Thursday, 8 December 2016

MUET set to be recognized globally - MPM

muet logo malaysian university english test
Malay Mail Online:
The Malaysian Examinations Council (MEC) wants to make the Malaysian University English Test (MUET) of similar standard with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

Its chairman, Prof Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said to achieve the standard, they have roped in a team from Cambridge English Language, England, to assist the MUET Syllabus and Specification Committee.

“MEC hopes the new MUET will meet the CEFR standard and can be marketed to foreign students wishing to study in Malaysia.

“The Cambridge English Language report shows that MUET is of similar standard to CEFR,” he told a press conference on MUET, STPM and Malay Language Proficiency Certification Test for Non-Malaysians (MLPCT), here today.
Looks like The Malaysian University English Test (MUET) is set to become an internationally-recognised English qualification in no less than 2 years. If MEC (or MPM) manage to pull this together, it could be a good news for Malaysian students planning to further study overseas as by then MUET should be on par or recognised globally as the same level as IELTS or TOEFL. The immediate benefits would be cheaper test price.
 
The Star Online:
Prof Mohamed Mustafa added that the fine-tuning exercise was expected to be completed in 18 months.

He said MPM was planning to launch “MUET on Demand” in 2018, a form of e-testing that would enable candidates to take the examination at any time, rather than the fixed sessions held in March, July and Novem­ber each year.
Good news to those students failing to get their desired MUET results (bands), soon they will have more chances to retake MUET.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

10 Injured When Bus Ferrying 33 Pupils & 4 Teachers Crashes into Toll Booth Divider

Teacher Student School Bus Crash South Ipoh Toll
At least 10 pupils and teachers from SRJKC Jit Sin, Bukit Mertajam, Penang were injured when the bus they were travelling in, rammed into one of the toll booth’s divider at the Ipoh (South) Toll Plaza here today. In the 5pm incident, the bus carrying 33 pupils and four teachers were on their way back to Penang from a school trip to Malacca and the Cameron Highlands.
The New Strait Times:
At least 10 pupils and teachers from SRJKC Jit Sin, Bukit Mertajam, Penang were injured when the bus they were travelling in, rammed into one of the toll booth’s divider at the Ipoh (South) Toll Plaza here today.

In the 5pm incident, the bus carrying 33 pupils and four teachers were on their way back to Penang from a school trip to Malacca and the Cameron Highlands.
The accident could have worse outcome, consider the same bus was driving to/from Cameron Highlands mountainous roads.
A teacher, Ng Kim Pee, 56, said she was so shocked when the bus driver suddenly screamed, exclaiming that the brake was not functioning.

“The driver was in a state of panic before he rammed into the divider. I did not manage to tell my pupils to be prepared as the incident happened so fast,” she said.
Before we conclude this as just another unavoidable accident, investigation should be launched to see if the bus was sent for routine maintenance.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

1BestariNet "Failed" Project Giving Out Free YES Mobile Phones to Teachers

Malaysia 1BestariNet project failed school teacher
Malaysiakini:
The Education Ministry has rolled out the second phase of 1BestariNet, described by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as a "failed" project, which will see 138,820 Altitude smartphones by Yes 4G distributed to teachers.

According to an Education Ministry circular to state education departments, the 138,820 Altitutde smartphones would be distributed to teachers in Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Malacca, Penang, Kedah and Perlis between October and December.

In Selangor, the devices were distributed in a number of special ceremonies attended by political leaders.

Previously, the PAC in its proceedings had branded the 1BestariNet project a failure and questioned why the government was extending the contract.

The Education Ministry planned for the project to run for 15 years at a cost of RM4.077 billion.
Why would a teacher need a mobile phone? Don't they already have their own smartphones? What they need instead is reliable and fast internet connection at schools instead of cheap YES mobile phones. Who would like to carry two phones and for what purpose does it serve? This is another example of 1BestariNet's doubtful expenditure.

Despite being called out by PAC as a "failed" project multiple times and failing all the important metrics, government still proceed with the project. Even a child can tell something fishy is happening...

Monday, 21 November 2016

Auditor-General to Audit 1BestariNet programme

PAC chairman Datuk Seri Hasan Ariffin
Malay Mail Online:
The Auditor-General (A-G) will conduct a follow-up audit on the Education Ministry’s RM 4.1 billion 1BestariNet programme nationwide as concerns about the programme remain within both the audit department and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

“We have decided that the A-G will make a follow-up audit and PAC members will visit the schools ourselves,” PAC chairman Datuk Seri Hasan Ariffin said during a press conference today after the A-G’s briefed to PAC on its latest report tabled in Parliament today. [...]

The cost for the first phase was RM663 million, but the programme was plagued by bad performance complaints from teachers and other stakeholders, Hasan said.

The PAC previously conducted its own inquiry into the programme after the A-G highlighted the delay in the programme’s implementation in the 2013 Audit Report.

In its report on the 1BestariNet probe tabled to Parliament in October this year, PAC urged a review for the whole programme due to the delay in delivery.
Surprising that such a failed project is not terminated or suspended but can carry on failing...

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Tips for UK-bound Malaysian students - star DJ Goldierocks

Navigating a new city can be daunting particularly if you are a student. International broadcast star DJ Goldierocks, a.k.a. Sam Hall, who was in Kuala Lumpur recently for The GREAT Britain Festival, shares with British Airways some rock solid tips on how Malaysian students can hit the ground running when they land in the UK.
International DJ and broadcaster DJ Goldierocks, a.k.a. Sam Hall,  was in Kuala Lumpur recently, courtesy of British Airways, to support the ‘Education is GREAT’ campaing

An alumnae of Goldsmiths, University London, DJ Goldierocks said, “Get an Oyster Card as soon as you land in London. It definitely helps you to save a lot on transportation cost.  Also, take the bus when you travel in London as this is the best way to understand the city. More importantly, embrace independence! There are lots of awesome things to do in the UK. You can explore the food markets and restaurants, or buy vintage clothes at the boutiques during the weekends. I can spend all day eating at Borough Market!”

DJ Goldierocks also shared her “must-go” places in the UK with students from Malaysia.

1. Bestival Festival, Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Music festival
“Bestival Festival is a must-go for music lovers! It is a major music festival in Isle of Wight and I would say it is THE BEST in the world! It happens every September.”

2. Gordon’s Wine Bar, London

Gordon's Wine Bar 1
“This is a bar at the Embankment where the pirates used to go! Generally, it is known as London’s oldest wine bar. They have amazing wines and a wonderful selection of cheese, and it’s very cheap. It is really a good place to chill. They serve hot food and cold plates, too.”
Gordon's Wine Bar 2

Gordon's Wine Bar

3. Greenwich, South London

“Greenwich is a very beautiful and magical place for ice-skating during Christmas with the Christmas carols playing surrounding the open-air ice rink.” DJ Goldierocks added, “One secret tip: Take the Thames Clippers Boat from Greenwich and you can have all the beautiful sight-seeing including the Tower of London and London Eye along the Thames River all the way to Chelsea and West London for just around £10!”
River Thames

4. Roundhouse, London

“Roundhouse in Camden is my favourite place for live music. It is an arts venue and they have incredible theatre, dance, and live music. You will be impressed by the atmosphere.”

5. Abersoch, North Wales

“Abersoch is my favourite seaside in the whole of UK. It is really far but Abersoch offers spectacular views from the beach. If you want to plan a short getaway with your friends during term break, this is the best place for picnic, surfing, or flying a kite. Definitely worth a visit!”

Travelling within the UK needs not be expensive. Malaysian students can now travel on British Airways’ World Traveller economy class and enjoy multiple benefits plus a free onward connection from London to one additional city within the UK or Europe.* Other great benefits including the double baggage allowance of up to 46kg per person and the flexibility to change travel dates at no cost.

Students can also take advantage of British Airways’ Fly and Rail Package, which lets them go the extra mile with just one itinerary. After landing in London Heathrow Terminal 5, students who have booked this package can continue their journey to Paddington station on Heathrow Express. From there, they can travel to one of the stops on the Great Western Railway, namely Bath, Bristol Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads, Cardiff, Exeter, Plymouth, Oxford, Par, Penzance, St Austell and Swansea. This is truly a seamless and stress-free package for students who need to make onward connections to any of these 11 destinations.

Terms and conditions:
  • Student fares are available from BA-appointed travel partners only.
  • Additional UK and European cities applicable to selected destinations*.
  • Offer cannot be combined with any other promotions or discounts.
  • Other terms and conditions apply.

About British Airways

British Airways' route network currently serves more than 190 destinations in 80 countries. British Airways currently operates one daily non-stop flight between Kuala Lumpur and London with the most technologically advanced Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. British Airways is the only carrier to offer a four-class configured aircraft on the route.

The airline operates from the award-winning London Heathrow Terminal 5. Exclusive to customers of British Airways and its sister airline Iberia, Terminal 5 can handle 30 million customers a year. In March 2016, Terminal 5 was named by Skytrax as the Best Airport Terminal for the fifth year running. London Heathrow also won the Best Airport Shopping award in the same year.

In October 2016, at the Business Traveller Awards, British Airways was awarded the Best Short-Haul Carrier and its frequent flyer programme, Executive Club was awarded the Best Frequent Flyer Programme for the 11th consecutive year. British Airways’ Concorde Room at London Heathrow Terminal 5 was awarded Best Airport Lounge. The oneworld alliance, of which British Airways was a founding airline, came in first in the Best Airline Alliance category for the fourth year running.

In February 2016, British Airways was named the top Business and Consumer Superbrand at the Superbrands 2016 Awards, becoming the first brand to win both prestigious titles two years in a row.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Engineering students innovate aerospace missions

Congratulations to University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka champion of the Universities Innovation Fun Day by Airbus Group in Malaysia! (From left : Muhammad Luqman Arif, Ida Nurfarhana bt Marzukhe, Raymond Lim - Managing Director Airbus Customer Service, Ahmad Fauzan Kadmin, and Muhammad Amirul Shah)
Congratulations to University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka champion of the Universities Innovation Fun Day by Airbus Group in Malaysia! (From left : Muhammad Luqman Arif, Ida Nurfarhana bt Marzukhe, Raymond Lim - Managing Director Airbus Customer Service, Ahmad Fauzan Kadmin, and Muhammad Amirul Shah)

Kuala Lumpur, 16 November – Engineering students from four local universities have put to the test their academic skills at the Universities Innovation Fun Day organised by Airbus Group in Malaysia.
The champion team from University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) won prize money of RM3,000, individual plaques and certificates of participation.
The champion team from University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) won prize money of RM3,000, individual plaques and certificates of participation.

Finalists of the Universities Innovation Fun Day with Airbus Group in Malaysia.
Finalists of the Universities Innovation Fun Day with Airbus Group in Malaysia.

Airbus Group invited over 20 public universities to participate in the Universities Innovation Fun Day. To qualify for the finals, participating teams had to submit a 3-minute video depicting a mission to carry a payload (raw eggs) in the air for a distance of 50m and to release the payload above ground 1.5m to a targeted area of not more than 20cm by 20cm.
Team from University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) undertaking Mission 1 - where they had to secure and deliver a package using drones.
Team from University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) undertaking Mission 1 - where they had to secure and deliver a package using drones.

How far can this go? The team from University of Malaya launching their aircraft.
How far can this go? The team from University of Malaya launching their aircraft.

Finalists comprised teams from University of Malaya, International Islamic University Malaysia, University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka and University of Technology. The team from University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka took home the winning prize of RM 3,000.
Team International Islamic University Malaysia explaining to the judges how their drone would work.
Team International Islamic University Malaysia explaining to the judges how their drone would work.

Team University of Technology Malaysia presenting their concept for Mission 3.
Team University of Technology Malaysia presenting their concept for Mission 3.

The event was hosted by University of Malaya at its Faculty of Engineering.
Team University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka all ready to go.
Team University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka all ready to go.

Cheers! The finalists of the Universities Innovation Fun Day with Airbus Group in Malaysia with their supporters, the judges and executives from Airbus Group.
Cheers! The finalists of the Universities Innovation Fun Day with Airbus Group in Malaysia with their supporters, the judges and executives from Airbus Group.

Raymond Lim, Managing Director Airbus Customer Service in Malaysia, said: “We value and encourage collaborations that enable students to apply themselves in a challenging and rich learning environment. It is an opportunity to nurture the young and to prepare them for a highly-competitive job market.”
The drone from University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) undertaking the Secure & Delliver Package Mission.
The drone from University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) undertaking the Secure & Delliver Package Mission.

The drone from one of the teams attempting to pick up a package.
The drone from one of the teams attempting to pick up a package.

“The Universities Innovation Fun Day by Airbus Group in Malaysia aims to encourage engineering students to build a passion and appreciation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, fundamental for Malaysia to build its future aviation and aerospace industry."

About Airbus Group

Airbus Group is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2015, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space and Airbus Helicopters – generated revenues of € 64.5 billion and employed a workforce of around 136,600.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

PAC to look into 1BestariNet's doubtful expenditure

E-learning Malaysia School Children Student Pupil
The New Strait Times Online:
There are three phases to the project, with the first implemented under a two-year, six-month contract that ended in June 2014. Last year, PAC contended the ministry’s request to push forward the second phase claiming that the first phase had failed.

Two years after its implementation, the Auditor-General’s Report 2013 stated that the project had not achieved its objectives of providing high-speed 4G broadband and the VLE platform to schools nationwide. From a total of 89.1 per cent of the 48 schools tested, including feedback from 70.3 per cent of 491 schools, it stated that the broadband access was unsatisfactory. Additionally, 58 per cent of 501 schools said the 1BestariNet access did not cover the entire school area.

There was also a delay in installing Internet services. By the end of 2014, while 8,886 schools nationwide were provided with broadband connectivity, another 1,003 were connected through interim Internet services provided by other telecommunication companies. One reason was that some schools could not be connected to the 1BestariNet network due to the project delivery firm not receiving approval from local authorities to build telecommunication towers in several states, including Sarawak, Penang and Kelantan. [...]

However, according to the same AG report, the usage of the VLE platform among students, parents, and teachers was very low, with less than five per cent of students using the e-facilities.
The many problems of YTL's 1BestariNet, all signs of a failed project. 1BestariNet is a total disaster based on the fact that it has been raised by Public Accounts Committee (PAC) multiple times and rejected by most (if not all) users (school teachers will agree). The NST's article summed up the controversial project perfectly in the title "Ambitious 1BestariNet flawed from the start".