Category Archives: Education

Unsettled Loans Affect Students


Unsettled Loans Affect Students

Some 400,000 errant borrowers owe the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) RM2.3bil in study loans. They have to settle the loans otherwise they will deny over 100,000 students their right to the loans.

Corporation chairman, Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah told media representatives that a sum of RM300 million unpaid loans would deprive at least 15,000 students of the privilege.

“Those who defaulted and are finding problems to pay up can discuss them with our officers. We can restructure their payment schedules and the amounts due,” said Shamsul to reporters during a press conference held at the PTPTN office in Greentown Business Centre, Ipoh recently.

Shamsul Anuar, who is also the MP for Lenggong, said until July 31 of this year, 2.24 million students had obtained the facility from the corporation involving over RM50 billion. Within the same period, the corporation had managed to collect RM4.32bil. A sum of RM737 million was collected in 2011 and RM800 million in 2012.

“Repayment of PTPTN loans has improved due to ongoing awareness programmes and enforcement actions and public cooperation,” he added. He said each year the corporation gave out RM1.3bil in loans to some 200,000 borrowers, and intended to give to more applicants in the future.

On a related matter, Shamsul congratulated the state government for initiating a scheme to help students. The establishment of the Perak Education Fund (Tabung Simpanan Pendidikan Negeri Perak) in 2010 was a step in the right direction as it complements the corporation’s objective of helping students.

The initiative involves the payment of RM200 for every baby born in Perak effective 2010. The money is channeled to the Perak Foundation (Yayasan Perak) for the child’s education.

“Between 2010 and the present, a sum of over RM1 million has been disbursed by the state to PTPTN. This involves the opening of 5,506 accounts of future applicants,” said Shamsul.


Sunway College Graduation Ceremony


It was a proud moment for 118 graduates of Sunway College Ipoh when they received their scrolls during the college’s  graduation ceremony on Tuesday, September 2.

The fifth cohort of graduating students were presented with scrolls for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Certified Accounting Technician, Diploma in Business Administration, Diploma in Marketing, Diploma in Business Information System, Diploma in Graphic Design and Diploma in Interior Design.

Forty seven of them received scholarships amounting to RM45,000 during the course of their study at the college.

Kok Ying Fan
Kok Ying Fan

Kok Ying Fan was honoured with an award for being the top five affiliates with a second placing in Malaysia for the June 2012 ACCA examination.

The ceremony was attended by family members and friends of the graduates. The Executive Member of the Sunway Group, Puan Sri Dr Susan Cheah, Senior Executive Director of Sunway Education Group, Elizabeth Lee, Sunway College Ipoh Chief Executive Cheng Mien Wee, Principal Adawiah Norli, and college staff were in attendance.

Dr Muhammad Amin Zakaria, Executive Councillor for Education, Science, Environmental and Green Technology graced the occasion. “We welcome the private sector to invest in education in Perak. Areas earmarked as education hubs include Kinta Valley, Seri Iskandar and Taiping,” said Muhammad in his opening remarks.

Chai Xin Wei
Chai Xin Wei

Top performer, Chai Xin Wei, 23, a Diploma in Marketing graduate, delivered the valedictory speech. She congratulated her fellow graduates and thanked the lecturers for their patience and support.

In conjunction with the graduation ceremony, the college organised an education and career fair for the students to initiate their career placement.

Sunway College Ipoh, with a current enrolment of 400 students, was established in 2004. It recently launched the Foundation in Arts Pre-University Programme, an alternative fast track pathway to pursue a degree course at Sunway University.

The college, under the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, gives out scholarships or grants tuition waivers to deserving students, based on their financial background or on merit.


Bridging the Technological Gap


Bridging the Technological GapTo bridge the widening technological gap between urban and rural communities, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has initiated measures to ensure that the problem is adequately addressed. It has embarked on a project to distribute netbooks to libraries in the country as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Programme, which it is actively pursuing nationwide.

The Commission, on Thursday, September 5, gave 708 pieces of Netbook 1Malaysia for distribution to the public libraries in Perak. The presentation ceremony was held at the Ipoh Town Hall in the presence of Hj Mohammad Nazari bin Hj Abd Hamid, Director of the Perak Public Library Corporation. Mohammad Nazari, who is also the assemblyman for Temenggor, thanked MCMC who was represented by Encik Mohd Faizal, the head of MCMC Perak branch.

The netbooks, worth over RM770, 000, will be given to all 59 public libraries in the state. “It’s our fervent hope that the availability of these items in the libraries will enable users to access the Internet for their own good,” said Mohammad Nazari in his acceptance speech.

The occasion was also held to celebrate the Perak Public Library Corporation’s Hari Raya Open House. Twelve of the corporation’s staff received awards for their meritorious service while 19 were given certificates.

In attendance was Puan Salbiah bt Mohamed, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Perak Public Library Corporation.


IT Products For Deserving Students


Twenty students of SRJK (C) Sam Tet were presented with computer tablets by SNS Network, an Ipoh born computer and IT services provider, as part of its CSR initiative.


For SNS Managing Director Ko Yun Hung, an old boy of the school from primary to secondary, this initiative is the first of the company’s IT Enablement Project which aims to focus on awareness for IT education for schools.

Ko added that his company has held seminars with companies earlier but this year had shifted their efforts to a CSR initiative focused at schools. The presentation of tablets at SMJK Sam Tet was the first of 10 projects targeted.

(l-r) PIBG Chairman Wong with SNS MD Ko with a student who received the tablet
(l-r) PIBG Chairman Wong and SNS MD Ko with a student who received the tablet

For their initial project Ko worked with the school’s PIBG Chairman Wong Yit Hoo. According to Wong the selected 20 students were from standards 4 and 5 classes and the tablets were an incentive for them to do better.

The criteria for selection included their being from underprivileged homes, achieving good results and showing a positive attitude. The tablets were handed to the deserving standard four and five students during their morning assembly amidst joyous chatter by their fellow students.


School Honours Teachers and Launches Charity Night


SJK (C) Sam Chai held a dinner at the Garden Restaurant to celebrate Teachers’ Day on Sunday, August 25. The occasion was attended by about 250 teachers, staff members and guests.  During the dinner, long service awards were presented to Ms Leong Wai Ling and Ms Wong Lai Fong for their dedicated service to the school. Both have served 20 and 15 years, respectively.

SJK (C) Sam Chai Ipoh

Mementos were given to retiring Assistant Headmaster, Mr Hew Tet Choy, teacher Ms Teh Ai Chin while guests were entertained to dances by members of a local dance troupe.

The school took this opportunity to launch the Sam Chai Charity Night 2013 which will be held on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at the Poi Lam (Suwa) High School grounds. The event is to raise funds for the school’s ongoing building project consisting of a 4-storey block to replace the two existing termite-ridden wooden blocks which were built in 1951 and 1961.

According to Mr Lee Chau Ju, Chairman of the Board of Governors, the school is still short of about RM3 million to complete the project. He said that a sum of RM2350 was collected and donated to the school by staff of Taiko Plantations when its appeal for funds was highlighted in Ipoh Echo recently.

Lee beckons readers who are interested to donate to this worthy cause to visit the school for an overview of the building project. He can be reached at 05-254 0087 and 05-241 5483.

SH Ong

Tenby’s New Campus



The new Tenby Schools’ campus in Bandar Meru Jaya might just be the answer for parents who are seeking an international-level education for their kids. Covering an area of 13.5 acres, the school held its soft launch on Thursday, August 22.

Tenby’s New Campus 1

With five campuses around Malaysia, Tenby has a total of more than 1000 students in all of its branches. In addition to Malaysians, many of them are of different nationalities such as Japanese, Koreans, Indians, Pakistanis, Americans and others.

The new campus offers a conducive and secluded environment which is very suitable for studying. It has many facilities that students can enjoy, like classroom blocks, early-years centres, specialist rooms for science subjects, library and an expressive arts centre.

Tenby’s New Campus 2

Co-curricular programmes are given emphasis by the setting up of the sports complex that includes a swimming pool, football field and a multi-purpose hall. This is to keep students from burying their noses inside academic books all day.

“We encourage students to take part in at least one or more co-curricular activities,” said Mdm Lee Yam Sei, Director of Tenby Schools Ipoh.

Tenby’s New Campus 3

With the vision of “A United World at Peace – Through Education”, Tenby hopes to promote a living model of racial and cultural diversity, international mindedness through its International and Malaysian curricula.


Tenby Schools Ipoh Moving to Bandar Meru Jaya


Tenby Schools Ipoh Moving to Bandar Meru Jaya-1

Tenby Schools Ipoh, the pioneer in international education in Ipoh, will be moving to a new 13-acre purpose-built campus situated in the silver state’s new Bio-D township, Bandar Meru Raya.

With more than 20 fully facilitated specialist rooms, alongside a multi-purpose sports hall, swimming pool and auditorium, the new campus will provide greater opportunities for students to pursue academic and extra-curricular activities.

The new university-style library provides not just reading and revision materials, but discussion areas and computer facilities for students’ research purposes. The new campus encapsulates the school’s goal to nurture well-rounded individuals who will be responsible, articulate and participatory citizens and leaders of the world.

Tenby Schools Ipoh Moving to Bandar Meru Jaya-2

In line with the school’s vision of “A United World at Peace – Through Education”, Tenby Schools Ipoh offers both International and Malaysian curricula on one site to promote a living model of racial and cultural diversity, international mindedness and global citizenship.

In addition to being fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the school has also established strong ties with Stranmillis University College (a College of the Queen’s University in Belfast) that is renowned for its teachers’ training courses.

With this new campus opening in September 2013, the school will be holding its Orientation Day on August 23 and 24 between 9.30am to 2pm.

Appealing for Acceptance


University admissions seem to be the topic on everyone’s lips at the moment. After all, this concerns the shaping of our country’s future leaders. Thus, a meeting with the students who got good grades but failed to get any places or the courses they favoured in public universities was held by MIC Youth Officer Sivarraajh Chandran at the State Secretariat Building on Friday, July 17.

Appealing for Acceptance

The meeting was attended by about 50 students who filed their complaints with him. Of the number, three cases were from students who got 4As (one of them wasn’t offered any places in universities). Most of them present applied for medicine, pharmacy and dentistry.

One of the students was Renuka Beulah a/p Kunalan, 20. She was ecstatic when she completed her STPM with a CGPA of 3.92 and applied for universities that offered medicine. She did an aptitude test for UKM but was instead offered biomedical science. Her mother, D. Selvarani, 48, could not afford to send her daughter to a private institution due to financial constraints. “Both of us are demoralised, especially Renuka as she had worked hard for her grades.”

Kushalini Rames, 19, did her matriculation in Penang and got all As. She did not receive any calls for interview but was offered chemical engineering at UKM instead of medicine or dentistry that she favoured.

Javendra Kumar, 19, aims to do medicine after completing his matriculation in Pahang with a CGPA of 3.85. He was, however, offered biology at UKM thus shattering his dreams of being a doctor, which was why he rejected a scholarship to study engineering after SPM.

Nur Aini Shaik Alaudeen obtained a Diploma in Marketing from POLIMAS. She got a CGPA of 3.83 and applied for business courses in five universities. She was shocked when none responded. “Does this mean polytechnic students are not good enough for public universities?”

Sivarraajh promised to take up the matter with the Education Ministry and find an amicable solution to the problem.


A Resurgent Malaysia Festival of the Mind


Can you solve this addition ‘27+86+78+99+72+10’ in less than five seconds without using a calculator? While most people gave up without trying, one man stood by undaunted. This was West Wong, touted as the ‘Malaysia Human Calculator’ who did it the sum in a flash at the 9th Malaysia Festival of the Mind held at Dewan Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik in UTAR Perak Campus recently.

West Wong, who is a UTAR alumnus, was invited as guest speaker for a crowd enlightening session which followed the launching ceremony of the 9th Malaysia Festival of the Mind. In what appeared to be a spectacular showpiece from the Math prodigy, West demonstrated his startling arithmetic and calculation abilities, and maintained his cool despite being bombarded with an outpouring of uncharacteristic complex equations from the animated crowd. His ability to produce razor-sharp answers in a hairsbreadth of time has garnered the crowd pleaser widespread adulation.

A Resurgent Malaysia Festival of the Mind

“I discovered my knack for numbers at the age of nine, and have not looked back since,” said Wong, co-founder and tutor of Nexus Learning Centre who is also the bronze medallist in the category of Flash Anzan at the 2012 World Mental Olympics (Memoriad) in Antalya, Turkey. West pioneered a historic feat for Malaysia, bagging the country’s first-ever medal in the final showdown of world-class Math wunderkinds. He is now bent on nurturing talents to represent Malaysia in the upcoming Memoriad in Las Vegas in 2016. His parting remark to the crowd was, “Believe in yourself and love what you do!”

Present were UTAR Council and Malaysia Mental Literacy Movement (MMLM) Chairman Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik,  UTAR Council Member Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Chuan, who was also the guest-of-honour for the two-day event, UTAR Planning and Development Committee Advisor Tan Sri Hew See Tong, UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato’ Dr Chuah Hean Teik and senior UTAR officials.

The annual Malaysia Festival of the Mind is a brainchild of MMLM, and is jointly organised by MMLM, UTAR and Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR) University College. Through its activities, the festival aims to create greater awareness among Malaysians of all ages and all walks of life on how to develop thinking, memory and creativity skills. Admission to the festival, exhibition, talks and workshops are open to the public for free.

Tun Razak Library Must Use English


I am impressed by the recently renovated Tun Razak Library. This is a well-planned project by MBI.

The children’s section has been completely redone. It is very colourful and has an artificial tree in the centre, under which children can sit and read. The chairs and tables are placed around the sides of the room creating ample space for movement. The bird in the tree chirps when hands are clapped from a particular spot. There are PCs with internet connection. New song books for preschool children have been ordered. There is a storytelling corner. Games like Scrabble and Monopoly and others are available. There is a TV for toddlers to watch. On Saturdays this section is well patronised by parents and children; however during weekdays it is virtually empty.


During the three-month renovation of the ground floor, books on the other floors have been rearranged. Previously books were kept on different floors according to  language, namely, English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. Now books in all languages are grouped under subjects, for example fiction books in all languages are on the same floor. The shelves are colour coded for each language and Red is for English books. This is a good concept; however readers are complaining that they have to go to different floors to get their books. On weekdays, the lending and reference sections are deserted.

The reading section is well patronised by senior citizens. A survey must be done among the regular visitors to find out what magazines they would like to read. A form could be made available for readers to propose books to be purchased.


As one of the essential services provided by MBI to have an educated and literate population, the library must be opened at least six days a week and closed only on Mondays as was done previously. The library must be opened on Sundays to enable parents to bring their children and would also be convenient for working people. There is no point in providing facilities which are difficult to use.

The signages are only in Malay; they must be in English as well.  If the government wants to enhance proficiency of the English language they need to use it. The importance of English needs no elaboration.

PAGE (Parents Action Group for Education) which promotes the teaching of English can work together with the library and conduct activities to promote the use of English. We have to start somewhere to prop up English language skills.

Let us work together and create awareness in reading among Ipohites.

A. Jeyaraj