Jan 13, 2006

handphone issue (part II)

In today's The Star newspaper, the ministry of education again stressed that they will stick to their decision to lift the ban of handphones in schools.

Like many other policies, I believe MOE will change their mind one day. Wait till we see headlines on major newspapers, perhaps something like misusing mms clips to humiliate/againts teachers or other students (reminds me of squatgate), parents complaining about mobile phone and service providers coming in and out the schools (like workbook sellers), statistic of missing handphones in schools in Malaysia per year.

It is definitely not a wise move by the MOE. They are indirectly creating more problems to teachers. Now teachers have to ensure students' phone etiquette, theft or missing handphones, etc. Even students are prone to greater peer pressure now.

Good for researchers though. Now they have good research problems for their theses writing or research projects.

Jan 12, 2006

malaysian students' additional uniform: handphone

Personally, I against the idea of allowing students to bring mobile phones to schools. I believe schools have enough public phones and in case of emergency, the school management or teachers will be able to contact parents immediately or vice versa.

I certainly hope that there will be no misuse of mobile phone by students to go againts their teachers and other students. Imagine secretly capturing photos or videos while their friends are being punished or teachers punishing or scolding their students, then put them up on their blogs or distributing them through mms.

School management must be very strict on this matter and not to allow students hiding behind their desks sms-ing while the teacher is teaching in front of the class. Also never allow them to disrupt the class(es) or any part of the school with those irritating ringing tones.

Jan 11, 2006

international film screenings

Starting in February the new home for the film screenings (used to take place in AEI, University of Malaya) will be the National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) which is located next to Zoo Negara in Ampang.

The film screenings will take the same format as before. International films will be shown every Wednesday evening at 8.30 pm, while the last Saturday of each month will be used to showcase the best of Malaysian filmmakers.

As usual, they will be providing a short introductory talk, programme notes and refreshments (hurray!). Admission to all films is FREE.

The programme for February will be as follows:

Thursday 2 February at 8.30 pm
Spain 2004, 125 mins, Dir. Alejandro Amenabar
Winner of Best Foreign Language Film, Academy Awards 2005

Wednesday 8 February at 8.30 pm
United States 2004, 152 mins, Dir. Taylor Hackford
Winner of Best Actor, Academy Awards 2005

Wednesday 15 February at 8.30 pm
France/Germany 2002, 150 mins, Dir. Roman Polanski
Winner of Best Director and Best Actor, Academy Awards 2002

Wednesday 22 February at 8.30 pm
Germany 2005, 156 mins, Dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel
Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, AcademyAwards 2005

    Saturday 25 February at 3.30 pm
    Malaysia 2005, 87 mins, Dir. Woo Ming Jin

    If you know anyone who is interested in the film screenings please get them to send an email

    For further information contact:
    KAKI KINO (Film Consultants)
    Tel: 012 225 1179 (Gareth)
    Tel: 019 817 1947 (Wan Zawawi)

      the best years were in the 90s

      While having our brunch yesterday at Ah Lok Cafe, my good ol' friend, Cindy told me she went through some old photos the other day and had a big laugh about it.

      She scanned and forwarded one photo to me. My reaction was OMIGOD! That's the only word to describe it.The photo is sooo 90s. How time flies. The way we dressed, our hairstyles and not to mention our innocent faces. It was 1997 and together with Wai Loo, we were at Shu Fen's house to celebrate Chinese New Year.

      At that time we were still studying. Every semester or holiday break, we couldn't wait to go back to Kuantan to meet up with our good ol' friends whom we missed very much.

      What about the coming Chinese New Year? I think most of us will be just like the previous couple of years celebrating with our own families. We don't meet up for CNY celebration like we used to be anymore. Sad but it's true.

      Jan 9, 2006

      utopian schools

      When I was a student, I always heard of the word 'utopia'. The word fascinates me and I wonder if it's achievable. After all, 'utopia' means 'ideally perfect place'.

      Lately, I've been thinking about 'utopian schools' and how we can have it to apply to Asian educational environment. Hardly anyone talks about educational utopias anymore. Instead we all seem to be too caught up with exam results, school violence, teachers burnout and so-called excellence.

      I've read an article saying that the early 1970s gave rise to exciting books like George Leonard's Education and Ecstasy and John Mann's Learning to Be, which painted fantasy pictures of futuristic schools that educated the total spectrum of human capability.

      In Leonard's book, children used computer-assisted technology to interact with humanity's rich collection of symbol systems. Mann's book described a utopian school where children attended "empathy classes" and simulated trips to Mars. Just 30 years later, some of these fantasies seem laughably outdated, whereas others are just now being realized. In their time, however, these books revealed a freshness of vision and an unabashed impulse to explore the heights of possibility in education. We just don't seem to do much exploring in this hardheaded era.

      I've checked the UM Main Library and it seems that both books are printed in the 1960s and 1970s. I'm going to get hold of those books later.

      In 1983, we saw the development of the remarkable theory of multiple intelligences (MI) by Dr Howard Gardner which sets a new paradigm for educational utopia. Most of us know what multiple intelligences are. In Malaysia, we have kindergartens and even publishers who tried to market their products and services by exploiting Gardner's model without fully understand its structure.

      I love the idea of educational utopia. I wish that someday our ministry of education will be interested as well.
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