About Me

My photo
Hi. I am Professor Puan Sri Dr. Rohaty Mohd Majzub. Currently I am a Professor in Faculty of Education.I love to interact with everyone and learn something new. I believe in meeting a new friend everyday.However at times i am disheartened when other bloggers used my website to advertise their websites on google or abuse my website by changing the content of my articles.This is an unprofessional act. I hope this will stop. Thanks to those who participate in this website.I really appreciate your time and ideas.You are invited to visit my other websites: http://rohaty.edu.my http://rohaty-school-readiness.com http://rohaty.keciciran.edu.my


I am looking forward to share my personal and professional knowledge and experiences related to social-educational issues and challenges locally and internationally. I believe that much can be generated and learn cross culturally deriving from the varied diversity found in the education systems. Thus i welcome any thoughts, ideas, opinion and feedback on any educational issue which can contribute to both understanding theories and building educational implications. Issues can be very controversial but we have to address them open mindedly and creatively.My present interests are in child development, adolescent psychology,educational governance and policies and the science and art of teaching and research.Once again you are most welcome!!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Last week i went to schools supervising my students doing their teaching practicum. There were seven of them all ladies. I managed to reflect on what they commented about teaching English and the challenges they went through. The common observation was that students wanted the teachers to use Malay while teaching English in English lessons.

Wow???I got the observation before when i went to Remove Classes(By the way the Remove Classes are still around ensuring a smooth transition from vernacular primary schools to non vernacular secondary schools) I remembered the teacher at the remove class saying : Girls "" Ini cherek=kettle""""Ini water=air" "Ini sejuk=cold""Ini panas = hot" I asked why ???She replied because if she did not use Malay the students would not be able to understand. They demanded that the teacher used the mother tongue (in this case Malay).

Thus this brings us to the pertinent question" Should the mother tongue be used or avoided in teaching English as a Second Language? And how frequent should you use it to ensure students understand what you are talking about? Sometimes?Half the time?frequently?Most of the time? And of course this phenomena always happened in the class where students are very low achievers and ill disciplined. There are of course many methods in second language teaching which include the Grammar Translation Approach.This approach was historically used in teaching Greek and Latin and later modern languages.

So what philosophy do we use? Experienced teachers told me that if they did not engage the help of the mother tongue well the lesson would involve a lot more time; the students were indifferent and psychologically were not there. Equally in teaching subjects such as Science the students will say "Tak Faham lah""Cik gu boleh pakai Bahasa Malaysia"(Translated "I do not understand" "Can you use Bahasa Malaysia")

At the university too a lecturer mentioned that in Engineering classes the students looked blank when explaining the terms in Engineering in English. Socio-economic status also relates to language proficiency.The former explains values and upbringing.My student also remarked the class she was teaching would be very dull and unresponsive if the students could not interpret what she was teaching.

And of course it was vey difficult to motivate them to participate in class.How did i learnt English? Wow we have to go back in memory lane. I remembered we learnt by doing. The teacher said "Stand up" (and she asked us to stand up after she demonstrated the action. So "sit down and thus we sat down" _) And i remembered using the series " A Man and a Pen"etc. Subject experts stated that we can use the mother tongue up to a certain extent on a restrictive basis to explain complex linguistic issues . Another teacher remarked it is advisabble to use the target language instead of the mother tongue so that the students have full initiative in learning the new language and is less dependent on the old.

But learning new things can be very challenging. When we learn new subjects or methods the old learning seeks to interfere with the rules of the new and vice versa. Thus my daughter Zuraidah was so capable of speaking English in Los Angeles to come back to Malaysia showing off her praiseworthy english but after two years started spelling according to BM 's spelling .Thats where new learnings attacked the old learnings acquired.

What do we do here? Teachers suggested that we should explore the different methods of teaching so that it is more creative and meaningful because learners learn in different modes and styles. Diversified and differentiated teaching is the slogan to effective teaching of second language. This would help overcome the "Use the mother tongue "approach and uphold "We use English only approach "plus some interesting teaching techniques. Still we have diehards who still believe we should use the mother tongue as a viable teaching aid. One rematked "Well students dont understand and they were frustrated and this leads to your frustration" "And we need students to understand because it reflects on us as the teachers' which also means Teaching equals learning.

I guess translation is needed here to help clarify terms and glossaries and to expediate teaching. So what is our verdict? Use MT (mother tongue or Not?) The answer very much depends on the socio cultural context of the learners one have whether low IQ or not, from high SES or not, proficiency in two languages or not as well as the teacher variables such as teacher confidence and self efficacy and knowledge on teaching techniques.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I was taken aback when an enthusiast who loves to examine human development asked me recently why a Muslim loves t0 be a porn queen or model. And more so a Muslim by name or religion . And more so a child. Human development is irrefutably a very very prominent component in social engineering. Society has within its fold all types of characters for there's diversity in this universe in which we live. I remember a famous psychologist who said"Give me how many babies i can turn them into doctors, lawyers,engineers or what"" And equally the famous quote that children are blank slates to be written upon. That is definitely the behaviorist theory that ones character and achievement can be molded or re enforced by the environment. Environment would encompass the physical, social, intellectual, spiritual , emotional or sexual? environment.

My friend asked me why so many appearances for this said porn queen? I mentioned about motivation, arousal, sustainability .So one success leads to another and to another success just like one failure will lead to another failure in a vicious cycle or in BM lingkaran setan(setan= devil)And that the only way is to break the evil cycle or as i mentioned some behavior intervention or the presence of God Given warnings. The latter refers to challenges given to make one aware of what one is and where one should be and the wrongs one is doing. The formerrefers to some concrete programs to modify behavior into the leading desirable behavior.Well what make's a man.

We talk about the towering personality all in one with the composite scores of noble values.That s where society normally sets its antenna on. Maybe as an analogy a Robot's Mr Bug can help detect the obstacles obstructing its path to goodness to ensure the right way the right path (So said a Robocon contestant) People would ponder why someone does not become the way we want them to become. Parents want their kids to achieve success but they may turn out to become Mat Rempit Daredevils or so.

Another reason for the birth of porn queens or child becoming adult porn queen can be the ambiance she was brought up. A child can be intelligent with high IQ but landed in the world of prostitution or pornography. Whom do you want to blame? The child must have got alienated initially for the lack of support and understanding from significant others around in his or her life. There must have been no one to confide in to express one's soul. Pressure mounting with high unmanageable expectations from parents. What nake the porn queen so proud? And not guilty as one would expect? Well proud because she finds satisfaction in being so famous having power as people put her on a world wide limelight.

My enthusiatic friend remarked that such porno queen are promised the world at her feet wealth, luxury etc etc and also she must have felt she needs the rewards in a short span of time to acieve and easily(imagine labouring for your job with little pay)Another remarked lack of religion or moral values which may account for submission into pornography.But at times the most religious of men succumb to the temptations of this universe right ?

I remember reading a book Qadak and Qadar which stresses that indeed men can choose what he or she wants in life and God knows what the decision shall be positive or negative . Kholberg said that you may be cognitively knowledgeable about good or bad but on the practical plane you are just the opposite. That is why one can easily know that corruption is wrong but still one ends up in that lane. The porn queen is also approved by society itself (contradictory??? ) as we can see in many big cities of the world the prostitutes survived to execute their roles professionally or unprofessionally whatever. It is a classical age old tradition.

Prostitution is not new. So children need good models around in the house not thrown in an ambiance where drunkards return at 3 am in the morning . Social learning has its power as one observe whats happening around and thus consciously or unconsciously approves it. But child prostitution is definitely a NO NO.

That would be one of the ills of society and we as educators should ensure that it is not here or rampant to affect future peace and stability.Children are the future leaders of tomorrow. Thus it is indeed a grievous social ill to be arrested and niped in the bud. Big role for ALL educators all over the world. So shall we ask agents of social change such as schools, mosques, homes and NGO's to address this???

Monday, June 22, 2009


Sesungguhnya kita mengakui bahawa kemajuan tekonoloji yang termasuk didalamnya kuasa pengunaan internet amat mengakagumkan . Semasa saya di universiti mengikuti ijazah Sarjana Muda dahulu kami mahasiswa mahasiswa terpaksa bertungkus lumus dengan penaip yang manual dan usang atau yang baru tetapi mekanikal. Saya masih mengingati bahawa kami pelajar sekalian bersungguh sungguh ke perpustakaan untuk meminjam buku teks rujukan yang di kenalpasti oleh pensyarah.

Buku tanda merah atau RED SPOT itu adalah sukar diperolehi kerana ramai yang akan berpusu pusu memohon untuk meminjamnya.Kami tidak ada komputer untuk menaip yang terbaik tanpa memadam kesilapan. Kami bersungguh membaca buku teks untuk membuat assigmen. Tetapi dengan timbul dan berkembang nya internet maka segalanya berubah untuk membantu proses pembelajaran pelajar. Sesungguhnya pelajar era ICT ini amat senang hidup mereka merisik pengetahuan dan mempunyai pengetahuan itu walaupun ownership pengetahuan bukan lah mereka pemilik yang asal.

Wujud plagarisma yang ketara bila mahasiswa menceduk bulat bulat bahan dari internet untuk tesis atau disertasi mereka.Dengan lain perkataan kecendrungan mengambil bahan dari internet lumrah hidup zaman siber ini dan memudahkan proses pembelajaran .Tetapi yang mendukacitakan adalah mahasiswa sekarang sukar untuk berfikir secara serius kerana bahan senang didapati dan pengarang bahan bahan itu telah sedia berfikir untuk mereka.Apakah ini satu malapetaka?

Mahasiswa perlu berfikir secara mendalam dan perlu tahu bagaimana membezakan secara kritis kesahihan yang dibaca.Bukanlah maksud saya melabel semua mahasiswa sedemikian adanya. Putarbelit dunia siber dan tarikannya amat kuat sekali sehingga semua golongan masyarakat turut tergoda terpikat dan terpesona.Ambil sahaja kaum muda mudi yang menjadi peminat blog yang sensasi dengan mudah terpengaruh tanpa mengetahui yang sah dan tidak sah yang hak dan yang batil.

Juga terdapat individu dewasa yang kononnya buat kerja dipejabat tetapi sambil selam minum air mengambil kesempatan melayani selera seksual dengan menonton pornografi pada masa yang tidak diizinkan.Kita semua terharu dengan dunia siber dan kehebatanya dan kuasanya. Rasanya jika sehari tidak melihat internet kita merasa patah sayap engin mengaksess maklumat dan kita ras ada satu macam kekosongan dan vakuum dalam situasi tersebut.Keadaan ini merupakan satu dilema dan konflik yang perlu diatas

.Dalam memikirkan dilema tersebut anak saya Maisarah Muhammad Rais menghadiahkan saya buku Online dengan Tuhan karangan Zulkifli Khair. Buku ini bukanklah cerita fasal mahasiswa tetapi releven untuk semua kaum Muslim.Pada mulanya saya ingat buku ini adalah saperti maksud judulnya tetapi setelah mengikuti nya saya dapati Zulkifli ingin kita"" berhubung dengan Tuhan tanpa wayar.""

Saya merasa kagum juga dengan penulis ini yang menulis secara rengkas padat tetapi informatif dan berkesan sekali..Mesej yang ingin disampaikan nya berteraskan pegangan agama dan mendemonstrasikan perhubungan atau online yang sebenarnya dengan Allah swt. Izinkan saya memetik beberapa konsep dari buku ini. Zulkifli Khair menegaskan bahawa sesungguhnya internet itu makhluk sesuatu yang dicipta dan Allah itu sebenarnya Pencipta. Sayangnya manusia lupa tentang hakikat demikian.

Kita kagum dengan teknoloji yang canggih tetapi lupa semua itu akan berakhir juga.Zulkifli Khair juga mengingati manusia bahawa browser yang sebenarnya adalah Al Quran dan manusia perlu meletakanya ke pedestal yang tertinggi dan terpuji kerana mencakupi soal jiwa, agama, sains dan sains sosial. Online dengan Tuhan memerangsangklan kita supaya mengamalkan kesyukuran dan mengamalkan alhamdulilah. Zulkifli juga mencabar manusia supaya menghayati Islam dengan sebenarnya mengingati supaya jangan lupa untuk mendirikan sembahyang. Dan masa yang dihadiahkan kepada internet dajal (katanya) sehingga pengurusan masa menjadi tidak terkawal akibahnya manusia kerugian.

Rakan saya Wan Ahmad Jailani Wan Ngah( yang berminat mengenai portfolio yang sedang saya bincangkan) juga ada membayangkan sesungguhnya manusia itu bersolat tetapi wayar perhubungan solat itu kadangkala terganggu kerana tidak khusyuk .Disini saya hanya sempat bercerita beberapa gagasan idea yang timbul dari buku ini .Apa yang menjadi buku ini menarik kerana illustrasi dan surah surah yang dikemukakan. Sub headingh yang digunakan menarik saperti "Wahyu tanpa Wayar""""Hantu Internet Vs Hantu Perempuan""""Klik Connect umtuk Cinta""""Klik Makruf Delete Mungkar""Kata tak nak untuk Porno"" istilah istilah internet yang lazim di gunakan

.Saya berpendapat pesanan Zulkifli senang difahami dan dikuti. Saya akhirnya bertanya pada diri saya iaitu Apakah dunia siber dan spiritualiti dan agama itu perlu bertentangan?Apakah kedua elemen teknologi dan agamaitu bukan saling ber kollaborasi untuk kebaikan sejagat? Dan apakah manusia itu tidak berupaya membuat pertimbangan rasional dalam menghadapi dua stimulasi yang kuat pengaruhnya?

Saya berpendapat melalui penghayatan pendidikan matlamat buku ini boleh direalisasikan kerana bagi saya Khair manusia itu insan yang boleh berfikir dan memahami. Biarlah kita berakhir dengan nada optimistik supaya kita yakin tentang nilai yang diterapkan dalam buku ini dan kita yakin bahawa kemurnian sesuatu matlamat direstui Illahi.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


The Father's Day is celebrated throughout the world to appreciate fatherhood and the good deeds that fathers do or to remind fathers of the good deeds they should do as fathers. I remembered when my daughter Zuraidah Muhammad Rais or nicknamed Azu was born in a University of Southern California Hospital in Los Angeles during winter, immediately after that the gyneacologist and hospital who attended to me gave a Certificate of Fatherhood to my husband. I was indeed amused then because i have never seen such token before.

Thats a token of appreciation for the role of fathers. But fatherhood does not stop at the birth of a child. It begins and does not end till forever more even after the bride is given away by the father.That reminds me i attended several weddings whereby several fathers became so sad and emotional giving away their darling daughters to their sons in laws. The truth then shows that fathers too love their sugar and spice very much as daughters can be close to fathers just as sons are. But Kent Nerburn said that it is much easier to become a father than to be one. It is easy for a father to have children than for children to have a real father .Fathers have to be good role models modeling the goodness to be emulated by their children. They must be the family's tower of strength indeed.

I remembered my father who is a doting patient man who cared for us. I believe i inherited his patience till today. My father used to sit with me on the swing made of gunny sack and lullaby me to sleep. He was company when my very busy politically tuned mother went around doing her campaigns during the election rallies. But my father died young at the age of 62 when i was away at USA doing my PHD. I managed to see him three months in Malaysia before he died. When i left to fly back to USA i remembered the sad moments at the ward. He knew he was going to die and said he wished to send me to the airport. But he was then so thin and fragile and i felt so sick to see his bony structures left from suffering gout complications.When i gave birth through a Cesaearan at the hospital he gave endless prayers for me and assured my mother i would be alright.

I am sure your fathers have been the source of inspiration too. Malaysian fathers are pretty aware of Happy Fathers Day but it is hope they will respond concretely to the more active meaningful role of fathers other than being a disciplinarian or money provider. Fathers can be more active by interacting more with their children. Like when the baby goes to sleep a father can sing a song or read a book till the child fall asleeps. Fathers can be friends too like joing the children in family games such as golf or attending to the school activities. Fathers tend to protect and be the protector which is quite normal in todays "untrusted" world.

Fathers and mothers have to be consistent on the parenting style for their children. Sometimes the father will oppose a plan but the mother will agree and the child will get confused. There are such things nowadays such as father abscence. A man can disappear for six months (outstation, on duty ) and return home only to reenforce his role of disciplining a child while the mother has employed a less disciplinarian role during his abscence. So much confusion indeed

.Are you a good father? How does one measure such claim? Our prime minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak stated that a father's true love is when he touches the child's heart. Dato Seri Najib reminded fathers that fathering is not about lavishing gifts and material wealth but rather it is about equipping the child with the right tools, values and upbringing to manage their well being after they leave the comfort of the parents' care.

A sound advice i may say. But there are several who are disappointed about their fathers and recalled that their fathers were not around their single mothers. I attended the Workshop on Keluarga Sakinah (Sakinah's Family) rather an Islamic perspective on family upbringing stressing the important role of fathers and mothers at each stage of child development. Research has shown that without fathers as positive role models their sons' development will be affected. The latter would either be too aggressive or too timid and would also be rebellious. Thus a divorce may affect sons if the father is not around to give both moral , emotional support and companionship.

Should fathers also receive the Award called "Ibu Mithali" and the equivalent for fathers to be called "Bapa Mithali"?? I guess so in appreciation of fathers.And President Barrach Obama 's Dreams from My Father stated that Obama organized his life on the ideals given to him by his Kenyan father although of course Obama might have missed a lot more from his father. Fathers are important to develop stable families in the community. It is sad when fathers do not become the role models that their families envisage.

A friend stated he has known friends who did not have the blessing of having fathers. They grew up lost and helpless and always regretted their fathers were not available.Another told me its better then to have a father who is a devil but is indeed around than to have no father at all????Wow whats your response to that? To end with an optimistic note: Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest richest inheritance-Renkel


Thursday, June 18, 2009


Ever felt a lump in your throat ,a big headache, some stomach cramps , a dont know what to do syndrome , stuck in a limbo, a continuous disappointment and a day when nothing was right??"Ever felt a sense of helplessness and boredom?Ever felt the world was against you and you were just nobody?Perhaps you were really stressed and conquered by all the stressors around you. Modern living and its demands will strangle you with stress.The traffic jam with the cars all neck top neck crawling and the inconsiderate drivers who overtook you right or left made you angry right?Look at those motorcyclists whose sense of space is completely distorted just waiting to knock or be knocked by your car.And you reached your office with piles of unattended or uncompleted work to be accomplished.In schools if you are a good teacher you will graciously accept all the directives from your boss or senior regardless of whether you are burnt out with never ending expectation.

What about life stressors like health., inadequate income, failure at your job, no promotion ,separation from your beloved ones and debts to be paid? Even the arrival of a new baby causes stress or a promotion.Yes indeed the causes of stress are numerous.You cannot delete these stressors but you can avoid some encounter with them or reduce the possibility of a head on collision. Ever looked a stressful face? No smile no light no plesantness just plain bored look and one of full of apathy or indifference.To be constructive or motivated one need a bit a reasonable amount of stress. However stress overload for a continuous period spells disaster for your mental health.Thus everyday you should examine your attitude, soul and strengths. Everday check your moods and whether the moods are negative and consistently low. To begin with develop a healthy self concept and self esteem.

You got to reward yourself and have a pat on your back. No one will reward you most of the time and so you should be kind to your honored and esteemed self. Being kind to yourself means acknowledging your eccentricity. Remember the famous quote ""Dont worry because worry is a great killer"Norman Vincent Peale once reflected on a question asked by one of the participants in his seminar . The question was "Sir I am indeed so depressed: Can you tell me where i can have no stress?"To this query Peale showed the curious man the cemetry and he told the man that indeed in that cemetry lies the dead who are no longer living and therefore logically have no stress.(Of course we are not talking about the hereafter here)

The effects of overloaded stress are numerous such as psychosomatic illness, lack of productivity at work , poor interpersonal relationships and a distorted view of yourself and life .Therefore look at every disappointment as a challenge and as an opportunity to become better for it is not the failure that counts but the step you undertake to stand up after each fall to become a stronger person. Since the environment we live in contains stress try to eliminate stress by identifying the stressors.

If you have a nasty poisonous character in the workplace ignore or aviod him because he will be a wet blanket minifying your dreams. Avoid pessimists who nwill tell you it is going rain everyday although you know sunshine will come out and the day will be bright. My friend Psychologist Dato Dr Mat Saat Baki once mentioned if you are stressed change your moods . He said he whistles everytime he walks because that makes him very happy. Of course Mr Bean will keep your stress level down by making you laugh.

Maybe we should honor Steven Covey 's principles such as do your planning early because its mighty important for the long run. One who likes to wipe out fires and get cramed at the deadline will face stress. Everyday first thing in the morning list your gratitude to God for the whole world at your feet. I remarked to a counselor recently that i feel that i am just doing so many things and am not certain at times where i am heading. He responded "Live your life to the fullest and count the roses along the way "

There is this song by Mac Davis which one should look into and appreciate the lyrics. We need thus to be in the right mental frame to be able to appreciate life and to find meaningfulness in everthing that we do. We need the coping skills to manage stress such as cognitive restructuring, a sense of belonging , humbleness , gratitude to God , a healthy body, great self esteem and support. In his book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Robin S Sharma said "When one consistently direct one's mind to live in the present one will always have boundless energy , no matter what time the clock reflects" and many of my friends including a bright young engineer Wan Ahmad Jailani Wan Ngah agreed to this mainly "Yesterday has gone so live for today and tomorrow and be a better person" .

And to quote Maureen stress is not what happens to us . It is our response to what happens and response is something we can CHOOSE. For me personally i have faced several challenges in my life but i am grateful i have met those challenges to make me more experienced and perhaps wiser today.

Remember what Mareen Pace said" Stress is the trash of modern life; we all generate it but if you dont dispose it properly it will pile up"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

BOOK HIGHLIGHTS:- The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

This is a powerful book on human motivation. The Secret describes the law of attraction in the universe. This magnificent law governs all energy attracting energy to like energy.According to the author, everything in the universe is energy and that one's thoughts , feelings and beliefs determine the vibration and frequency of your energy. The energy of gratitude attract further positive things in life.The secret is one of the most powerful tools one can use to transform life into joy. List the things you are grateful for in life and you are maximizing your magnetic power to attract your wildest dreams and wishes. A
new book entitled "The Quranic Law of Attraction" has appeared in the market . The latter also talks about the Law of Attraction but from the Quranic perspective.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


The present research i am conducting is exactly this topic that relates to boys underachievement.We have all known that girls in Malaysia excel in all subjects in SPM exam compared to boys and the former has been the winner.This is not just in Malaysia but it is universal occurring all over the world. Scared? Panicky? Indifferent? What feelings do you have right now? Future mothers may feel a bit of fear you know because if they have sons they will have to address this issue.

Boys who later equals MEN traditionally were the bulwark of society or in Malay idiom the ayam tambatan.(someone who you can depend upon) What happen to all the boys? This reminds me of a song . Are you familiar with the song.?Forgive me my long term memory just fails at this point in time. Yes if boys fail miserably in the academic setup they will be shun from the mainstream. The mainstream is where all converge to contest, to fight , to struggle to prove their worth in society.You fail thus you go out of the mainstream to the sideline.

I am not being harsh or pessimistic just being factual. Face it !!This society adores and identifies with academic excellence so do our good neighbors Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan. One of the previous Minister of Education stated that he was afraid that entrance to the university in terms of boy-girls ratio would have social implications. University helps adolescents socialized to get their life partners. However this cannot happen if the number of boys is far below the number of girls with the 65% (boys) and 35% girls.

Although this is a social issue but it is urgent to address. Research has shown how boys differ from girls in managing studying. Girls are said to be more dedicated in studying and giving more attention. They are more disciplined and less distracted in their studying.Boys are easily influenced by their peer groups especially if the peer groups are negative or show anti social behaviors. Then there was this question about the psycho motor body kinesthetic characteristics of boys who are always active or agile. Boys need challenges in studying such as doing projects instead of sitting patiently mugging.

The exam system does not seem to favor boys they said. Exams favor the girls as girls tend to like memory work more than boys.Boys love to use their big muscles and swing their arms . Another reason put forward is that some boys prefer to stop schooling and go to work to support their families.As such they do not have long term ambition or that they are able to postpone need gratification till a future date. Then there is the gender stereotyping upbringing of boys and girls. Boys can leave the house and may return home a bit late or late.Thus parents give boys the freedom to go out because they feel they are boys and can possibly take care of their physical self. Parents are so fearful of daughters getting into trouble outside of home so they are more strict

.Thus girls can focus on their studies much better. Another opinion is that boys claim they work smart but not hard and that masculinity means working smart not hard.They claimed they do not want to be called or identified as sissy.Another claimed that the controversy about boy-girl seems to be an attempt to favor boys more , to help them more and evade the girls. Thus educational enhancement should be fairly given regardless of gender.Educational opportunity must be equitable for all boys and girls.

Some universities attempt silently to accept boys into the universities by lowering the entrance requirements.Although this may not be substantiated by research evidence, however these have been observational information. We therefore ask whether such practice is necessary or biased or unethical. Whatever the issues in this discussion about gender underachievement or achievement we cannot sweep issues under the carpet.

In this case in depth interviews to examine the psyche of boys are deemed highly important for such qualitative feedback can spill so many "'beans "out of the cans or open the pandora box or clean cobwebs out of the closet. Interestingly an opinion testifies that boys do not have male role models to identify with. Right after birth till university females are their mentors whereas boys need these role models from male teachers to emulate. In this case the education industry must address this dilema.

Hopefully the Ministry of Education can encourage more males in the teaching industry.Fathers told me boys refuse to listen to female teachers although they do not explicitly testify to that argument.Well i hope this discussion receives the attention of all so that we can take steps to counter the boy-girl dilema

Monday, June 15, 2009


I would ask you to reflect now on how your teachers have taught you whether in primary , secondary or at the university.Do you remember vividly the qualities of your teacher. You may have a mix of excellent, good or poor ones or you may have all good ones. I hope all or most of your teachers are good ones . Unfortunately one seems to remember the bad ones the ones that ring a big chime in your memory bell. I have several good teachers who helped make me what i am today. One was this female teacher who was Mrs XCD who knew how to reward how our efforts and success. She would lineup the row of dolls on my table and if we obtained the numbers of 1- till 10 in class we get to choose any of the lovely dolls . I forgot what was the rewards for boys(forgive me!) Then i had this teacher who was alert to the many differences between us in class. She would give personal individual attention and did not count too much of her time.She was Mrs YCK. MR ABM was a patient man quite old and he waited for us to patiently enter the class after recess(perhaps the students were very naughty and refused to be punctual) . I have a male teacher who advised students who fell in love stating that well they were still young and growing and that there was time for loving later on. The exciting thing is i remembered many teachers who made me happy and cheerful by their mannerisms. One was this lady teacher MISS NNM who put a red hibiscus on her hair and keep the boys looking. Another was this Head Assistant who was always busy in meetings and told us to do the tasks on page this to page that. My mathematics teacher had a long ruler every time he entered class and would hit us soflty on the head if we were stubborn. My History teacher loved the textbook and asked each of us to read page by page according to turns and to underline the main points. My Science teacher MR CVN was good looking but unfortunately favored some of us to others. I remembered his favorite whom he paid attention too most of the time. Then i had my English Literature teacher MR LMN who asked to learn by drawing.We drew Tun TEJA in our excercise books much to the amusement of the boys. So there was a continuum of teachers who left footprints in the sands of time shall we say. I have also a teacher who loves teaching and would come early to class but left the class late.I used to win debates and speech competition and this one teacher MR HGK supported me through and through till the day of contest.I had this disciplinarian who would asked us to stand on the chair or went out of the classroom. I remembered how we were asked to write hundreds of lines expressing" I will not forget to do my homework" or " I will not forget to bring my books to school" I wish i can meet all my teachers but i know some may not be around anymore. Great teachers have good interpersonal touches and made an impact on your perception and attitude to studying. At the varsity i was so taken up by the aura of some lecturers . There were the smartly dressed and pleasant faces as well as being smart upstairs. We looked up to them and at times feared them. My Form teachers were mostly good organizers and gave good guidance to the learners. They monitored the class and assessed the learning climate consistently.One or two of my classmates fell in love with the teachers . As an example student BKM fell in love or was infatuated with MRS SHK even though she was pregnant.Amusing?It showed that teenagers can be so vulnerable. Well then where do excellent teachers come from? Definitely we consider both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The famous misleading statement "If you dont know how to do anything teach" is so humiliating indeed.Teaching is both a Science and an Art. Thus teachers need proper effective training to get the Science of it and their natural inclination and apttitude to create the Art of it. Teaching excellence comes from the wisdom of experience as there actually is no short cut to acquire wisdom. Thus training period must justifiably be adequate to warrant the correct impact. Too short a training time is like a train speeding and one has no time to look at the ambience around in the environment. Too slow and dragging may make one lose the motivation.I would rather focus on the quality of the training as now there is so much demand for creative teaching. Teachers in their career go through several phases as Lilian Katz stressed. After the honeymoon period theres reality to accept. Then as the years go by motivation seeps and one get demotivated. To avoid a burn out do effective reflection and develop new motivations. Those who are about to end their career do not forget to leave a legacy that is to share your precious experiences with the novice.Teachers can make or break the students . As one psychologist states the teacher communicates her hopes or despairs to their students. Yes we remember our teachers to our dying day for sure. I wish all teachers a happy fruitful and meaningful career wherever they may be .

Friday, June 12, 2009


Approximately two weeks ago i attended a lunch talk on Thinking and the speaker was the honorable Tan Sri Wan Mohd Zahid bin Wan Mohd Noordin the ex Director General of Education at Holiday Inn Glenn Marie Shah Alam. This talk was organized by AKEPT(Higher Education Leadership Academy) and Chairman of the Board of Advisors of AKEPT. It was a lively talk and Wan Zahid was an excellent speaker with great interpersonal skills.He walked up and down the stage to interact with the audience challenging them to counter his arguments.I sat at the front table thus i could observe him very clearly. The talk was more on the basis of a critical reflection on the current issue of thinking. This type of talk spells more questions than answers.The topic was Thinking and Wan Zahid proposed that thinking becomes the backbone or core of the university curriculum instead of the background. This would mean that thinking skills are central to the curriculum while the disciplines are positioned at the sides or periphery .All these while we are accustomed to the disciplines being at the center and the thinking skills stay at the sides. I remembered how the KBKK the Kemahiran Berfikir Kritis and Kreatif (Critical and Creative Thinking Skills)was introduced and implemented in schools. However university lecturers told me that they are not satisfied with students who entered the varsity who are not able to think .These students do not like to think beyond what the lecturer communicates in the lecture halls or tutorial rooms. Most often the substance was regurgitate and one get the same material back or with the minimum of changes or additions.Wan Zahid stressed that one has to become a rebel to be creative .Thus one has to develop rebellious students?I agreed with Wan Zahid on his proposal to develop the thinking curriculum for the universities . However i posed this question to him. "Dont you think that the thinking skills should be embedded in the courses?Or dont you think the lecturer claim that these thinking skills are already embedded as required by MQA (Malysian Qualification Agerncy?)I was also thinking about the chicken or the egg . I told Wan Zahid which comes first the thinking skills as naturally developed by the experts for the disciplines or are they already inherent in these disciplines or are we going to develop these thinking skills to become the foundation or premise of the curriculum.? The question of the chicken or the egg of which comes first is a very interesting one. Universities are supposed to be very transdisciplinary in their curriculum. However much as have been propagated university lecturers tend to guard their own turfs claiming their expertise in the said areas. A common denominator of course should be the problem based or issue based curriculum which one has to develop. At the preschool level it is much easier to accomplish this because the preschool implements the thematic approach in teaching and learning which integrate all domains of development of the child . Can the university lecturers agree to develop their curriculum along this path? Wan Zahid also reflected on his experiences in postgraduate school stating that he had a very strict professor who insisted that he should think for himself and not be influenced by the writers from the references he read.I concurred with him on his proposal of the thinking curriculum but i do certainly for see that much collaboration and brainstorming as well as in depth discussions have to be accomplished at the university.It must be an exciting but manageable and rewarding journey to establish a new paradigm to enhance knowledge and thinking skills. At the end of the day we would have to establish how to evaluate students on their thinking skills and the processes they go through.At the end of the day we would want employers who will give us feedback on the thinking ability of their employees who are graduates from the universities. Thinking finally is something not everyone likes to do just as common sense in not common after all. Shall we ask Socrates or Einstein's followers to demonstrate????To be creative in thinking the teaching learning anbience must be positive flexible and rewarding. We do need thinkers who think for the 22scd Century! To sign off i must thank AKEPT for inviting me to this enlightening talk. Thank You Very Much


As our society advances into the technological age and knowledge based society we tend to become very academic in our approaches to education . Besides the hero Superman we have superwomen, super parents and we wish to produce the super child. A friend mentioned that we are also producing little academic robots . Do you agree with that?Why not? Nowadays one must obtain as many A's as possible and to achieve that parents send their 6 year old to tuition classes . Parental demands on the kindergartens and nurseries will force the latter to concede to the demands. After all the preschools are dependent on parental patronage. Well there are exceptions of course to mere determination of how much fees to charge. In addition how many subjects are children supposed to swallow?Any how many activities per day ?ranging from tuition to religious class to swimming and martial arts. What happen to children nowadays? Compared to my childhood days the kids nowadays are different. Smarter of course due the technological gadgets around. You can claim that of course measured by environmental stimulations and the responses given to such attractions or distractions. However what do modern kids missed? Well during my childhood days we are one with the natural environment. We love nature and maybe our natural intelligence was greater.(Thanks to Howard Gardner's Natural Intelligence) I remembered running with my friends to the riverbank behind my kampong house after the rain just to jump into the river from the riverbank. I remembered how we went into the muddy pond and picked kangkong(a type of green veetable) from them. I remembered how we got into the paddy fields and we were not scared of lintah getting upon our little feet. Of course there was my grandfather's orchard with all types of fruits and we even climbed the rambutan( Malaysian fruit) and coco trees. Life was wonderfully natural and delightful.Then as we walked suddenly the itek angsa (type of duck)came to attack us and we were not afraid. The games we played were all natural like konda kondi,( type of game) playing marbles, keteng teng(type of game) and pondok pondok( house). The boys collected spiders to put in the match boxes.There was no Thesaurus (toy for us) then. We developed the imaginable train from sand , strings and empty tins. I used to go up the swing from the Ciku Ayah Tree in front of my kampong(village) mansion.We played with mud, sand, water and rain and there was fun and fun everywhere. Life was indeed simple and we were not afraid to go to the shops without our parents to help buy oil, flour or sugar. Life was pretty safe. The air we breathed was fresh and we look forward to hear the early morning rooster (our alarm clock) We learn t by doing and observing .We mixed very well with adults during kampong activities like the kenduri and Hari Raya .So what is the moral of this narrative? Early childhood is so different nowadays. Its much more complicated and demanding.I certainly hope kids nowadays have their share of the natural environment and joy because childhood comes only once.But of course the second childhood comes later in very old age when senility seeps in. As parents try to provide experiences which can be found in the natural environment for the kids instead of roaming around concrete jungles only. In this way life can be interestingly balanced looked from a different perspective.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


My friends and me were having tea with Tun Dr Siti Hasmah at the Tun Mahathir's Office Menara Petronas yesterday.Datin Mardhiah suggested we meet Hasmah to present to her the coffeee table book "Citra Gemilang""It was around 1140 in the morning.We were actually a bit late but Hasmah greeted us warmly and enthusiatically. We delivered our YDP PUSPANITA Yg Bhg Puan Sri Wan Noorlina''s salam who were not able to attend. Tun Hasmah went through the Coffee Table Book of PUSPANITA page by page asking questions and giving comments at the same time.At the same time she rendered memories of he rself, Tun Mahathir and family as well as friends.We laughed in response to the humourous anecdotes. What a charming and experienced former First Lady. She is soft and gentle but at the same time assertive and strongly certain about her roles , values and goals.As an educationist she made several interesting remarks and as an educationist i responded in like manner.There were several topics aired but i now wish to share with you on the topic about robots. Tun Hasmah reflected on her visits to Korea and Japan and how she was impressed by the study of robots over there mentioning how our students managed to excel excellently in such study.This is good motivation for the rest in Malaysia right? We really laughed over how she described the robots which she said a small one would cost RM4000; It was a witty rendition of what the cute little robots can do and the further implications in our daily lives.At one point we laughed quite endlessly because according to her the cute little robots will "lie down"(sleep) if they are not perked to do work and follow instructions. What striked my imagination is how robots can be used to study human development as in child study of which i am interested. I remembered how Hideki Kozima, Cocoro Nakagawa and Hiroyuki Yano from the National Insitute of Information and Communication Technology Kyoto Japan has built child like humanoid ,infanoid and a small creature like robot Keepon to investigate interpersonal communication.It was very interesting to observe how children actually interact with robots.Children observed what stimuli the robots perceived and how robots performed in response.The experiments tested models of social intelligence,and provided the needs for psychological investigations with implications for pedagogy and child studies. Well here is the potential for robotics in developmental psychology right?We must remember we can built robots with facial human emotions.Going further and using our imagination can we visualize how these robots can be designed and developed to assist us at home? How about a robot to man the kitchen and do household chores? And of course a fuller potential at the hospitals. Serious about this possibility? Or conservatively a No No? No matter what, Tun Hasmah certainly hoped that the field of robotics in Malaysia can advance benchmarking with the Japanese achievement .I concur with this opinion positively. In my heart with efforts, motivation, knowledge and support Malaysia Boleh!!! It was nearly 2pm when we left Petronas feeling very happy and fulfilled.

Hope you enjoy the photo inserted above of me and my PUSPANITA friends with Tun Dr Siti Hasmah

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Parents can help children develop a sense of science at home.After all the home or house can be a science laboratory too.Why not? The atmosphere is more informal and cosy and human interactions are likely to be warmer right? So we can educate our little minds to become young scientists. Like in my house we have Sofea Marissa, Sulaiman, Bashira, Maryam ,and last but not least Imran who is just after one year old. Children have open minds are just very curious and very happy to know more about something.So why not try a few experiments to teach concepts in Science even before they go the Elementary School. Said Chapman ""Are you bonkers about Biology,crazy about chemistry or mad about meteorology?A fanatical physicist or avid astronomer?These experiments can answer the famous W Questions such as Why?What?When?What will happen What if?. Lets say the kids want to be chemists .Ok we will have the Make the Starch exsperiment. I visited Petronas Petroscience and bought some Polmer Growing Toys. Wow we watched them grow as well diminish in size in plain and salty water. Shall we as the young girls to bake Gingerbreadman cookies?Thus there are many wonderful experiments to delight the young minds. Be be careful make sure they are conducted under mom's or dad's supervision. Happy Experimenting and Let me Know the Results

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I must say the debate on the use of English has been dragging for too long . Every one has his or her opinion depending from where one comes from and what values one uphold. In philosophy i remembered there is actually nothing right or wrong depending on how one substantiates one's stance. If it is logical its ok provided one does not hurt oneself or the welfare of others.Thats why my late colleague and esteemed lecturer, Prof Hassan Langgulung says "well you either be a philosopher or be a good housewife" Well that might be too simplistic. I may be biased indeed because i was brought up in English medium . Infact i went straight to English medium school. Well what do i have to say? I will say that it is ok to make English compulsory to pass SPM.
Why ?because i believe in the utility value of English .I believe English is international. Apologies i am not saying BM is of lower status or value. From my experience i have seen students who are good in English are the ones who did English for special purposes and who have to read English texts for academic references. To develop your language proficiency you have to read widely and if the references are up to date in English you must read. No way to avoid that. Do not mistrust me. I love BM too. I had excellent grades in BM . I can express myself well in BM. I am creative in BM. I compose poems in BM. One therefore has to have the best of both world and be articulate in both. What makes you a better scholar? definitely if you are multi lingual and you know several languages. Infact at the kindergarten you must teach two languages and an extra foreign language like Japanese or Arabic. We have to be open minded about this knowledge seeking in a knowledge based society .Use all avenues to grap all the knowledge. If i am younger you bet i will learn four or five languages. You must trust yourself and trust others to trust themselves to learn. Learn for the sake of learning and learn for the sake of kbnowledge

Monday, June 8, 2009


Recently the Ministry of Education announced that Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia candidates will only need to take ten subjects for the exams. This proposal creates controversial discussion citing pros and cons.The Minister of Education cited that the reasons being(a) the need for students to focus on ten subjects thereby giving opportunity for other aspects of development (b) a more systematic criterion for entry to universities(c) a more varied evaluation or grading (d) deployment of teachers to overcome shortage and (e) reducing urban-rural gap.While i must say there's some form of standardization and streamlining and that the reasons are themselves commendable we also have to look at the implications of such proposal when implemented. This is to ensure we can be ready with countermeasures.One point that needs to be taken is that the country is now pursuing the philosophy "the child is the jewel of the nation" and that academically talented children need to be given every opportunity to excel.This proposal would be regressive in the sense that we are not championing the said philosophy of the academically gifted. Secondly only 10% were said to have taken more than ten subjects ; they must be the superbly academically talented . Even if we limit to 10 subjects the normal curve will still appear with 10% achieving very good grades and 10% achieving extremely poor grades.We must also consider the group that has been taking more than ten subjects such as from the religious schools who will be left with no choice but to choose ten subjects.Definitely in terms of knowledge acquisition in a knowledge based society this group will be so deprived except if they venture outside the system to gain more knowledge.We do need statistics to show that indeed the 10% who took extra subjects did indeed tip the balance in terms of university entrance or they did not. If it is the latter then it would not be fair to deduce that the 10% who took more subjects created an upper elitist strata. If we believe in democratization of education we should allow flexibility in choosing the number of subjects.Parents being very demanding and aggressive nowadays will always looked forward to furnishing extra input for their children especially from the higher affluent groups. Yes indeed the same vicious cycle of the better will be best will be maintained. I should stress here whether one should indeed practice a more differentiated curriculum to cater a more varied group. I believe that the Ministry has the best of intentions but it is of paramount importance to determine the criterion of selecting ten most preferred subjects . In other words the Ministry will have to establish both the theoretical and working framework to establish this. Uniformity and homogeneity can be the order of the day but it should not stifle creativity in the long run after all the Vision 2020 takes care that all child will be given the fullest opportunity to excel in their own right.


Nowadays children tend to grow up with the TV and videos and the internet. I have seen that they can be in front of all these modern technological devices everyday every morning and if given permission at night too. Parents and helpers find these devices very useful to occupy themselves and their kids. We live in a world of ICT advancement and we thank ICT for making this society more knowledge based and we more knowledge conscious. Children gain new knowledge and improve their vocabulary .However research also shows that technology can have some negative side effects . Such as on the development of aggressive behavior. Seeing violent movies can make one violent too. This can apply to both children and adults.Why? According to the psychologist Bandura on social learning, we learn much by observation . When we watch for example the TV we may pay attention to what we see through our senses. After that process we register what we saw and try to reproduce or emulate what we see.Thus if there is too much time allocated to watching aggressive movies children will find it rewarding and approved. Of course playing computer games with very attractive and varied media feeds on the children's curiosity and amusement. However there must be some amount of human interactions in our daily lives. A friend told me everyone in the house is so focused in his/her notebook.As a result they forget their surroundings.Well parents can help monitor that there are stable routines to be followed and creative endeavors to be pursued. Children expect stability in the environment besides being curious and imaginative. Privileges must be balanced with responsibility , criticisms with praise

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Malaysia One - Aspiring and inspiring

My Dear Viewers

We have just familiarized ourselves with Malaysia One as expressed by our Prime Minister
Indeed to some Malaysian One maybe something already known but to some it may be new. Whatever we must accept that it is inspiring to have a new code, a new banner and a new brand name. But the new brandname may contain ittems we are already familiar with such as the noble virtues and values as found in Rukun Negara, PIPP, The way Forward and Vision 2020.
Values stated in Malaysia One include punctuality, preserverance, humbleness, acceptance, loyalty,integriti and meritocracy. The most important requirement of attaching values to our lives is that we must be convinced about them and we must live such values to the fullest ability . Incalcation of values sometimes take a long long time because one can sit in the comfort zone too long with old values. How do you feel saying Malaysia One out loud? Does it make you feel responsible to do your best to uphold its principles. ?If you do not feel such way then much has to be done to change mental sets and to enhance your affects and feelings. Good values die hard but they must be ingrained in our daily lives. Thus we need good models of good behavior to thrive. Community leaders such as politicians, educationists and people like you and me must be able to demonstrate such values for the young ones to emulate. Secondly how shall we measure whether such values have been achieved?Look around in the environment whether people talk about them and whether demonstrate such values in thoughts action and attitude. Prime Minister you encourage us to be better than our selves or our "old " selves. I sincerely hope the values of Malaysia One can become the backbone or thrust of our school curriculum and taken further our philosophy of living in multiracial diverse Malaysia-

Have a Happy Sunday