Chap Lap

August 1, 2007

I now officially declare this blog dead.
Reason being that initially some of the members got lazy but up to this point of time, 3 members including myself have proper day jobs which greatly reduces probabilities of chancing upon interesting articles to share. The other member is just being a lazy ass fark.
That being said we are interested in having additions to this blogging team. If interested please let me know and also propose what interests that you would prefer writing about. Articles are not limited to the current categories, as long as the articles are numerous enough to have their own category and attract more readers, it will be added.

You are still able to view our personal blogs. I know mine is active as well as Zizou’s though I cannot say the same for the rest.

Thanks for your support and views!
Until the next time we have interesting stuff to post. Seeya!

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Academic success

June 14, 2007

speaking about high schools…

there’s been some moves lately to abolish the centralized exams that students take, especially at high school level. There is one centralized examination all students take at Primary 6 (around age 12), Form 3 (around age 15) and another one at Form 5 (age 17), and for some, yet another one at Upper Form 6 (around age 19).

although any radical move like this has to be taken with caution, I support it to a certain extent. The current education system of emphasizing on nothing but examinations tends to create an unnecessary culture of kiasu’ism (refusing to lose out) and undue emphasis on memorization.

as an educator, I notice several things about this system.

1.    students can goof off the entire year and just quickly start studying towards the end of the year just before the exams, and usually still come out alright

2.    the emphasis is on memorization, not understanding. There is an old saying that is still revered in educational circles, and it goes something like this: tell me, and I forget; show me, and I remember; involve me, and I understand.  How many essays have I gotten that are basically a regurgitation of my notes, without any proper understanding of the material involved? The educational culture here is as such, memorization is rewarded, if the essay or answer is worded exactly as the examiner wants it, the marks are awarded. It doesn’t really matter if the student actually understood what was asked or taught, only if they remember it.

3.    the parents push their children to score as many A’s as they can, when A’s are not enough, they even push their children to score high A’s. I’ve had parents say that they’re concerned because their children were scoring 92’s and 93’s, when they should be scoring 100’s. And so they send their children to tuition classes every day. Sending them to Chinese schools (I am extremely anti-Chinese school… but that’s a post for some other time) where their homework actually weighs more than they do. Making their children learn and do homework well into the night. I know kids whose daily schedule involves nothing more than school, homework, and tuition classes. No time for play, no time to be a kid. It’s really sad, and robs them of the joy of living. Plenty of time to be stressed out and worry about everything as an adult. No, I’m not advocating ditching homework and all. Just to be reasonable.

Anyway, maybe a review of the educational system wouldn’t be bad. Award more marks to projects, presentations, assignments, etc., instead of all emphasis being put on the examinations. Abolish a few of them, you really only need one centralized examination to determine entrance into university, not 4 of them just to give parents something to gloat about to other parents.


UPSR & PMR, Abolished?

May 10, 2007

I was reading the newspaper today and came across a couple of articles about people being against the plan of abolishing the Standard 6 examination; UPSR (ujian penilaian sekolah rendah) and the Form 3 examination; PMR (penilaian menengah rendah).

Basically the Malaysian public school system works like this.  A kid at the age of 7 is required to enter Primary School (elementary schools in western countries?) where you start off as Standard 1 (similar to the grading system of western countries). Primary schools consist of Standards 1 to 6 whereby Standard 6 students would be 12 years old.  Standard 6 students are required to take a final examination at the end of their term which is called the UPSR which acts like a grading system which determines your qualification upon entering Secondary Schools (High School).

Secondary School starts from Form 1 (Age 13) to Form 5 (Age 17). Form 3 students are required to take the PMR exam which is like a midway exam to determine which stream you would qualify to enter during Form 4 to Form 5. The streams are Science and Art, with many variants of subjects within those two streams. Form 5 students would then be required to take the SPM exam which is like the final examination which would be your determining factor to be able to enter colleges/universities of your choice.

Malaysia’s education system initially was adopted from the British as they occupied Malaysia during the second World War for a time. Post-Independence, over the years, the system has been changed and not for the better. The standards had been steadily declining, to most people’s suspicions, to make it easier for more students to pass the exams. Worse now is that there are actually plans on abolishing 2 examination phases. Lowering the standards of education does not help anybody but rather hurt the country’s progression towards being a more developed country. If you need to ask why and how then this article is not for you.


Testosterone is Good!

March 29, 2007

I have no idea how I stumble upon these interesting articles.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6495211.stm”

Apparently they have created a new patch to increase sexual drives in women. However the wet blanket part is that it is only prescribed to women who have just performed hysterectomy. The patch release a small amount of testosterone into the abdomen where the patch is to be applied.
I guess that is why guys tend to be more interested and driven compared to girls when it comes to sex.


TMNet says, Jaring says…

January 13, 2007

So I was going through TMnet’s and Jaring’s website trying to find out more information about when they expected Malaysia’s internet performance to be fully restored. Both their websites had different predictions as to when it would be.

TMnet first:
http://www.tm.net.my/tmnet2006/contents/corporate/news_details.cfm?id=1139&type=Press%20Release&pg=1

Apparently they said that the internet performance would be at around 80% yesterday and expected to be at 100% by 20th of January.

Jaring next:
http://www.jaring.my/ceo/index.html?cont=050107_cable

They however said that they are currently at 70% and would expect full recovery in middle February.

I really hope both their predictions are exclusive to their own companies and also their own internet infrastructure whereby both ISPs should not be in the same boat. In short hopefully TMnet _would_ be able provide us back-to-normal internet speed by 20th Jan and would be too bad for Jaring customers having to wait till middle of February. Not to sound selfish or anything but it just would not be nice to keep us speed-deprived internet users from what we rightfully deserve for what we pay.


Fickle-mindedness

January 8, 2007

This is something that’s happening to me. Being caught in two minds, sometimes more. As of now, I seriously don’t feel like studying anymore. I want to start working, and earn my own money. On the other hand, I’m almost done with my studies, just another 4 to 5 months to go. But its at this particular point in time that I don’t feel like completing my studies. It probably has to do with my final year project, seeing as how I’m still struggling with it. Think its also some sort of an escape route, taking the easy way out. Although I know that is not the answer, I just can’t help but think about it, and resist the temptation of actually going through with it.

This isn’t the first time it has happened actually. I felt this way when I was working last time, mainly because I didn’t like what I was doing. Its funny how when you’re still a student, one would wish that it’d be nice to work, but when they are actually working, one would wish that it’d be nice to be able to study again. We humans are so fickle-minded.

No matter how hard I wish that I was working right now, I know it’s not going to happen. What I need to do is to suck it up and get my studies over and done with. Only then can I look for a job peacefully. I hate it, but there’s nothing much that I can do 😛  Perhaps I should stop doing things at the last possible minute already, even though I’ve said this countless times…I’m so hopeless 😕

I’ve decided, to make that my new year’s resolution. To not do things last minute anymore. And I need someone to give me a real knocking if I don’t do it. You interested, Neo? 😛

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Something Ain’t Right Here…

January 3, 2007

So I was chatting with a friend who is working in Singapore. Apparently he says that the internet over there is fine and that he is even able to play World of Warcraft. While in Malaysia some sites do not even load properly and yeah I still cannot play World of Warcraft. Something is not right here… Perhaps Singapore has uber internet technology and Malaysia does not. Whatever it is, it is really frustrating. I cannot even look for jobs efficiently on the internet because of this.

You may be thinking “Oh surfing local sites should not be a problem.” That may be true. If and only if local sites were hosted by local servers. Which apparently most of them are not. Seriously though who would want to surf local websites? When there are far better quality sites out there internationally. This has nothing to do with patriotism by the way. Just a disclaimer to all you shallow people out there.

What a way to begin 2007…