Monday, November 11, 2013

Self Worth or Net Worth

Placing too much importance on appearing rich can affect one’s net worth. One may want to delay self-gratification in order to build a strong financial foundation
I ONCE asked someone who looked like a million dollars on the outside but was totally broke, this question:“Is your self-worth destroying your net worth?”
Some of us have defined our self-esteem from the external things - the car we drive, the handbags we use, even the pen we write with. We want to be seen as “rich and successful” but we are secretly struggling with our finances.
Even if we are not broke, some of us have placed the external outlook of ‘looking rich’ as more important than the milestones in our lives, for instance ensuring a secure retirement or building a strong net worth that can last throughout our lifetime.
Wanting to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ maybe due to a lack of self-esteem. Those who buy things they can’t afford sense a boost in their self-confidence by having these things, particularly in the public.

Having luxurious items is fine as long as you know your net worth can sustain it and you do have a financial plan in place.
However, if it is draining your pockets, then you need to wake up and change before it is too late.
Stop placing so much importance on demonstrating socio-economic superiority.

Rather, focus on owning a strong financial foundation that can sufficiently meet your life’s goals.

Delay instant urges to gratify your self-image until you are sure your net worth says you can afford it.

If you do indeed have a self-worth issue, fulfil the void with family and meaningful relationships, a heightened appreciation for self, charitable works or even spirituality for some.
There is nothing wrong looking ‘less rich’ than others as long as you know that happiness is sourced internally and not externally.
After all, money does not buy you happiness but managing it well can get you there.
I urge you to ask your self this question now: “Which is more important: your self-worth or your net worth?”

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Private Tutor = Nanny

Why parents need tutors: To do the job of parents - Navene Elangovan

The debate over the necessity of tuition in Singapore was recently reignited by comments made by Indranee Rajah, the Senior Minister of State for Education. Private tuition, she said, was not necessary in Singapore’s education system.
Time spent in class is sufficient for a child to grasp the necessary knowledge, the argument goes. Pay attention in class and keep up with your homework, and the average student can perform decently at examinations. Remedial classes will help weaker students to catch up with the rest.
But all this misses the real function of tutors in Singapore. The truth of the matter is that tutors here are nannies.
The argument that students can cope without tuition is premised on the assumption that the average child is intrinsically motivated to push himself to do well in school.
Yet it is unrealistic to expect most children to be so motivated.
The nature of academics is such that frequent practice, even beyond the allotted curriculum time, is required to reinforce concepts taught in the classroom. But the average student is unlikely to fully grasp the need for this. More often than not, all that is on their mind the moment they step out of their school gates is hanging out with friends.
This is where tutors are crucial. Often tutors are engaged to help a student with his homework, forcing the child to get his homework done before tuition begins. Tuition homework assigned on top of this means the child gets more practice in applying the concepts learnt in the classroom.
As such, tuition is a means to prod the student, whose priorities would otherwise probably lie elsewhere, into revising their work outside of curriculum time.
Should parents be nannies?
Some may suggest that it is the onus of the parents to play the role of nanny, ensuring that their child keeps up with school work. But this may also be an unrealistic demand in an era where double-income families are the norm, with both parents exhausted after working long hours.
And maybe whatever little time parents have left with their child is best set aside for more family-friendly activities, such as having dinner together. The relationship between parents and child risks being strained when dads and mums interfere in their child’s education. I see so many parents frustrated when their children do not perform up to their expectations.
Exhibit A: My neighbour, whom I’ve dubbed “Tiger Mummy”. Every day, from 8pm to 10pm, Tiger Mummy can be heard berating her son during their study sessions. Too slow, too stupid, she shouts.
It works both ways. Children resent their parents bossing them around. I’ve seen my siblings pull a long face after my parents tell them to do their homework. Faced with such hostility, parents soon retract their orders for fear of being seen as the bad guy — the last thing a parent wants after clocking a long day at the office is to return home to an unfriendly environment.
So that’s where tutors play come in: They’re pseudo-parents. Tuition can be scheduled while the parent is still at work, so mum and dad can come home to a child who is done with his homework and available for family time.
The “outsider” status of a tutor also means that the child is more likely to respect and respond to a tutor’s demands. Also, many parents are out of touch with the current school syllabus and are not in the best position to help their child academically.
Can’t live with it, can’t live without it
If one truly seeks a tuition-free world, then one must be able to raise intrinsically-motivated kids who understand the importance of education. Sounds good, but in such cases I worry that such a child may not have had the opportunity to be what he or she truly is — a child.
The other alternative is to simplify the education syllabus to reduce the demands placed on students. But we can’t risk compromising the standards of our school system.
The issue of whether tuition is a necessity is symptomatic of a larger problem in Singapore — that of balancing growth and competition with the desire for a slower pace of life. Until that is resolved, tuition will quite likely remain a necessity. –, October 1, 2013.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Physics Form 5: Chapter 4 - P-N Junction of Semiconductor

A small quantity of electrons on the n-side of the junction are attracted by the "holes" in the p-side. They drift across the junction, and fill available holes. This causes a region across the junction to be depleted in carriers of current (that is, electrons and "holes"). This region is called the DEPLETION LAYER, because it has been depleted in majority carriers. The depletion zone is a few micrometers thick, and, since it has no majority carriers, acts as an insulating barrier.
It is important to realise that when electrons moves from the n-side of the junction to the p-side, the n-side becomes positively charged (since neutral atoms have lost electrons), while the p-side of the junction now becomes negatively charged (since neutral atoms have now acquired negatively charged electrons). A potential difference now exists across the junction. This potential difference is about 0.6 V for silicon, and about 0.2 V for germanium. This is called the BARRIER POTENTIAL.

Why I decided to stop teaching after 19 years - Bernard Khoo

How different is education today, I was asked, compared with education when I was an educator?
Well, if I lasted 19 years as a teacher, it must have been a tolerable profession. Key operative word is “tolerable” despite the fact that in the mid-1960s, we teachers throughout the country went on strike to seek better remuneration.
When I opted to come back from Singapore after her separation from Malaysia to continue to make teaching my career my late meter-reader father warned me about the responsibility the job entailed.
“I already got you a job at LLN (now Tenaga) through Raja Zainal (then CEO)," he said.
He continued: "As a teacher you are responsible for ALL students in your class. They spend more hours with you than with their parents. If one goes astray, you have failed as the teacher!”
He sure threw a bucket of cold water on my vocation. I stuck to teaching, emboldened by the challenge  that I had, to emulate my former teachers, the men who nurtured me for this noble profession. I spent 10 years in a Sentul school after which I was assigned to another to stem the drug indiscipline in that school.
So, why did I throw all this away, besides the loss of pension and gratuity after 19 years?
After 1970, all schools were converted into government or government assisted schools and the Bahasa Kebangsaan (Bahasa Malaysia) would be the medium of instruction.
Three months of inservice course to learn Bahasa was deemed sufficient for one to be proficient in this new medium of instruction. I plodded on, even on occasions when I was just three pages ahead of my students.
That was the policy and I tried to do my best. And then I witnessed the insidious part race and religion snaked into the profession.
When handball was introduced in the sports curriculum I purchased the necessary. I was called into the office to justify why I purchased handball made from pig skin. I produced the ball that had the offending word “pigment” imprinted on it.
When the omnipotent words - race, religion and quota - took precedence over merit that resulted in shameless polarisation that then divided our student body, I wanted no part of this system and forfeited  one month’s salary in lieu of immediate resignation.
They say that once a teacher, always a teacher. I continued teaching as an internationally certified corporate trainer and coach, where race and religion could not find a foothold in multi-national corporations but lost a lucrative contract with a statutory body when it was revealed that I was an anti-establishment blogger.
So what’s new with this latest episode of the dressing room canteen?
The politicising of race and religion will continue unabated so we former teachers just pray that one day this beautiful country and its people can live together in harmony and undivided by people who use race and religion to control. - July 25, 2013.
* Bernard Khoo is a retired teacher who reads The Malaysian Insider.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Physics Form 5: Chapter 4 - The Doping of Semiconductor

An extrinsic semiconductor is an improved intrinsic semiconductor with a small amount of impurities added by a process, known as doping, which alters the electrical properties of the semiconductor. Doping process can improve semiconductor's electrical conductivity. Doping process produces two groups of semiconductor: the negative charge conductor (n-type) and the positive charge conductor (p-type). 

N-type semiconductor
Doped by pentavalent impurities which has 5 valence electrons to produce n-type semiconductors by contributing extra electrons. The addition such as antimony, arsenic or phosphorus contributes free electrons, greatly increasing the conductivity of the intrinsic semiconductor. 

This allows four of the five electrons to bond with its neighbouring silicon atoms leaving one "free electron" to move about when an electrical voltage is applied (electron flow).

P-type semiconductor
Doped by trivalent impurities which has 3 valence electrons to produce p-type semiconductors by producing a "HOLE". The addition such as boron, aluminium or gallium to an intrinsic semiconductor creates deficiencies of valence electrons, called "hole".

As there is a hole an adjoining free electron is attracted to it and will try to move into the hole to fill it. However, the electron filling the hole leaves another hole behind it as it moves. This in turn attracts another electron which in turn creates another hole behind, and so forth giving the appearance that the holes are moving as a positive charge through the crystal structure


Again and again.......How many times?

How am I going to encourage my ex SPM students to study Form SIX? Please answer me, Mr. Minister of Education. Please don't give any lame excuses such as technical error. Shame on you MOE!

Chai Yee Lin, a straight-A scorer in the STPM, had been hoping to further her studies in medicine or dentistry in a local public university of her choice.The teenager was sorely disappointed when she found out that she was only offered a place in Universiti Malaysia Kelantan to do veterinary science.
"Yes, I did state veterinary science as one of the secondary courses in the admission form, but I was confident that with my good results, I could get medicine or dentistry," she said.
Adding salt to the wound, Chai, who was hoping to support her family, later learnt that  a friend with lower scores was offered dentistry at Universiti Sains Malaysia.
The MCA and MIC have voiced out the grievances of students, claiming that fewer Chinese and Indian students had secured places in universities this year.
The Straits TImes reported that university entry has been a long-standing issue in the country, where racial quotas, favouring Malays and other bumiputeras, were used to determine entry into public higher-learning institutions.
The quotas were removed in 2002, and entry is now up to the discretion of higher education authorities.
It was reported that MCA education bureau chairman Wee Ka Siong has refused to accept the explanation from the Education Ministry that the candidates were denied entry into universities due to a technical glitch.
"I cannot accept this silly explanation. It is grossly unfair to the students," he said in Wisma MCA after meeting 22 students and their families on Tuesday.
MIC national youth council member G Kalaicelvan said the party had also received several complaints from top Indian students who had failed to gain admission to the course of their choice.
"Most want to do medicine and their STPM results meet the requirement but somehow they do not get a place in the public universities," The Straits Times quoted him as saying.
More than 18,000 students had failed to get places in public institutions of higher learning although they had met the requirements, said Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan, urging them to appeal.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in acknowledging the issue, had tweeted, urging the disappointed students not to give up.
"I know some were disappointed to not get a place at uni, but don't give up. Will discuss at Cabinet this week how to best help these students," he said. - AFP, July 18, 2013.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Physics Form 5: Chapter 4 - Semiconductor

Semiconductor is a material where its electrical conductivity lie between conductors and insulators. In semiconductors, thermal energy is enough to cause a small number of electrons to escape from the valence band of atom to the higher energy of conduction band, in which they are relatively free to move. The resulting gaps in the valence band are called holes.
Usually, semiconductors are made from semi-metal or called metalloid from the Periodic Table. 

Silicon is the most preferred material for semiconductors because:
  • ease of availability
  • low cost of processing 
  • higher temperature range
  • high resistivity than other counterparts 
  • low leakage current

Semiconductors are widely use in making diode, transistor and integrated circuit

Friday, July 12, 2013

Women make up 68% of Public Universities Intake

Women make up 68.02 per cent (28,280) of 41,573 applicants who gained admission to public institutions of higher learning (IPTAs) for the first degree in the 2013/2014 academic session.
They were chosen from 68,702 applicants, with 24,489 or 58.9 per cent of them from the science stream and 17,084 (41.1 per cent) from the arts stream, said Higher Education Department director-general Prof Datuk Morshidi Sirat.

He said 49 of the successful applicants were Orang Asli; 68 were physically challenged; and 1,515 were national and international athletes.

Morshidi said the IPTAs will issue formal offer letters to successful candidates beginning tomorrow.
He said 74.3 per cent or 30,903 of the successful candidates were Bumiputera, 19 per cent or 7,913, Chinese; 4.4 per cent or 1,824, Indians; and 2.3 per cent or 933 were from other ethnic groups.
Morshidi said 5,765 candidates were offered competitive courses, namely medicine (699), dentistry (119), pharmacy (260), law (385), chemical engineering (953), mechanical engineering (1,304), electrical and electronic engineering (1,122) and accounting (923).

The admission is based on the order of merit and selection of programmes in the universities applied for, he said, adding: "If the merit of a candidate is not so high and he applied for a competitive programme, it is unlikely that he [will be] offered the programme."
The status of applications can be checked at upu, jpt.utm, jpt.uum, jpt.unimas, jpt.ums from today, or by contacting the hotline 03-8870 6767, helpline 03-8870 6777, general line 03-8870 6755/6766 or by texting UPU RESULT (IC no) to 15888.

"Successful candidates must confirm acceptance within 10 days of the offer, on or before July 21. Letters of offer and confirmation can be printed from the IPTA website," he said.
Candidates can also go to the Student Admission Management Division, Higher Education Department in Presint 5, to check the status of their applications from today until July 21.
Unsuccessful candidates can file an appeal online within 10 days through e-Rayuan at starting today, until midnight on July 21.
Morshidi said appeals are subject to availability of places and would be deemed unsuccessful if no reply came from the IPTA concerned by Sept 30.
Registration of the new intake will be held on Sept 1 and 2, he added. - Bernama, July 11, 2013.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Chemistry Form 4 - Chapter 7: Examples of Acid - Base Indicator

Acid - base indicator is used in titration method to determine the end point of neutralisation process. The acid-base indicator basically is some weak organic acid or base dye that changes colours at definite pH values.

For further information, click below

Please Don't Intimidate Teacher......

Jangan ugut kami untuk undi kamu, kata NUTP

Guru-guru tidak seharusnya “diintimidasi atau diperas ugut" untuk mengundi mana-mana parti politik kata Kesatuan Perkhidmatan Perguruan Kebangsaan (NUTP) mengingatkan parti-parti politik.
Presidennya Hashim Adnan mengatakan ini sebagai respon kepada Menteri Pendidikan II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh yang menggesa guru-guru untuk mengundi Barisan Nasional (BN) dalam pilihan raya kecil (PRK) akan datang sebagai melahirkan rasa terima kasih kepada kerajaan.
“Guru-guru boleh mengundi sesiapa yang mereka mahu. Saya tidak akan menuntut atau memaksa guru-guru untuk mengundi Barisan Nasional,” kata Hashim kepada The Malaysian Insider hari ini.
Beliau menambah: “Jika mereka gembira dengan apa yang diterima dan jika mahu mereka (BN) terus berkhidmat kerana telah melaksanakan tanggungjawab dengan baik, mereka boleh mengundi BN.
“Semuanya terpulang kepada mereka. Mereka tidak seharusnya diintimidasi atau diperas ugut.”
Hashim mengatakan kerajaan tidak seharusnya mengambil mudah terhadap guru-guru.
“Apabila anda terlalu lama berkuasa, adalah normal untuk membuat gesaan seperti itu... sudah menjadi kebiasaan orang dijawatan seperti itu akan lakukan,” tambah beliau, akan tetapi memberi amaran kedua-dua pihak agar tidak membuli guru-guru untuk mengundi mereka.
Semalam Idris berkata undi kepada BN adalah bagi melahirkan rasa terima kasih kepada kerajaan yang banyak memperjuangkan kebajikan mereka.
"Tidak ada sebab guru membiarkan kerajaan bersendirian dan kini sampai masanya mereka membantu kerajaan untuk memastikan BN mengekalkan kerusi di Kuala Besut sebagai ucapan terima kasih mereka kepada kerajaan," katanya kepada pemberita semasa beramah mesra dengan penduduk Kampung Kemunting dekat Kuala Besut semalam.
Gesaan Idris mengingatkan kembali mengenai pilihan raya kecil Tenang dahulu apabila pengarah pendidikan negeri Markom Giran dikatakan menyalahgunakan kuasa apabila mengarah guru-guru untuk memastikan kemenangan BN.
Pengarah Pilihan Raya PAS bagi kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Tenang Dzulkefly Ahmad membuat laporan terhadap Makom kerana melawat sekolah di Labis dan Tenang menyuruh guru-guru memastikan kemenangan BN.
Dzulkefly turut menyerahkan klip video empat minit yang dimuat naik ke Youtube menunjukkan Markom memberikan ucapan kepada guru-guru. – 7 Julai, 2013.

Friday, June 28, 2013

True Story......

JBU interviews Justin Tan, a Malaysian based in Singapore. 

JBU: What is your background (age, hometown, profession)?
Justin: I am 35 year old, originates from Kampar, Perak, currently working as
a medical doctor in Singapore.

JBU: When did you emigrate from Malaysia?
Justin: I emigrated from Malaysia in October 2008.

JBU: Why did you emigrate from Malaysia?
Justin: I have a story to tell about myself. This is what happened to me that
i do not want to recur to any other Malaysians, ever again.

I was born in Kampar, Perak. This is a small town that i had my early education. I had a lot of fun childhood memories in this town. I was among
the top in my class since primary school and early secondary school. Due to my academic results, I was accepted in Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) in 1993. I remember there was about 13 MRSM nationwide in 1993. I was accepted to the college in Terengganu, one of the best MRSM in the country.

To those who may not know what MRSM is. MRSM is a full boarding school, managed by MARA agency, especially built to nurture elite Bumiputra students. Good Malay Students are selected into this school. MRSM has full facilities,
with the best teachers, in the college to teach the group of elite students. You cannot imagine how many hundred times of allocation to one MRSM a year, paid by government, compared to the normal national school.

In 1993, I was among the few non-Bumiputras being selected into this school. During my intake, there were about 300 over Malay students, 3 Chinese and
3 Indians. I was one of the three Chinese being selected into this elite school.
I was told then that we were recruited into the school in order to create competition among students so that the Malays can do even better. I decided to go for it. Reason for my decision was with the hope that i could secure a MARA scholarship after i finish my SPM. I have 3 elder brothers and one younger sister. To me, it's a heavy financial burden to my parents to send all
of us to universities. It was almost impossible for my parents to send any one of us overseas. To go overseas for my higher education, this was the only way. Malaysians know how much MARA spends a year in sending students to further their studies after graduating from Secondary Five. When i first joined MRSM in Terengganu, i was told by the school principal that i will be 'treated equally'.
I just had to work hard.

During my 2 years in this school, i worked very hard. In the school, i got to know many Malays. I could see how we live in harmony. We helped each other in our studies. We spent our weekend in town together, shopping for groceries. I felt how Malaysians should live together. In the boarding school, i do not see any barriers between us. Very often, it is the politician who divides the society by using racial sentiments. In fact, i made many new Malay friends in the boarding school. No RACIAL sentiments felt at all. We are all EQUAL in the school.

In all my 4 semesters in the school, i was the top student in all the 4 semesters. I scored the highest in the SPM Mara Preparatory Exam. This exam was more important than SPM as it was based on this result, MARA would decide which students they would sponsor to go overseas. As other students in my batch, i had asked for an application form to fill for the upcoming interview. I was denied to have the form. Reason given by the MARA Headquarter Office - I am not a Bumiputra. Despite being born here and live as a Malaysian since
i was born, i was told by my own country that i was not entitled to the scholarship's application as i am a non-Bumiputra. Everyone in my school wondered why they had accepted me at the first place. My college principal, with my class teacher, were kind enough to write me a letter to the MARA headquarter to appeal so that my case can be an exception. I felt disappointed being treated this way in my own country. Despite being the top in the school, I was denied of education. This is with one reason - that I am a non-Bumiputra. Everyone in my family was disappointed as it had meant that I had "wasted" two years. I felt like i was 'used and then dumped'

Frankly, even though i did not get the scholarship in the end, i had real good memories in this school as the school made me felt that i was a Malaysian.
The people in the school, who include my teachers and friends who are mostly Malays, treat me the same. After Form 5, most of my Malay friends were sent overseas, fully sponsored by MARA, for courses that i had dreamt of going for - Medicine. I had no choice but went back to Ipoh to pursue my Secondary Six.

I worked very hard for another 2 years in Ipoh. I scored 5As in STPM Exam. With this result, i secured a place in medicine in the top local University in Malaysia. I finally made it. Looking back, i have to work double hard, if not triple hard, to achieve my dream compare to my other fellow Malaysians. However, i see it as a challenge. It indeed made me stronger. After 5 years,
i graduated with a medical degree in 2003. I served my country for 4 years before i decided to move to Singapore.

JBU: Any plans to head back to Malaysia ?
Justin: It depends on the change in the country. I hope that i will be able to return to Malaysia to serve my Malaysian people one day.

JBU: Do you have any message of hope for Malaysia?
Justin: It has been 5 years since i reside in Singapore. I work as a medical specialist now. Despite being in Singapore for 5 years, my heart has never changed. I still love the country - Malaysia that makes me feel that change
is needed. Even all the stories about what happened to me 10 years ago,
i am still a Malaysian at heart. I joined BERSIH and 428, as a medical volunteer.

No matter how the policy in the country divides us, we believe that things will change one day. We still have hope in the country.

When Singaporean asks me if i am a local, i am quite proud to tell them that -

Thursday, May 30, 2013

I Need Your Generosity

I am not getting any paid from blogging nor make money from advertising. I just contribute my time and knowledge towards Malaysian education on volunteer basis. For those who are greatly blessed by this blogsite, I sincerely appeal to your generosity to contribute towards my church building fundraising project. Every cents count. Thank You So Much!

The church welcomes your contribution towards its fundraising project which is underway to raise RM8 million to complete a Multi-purpose Ministry Complex (MMC) built mainly to be of service to the community.

This building is on a 2.33 acre piece of land acquired 10 years ago. The entire cost of this project is RM24 million and is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. With just about 30% of the required costs to be raised, we appeal to your generosity to make this vision of the ministry complex a reality.

Mode of contribution:

A.Cheque / Demand Draft / Postal Order
Address to :The Chairman 
Penang First Fundraising Committee 
5-1-1, Jalan Gangsa, Hunza Complex, Greenlane Heights 
11600 Penang.

B.Direct Credit
Bank :Public Bank Berhad
Acc No :3103389714
Swift Code :PBBEMYKL
Kindly fax banked-in slip to :+604-658 4394

C.Further enquiries, call +604-6584404; or write to

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chemistry Form 4: Chapter 2 - Atomic Symbol, Proton Number and Nucleon Number

Atomic Number = Proton Number

Mass Number = Nucleon Number

click on the diagram below to play !

Chemistry Form 4: Chapter 2 - Electron Arrangement of Atom

Electrons are arranged in shells at different distances around the nucleus. As we move across each row of the Periodic Table the proton number increases by one for each element. This means the number of electrons also increases by one for each element.
Starting from the simplest element, hydrogen, and moving through the elements in order we can see how the electrons fill the shells. The the innermost shell (or lowest energy level) of electrons is filled first. This shell can contain a maximum of two electrons.
Next, the second shell fills with electrons. This can hold a maximum of eight electrons. When this is filled, electrons go into the third shell, which also holds a maximum of eight electrons. Then the fourth shell begins to fill.

Electron arrangement for the first 20 elements in the Periodic Table

 Number of valence electrons influences the chemical properties of element by losing electron to form ionic bond or gaining electron to form covalent bond in order to attain noble gases electron arrangement. Thus, all elements having the same valence electrons will show the same chemical properties.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chemistry Form 4: Chapter 4 - Dmitri Mendeleev ( Father of Periodic Table)

Dmitri Mendeleev was born at Tobolsk, Siberia in 1834 and died in 1907. Mendeleev studied science at St. Petersburg and graduated in 1856. In 1863 Mendeleev was appointed to a professorship and in 1866 he succeeded to the Chair in the University. 

Mendeleev is best known for his work on the periodic table; arranging the 63 known elements into a Periodic Table based on atomic mass, which he published in Principles of Chemistry in 1869. 

His first Periodic Table was compiled on the basis of arranging the elements in ascending order of atomic weight and grouping them by similarity of properties. 

Mendeleev provided for variance from strict atomic weight order, left space for new elements, and predicted three yet-to-be-discovered elements including eke-silicon and eke-boron. His table did not include any of the Noble Gases, however, which had not yet been discovered.

The original table has been modified and corrected several times, notably by Moseley, but it had accommodated the discovery of isotopes, rare gases, etc.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

SPM 2012 result

PUTRAJAYA, March 21 — A total of 15,793 students obtained straight As in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2012 examination, a rise of 0.13 per cent compared to the 15,079 students in the previous year. 
Director-general of Education Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud said 13,721 students were from the government schools compared to only 12,970 students in 2011, while 2,072 candidates were from private schools compared to 2,109 the previous year. 
“In addition, 481 candidates scored grade A+, which is the highest mark for all subjects that they sat for, with 431 candidates from government schools and 43 from private schools,” he said. 
When announcing the SPM results at his office, here today Abd Ghaffar said 488 candidates with special needs sat for the exam compared with 622 candidates last year, an increase of 27.5 per cent. 
According to Abd Ghaffar, three candidates with impaired vision and two candidates with Attention Deficit Disorder and High Spectrum Autism achieved a minimum of A- in all the subjects. 
“The success of the five special needs candidates shows that all students, despite their shortcomings, have equal opportunity to excel in the SPM,” he said.
There was a 0.04 point decline in the National Grade Point Average (GPN), bringing the number to 5.08 compared to 5.04 the previous year.
“The decline was due to an increase in the number of subjects that reported a drop in performance that exceeded the number of subjects that had reported improvements,” he said. 
Although the number was not significant because it was below 0.05 points, Abd Ghafar said he had instructed a study to be done and improvements to be made in the future. 
He said that based on the GPN, the achievements of candidates in urban areas dropped 0.16 point to 4.83 compared with 4.67 previously, while candidates in rural areas also saw a drop of 0.05 points to 5.44 points from 5.39 points last year. — Bernama

Monday, March 4, 2013

Should We Emulate the Finnish Education System?

In teachers they trust — Ng Jing Ying 

Asked how he assesses his teachers, Matti Koivusalo shrugs matter-of-factly that he has “no means” to do so. “There is no evaluation whatsoever for teachers. Everything is based on trust,” says the principal of Haaga Comprehensive School in Helsinki. Indeed, the “open” school culture means any feedback quickly reaches his ears, says Koivusalo, who looks after 50 teachers and 600 pupils in grades one through nine (the equivalent of Primary 1 to Secondary 3 in Singapore).

It is easy to see how: along the school’s hallway, pupils look up from their mobile phones and greet him as he walks past; some engage him in friendly banter. At the school cafeteria where free lunches are served daily — an established practice at all Finnish schools — teachers join him for lunch and chat about how their day has gone. Said Koivusalo: “If something bad happens, I’ll hear about it in five minutes … The atmosphere is such that (students and teachers) can come and talk about it freely without being afraid.” Even so, sackings are rare in Finnish schools, say educators. Vesa Valkila, one of the principals at Turku University teacher training school, tried to explain: “Finnish teachers have a lot of freedom and are trusted … that really motivates a lot of them to do their best.”

In Finland, a small country of 5.4 million people, its education system operates on this singular principle of trust. The country’s model shot to global attention after Finnish pupils repeatedly excelled in international tests such as the Programme for International Student Assessment — despite having practically no mandated standardised exams, rankings or competition.

Schools take in students of all varying abilities, including those with learning disabilities, under one roof. The curious result is that, the differences between its weakest and strongest students are the smallest in the world, according to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) survey.
School leaders across Finland tell Today the same thing: “We trust our teachers.” There are no national examinations in the first nine years of Finnish formal schooling, and schools and teachers are pretty much left on their own to educate their charges.

As Armi Mikkola, counsellor of education at the Ministry of Education and Culture, put it: “The administration is for support and not for inspection … Trust is part of Finnish society, it is a culture.”
Nevertheless, “with trust, there are some risks”, admitted Professor Jouni Valijarvi, director of the Finnish Institute for Educational Research. To mitigate risks of having underperforming teachers in schools, a stringent teacher selection process and rigorous teacher training is integral to the system, he said. “It is very important that we can say all schools are good schools,” added Valijarvi. “Because in every school, we’ve highly-trained and qualified teachers”.

Yearly, 7,000 teaching aspirants apply to be class teachers (teaching the equivalent of Primary 1 to 6). Typically, there are just 800 spots available. To teach secondary and upper secondary students (Secondary 1 to Junior College equivalent), 6,000 vie for 1,500 subject teacher positions yearly. Universities cherry-pick from this large pool of applicants, with two different selection processes for each category.

For class teachers, to prepare applicants for an entrance test, authorities will release study materials online on education-related topics such as pedagogical research studies. During the four-hour test, applicants answer about 100 multiple-choice questions. Even so, acing the entrance test does not guarantee a spot in one of the 11 universities offering teacher education. In phase two, depending on the applicant’s university of choice (they are given up to three picks), there could be a psychometric test along with an interview, or an observed group activity. Some universities also select based on an applicant’s matriculation exam results — the only national examinations taken by Finnish pupils, at the age of 18.

Anna Vaatainen, a student teacher at the University of Turku, is one who succeeded on her second try.
In her first attempt, she was invited by the University of Jyvaskyla for an interview but did not make it through. She went on to obtain a social work degree, and worked in an orphanage for four months, before deciding to give teacher education another go. This time, after “studying very hard” for the entrance test again, she and three other applicants were tasked by the University of Turku to plan an imaginary school’s sports day. “I am better around people so this group activity might have worked for me,” she said.
Those hoping to be a subject teacher undergo a similar selection process, having to first pass an entrance test set by their subject faculty of choice. They will then apply to the faculty of education, which may require an aptitude test and interview.

The result is that you ensure true commitment to the job. Jari Kouvalainen, a student teacher at the University of Eastern Finland, said: “Because we have to get through this really hard test, you have to be really motivated. With another five years of study, you’re really committed to this career.”

In the ‘70s, Finnish officials moved teacher training under the universities, subsequently implementing a five-year master’s degree programme for all who want to become teachers. A combination of theory, practice and research was key to teacher education, they decided. Class teachers major in the educational sciences and teach most subjects including mathematics and science at the primary levels. Teacher educators say that teaching younger children requires strong pedagogical skills to motivate and excite learners, and not just the transfer of academic knowledge at this stage.

By contrast, subject teachers major in their teaching subjects, while also having to complete pedagogical modules and teaching practicums. In-depth knowledge in their teaching areas is crucial, to give them the confidence to explain complex theories and tackle difficult questions. Anneli Rautiainen, head of professional development of teachers at the Finnish National Board of Education, thinks that research-based teacher education accounts for the high quality of teaching in Finnish schools today.

“The fact that we have a master’s degree for teacher initial education is very important. As research-based teachers, they can analyse learning situations and know how to support their students better,” she said.
Student teacher Tuula Hurtig agrees that conducting research has honed her critical thinking abilities and improved her teaching methods. Graduating as a history and civics teacher this year, her thesis involved research into how historical pictures impacted her students’ learning.

Head of teacher education at University of Helsinki, Jari Lanoven, calls research-based teacher education vital — it combines with field practice to keep student-teachers in touch with classroom realities and “thinking about their teaching methods”, he said. All student teachers undergo multiple teaching practicums as part of their five-year programme. Each one lasts between two weeks and a year.Guided by teacher mentors, student teachers are attached to teacher-training schools set up by the universities, where they plan, teach and observe lessons. These 12 teacher training schools across Finland function as normal schools, with pupils coming from nearby homes. These schools also partner regularly with universities to produce the latest research in education.

Final-year student teacher Mikko Honkamaki, from the University of Jyvaskyla, worked with different mentors during each of his four practicuums — which broadened his perspective on various teaching styles — and got advice before and after each lesson. He also got to observe and critique fellow student-teachers, and vice-versa. “Watching my peers forced me to focus on my own way of giving instructions ... Receiving and giving feedback has also been crucial to my growth as a professional,” he said.

It was a cold winter’s morning when Today visited Maininki School in Espoo city, half an hour outside Helsinki, and Rose-Marie Mod-Sandberg was conducting an English-language lesson with her eight-graders (Secondary 2 equivalent). The classroom was quiet as some students had fallen ill; it was a smaller than usual group. Mod-Sandberg, 55, decided to get her pupils to share about their favourite American cities and imagine what they would do if they got there. As the mood lightened, she gave out worksheets which each student completed on their own.

She has the leeway to tailor her lessons according to her students’ abilities or interests on that very day itself, she told us. For instance, if the children were keen on a topic that was meant only for next year, she could dive into it. And if they seemed more tired than usual — such as after a strenuous Physical Education lesson — she could choose to do something less demanding, and pick things up later. “If I want to teach a topic, I can teach it anyway and anytime I like,” she said. “Finnish teachers undergo a long training, so (school leaders) can trust us to be professional and to act in the pupils’ interest”.


In Finnish schools, teachers typically teach from 8am to 2pm before heading off to plan lessons or attend to parents’ queries. They are not required to take charge of after-school activities such as arts or sports clubs — usually run by private community organisations — and those who do so are remunerated accordingly.

Schools leaders also said that a layer of stress is removed for teachers as there is no evaluation process linked to their salaries. In fact, the pay structure is relatively flat where pay increases with years of experience and teaching hours. According to the latest OECD data, Finland’s average annual wage is S$59,852 (RM149,000) or approximately S$5,000 a month. For those teaching at the primary level, annual salaries start at S$35,883 (about S$3,000 a month). After 20 years, their pay reaches a maximum level of S$64,530 (S$5,400 a month).

Nevertheless, pay is not a main issue for Finnish teachers, said those Today spoke to. People are attracted to the career due to the high status that education is accorded in Finland and the autonomy given to teachers.
The government provides free education in the first nine years of a child’s school life, while schools receive funds to invest in slower learners. Teachers also hold a place in Finnish history, often cited as important figures alongside priests and doctors. “Young people still see working as a teacher as very creative and independent, where teachers can make a difference in their pupils’ lives,” said Olli Maatta, a teacher trainer at Helsinki Normal Lyceum, a regular Finnish school owned by the University of Helsinki for trainee teachers to serve their attachments.

At Haagan Comprehensive School, the school bell rings and children burst out of their classrooms into the snow-filled courtyard, throwing snowballs at one another and sledding down mini snow hills. Starring out of his window as one of his teachers leads pupils back from a skiing lesson, principal Koivusalo observes: “The role of an educator is very important. If a teacher loves his job, the children know it and they will want to come to school.” — Today

* Ng Jing Yng is a senior reporter with Today covering the education beat. She spent 1½ weeks visiting schools in three Finnish cities — Helsinki, Jyvaskyla and Turku — ranging from primary through to upper secondary (JC equivalent) levels.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Physics Form 4: Chapter 5 - Concave Lens Ray Diagrams

Concave lens is a diverging lens. The image form is smaller than the object, virtual and upright. Concave lens always produce images that share these characteristics. The location of the object does not affect the characteristic of the image.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chemistry Form 4: Chapter 2 - Structure of an Atom

  • Atom consists of electrons surrounding a nucleus that contains protons and neutrons.
  • Electrons are arranged around the nucleus in energy levels or shells. 
  • The mass of an atom is concentrated in nucleus which contained the protons and neutrons.
  • The nucleus is positively charged because of the presence of protons which are positively charged and the neutrons are neutral.
  • The atom is neutral because the number of protons and the number of electrons are equal

 Subatomic particles
 Relative mass
    Relative   charged

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Symbol of Element