Monday, August 31, 2009

Sex Education in Malaysia

A Little Story about Sex Survey

About half of all young Malaysians don't know how babies are born.

A National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) survey had also found that two in five do not know where the foetus develops. Half of those surveyed did not know that the male and female reproductive organs are.

The Malaysian population and family survey, which polled some 1,700 respondents between the ages of 13 and 24, revealed the dept of ignorance among the young in basic sexual and reproductive health.

The respondents were from all races and from urban and rural areas across the country. Carried out by LPPKN every 10 years, the survey tested respondents on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, contraceptives and reproductive organs.

The topic of sex education has long been a subject of debate, and Malaysia came close to implementing it in 2006 after the Cabinet gave the nod. But, it appears to have fallen by the wayside.

Sex education does not mean we are giving the youngsters a license to have sex. It is to arm them with proper knowledge and to teach them to practise healthy sexual behaviour, and to be responsible for their own actions. Children today are exposed to so many things they think is sex education, but it's not. Pornography, for example, is a very perverted form of sex.

More focus should be placed on preventive measures instead of kneejerk reactions to cases like abandoned babies. Too much funds have been allocated to fix problems instead of adressing them at the source. We shouldn't let our kids reach the stage where they have to seek abortions. We should prevent that from happening. And, we teach them abstinence but also arm them with knowledge about safe sex.

A World Health Organisation study on 19 countries that have a system of sex education in place showed that sex education did not hasten sexual activities. On the contrary, it delayed sexual activities and led to safer sex.

Sex Education: The Story So Far

>> January 1991: The National Union of Teaching Profession disagreed with a suggestion to allow films and videotapes depicting sexual scenes to be used for educational purposes.

>> September 1992: The Cabinet Committee on AIDS proposed that sex education, with emphasis on AIDS preventation, be taught to Form Two pupils.

>> October 1992: The Education Ministry decided not to use the term "sex education" for the subject on sex as it can be misconstrued by the public. It woild be known as "family health education" and taught to only secondary school students.

>> December 1994: Sex education would be introduced as a subject called "family life education" for students from Forms Two to Five beginning the 1995/96 school term, said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn.

>> September 1998: The proposal to include sex education in schools has been perceived negatively by some parents and groups in the society, said the Federation of Family Associations.

>> April 2000: Sex education was taught in Penang under a pilot project involving Form 3 students in 15 schools.

>> December 2003: Teachers would be given guidelines on how to approach subjets on sexuality early next year, said the National Unity and Social Development Ministry.

>> December 2006: The Cabinet gave the green light to introduce sex education into the school syllabus at all levels, said the Ministry of Education.

>> December 2006: A sum of RM20 million had been allocated to provide training, campaigns and promotional materials for sex education, said Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

>> March 2007: A plan to expand the scope of the sex education programme beyond students was holding back the roll-out of the guidelines.

>> May 2008: Sex education and the danger of HIV and AIDS would be introduced under the National Service training programme starting October, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen.

>> November 2008: Sex education was unlikely to be introduced in the National Service training, said NS Training Council chairman Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe, as feedback from various quarters had not been received.

Mansid @ I am Malaysian Blogger

Related link: Plagiarism in Universiti Putra Malaysia

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chancellor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

A New Chancellor Joins UKM's Journey
By: Sharifah Hapsah Shahabudin, Vice Chancellor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

On July 21 2009, Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir, the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan, was proclaimed the new chancellor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, in the historic Dewan Tun Abdul Razak (DeCTAR), named after its first chancellor.

In a ceremony steeped in UKM tradition, the higher education minister announced the appointment by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong under Section 8 of the University and University Colleges Act 1971 and the UKM constitution, in front of more than 3,000 academics, students, staff, alumni and guests.

Tuanku Muhriz succeeds his late uncle, Tuanku Jaafar Tuanku Abdul Rahman, who was chancellor for 32 years, and Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who was chancellor from 1970 until his untimely death in 1975.

Chansellor are usually appointed from among dignitaries such as royalty, or other persons of eminence. Although largely titular and non-resident, several sections of the UUCA do invest power in the chancellor.

The chancellor appoints one or more pro-chancellors upon the advice of the higher education minister and he may delegate his duties to any of them.

He determines the date and frequency of convocation, and presides over those that he attends. He awards degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic recognition. He can also withdraw the awards from those found guilty of scandalous acts, although this has never happened.

In the appointment of a royal professor, the chancellor consults with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who may bestow the honour on not more than three very eminent persons at a time.

The chancellor approves the university seal or any amendment to it. More importantly, on the advice of the governing board, the chancellor has the power to approve, amend or repeal any statute of the university (though the written approval of the University Senate is required for statutes on academic matters).

Generally, in Malaysia as in most Commonwealth nations, the chancellor is largely ceremonial, with day-to-day operations typically handled by a vice chancellor and the governing body headed by a chairman.

In other countries, vice chancellors are known as presidents or rectors or both.

The title “chancellor”, too, assumes different meanings in different countries, and even among different universities in the same country. The tradition has evolved in unique ways from its medieval origins, through the Renaissance and post World War 2 period, even among countries in the Commonwealth.

In Australia, besides having ceremonial duties, chancellors are also chairmen of universities’ governing bodies. They are frequently drawn from the senior ranks of business or the judiciary.

In some universities, a visitor, who is senior to the chancellor and is generally the state governor, or the bishop for Catholic universities, is appointed. The function is mainly ceremonial.

In the state universities of India, the governor of that particular state is the administrator and the president of the country is normally the chancellor, whose function is largely ceremonial.

In the Republic of Ireland, it’s more complicated. Two of four chancellors are figurehead leaders, while the other two (Dublin City University and University of Limerick) are also the chairmen of the universities’ governing authorities.

In the United States, the heads of universities are typically called either “president” or “chancellor”, depending on the preference and statutes of the university. Where there is a state university system, the chancellor serves as a system-wide chief, with presidents governing individual campuses, although in some state systems the two titles are reversed.

This is seen in the University of the Philippines system, where the head of its autonomous universities is the chancellor and the head of the university system is designated the president. Vestiges of the figurehead British “chancellor” are seen in College of William and Mary, but the executive there is called “president”, not “vice chancellor”.

Tuanku Muhriz joins this diverse and interesting world of chancellors at a very challenging phase of UKM’s history. The first chancellor kept us firmly on the path of a national university that arose from the aspirations of the Malay rulers since 1903, and the struggles of the rakyat since the 1920s, for a university that enshrines Malay as the language of knowledge.

UKM has stayed true to this mission and has built a corpus of knowledge that attracts scholars from all over the world.

The second chancellor inspired us to build a strong foundation from which to leap forward to new levels of academic excellence. Student enrolment, staff recruitment, and the establishment of faculties and research institutes, grew by leaps and bounds. The “kebangsaan” spirit continued to glow, kindled by the challenges of globalization and the necessity for internationalisation.

Now, on the threshold of its 40th year - 2010 - the third chancellor will preside over UKM’s transformation into a research university comparable with the leading universities in the world by 2018.

As key partners in contributing knowledge and innovation as drivers of national growth and competitiveness, we are cultivating not only an intellectual and academic environment but spawning a culture of enterprise, emanating from our scientific discoveries and innovations, thereby linking research with industry and other stakeholders, teaching and the world of work.

UKM has entered an exciting phase of its development where change is anticipated beyond every bend. In this spirit we welcome the new chancellor.

Source: New Straits Times, August 18, 2009
Related link: Plagiarism in Universiti Putra Malaysia

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