Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 36

At Ummah convention, ex-educator urges ban on scholarships for minorities

Former Education Officer, Datuk Raof Husin giving a speech during ‘Konvensyen Kebangkitan Ummah 2018’ at the Malaysia Islamic Centre on January 13, 2018.

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — A retired teacher told the government today to end federal scholarships for minority students as part of moves to uplift Malay supremacy in the country ahead of the 14th general election.

Datuk Raof Husin, representing the Malaysian Association of Former Education Officers, told the Rise of the Ummah Convention here that the government was constitutionally bound to limit study aid to Bumiputra students.

Raof claimed this was also the will of six late Malay Rulers during their negotiations with British colonialists for the country's independence.

“The government must uphold Article 153 (1) of the Federal Constitution with regards to Bumiputera Special Privilege in education,” he said in his presentation on education at the convention.

“Return the exclusive right of government scholarship to Bumiputera students and do not give them to others,” he said.

Article 153 states that it is the Yang diPertuan Agong’s prerogative to reserve scholarships and civil service positions, among others, for the Bumiputera community.

Full story at Malay Mail Online (January 2018)

Dr M: Shameful for graduates to end up selling nasi lemak

It is shameful for graduates to resort to selling nasi lemak, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in a talk.

"We cannot be proud if graduates become Uber drivers or sell nasi lemak. They do this to support their income.

"They are trained (in universities), so they should make use of their knowledge and competency. They resort to selling nasi lemak because they can't get a job," he said during his weekly "Policy Talk" show, which was aired live on Facebook today.

This week's session focused on jobs and education for youths.

Mahathir said if the purpose of graduates was to sell nasi lemak, universities would be teaching such courses.

"But we don't have a university like this. It is shameful for a graduate to sell nasi lemak.

"It shows that the government had failed to match the (workforce's) knowledge with job opportunities," said the Bersatu and Pakatan Harapan chairperson.

Full story at Malaysiakini (January 2018)

Apple's Tim Cook: 'I don't want my nephew on a social network'

Apple chief talks about tax affairs and overuse of tech at launch of school coding initiative

By Samuel Gibbs

The head of Apple, Tim Cook, believes there should be limits to the use of technology in schools and says he does not want his nephew to use a social network.

Cook was talking at Harlow college in Essex, one of 70 institutions across Europe that will use Apple’s Everyone Can Code curriculum, it was announced on Friday.

“I don’t believe in overuse [of technology]. I’m not a person that says we’ve achieved success if you’re using it all the time,” he said. “I don’t subscribe to that at all.”

Even in computer-aided courses, such as graphic design, technology should not dominate, he said.

“There are are still concepts that you want to talk about and understand. In a course on literature, do I think you should use technology a lot? Probably not.”

The 57-year old chief executive, who took the reins at Apple after the death of Steve Jobs in 2011, said the company cared deeply about children outside the classroom.

“I don’t have a kid, but I have a nephew that I put some boundaries on. There are some things that I won’t allow; I don’t want them on a social network.”

Tim Cook with his predecessor, Steve Jobs, in 2010. Photograph: Paul Sakuma/AP

Despite having just walked off a plane on a whistle-stop tour of Europe, Cook put the teachers and students at ease. Dressed in a blue jumper, grey jeans and blue suede shoes, he scarcely appears a tech billionaire (Apple is on track to be the first $1tn firm).

“He’s is the most famous person we’ve had here as a guest,” said one teacher. “The second? Oh, David Cameron.”

Born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1960, to a docker and a pharmacy worker, Cook grew up in the town of Robertsdale. He spent 12 years at IBM before Jobs asked him to join Apple in 1998. It was Jobs’ passion and purpose to “serve humanity” that Cook said drew him to the company. “After 15 years of searching, something clicked. I finally felt aligned.”

As senior vice-president of worldwide operations, he closed factories and warehouses, replacing them with contract manufacturers in Asia. He also kept costs under control and secured long-term deals in soon-to-be-crucial parts for the company, including flash memory storage for the iPod Nano, iPhone and iPad, which locked out competitors.

Full story at The Guardian (January 2018)

Baptist University temporarily suspends two students following standoff over Mandarin test

By Karen Cheung

Hong Kong Baptist University Vice-Chancellor Roland Chin says that two students involved in a spat over a controversial Mandarin language requirement have been temporarily suspended.

Undergraduate students at the school are required to reach “foundation Putonghua proficiency” in order to graduate, according to a notice from the Language Centre. Students must either enrol on a Mandarin course, or prove their language proficiency – such as by passing an exemption test.

Last week, the Baptist University Student’s Union (BUSU) held an eight-hour protest at the centre, which runs the newly-introduced test.

Hong Kong Baptist University. File photo: InMedia.

The first round of tests were held between October and November last year. The protest came after the results were released last Monday, revealing that 70 per cent of those who sat the test had failed. The students concerned must sign up for a three-credit course offered by the Language Centre in order to graduate.

Students demanded talks with the administration, calling for the marking guidelines to be made public.

However, the demands were overshadowed by a video clip showing Student Union President Lau Tsz-kei uttering profanities while speaking with staff members.

At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Chin said that the students made the teachers feel “insulted” and “threatened.”

HKBU Vice-Chancellor Roland Chin. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

The suspensions came after a preliminary investigation found that the students’ behaviour violated the school code of conduct, according to Chin. Other students present at the scene are not being handed the same punishment because there was no serious violation on their part, he said.

Chin added that the punishment was unrelated to the Mandarin controversy, was not political, and was only related to the actions of the students: “If there’s any issue – and that issue is so important you can insult someone – that’s wrong.”

Full story at Hong Kong Free Press (January 2018)

Hong Kong's 'Umbrella Movement' Has Been Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

Hong Kong democracy activists Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow outside Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal before a hearing on Jan. 16, 2018. Anthony Wallace—AFP/Getty Images

By Eli Meixler

U.S. lawmakers have nominated three of Hong Kong’s most prominent pro-democracy youth activists, Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow, for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize along with other contributors to the semi-autonomous region’s movement for political freedom.

Wong, 21, Law, 24, and Chow, 27, were among the most well-known figures in the Umbrella Movement, which seized the world’s attention during a 79-day occupation of Hong Kong’s political and financial center in 2014. Originally planned in opposition to China’s political control in election of the city’s highest executive, the protests drew tens of thousands of mostly young people to tent-laden encampments that brought the city to a standstill and awakened a new generation of political participation.

A dozen U.S. congressmen and women, including Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio and N.J. Rep. Christopher Smith, submitted the nomination to the Nobel committee Thursday, “in recognition of their peaceful efforts to bring political reform and self-determination to Hong Kong.” The congress members, several of them chairs of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), announced their intention to nominate the trio late last year.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, was “handed back” to Beijing under a 1997 agreement that promised a degree of political autonomy over 50 years; the territory is governed under a parliamentary-style system and enjoys freedoms of press and expression that are not shared by mainland Chinese cities. Facing an uncertain future and fearing an ever-encroaching Beijing, the Umbrella Movement unleashed a generation of Hong Kong youths demanding a democratic future and rejecting Beijing’s authoritarian model.

“Wong, Law and Chow and the entire Umbrella Movement embody the peaceful aspirations of the people of Hong Kong who yearn to see their autonomies and way of life protected and their democratic aspirations fulfilled,” the congress members wrote in a letter to the Nobel Peace Prize committee. “The Umbrella Movement and its leadership are acting in the long tradition of previous Nobel Peace Prize Laureates who captured the imagination of their fellow countrymen and sought principled and peaceful change from within.”

Full story at Time (February 2018)

Support opposition and face action, minister warns teachers, officials

Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid says civil servants, education department officers and teachers are barred from joining any opposition party or criticising the government. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, January 19, 2018.

TEACHERS and Education Ministry officers have been warned not to support the opposition, Kwong Wah reports today.

According to the Chinese language newspaper, Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid told the teachers and officers that disciplinary action would be taken against them if they backed the opposition.

Civil servants, education department officers and teachers are barred from joining any opposition party or criticising the government, he said.

It would be tantamount to sabotaging and tarnishing the government’s image, he added.

He cited the example of a state education department officer who criticised the government on Facebook and how it went viral on social media before it was picked up by the media.

“We had to take swift action in that case although he was not suspended. The way he criticised showed the amount of contempt he had for the government.

Full story at The Malaysian Insight file (January 2018)

Yale’s Most Popular Class Ever: Happiness

Jennifer Chen, left, and Sean Guo are among the almost 1,200 students taking Laurie Santos’s “Psychology and the Good Life,” at Yale. The class was recently moved to Woolsey Hall, the university’s concert venue, from Battell Chapel, which could only accommodate a crowd of 800. Credit Monica Jorge for The New York Times.

By David Shimer

NEW HAVEN — On Jan. 12, a few days after registration opened at Yale for Psyc 157, Psychology and the Good Life, roughly 300 people had signed up. Within three days, the figure had more than doubled. After three more days, about 1,200 students, or nearly one-fourth of Yale undergraduates, were enrolled.

The course, taught by Laurie Santos, 42, a psychology professor and the head of one of Yale’s residential colleges, tries to teach students how to lead a happier, more satisfying life in twice-weekly lectures.

“Students want to change, to be happier themselves, and to change the culture here on campus,” Dr. Santos said in an interview. “With one in four students at Yale taking it, if we see good habits, things like students showing more gratitude, procrastinating less, increasing social connections, we’re actually seeding change in the school’s culture.”

Dr. Santos speculated that Yale students are interested in the class because, in high school, they had to deprioritize their happiness to gain admission to the school, adopting harmful life habits that have led to what she called “the mental health crises we’re seeing at places like Yale.” A 2013 report by the Yale College Council found that more than half of undergraduates sought mental health care from the university during their time there.

“In reality, a lot of us are anxious, stressed, unhappy, numb,” said Alannah Maynez, 19, a freshman taking the course. “The fact that a class like this has such large interest speaks to how tired students are of numbing their emotions — both positive and negative — so they can focus on their work, the next step, the next accomplishment.”

Prof. Laurie Santos delivering one of her twice-weekly lectures. She says the course aims to not only make individual students happier, but also to change the culture at Yale. Credit Monica Jorge for The New York Times

Students have long requested that Yale offer a course on positive psychology, according to Woo-Kyoung Ahn, director of undergraduate studies in psychology, who said she was “blown away” by Dr. Santos’s proposal for the class.

Administrators like Dr. Ahn expected significant enrollment for the class, but none anticipated it to be quite so large. Psychology and the Good Life, with 1,182 undergraduates currently enrolled, stands as the most popular course in Yale’s 316-year history. The previous record-holder — Psychology and the Law — was offered in 1992 and had about 1,050 students, according to Marvin Chun, the Yale College dean. Most large lectures at Yale don’t exceed 600.

Full story at New York Times (January 2018)