Saturday, July 29, 2006

Malaysian National Service (Khidmat Negara)

Posted by Chong

Update 10 August 2007: Semakan senarai nama peserta Program Latihan Khidmat Negara (PLKN) is available at http://www.khidmatnegara.gov.my/utama.htm Submit your email address to this subscription form to receive free tips by Malaysia Students directly via your email inbox.

The Malaysian National Service 2006 / 2007 short list was available early this week. Any Malaysian who was born in 1989 has a chance of being short-listed to undergo three months of the national service training. You can check whether you are selected for national service on its official website by typing in your Identity Card (IC) numbers.
The objectives of the national service programme:
  • Develop a young generation who are patriotic and with love for their country
  • Enhance unity among the multi-racial communities in the country
  • Instill a spirit of caring and volunteerism among society
  • Produce an active, intelligent and confident generation
  • Develop positive characteristics among the younger generation through good values
Source: Wikipedia
Since I wasn't selected for national service last year, I don't have any personal experience to share with you. However, some of my friends who did complete the national service this year shared their lifetime experiences with me. Most of them agreed that most activities in the physical module were very exhilarating and challenging whereas the character building module and nation building module which were classroom based, were mundane and tedious.

Contrary to my belief, my friends have put on weight instead of losing it during the national service programme. They explained that they took five to six meals which were the breakfast, morning tea-break, lunch, afternoon tea-break, dinner and supper in the training camps daily. However, they commented that the food is unappetizing and as a result some of them 'learned' to throw away the food. Rather than eating the food, they cook themselves instant noodles such as Maggie Mee and Indomie, you name it.

One of the merits for completing national service is that you will get 10 out of 10 marks for your co-curricular participation in STPM UPU application. This is irresistible if you plan to further your studies in local universities. A typical student who isn’t selected for national service can get full marks for co-curricular participation only if he or she is the president of a club/society/uniform body and has participated in an activity at national level.

To sum up, national service programme is an excellent preparation for life in the real society outside. Through this programme, the youths have the opportunities to mingle with others from different races and backgrounds. Indirectly, they learn to be more open-minded and tolerable. We truly hope the national service to promote unity within our young generation successfully.


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Saturday, July 22, 2006

The End, New Start

Posted by BooNBoX

Hi, I am the new contributors for MS. Nice to be here to guide you all. I've been typing a lot of stuff but it all went disappeared after some disconnection. =.="

This is Boon Ming. My nickname is BooNBoX and usually appear in CARI Chinese Forum and O2Jam community but I know it's good to help other people and that's why I am here !! I'm here to help so any questions you can just ask me through my email sherlock2000holmes@yahoo.com . Don't spam me, haha...

I am leaving to Singapore tomorrow night to do my Materials Engineering at Nanyang Technological University. Hehe .. curious ? Wanna ask why I chose Singapore ? Wondering whether I got scholarship ? Well, don't be so furious cause I am going to tell you all that later. This time I would like to touch more on Singapore's universities.

Overall Singapore has 3 universities which are National University of Singapore (NUS - 24th World Ranking), Nanyang Technological University (NTU - 46th World Ranking) and SMU (business/management courses).

What courses available for each university ?
NUS - Wide range of courses, but it's the only place offering medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and law course which are quite hard (not impossible) to get.

NTU - Offering mostly engineering courses, and wide range including business, education, pure science and more.

SMU - This is a university based on business and management courses.


Who can enroll ? How good do I need to be ??
The most acceptable pre-university examination would be A-level, STPM and UEC (for Malaysian students). There are also students who enrolled with diploma from Polytechnic.

Well, the admission requirement in Singapore is not that clear. (Same like IPTA but/or they choose the best) The consideration for admission is solely depends on your academic (but they do ask you to provide extra curicular results). Honestly, for STPM holders, you need to be academically well, at least with CGPA 3.6/3.7 or at least 3As ... I earned my letter of offer with 3As and 1B+ CGPA 3.83. But to be eligible for the ASEAN scholarship or NTU scholarship, you need to be EXCEPTIONALLY WELL (from what i know, you need to be straight As student). However, you may try your luck. Who knows that they could be choosing anyone they like ?

Well i guess that's all for today's post. Will try to give updates from campus later. By the way, I got offer from NTU, USM (Kejuruteraan Elektronik) and NUS (Science). I've taken SAT II and planning to have my SAT I later in October. For your info, SAT is the requirement tests for USA University entrance.

Footnote: BooNBox blogs regularly on his personal blog too!


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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

STPM Science and Mathematics Subjects – You can answer in Malay until 2007

Posted by Chong

In 2003, Malaysian education system has changed drastically which resulted in the use of English replacing Bahasa Melayu (Malay language) in all science and mathematics subjects. Besides that, new syllabus in most PMR subjects and a new SPM subject, English for Science and Technology (EST) are introduced. The use of English in all science and mathematics subjects only involved Primary One (also known as Standard One), Secondary One and Lower Sixth Form students in 2003. Thus, students in other forms that year were still following the old syllabus and learning science and mathematics subjects in Malay. These students would undergo the language change only when they moved on to either Secondary One or Lower Sixth Form.

So, this year Lower Sixth Form students including me undergo the drastic language change. Bear in mind that we have spent five years in our secondary schools learning science and mathematics subjects in Malay. For your information, Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) science and mathematics subjects include Mathematics S, Mathematics T, Further Mathematics T, Computing, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. The plain truth is that this sudden change is a total headache for most of us.

Let me show you a few instances to help you visualize its effects on us. Tenaga keupayaan graviti, jisim molekul relatif and indeks pecahan in English is gravitational potential energy, relative molecular mass and fractional indices respectively. Some other terminology in English contrasts with the respective terms in Malay in terms of spelling such as coplanar (pada satu satah), luminous intensity (keamatan cahaya), diagonal (pepenjuru), adjacent (bersebelahan), decay (pereputan), concentration (kepekatan), solution (larutan), constant (pemalar), variable (pembolehubah), coefficient (pekali)… Some very frustrating terminology in Chemistry includes sodium Na (natrium),potassium K (kalium), lead Pb (plumbum), copper Cu (kuprum), tin Sn (timah) and iron Fe (besi), to name a few. This change affects us the most in answering essay questions, not to mention the grammatical errors we may make.

Luckily, I am told by my teacher that we are still allowed to answer the actual STPM examinations in Malay besides in English until 2007. However, English is highly recommended. She also stressed that we can answer the questions in either Malay or English but not both. This means that if we choose to answer in Malay, we should write the whole essay in Malay only. Next year, 2007 is the final year when Malay is accepted in answering STPM science and mathematics subjects. From 2008 onwards STPM candidates are allowed to answer these subjects in English only.

Personally, I choose to answer these subjects in English since I have more than a year to prepare for the real examinations. Moreover, every STPM science and mathematics reference book available is written in English. I think we can still catch up with a lot of hard work, quoting Stephen King, ‘Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work’.

Update: More examples on Chemistry terminology in English and Malay included.


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Friday, July 07, 2006

Educational Websites, Forums and Blogs

Posted by Chong

Below are the educational sites which I find very useful to Malaysia Students readers. This post will be updated regularly to include the related sites which I discover on my online journey.

Websites
BMSPM.net by Teacher Mohd. Zaki bin Awang Mat – Notes on SPM Bahasa Melayu papers and past-year questions.
Wikipedia – Free online encyclopedia. Resourceful articles on education in Malaysia, SPM, STPM and A-Level.

Forums
Student Malaysia Forums - Official online student community of Malaysia Students blog. Update: This forum has been closed.
Malaysia Students – Some interesting topics are How to Score 1A in SPM Chemistry and STPM UPU Co-curricular Activities Participation Explained. Update: This forum has been closed for new discussion since November 2006.
ReCom.org – Well-known and growing forum where students around the world gather to discuss almost every topic under the sun.
QuanSheng.org - Student forum in Chinese

Blogs
Berry Berry Easy - SPM and STPM guides written by school teachers covering many topics on many subjects.
CEKU - An online student magazine run by Malaysian students for Malaysian students, focusing on issues concerning Malaysia and its youth, and serving as a platform for Malaysian students around the world to contribute to intellectual thought while advocating for common hopes and beliefs.
EducateDeviate - Thoughts and experiences related to alternative education, often from a Malaysian perspective.
Education in Malaysia – Blog about various issues surrounding the state of the Malaysian education system, both private and public, the resulting products of the system as well as the job market in relation to fresh graduates. Read the great posts on scholarships.
Good English Essays - Free essay writing guide on how to write an essay in five simple steps. Read SPM EST introduction, EST notes, SPM English 1119 essay past-year questions and Malaysian University English Test (MUET) Tips.
I Want to Take MUET by Teacher Mohamad Mariti Bin Siran - MUET tips for aspiring candidates who are sitting for the MUET Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing Papers.
Malaysia Students – The blog you are reading right now. ;-)
ReMag - A youth-run online magazine run by students, with a Malaysian flavor, covering a broad range of topics and genres: serious commentaries to humorous fiction and everything else in between.
SPM Physics - Written by full time SPM Physics tutor with notes on most SPM Physics topics.
STPM Further Mathematics T - Written by past candidate who obtained A- in STPM Further Mathematics T, covering the syllabus of STPM Further Mathematics T topic by topic.

Sharing is caring. Please leave your comment if you know any educational or academics site which is not listed in this post.

Last Updated on February 2, 2013.


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