Sunday, 28 December 2014

MUET requirement in Budget Proposal.

I just can't link these two. But it was clearly mentioned by the Prime Minister during his 2015 Budget Proposal in the parliament not long ago. The MUET qualification for entrance into local public universities will upgraded, come 2015. This means courses that require Band 1 in MUET will ask for at least Band 2 this time. And of course the Band 4 for TESL and Law  would ask for Band 5. 

What does MUET result have to do with the budget proposal by the way? Unless the government is planning to give extra  funds for the upgrading of the teaching for this test, I just don't see how MUET and Budget are related. And clearly there was no mention of any funding for this purpose.

Nevertheless, despite the worry that keeps disturbing my nights, I take it as a challenge to make it a challenge for the students. With 80 percent of them scoring lower than C in their SPM, 20 percent total Failures, it looks impossible to make everyone of them score no less than Band 2. So reminding them that a band 1 will be the only obstacle for them to achieve their objective of taking up STPM will be a routine after this. And of course the usual reminder that a Band 1 can be obtained by just signing their attendance for the test and sending blank papers to the invigilators, which usually makes them burst into laughter, like it is a great joke. 

 I can already visualize the faces of triumph on the day when the STPM result is out, with CGPAs all above 3.5, change into tears on the day the result for UPU application comes out, only because they just don't meet the MUET requirement. Quite a handful of the last batch candidates managed to get themselves into universities, despite the Band 1 in MUET. Nevermind the Universities and courses not at all in their wishlists. At least they get the opportunities to work for the pieces of degree. If the previous Band 2 and 3 candidates were already having difficulties in getting courses of their interest, well I can just imagine what these juniors would be facing next year.

A friend suggested going back to basic, real basic, which is no no to me as these batch of students would be mugging their heads out for all the four papers' written exam, plus the 'kerja kursus" (asignments) that each subject is pressuring them, leaving very little focus on MUET. So it would be drills on all the four components of the test in the lessons.. Speaking the language, besides daily practice in Listening and Reading, and making them write in English that is beyond comprehension of the examiners. In fact, I am thinking of the old method, the 20-cents fine for every Malay word in my lessons. 

Looking forward to the first day of school come 5th January 2015. Btw, its my 27th year of my teaching profession. 

Parental negligence

Just can't believe that it's been two years since my last post. No excuse, just being lazy. Come on Azlan wake up.To my new batch of students, there will be more coming after this. I promise.  To begin with here is another sample of question and answer that I've worked out with  the last batch. Happy reading, and then writing.

Question : Parental negligence is the main cause of social problems among youngsters nowadays. Do you agree? Give your opinion.
Parental negligence occurs when  parents fail to fulfil their responsibilities for their children. These include, besides the basic needs, providing education, and most importantly love. It is undeniable that this could contribute to social problems like crime, drug abuse and illegal racing among youngsters, but I totally disagree if it is considered as the main cause of immoral activities as there are many other reasons related to social problems, like unlimited access to media, peer influence and stress.

Children nowadays have unlimited access to media. Through the internet they click to websites like Youtube, Twitters and Facebook, to name a few, where they link themselves to everything under the sky. This includes negative activities from pornography to details on the  processing of drugs. Not denying that the media contributes towards mankind, it is proven  that it also plays a role to immoral activities. This is something that is beyond the control of parents.

Peer influence has been noticed as one cause of social problems among youngsters nowadays as they  spend a lot of time with friends; morning at school, games in the afternoon, tuition classes at nights, not to mention weekend activities. Even when they are not together, they would still be in touch through the various social websites, chatting through the nights. To be accepted by the gang, these teenagers would normally do what their friends do, or more likely what their friends want them to do. Some of these peer influences are no doubt positive, like studying and healthy physical activities, but it is also undeniable that most  are negative, as they are normally related to entertainment; about having fun. Thus, peer influence is so strong that these youngsters neglect their parents’ advice.

Stress is another reason why youngsters opted for immoral activities. The burden of schoolwork and assignments, the tasking experience of preparing for examinations and parents’ high expectation on their academic performance have somehow pressured them to the maximum, leading in the search for escapes like smoking, getting high with all kinds of drugs that are available, and risking life with illegal motor cycle racing. Thus, no matter how parents care for their children, they just cannot help it when these negative elements seem to be too attractive to avoid.

There is no doubt that parental negligence can lead to social problems among youngsters nowadays. However it is unfair to say that it is the main cause, as there are other factors that are equally influential.