Hidup. "Latihan ujian" bermaksud bukan ujian rasmi yang masuk dalam laporan tahunan. Baru berlatih untuk diuji. Tetapi anda sangat malas. Jadi direkalah alasan demam. Dalam Instagram, ada gambar anda di bistro. Guru memang tiada dalam senarai pengikut tetapi ketua kelas anda ada. Kantoi!

Tahukah mengapa orang dewasa tidak suka media sosial? Ini kerana privasi hilang. Mengapa orang muda kemaruk hendak beritahu apa dibuat, dimana berada, apa dimakan dan ke mana dituju dalam Instagram dan Facebook hari ini adalah sesuatu yang hanya menggembirakan stalker. Orang lain tak peduli pun.

Kantoi prank tidak menjadi

Semasa hendak keluar lif, anda nampak kawan anda beberapa meter di hadapan hendak masuk dan meminta anda menahan pintu. Ini masa sesuai untuk kenakan dia. Anda lepaskan "angin" agar kawan anda terhidu bau tengit dalam lif. Elok sahaja dia masuk, bos anda tiba-tiba muncul. Dan pintu lif pun tutup.

Anda tidak tahu hendak gelak atau pun sangat-sangat takut. Ini disebabkan gas yang anda lepaskan adalah hasil makan dua biji telur setengah masak. Berani tanya kawan yang naik lif dengan bos itu?

Kantoi sabotaj Facebook

Guna komputer pejabat untuk main Facebook. Sebab itu kita nampak dia kemas kini setiap sejam. Bila masa bekerja? Bila pergi makan, lupa nak Log Out. Datang kawan-kawan nakal, muncullah posting pelik-pelik. Bila balik, anda mengamuk. Siap bagi amaran penumbuk dalam Facebook.Dua situasi kantoi di sini ialah anda salah guna kemudahan pejabat untuk main Facebook dan kemudian marah orang pula kerana kesalahan pertama anda.

Kantoi mengaku berpangkat Datuk

Dengar cerita, anda kena ada pangkat Datuk untuk duduk semeja dengan jutawan lain. Memudahkan anda melobi projek. Jadi jika tidak dapat pangkat Datuk di Malaysia, cari di luar. Tidak kisahlah dari mana. Kalau Kesultanan Palau pun boleh tawarkan pun akan direbut, walaupun sejarah tidak pernah mencatatkan wujudnya tamadun Melayu sejauh itu.

Maka didedahkan oleh Utusan Malaysia tentang penganugerahan pangkat dari entah siapa-siapa ini yang diguna dengan selamba oleh orang kita. Kantoi. Kemaruk sangat hendak pangkat sampai kena belit. Kasihan.

Kantoi mengaku orang KL

Ini juga simbol status moden. Mana sama dengan orang di desa. Orang KL tidak bertutur bahasa Melayu. English sahaja! Bila berborak, kantoi bahasa Inggeris diguna adalah versi Menggris atau "Melayu lebih, Inggeris berterabur".Kita alu-alukan orang berani berbahasa Inggeris walaupun grammar ke laut. Tetapi orang juga dapat kesan jika seseorang itu ada cubaan untuk membaiki nahu dan tatabahasa Inggeris berbanding yang mai hentam saja.

- Johardy Ibrahim Utusan Malaysia Rencana 27 Mac 2016 6:17 PM

Enam abad kota Melaka

Sejarah Malaysia dikatakan bermula pada zaman Kesultanan Melayu Melaka iaitu sekitar 1400 Masihi. Pada 1511, Melaka jatuh ke tangan Portugis dan bermula dari tahun inilah Tanah Melayu berada dalam era penjajahan.

Selepas itu, Tanah melayu jatuh ketangan Belanda pada 1641 dan akhirnya jatuh pula ke tangan British pada 1824 melalui Perjanjian Inggeris Belanda.

Namun, awat la ahli dan pakar sejarah 1Malaya kata dan tulih Tanah Melayu dan Malaya tik penah di jajah. Awat la sejarah Tanah Melayu dikatakan bermula dari Melaka , habih tu yang Kerajaan Hindu kat Kedah tu kigha macang mane , ganer gammoorrrkk ..

Klik pada gambar untuk membaca dengan jelas ....

Bukit Melaka Zaman Kesultanan Melayu Melaka 1400-1511
hmetro_melaka_27032016 001.jpg
Monti Ali Maria Zaman Penguasaan Potugis 1511-1641
hmetro_melaka_27032016 002.jpg
Boquit St Paulo Zaman Penguasaan Belanda 1641-1824
hmetro_melaka_27032016 003.jpg
Bukit Bendera Zaman Penguasaan Inggeris 1824-1957
hmetro_melaka_27032016 004.jpg
Banda Hilir 1957 hingga kini
hmetro_melaka_27032016 005.jpg