13 December 2011

Personally, I do care.

I personally do not care if you were the devil wearing Prada,
I personally do not care if you dip in a jacuzzi everyday at your penthouse in Mont Kiara,
I personally do not care if you can buy your girlfriends each a diamond tiara.

I personally do not care if you have a dozen rottweilers guarding your bungalow in Bukit Tunku,
I personally do not care if you wear Jimmy Choo,
I personally do not care if you dine at Lafite Shangri-La and paid RM1000 for two.

I personally do not care if you went on a holiday with your family to Bandung every month,
I personally do not care if you went on a shopping spree in Pavillion during lunch,
I personally do not care if you wore a ring with a stone the size of Notredame's hunch...

because you have,
because you can.

But then again...

Personally, I do care if you wore Prada and there are people wearing hand-me-down Pagoda shirts,
Personally, I do care if you dip in a jacuzzi everyday and there are people all covered with dirt, 
Personally, I do care if you buy your girlfriends diamond tiaras and there are people being snatched while their cries were unheard.

Personally, I do care if you have rottweilers guarding your bungalow in Bukit Tunku and there are people being tied up in their own homes with knives pointing at their faces,
Personally, I do care if you wore Jimmy Choo and there are people who live 20 in a house, without a parent to embrace,
Personally, I do care if dine at Lafite and there are people who think the highway's a fun place to race.

Personally, I do care if you went to Bandung every month and there are babies on motorcycles struggling to breathe,
Personally, I do care if you went to Pavillion during lunch and there are babies stuck in "buaians" because their maids don't want them to roam free,
Personally, I do care if your stone on a ring is the size of Notredame's hunch and there are children in a crowded bus, going home from school in the arms of not mommies or daddies, most of the time that'd be.

Writtten by:
Rosemaliza Kamalludeen
December 13th 2011
Please acknowledge accordingly. Thank you.

19 September 2011

How would you like your children's teachers - Rare, medium-rare, medium-well or well-done? Part 2

The University of Virginia (UVA) revolutionized their medical program. They built a new facility, and the class of 2014 has the privilege of being the first to enjoy them. The link of the article is as follows:

If you are pressed for time to read it, here are some facts:
1. No more hour-long lectures
2. No more waiting 2 years to actually use a stethoscope
3. No more "theatrical" lecture-halls
4. No more coming to class with reading assignments unread because the professors' just not going to summarize it all for you
5. No more being non-participative and silent
6. They actually have a building, resembling a real hospital with a whole bunch of simulations - the "dummies" even exert noises when they are "in pain"!
...and much more (so read the article!!)

To have such institutions, we need money. And not only that, we need dedicated faculty who are willing to let go of their "traditional" teaching behaviors, and step into the current pedagogical definitions.

(One of the comments mentioned that this resembles a medical institution in Singapore.)

I wonder if we could build such facilities in Malaysia. We certainly have the money for it (from what I hear and read and learn, at least), we certainly are overwhelmed with contractors who will die for the project (this I am 300% P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E.), but if it does get built, are our faculty going to use the facility to the max? And how much are we going to charge the rakyat for it, if the government undertakes this project? Or if a private entity were to build it, what would the tuition cost look like? Hmmmmmm....

14 September 2011

How would you like your children's teachers - Rare, medium-rare, medium-well or well-done? Part 1

I would like to start a series regarding teaching and learning - my passion, of course :)
Let's see how many parts I can produce on this one. It's mostly reflections from my readings and also observations. I am to defend my doctoral prospectus this November, so I need to be "academically inclined" - big time!!

Feel free to comment or share. Let's learn together and change the world! (wishful thinking, of course).

All my posts can also be found in my Facebook notes.
I am reading a book on Learner-Centered Teaching, written by Maryellen Weimer, a very experienced tertiary educator. She had mentioned something very interesting while discussing "The Role of the Teacher". Teachers' roles have changed over the decades, and the 21st century defines the teacher to be anywhere from a diaper-changer, a facilitator to an idol. Almost no literature will advocate the teacher as THE center of knowledge, as what we are used to during our years in school. Weimer suggested that for an educator to understand this concept, he or she must be made to take a credit course in a field outside of his or her expertise once every three years. And not just merely as an observer, but actually having to pass it as part of their professional development/promotion exercise/salary adjustment/etc... She said educators "...need to experience the learning process regularly if we expect to appreciate and understand our students' first encounters with content...". I totally agree with her! We have always talked about being hands-on, putting ourselves in others' shoes, etc etc... so, do it!

Not only teachers, college and university professors have to relive the experiences of learning, but PARENTS must do it, too! We often take for granted things that we "know" and have always lived by, but to get messages through to our young ones, students, apprentices, etc... we need to make sure that we understand the other side of the fence, too.

What are your thoughts?

18 June 2011

Camne laa nak kurus?

Sejak balik bercuti ni, ada beberapa kali saya pergi main badminton dgn suami saya. Ada sekali tu, saya join geng kawan2 suami saya yang memang dari dulu tiap2 hujung minggu main bersama2. Dulu, ada juga kawan2 suami saya tu bawak wife2 diorg jugak. Tapi biasalah kan.. kalau orang pompuan ni main tak lah se-berdesup bila pukul tu... Tapi masa saya pergi baru2 ni, takde pulak diorg bawak wife2 diorg. Saya tanya.. "Eh mana J.Lo (bukan nama sebenar)?"
Kawan ni pun jawablah, "Kat Jusco."
Lepas tu kawan lagi satu menyampuk, "Eh ko tak tau ke ni skarang dah jadi men's night out? Ladies punya aktiviti pegi shopping kat Jusco la. Ko nak join diorg pegi la."
Saya pun jawablah, "Huk eleh... pastu kalau bini jadik gemuk, marah... cari alasan nak bukak kilang lain."

Lepas tu, saya pun observe lah satu kompleks gelanggang badminton tu. Rasanya kalau tak silap ada dlm 24 court kot.. setiap court tu paling ramai pompuan, sorg.. itupun ramai yang jadik cheerleader ataupun tukang bagi air ngan lapkan peluh.

Jadi persoalannya sekarang, macammana orang pompuan nak kurus, sebab husband2 diorg pun suruh pergi Jusco je utk ladies punya aktiviti. Waktu hari biasa, semua orang pun pergi kerja. Kalau orang pompuan yang dah berkeluarga, lepas balik kerja nak kena pergi kerja yang lagi satu pulak - nak tengok hal ehwal anak, hal ehwal suami, hal ehwal bibik, hal ehwal makan, etc etc... Kalau orang lelaki, boleh lah kot singgah gym mana2 ataupun court mana2, pergi keluarkan peluh lah sekejap.

Saya tak salahkan para suami je, kadang2 bila ada peluang ataupun masa yang terluang, para isteri tidak mengambil kesempatan. Saya observe, sejak sepuluh tahun lalu yang saya pergi main badminton ngan suami saya dan geng2 nya, tak pernah saya tengok geng2 perempuan, sewa court utk dua jam dan main badminton macam orang lelaki. Mungkin kita tak ada lah luxury seperti orang lelaki yang boleh keluar malam Sabtu dengan kawan2, main badminton pukul 9mlm-11mlm, lepas tu melepak kedai mamak sampai pukul 4 pagi (kira no meaning la main badminton 2 jam tu kan pasal dah telan teh tarik 3 cawan, maggi goreng sepinggan, roti tisu 2 keping).. Tapi kita orang pompuan ni boleh lah organize aktiviti beriadah sebagai alternative kepada aktiviti shopping, jumpa kat starbucks, or pergi spa. Alternatif yang sihat, boleh merapatkan silaturrahim dan juga tidak mahal. Sewa court sejam RM20 je pun. Kalau 4 orang, baru RM5 sorang. Beli handbag pun sampai beribu2 ok je.

Kesimpulannya, saya mengajak kawan2 wanita saya utk meluangkan masa sedikit utk aktiviti riadah ni sebagai menjaga kesihatan diri sendiri. Kita ni terlalu banyak jaga orang lain - jaga suami, jaga anak, jaga ibu ayah, jaga bibik.. selalunya, diri kita sendiri tidak terjaga. Dan juga utk para suami, kalau you allssss ni sayangkan isteri, berilah dia peluang utk beriadah, ajak dia main badminton kat depan rumah tu.. ataupun apa2 saja cara utk memberi peluang kepada isteri2 menjaga kesihatan mereka. Kalau para suami mahu dilayan seperti raja, para isteri mahu dilayan seperti permaisuri. Dan tidak semestinya kena keluar belanja yang banyak.

Alhamdulillah, saya telah dianugerahkan oleh Allah S.W.T. dengan seorang suami yang sangat mengambil berat tentang saya. Dia banyak menggalakkan saya beriadah, bersukan, menjaga kesihatan. Dulu, dia akan sewa court badminton tu sejam lebih awal daripada sesi bermain dengan geng2 dia tu, khas utk kami berdua main so that saya boleh dapat exercise secukupnya. Waktu kami di US, kami sekeluarga menyertai program Taekwondo dan dia akan memberi saya peluang utk ke kelas Kick Boxing Cardio di bawah program Taekwondo tersebut, dua kali seminggu dan dia menjaga anak2 di rumah.

Marilah sama2 kita amalkan cara hidup yang sihat. Carilah alternatif kepada aktiviti shopping. Bukan sahaja menghabiskan duit, tapi kita juga mendedahkan kepada anak2 kita cara2 utk menghabiskan duit daripada usia yang kecil lagi.

Fikir-fikirkan lah :D

03 March 2011


Petang tadi, saya menghadiri satu sesi dialog bersama-sama dengan pelajar-pelajar sarjana (Masters) yang mengambil jurusan pendidikan vokasional. Pelajar-pelajar ini akan memperoleh lesen perguruan (teaching license) di akhir pengajian, dan mereka akan dianggap guru-guru bertauliah dan boleh memohon untuk menjadi guru di sekolah-sekolah kerajaan (public schools) di Amerika Syarikat. Untuk menjadi seorang guru sekolah menengah (middle/high school), seseorang calon harus memiliki ijazah sarjana (Masters Degree) di dalam bidang pendidikan. Sekiranya mereka tidak mempunyai kelulusan ini, mereka dikira guru tidak bertauliah dan wajib memperolehi kelulusan tersebut semasa mereka menjadi guru sementara di sekolah-sekolah kerajaan.

Saya sebagai salah seorang fasilitator sesi dialog itu amat kagum dengan setiap seorang pelajar tersebut. Mereka baru sahaja memulakan sesi praktikal si sekolah-sekolah kerajaan (student teachers). Baru tiga minggu menghadapi dunia sebenar alam persekolahan, kali ini sebagai orang yang memegang kuasa di dalam kelas. Saya kagum dengan keinginan mereka untuk meneruskan perjalanan ke arah kerjaya yang terlalu mencabar dan penuh dengan liku-liku tajam. Gaji pula amat rendah jika dibandingkan dengan kerjaya lain.

Ternyata keadaan sekolah menengah di Amerika Syarikat amatlah menakutkan. Buat pertama kali, saya tersedar bahawa cerita-cerita filem tentang remaja di sekolah menengah (high school) dan juga berita-berita tentang keganasan remaja di sekolah adalah benar belaka. Tidak ada yang ditokok tambah. Guru-guru baru ini merintih dan kecewa dengan sikap pelajar-pelajar sekolah menengah di bawah didikan mereka. Menonton aksi lucah di dalam kelas, kurang ajar terhadap guru dan rakan-rakan lain, malas, tidak mahu menyiapkan kerja sekolah, buli, bahasa kasar, dan senarainya terlalu panjang. Ada yang mempersoalkan tentang keputusan mereka sendiri untuk menceburi bidang perguruan.

Ada juga yang terpaksa berhadapan dengan pelajar-pelajar yang dianggap kurang upaya - dari segi fizikal, emosi dan juga mental. Cabaran ini amatlah berbeza dengan cabaran budak-budak nakal. Cara menghadapinya amat berbeza, tetapi dalam apa jua senario, kesabaran yang amat tinggi merupakan kriteria yang tidak boleh tidak ada di dalam diri setiap yang ingin bergelar pendidik.

Cuba kawan-kawan bayangkan sekiranya kawan-kawan menjadi guru di sekolah-sekolah menengah Amerika Syarikat. Sanggup? Sekarang, cuba bayangkan sekiranya anak-anak kita bersekolah menegah di dalam keadaan yang bahaya seperti di AS. Sanggup? Sekarang, cuba bayangkan betapa payahnya dan bebannya menjadi seorang guru. Adakah anda sanggup menjaga dan mendidik sekurang-kurangnya 120 pelajar sekolah menengah dalam satu hari? Sanggupkah anda berhadapan dengan bermacam-macam perangai anak-anak remaja? Nak berhadapan dengan anak sendiri tiga orang pun dah letih, kan?

Setelah berdialog, saya merasa amat bersyukur kerana dilahirkan sebagai seorang yang mewarisi agama serta budaya yang indah. Saya berbangga dengan agama, bangsa, negara, dan budaya saya. Tetapi persoalannya, apakah kita mahu cara hidup orang Asia yang menempatkan kita sebagai orang-orang yang mendukung budaya begitu tinggi, pekerti yang begitu luhur dan indah dimamah oleh unsur-unsur tidak senonoh? Ini adalah cabaran terbesar bagi ibu bapa dan guru zaman teknologi.

Tetapi, saya tidak mahu menjadi stereotype di mana saya membuat generalisasi yang orang-orang barat ini tidak senonoh. Saya mempunyai ramai rakan-rakan orang Amerika yang tinggi budi pekerti, bersopan santun. Ramai juga anak-anak muda yang sangat dihormati serta berilmu tinggi.

Sedihnya, sistem pendidikan Amerika Syarikat yang pada suatu masa dahulu mampu melahirkan bilangan graduan universiti paling ramai di dunia, sekarang ini berhadapan dengan pelbagai krisis. Tatkala universiti-universiti seperti Harvard, MIT, John Hopkins, Cornell dan sebagainya menempah nama di antara universiti-universiti terbaik dunia, sekolah-sekolah rendah dan menengahnya dilanda isu kekurangan dana, disiplin pelajar merosot, dan bilangan "dropout" yang amat membimbangkan. Kebanyakan sekolah-sekolah di negeri-negeri seperti Wisconsin dan Michigan, terutama sekali di bandar-bandar besar, akan ditutup kerana kekurangan dana. Beribu guru akan hilang pekerjaan. Purata bilangan murid di dalam satu kelas adalah 20 orang, tetapi dengan penutupan sekolah-sekolah di bandar-bandar besar terutamanya, purata murid di dalam satu kelas akan mejadi 60 orang. Ramai yang risau kerana dengan keadaan disiplin pelajar yang amat membimbangkan, keputusan sebegini akan membuatkan kualiti sistem pendidikan di Amerika Syarikat terus merosot.

Sekiranya kita selidik pelajar-pelajar yang membanjiri universiti-universiti terkemuka di Amerika Syarikat, ramai yang bukan rakyat Amerika Syarikat, terutama sekali di dalam bidang sains dan teknologi. Bukan sahaja pelajar, malah tenaga pengajar juga ramai yang bukan asalnya daripada Amerika Syarikat. Yang paling penting, ramai yang daripada benua Asia. Seorang rakan yang bekerja dengan salah sebuah firma kejuruteraan di sini mengatakan jurutera-jurutera yang terbaik di firma tersebut adalah orang-orang Asia dan Timur Tengah. Hanya segelintir sahaja rakyat Amerika Syarikat ataupun orang yang berkulit putih bekerja di dalam bidang teknikal. Kebanyakannya akan duduk di bahagian pemasaran.

Jadi, apakah sebenarnya yang hendak saya sampaikan?

Berbalik pada kisah guru tadi, saya ingin merayu pada kawan-kawan supaya menghargai guru-guru yang mungkin berjumpa dengan anak-anak kita lebih daripada kita bertemu mata dengan anak-anak kita sendiri. Kita juga perlu sedar yang tanggungjawab mendidik anak-anak terletak pada bahu ibubapa. Kita meminta bantuan guru untuk tolong mendidik anak-anak kita - guru bukanlah kerjanya memastikan anak itu membesar dengan sempurna. Semuanya terletak pada ibubapa. Jadi, untuk menjadi bangsa yang maju, permulaannya adalah di rumah. Kita tidak mahu menjadi seperti Amerika Syarikat yang sistem pendidikannya "huru hara". Kita tidak boleh menyalahkan orang lain untuk segala yang buruk. Kalau anak kita bermasalah di sekolah, 90% puncanya bukanlah sebab guru yang tidak menjalankan tanggungjawab.

Saya juga ingin mengajak kawan-kawan semua untuk menanamkan motivasi di dalam diri kita sendiri, serta di dalam hati anak-anak kita untuk berpegang pada agama dan budaya kita yang semakin menjadi superior jika dibandingkan dengan barat. Kita perlu mengingati antara satu sama lain bahawa kita perlu terus maju, dan perlu tukar mentaliti yang akan merosakkan diri dan bangsa kita sendiri. Kita perlu sedar bahawa kita mampu menjadi bangsa yang disegani. Kita ada segala kemudahan, kita ada banyak peluang, banyak jalan untuk maju. Janganlah kita biarkan bangsa kita hilang identiti dan hanyut bersama-sama dengan kapal barat yang semakin tenggelam.

Among FB comments:
"Scary nye. Sib baik tgh homeschooling mine for now, Alhamdulillah."

"Insyallah. Betul Rose, syukur kita dilahirkan dgn agama, dan budaya yang cukup complete. I'm also grateful being an academician, insyallah ilmu Allah itu boleh dimanfaat.. amin.sama2 kita menyumbang ye Rose.."

"so it's true.....j lak tgh baca buku on byk bende psl learning disabled ni...and how now diagnosis of learning disabled dah makin senang dished out by rushed docs etc...and byk dah kene hire learning specialists etc....and how it sometim...es arises more from kiasu parents...diaorg nak tiru org asia being kiasu..and kita kat msia sendiri pun dah start problem with children being too stressed out with acadamic pressures...and one author, Jane healy ckp, our culture is sick and our children are being diagnosed. tp ni yg j dok baca ni bukan on morals la..more on learning disabialities, 'hurried child' syndrome issues...but all yg rose ckp ni...sigh....i've heard and whenever i encounter muslims yg raised at sini yg went to highschool mmg rata2 ckp the same thingas you mentioned up there..even this one mother who recently moved away fr my city now ni dah moved to houston bec anak first dia ppuan, she said dia tak sedap hati betul dgn pakaian and even anak dia tu (she's a very nice girl mashaallah, i love this girl dearly...taught her tajweed and she doesn't wear tudung yet, pastu diaorg satu family gi umrah, adik dia start pakai tudung and this kakak told me "you know, she beat me" and now she still doesn't wear it but i can feel her heart is so good..and even she said that high school kat US ni cheesy la...the environment, she says that ppl come to school just nak berkawan je, they're not serious nak balaja...and another brother we hv known for a long time (now dah kawin dgn org malaysia tp tinggal kat US) said kat high school kat US ni kalau yg pandai tu mmg in the top track and yg tak pandai sgt tu mmg abih la...no chance at all...so mmg it 's all fr home..and i don't know if that's the reason many non muslims kat US ni dah start to homeschool more and that's why homeschooling diaorg tak suka bec it takes the dana dari public schools...sigh..from this and aother things ive been seeing kan j cam boleh nampak that this disintegration in akhlaq mungkin akan lead to civilization yg akan runtuh, dah la bilangan anak diaorg pun dah makin kurg (in fact bila ada anak byk org akan object lol..familiar ida? :P) and tak taulah kalau ni sign of org agama kita akan panjat..cycle of history goes on...thanks for sharing rose....in the end it's the akhlaq, values that truly matters...subhanallah"

"It's a complicated realm. But actually, majority nye baik, cuma these few rotten bananas yang spoil the bunch. It is interesting to learn that benda-benda yang tak senonoh ni berlaku in the cities, where the population is usually more than ...60% non-whites. Kalau kat suburban or rural, the high school problem is significantly lower, and we can see the population spread in terms of race/ethnicity. Boleh dikatakan apa-apa research yang berkaitan dgn education, researchers must control for the race/ethnicity variable because the variance is very very significant here in the US. Kalau kat major cities, ramai immigrants. Doesn't this reflect our city population jugak kalau kita groupkan sebagai "Malaysian" and Non-Malaysian.. not so much of the races in Malaysia, but whether they are Malaysians or not. There are a lot of factors that contribute to the high school dilemma in the US but everyone is in denial that the urban-suburban divide does not have anything to do with population. So far from what I have observed, here in Blacksburg particularly, there are no major issues at all. My kids go to school Alhamdulillah, the environment is very conducive and motivating. But when we cross the county border into Roanoke county - that's where the problems begin to appear. And voila - Roanoke punye population is more than 50% non-Caucasian. So apa masalah sebenarnye?"
"hmmmmm.....makes me think of another thing i noticed in columbus....leading to the question - problem dia 'immigrants' with differnt educational backgrd, parenting styles, and immigrants adapting the bad things from the west? kalau kat NM n...i and these areas, masalah gangs. esp kalau lg dekat dgn mexico cam kat El Paso tu. dah la NM ni paling least literate punye state and second paling miskin kot. tp tulah...kalau pk fr perspective of a muslim taking into account the life manual, tak heran la kalau things deteriorate when fasad sgt berleluasa..and this can happen anywhere. TV, porn (ni yg juli paling takut , asyik doa je mintak jauh dr Fahshaa ni doa sampai ke descendants segala bec it can be a serious addiction even for religious brothers (and i heard sisters gak) yg go to masjid regularly etc - it's scary), and just a culture of materialism yg dah cross boundaries yg allah dah set. family foundations are mostly broken, divorce berleluasa (makin ramai women yg tak nak kawin, can survive on their own they don't need men anymore, men pun plak jd makin tak reliable - article where have the good men gone), byk single mothers, anaknye childhood jd tak stable, pastu t ambah la pulak dgn both parents sama jantina plak la..mcm2 fasad both tangible and intangible..not surprising it's affecting a whole lot of aspects in our lives..and if we tak buat anything, we will also be affected..(that's what i'm scared of) our muslim youth are already affected anyway...*shudder* be it in the west or the east...so it is a lot of factors playing but we as muslims we know that the quran was sent as life manual ..had allah wanted He cld have made everyone muslims but life is a test...so...the reality is that most ppl don't refer to this life manual...that is the sad thing that even muslims don't...so the more reason for us to hold on stronger to this book so we don't get affected and so we can sampaikan the isi of this kitab kan...it's sad, scary and we're all in it..sigh..."
"I agree... I am profoundly grateful to be Muslim. Interesting reading is Bakri Musa's blog about education. Have you read it? He is very pro-US education system but I suppose the theory is very good but the execution, as illustrated by Rose... is difficult. Also what do you think of the Tiger Mom's methods? That is also interesting but the other extreme."