Friday, October 31, 2014

Nowadays, the use of Internet is increasing especially among adolescence or more accurately, students. The Internet issue is discussed by the adults and parents. Most of them are worried that the use of Internet is dangerous to their kids. Some others said that Internet may bring benefits to their children especially to those who will be sitting for an examination.

          On my opinion, Internet has both benefits and drawbacks. First of all, let me  talk about the benefits first. As we know, Internet is mostly used by students. By surfing internet, students can visit various websites to assist their studies. The examples of popular websites are , , and They can visit the websites and revise their studies in more exciting way. Some of  them are free. Students can visit it anytime they want. The websites also provide useful notes and exercises. At the same time, students can get additional information that they cannot find it in books. For instance, they can go to 'Google' or 'Yahoo' search engines to search for more ideas to write an essay. In short, Internet provides vast informations and knowledge which is very beneficial for the students.

          Next, Internet also provides lots of social networks such as Facebook , Twitter, MySpace and many other. Through these social networks, we can add more friends and make new friends. We can also know friends from other country as these social networks are used internationally. Other than adding friends, we can also strengthen our relationship with our friends and family who are staying far away from us using Skype. We can see them in front of our eyes eventhough they are actually far away  from us through web camera.

          Besides, Internet also offers entertainment. We canwatch videos of our favourite artists by just one click through 'Youtube' website. We can also watch favourite movies without paying. Plus, there are many artists born from 'Youtube'. So, fans can know more about the artists from Youtube. Meanwhile, provides tracks, videos and files  that can be downloaded for free!  Internet users can enjoy themselves at anytime watching their favourite artists' performance for free.

          Internet doen not only offersbenefits for students but also to those who want to gain more money. It also provides business opportunities. As for example, gives a wide room for surfers to promote anything they want to sell. Through this, people with no job can gain money and support their lives by doing the online business.

          However, as I said earlier, Internet also brings bad effects to its users. Firstly, it can encourage cyber crimes. Besides that, students who spend too much time on Internet may neglect their studies and do not finish their homework. This should be avoided as studies are important especially to teenagers.

          Although Internet can add more friends to our list, yet, it still can develop anti-social behaviour. Not all of the users use Internet to make friends, someof them only play video games or just sit down wayching videos on Youtube. They will only sit and ignore what is happening around them. The worst thing is, they may not realise that there is an earthquake out there! This anti-social behaviour may leads to health problems. The users will just stay at home and sit in front of computer and this will cause them to be lazy couch potatoes. It will also lead to obesity.

         Next, most students will not attracted to surf knowledgeable websites, but wasting their time on other non-beneficial things. Wasting timeon Internet can cause students to neglect their studies. Not only time is wasted but also money. With the uses of more electricity non-stop, utility bills may increase dramatically. We just not pay for the electric bills but also internet monthly bills.

        The conclusion is, everything has its own benefits and drawbacks. However, it depends on how we are using it. If we spend more time using it for benefits, we will get positive effects. But if we use it more to non-beneficial things, we will get negative effects. So, it depends on you.

#Please take note that this is an example of an essay for ARTICLE in SPM. Never leave any marks for the format. 2 marks for the format. 1 for title and another 1 for name. Make sure that you write your FULL NAME.
#This is my own essay for an examination in school when I was in Form 4. I have edited the mistakes checked by my own English teacher who is also a paper marker for English paper SPM. If you find any mistakes, please do tell me.
#You can copy this essay in case if you want to complete your homework but dont take it for granted. Learn something from it. You wont be able to pass with flying colours in English if you keep copying without learning. Go and meet your teacher.Ask them to consult you esp in essay writing. GOOD LUCK! =)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book Review : Last Bus to Coffeeville

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel, which was an enlightening bus ride through different times and places. As each of the main characters gets introduced, we journey through their history and that of their ancestors which touches upon a wide variety of subjects, from slavery in America to the origin of the great pyramid in Egypt to the Cuban Revolution. While it was a lot to digest within one novel it was also fascinating and I love how after finishing the book I not only felt I had been entertained but also that I had learned something new and noteworthy along the way.

Don't let the sheer amount of history this book covers scare you off or make you assume that this is a dry bit of reading by the way, on contrary. It's all told with a lot of flair and humour, even if the latter is very morbid at times. Point in case: a mother and child getting killed by a giant donut. Sounds just a teensy bit out of the box doesn't it? And that's just one of the many events within the pages of this novel that sound slightly out of the ordinary. Author J. Paul Henderson has a vivid imagination, that's for sure.

What also really appealed to me was the diversity of the characters that travel together on the old Beatles tour bus the novel is titled after. From a respectable elderly doctor who 'rescues' his old friend from a nursing home to bring her to Coffeeville, the village she wants to die, to an orphaned boy who ran away from a boarding school for the deaf (because he was the only one there who wasn't actually deaf) and who now spends his spare time reading the bible to count the dead.

It all sounds strange and rather comical, but because of the layers of history within the novel it is also a very meaningful read. Add to that the heavy focus on Alzheimer's disease, and in particular the very detailed and heart-breaking insight into the rapid regression of Nancy's mind, and this becomes a fascinating and poignant novel overall.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy Deepavali , ! Enjoy Your Day , ! :D BY DANALAXIMI

Diwali also known as Deepavali and the "festival of lights", is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year.[3][4] The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.[5][6][7] The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November.
Before Diwali night, people clean, renovate and decorate their homes.[8] On Diwali night, Hindus dress up in new clothes or their best outfit, light up diyas (lamps and candles) inside and outside their home, participate in family puja typically toLakshmi - the goddess of wealth and prosperity. After puja (prayers), fireworks follow,[9] then a family feast includingmithai (sweets), and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends. Diwali also marks a major shopping period in nations where it is celebrated.[10]
Diwali is an important festival for Hindus. The name of festive days as well as the rituals of Diwali vary significantly among Hindus, based on the region of India. In many parts of India,[11] the festivities start with Dhanteras, followed by Naraka Chaturdasi on second day, Diwali on the third day, Diwali Padva dedicated to wife-husband relationship on the fourth day, and festivities end with Bhau-beej dedicated to sister-brother bond on the fifth day. Dhanteras usually falls eighteen days after Dussehra.
On the same night that Hindus celebrate Diwali, Jains celebrate a festival of lights to mark the attainment of moksha byMahavira,[12][13] and Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas.[  BY 

Academic librarian: Job description BY DANALAXIMII

Academic librarians work in higher education, further education and research institutes attached to academic institutions. They may also be known as subject librarians and they manage, organise, evaluate and disseminate information, providing support to members of an academic community including students, researchers and lecturing staff.
Academic librarians may be responsible for a specific academic subject, developing specialist knowledge and other functions, such as resource ordering, loans, specialist collections, ICT systems and library projects.
A main role involves facilitating and supporting learning by teaching information retrieval skills to students and staff within classrooms or virtual learning environments. Academic librarians spend considerable time working with electronic resources, involving database management and web page development. The role is also very customer-focused.

Typical work activities 

Academic librarians often have specialist responsibility for an academic subject or function, even at basic-level posts. Other librarian roles include research, electronic, resources, systems, and other professional posts within the fields of acquisitions and cataloguing.
The following tasks are typically undertaken within the role:
  • developing and managing collections of books and journals (both paper and electronic), as well as websites;
  • managing buildings, furniture and equipment;
  • carrying out staff management, which may involve recruitment and selection, appraisals, support and development, disciplinary action, staff rotas and training, as well as allocating daily tasks;
  • dealing with budgets and, in some cases, purchasing resources;
  • maintaining relationships with external bodies, such as suppliers;
  • contributing to academic course development and liaising with academic departments;
  • managing and supporting the provision of reading lists and allocating length of loans;
  • creating, updating and managing information resources, both electronic and printed;
  • selecting, acquiring and cataloguing information using library and information software;
  • assisting researchers with literature searches using databases, printed resources and the internet;
  • delivering information and learning skills courses for students and staff;
  • dealing with user enquiries, which may involve one-on-one advice sessions;
  • keeping up to date with relevant professional developments in the library sector;
  • participating in professional groups or networks.

Have you considered these other jobs?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The advantages and disadvantages of social networking

Advantages of Social Networking

Social networking offers many benefits. It is now easier than ever to keep in contact with old friends and colleagues. The professional networking site LinkedIn even allows users to request introductions to business people who are known to their contacts. The potential of this enhanced connectivity is huge; whereas once you would be left sifting through business cards after a networking event, trying to remember details about each person, you can now easily look up a connection’s credentials and business interests on their social media profile.
LinkedIn is a particularly valuable business tool; over 200 million people are members, including hiring managers from many top companies. Your profile is designed to function as an online resume, detailing your education, career history (with recommendations from your colleagues), and creative portfolio. The platform encourages users to connect with people working in their organizations, and to endorse their colleagues for the skills they display in their daily work. You can learn how to take advantage of all that LinkedIn has to offer with this LinkedIn Training Course.
Social networking is particularly vital for entrepreneurs. Freelancers can find contacts via professional groups on LinkedIn and Twitter, while business owners can make use of the large user bases of Facebook and Twitter to market their products and services. Facebook has a range of services designed to help businesses market themselves more effectively, including the ability to target advertising at the precise demographic groups that are likely to respond favorably. Find out how to Create a Successful Facebook Advertising Campaign with this free online course.
What about Twitter? Business owners can also use this service for effective promotion, as explained in this Twitter for Business online course.

Disadvantages of Social Networking

The primary disadvantage of social networking is that most people do not know how to network effectively. As a result, the few benefits they get from their networking activity are not worth the time invested. The best way to avoid being disappointed in this way is to decide on a strategy for using social sites, and stick to it. For example, if you are going to use Twitter to draw attention to exciting new content on your website, then resist the temptation to waste time tweeting about unrelated topics. Stay focused on what you want to achieve and don’t let yourself get distracted.
The golden rule of social networking is to avoid putting anything online that could reflect badly on you or your business. Pictures of you acting unprofessionally could harm your chances of getting a job, or make a poor impression on a new client. If you want to use a social media site for personal as well as professional networking, consider creating a separate account under a nickname, so you can keep your professional account clean.
BY : Nuradlin Athirah Yaacob :)
It is hard enough to make a successful original horror film. People walk into a theater almost demanding to be scared, like it is their birthright. But at the same time, they have a compulsive need to put on a brave face and make fun of a horror movie, because being frightened is for pussies.

But even if by a freak of nature a horror film does get accepted and loved by the audience, you're just stacking the odds against yourself by making a remake/prequel/sequel/spin-off to it.

The Conjuring might just be the most beloved horror film of at least the past decade. Any movie that is even remotely related to it has to accomplish the Herculean task of overcoming the inevitably crushing comparisons with it. Annabelle is supposed to be kind of a quasi-prequel/spin-off to it. It aims to tell the story of origin of the creepy doll from The Conjuring.

It treads the path that has been successfully setup and utilized by director James Wan (Insidious, The Conjuring, Insidious Chapter 2; also a producer of Annabelle). It builds up slowly, taking its time wearing the viewers down, making them let their guards down, before unleashing thousands of horror-movie cliches. Creaking doors open and close by themselves with more precision than doors of the metro train. Tea pots whistle so loud, only dogs can hear them. Lights flicker, winds blow at hurricane speeds, radios turn to static.

The biggest problem with Annabelle is that the story of the doll isn't that much interesting at all. There's no great mystery to be solved, there's no great motivations behind the evil's actions and there are no characters to actually care about. You couldn't be less perturbed if the lead actress gets swallowed whole by the demon haunting her.

But despite not giving us any memorable characters, director John R. Leonetti does manage to build up some tension. By keeping the running time to a slim 1.5 hours, he never allows the film to get boring or seem like a drag. And to be fair to him, he does manage to conjure up a couple of scares that aren't liberally borrowed from better films of the past.

But he and writer Gauberman deserve the most credit for not resorting to an exorcism in the finale to resolve the conflict. Frankly, it requires superhuman abilities to be able to resist relying on the most cliched of all cliches, but they manage to keep their distance from it. They also manage to resist a surprise open-ending, which is so common now that it's hardly a surprise anymore. Instead, Annabelle ends where The Conjuring began.

Like most horror movies, the performances are mediocre and inconsistent at best. Annabelle Wallis, as Mia, looks attractive and performs reasonably well. But I wish I could say the same for the others. Ward Horton, Alfre Woodard and Tony Amendola are wooden at best and confused at worst. The dialogues sound like they've been written by someone who has never interacted with a real person before. The background music is loud enough to make your ears bleed.

In the end, Annabelle turns out to be better than you could've hoped for. It moves along seamlessly enough and ends before you can say "Boo!". You compare it to The Conjuring and you'll likely come out disappointed. You compare it to the recent Deliver Us From Evil, and you'll likely come out prancing like you've just defeated a demon. So, go for it if you're looking for a few decent scare

Joint Declaration of the Leaders at the ASEAN-Australia and New Zealand Commemorative Summit BY A.DANALAXIMII

WE, the Heads of State/Government of Member Countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Australia and New Zealand gathered on 30 November 2004 in Vientiane, Lao PDR for the ASEAN-Australia and New Zealand Commemorative Summit;
NOTING that the Summit was taking place during the 30th anniversary year of the dialogue partnership between ASEAN and Australia – ASEAN's first such relationship – and that 2005 would mark the 30th anniversary year of the dialogue partnership between ASEAN and New Zealand;
RECOGNISING that the establishment of the ASEAN-Australia and ASEAN-New Zealand dialogue relations in 1974 and 1975 respectively had paved the way for strengthening of relations, which have contributed to building mutual trust and respect, good neighbourliness and interdependence and provided mutual benefits to our peoples;
RECALLING the Joint Statements of the ASEAN Heads of State/Government and Prime Minister of Australia, and the ASEAN Heads of State/Government and Prime Minister of New Zealand on 7 August 1977 and 8 August 1977 in Kuala Lumpur respectively, which demonstrated the mutual desire of ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand to enhance dialogue relations and cooperation;
ACKNOWLEDGING with satisfaction that our countries have fostered a close, cooperative and multifaceted partnership, including in the areas of security and defence; trade, investment and finance; law and order; development cooperation; education; research, science and technology; tourism; media; culture and the arts; and people to people links; and noting that these linkages are longstanding and have been increasing steadily over time;
CONVINCED that this record of constructive engagement has laid a strong foundation for a new level of interaction beyond this Summit that will take our partnership to greater heights and closer friendship;
BEARING IN MIND the interdependency of the security and prosperity of ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand and that the opportunities and challenges posed by globalisation and the dynamic developments in the region and the world require coordinated and coherent responses at the regional level;
AGREEING on the seriousness of the threat posed by terrorism to the security and prosperity of the region, and of the world in general, and reaffirming our shared determination to prevent, suppress and eliminate terrorism in all its manifestations;
RECOGNISING that the transnational nature of terrorism calls for a comprehensive approach that embraces action on many fronts, including by addressing the economic, social and political factors that create conditions in which extremism can take root and flourish, and noting the contribution that international cooperation on counter-terrorism and relevant development projects can make in this regard;
RECOGNISING the need for close cooperation and coordinated actions to combat transnational crime in order to promote security, peace and stability within our region;
WELCOMING the ASEAN-Australia Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism signed on 1 July 2004 in Jakarta, and New Zealand's willingness to consider signing a similar Joint Declaration with ASEAN, which will further strengthen security cooperation, in particular on counter-terrorism;
ACKNOWLEDGING that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery poses one of the most serious challenges to international peace and security in our time, and agreeing on the importance of international regional and national efforts to address such proliferation;
REAFFIRMING the significance of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) as the primary forum for security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific;
REAFFIRMING our adherence to the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and other basic principles in international law and in particular, our faith in, and respect for, each other's independence, national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, renunciation of threat or use of force, peaceful settlement of disputes, equality, and mutual respect and mutual benefit;
EXPRESSING full support for the realisation of the ASEAN Vision 2020 adopted in November 2000 in Kuala Lumpur, and the implementation of the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II (Bali Concord II) signed on 7 October 2003 in Bali leading to the formation of the ASEAN Community comprising the ASEAN Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community, and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, as well as the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) launched in November 2000 in Singapore and the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP) signed on 29 November 2004 in Vientiane aimed at further integrating ASEAN and narrowing the developments gaps;
RECALLING the Joint Ministerial Declaration on the AFTA-CER Closer Economic Partnership signed during the 7th AEM-CER Consultations in 2002 in Bandar Seri Begawan; to promote trade, investment and regional economic integration between ASEAN and the CER countries, with a target of doubling trade and investment by 2010;
RECOGNISING the contributions made by Australia and New Zealand through their development assistance programmes to ASEAN and its Member Countries to improve the living standards of the peoples of our region, to promote sustainable development, and to support the realisation of the goals and objectives of the ASEAN Vision 2020, and the Bali Concord II, and to implement the Ha Noi Plan of Action, and the IAI;
DETERMINED to nurture our human, cultural and rich natural resources including traditional knowledge and plant variety protection;
CONVINCED that further broadening and deepening of the three decades of dialogue partnerships will continue to serve the interests of our peoples and is essential for promoting peace, stability, sustained development and prosperity in our region;
1. Enhancing Political and Security Cooperation
· Foster strong bonds, good neighbourliness, peaceful co-existence, and prosperity in our region, recognising and respecting the rule of law and justice, as well as the diversity, particularly the differences in development paths, security concerns, values, culture and traditions among countries, and work together to create an environment of tolerance and openness for cooperation and development in the region.
· Cooperate in multilateral fora, in particular the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation, to contribute to the peace, stability, development and prosperity of the region and the world, and to ensure that the benefits of globalisation are equitably shared by all countries, both developed and developing countries as well as the least developed countries.
· Enhance political and security cooperation and partnership through bilateral frameworks, the ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and other regional and international fora.
· Cooperate in areas of disarmament, arm control and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their means of delivery and related materials.
· Strengthen international non-proliferation cooperation and efforts including through the United Nations and regional fora.
· Improve awareness, implementation and enforcement multilaterally binding international arm control and non-proliferation instruments and support measures, such as export controls.
Recognise the importance of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia in building peace and stability in the region and strengthening ASEAN's relationship with its Dialogue Partners. In this connection, ASEAN Leaders encourage Australia and New Zealand to positively consider acceding to the Treaty in the near future in the spirit of the strong trust and friendship between ASEAN and Australia and New Zealand and their common desire to contribute to regional peace and stability.
· Intensify cooperation and capacity building efforts at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels to prevent, suppress and eliminate international terrorism in all forms and manifestations, and to address the economic, social and political factors that create the conditions which give rise to and nourish extremism.
· Take urgent steps to prevent and combat the menace of transnational crimes such as trafficking in drugs, arms smuggling, human trafficking, particularly in women and children, child sex tourism, cyber crime, international economic crime, sea piracy, money laundering and financing of terrorism, through effective institutional linkages and cooperation programmes.
2. Strengthening Economic Linkages and Financial Cooperation
· Promote growth and development and increase living standards throughout the region, and to further economic integration by launching negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will build on the substantial trade and investment linkages already established between ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand.
· Build on existing and ongoing cooperation initiatives under the AFTA-CER, CEP, especially in the areas of trade and investment facilitation measures, as well as technical assistance and capacity building among ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand, particularly for the newer ASEAN members.
· Commence negotiations on an ASEAN-Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Area in early 2005, to be completed within two (2) years, on the basis of the time frames and the guiding principles endorsed by our Economic Ministers attached to this Declaration as an Annex.
· Reaffirm and follow through with their commitments as reflected in the agreement reached in Geneva in August 2004 on a framework to guide the final phase of the Doha Round of World Trade Organisation negotiations recognising the importance of substantial agricultural reform, including the early elimination of all forms of export subsidies, to achieving an acceptable overall outcome in the Doha Round.
· Support the early accession of non-WTO members of ASEAN in the WTO.
· Promote and strengthen cooperation on financial infrastructure and capital market development in order to achieve sustainable growth in the challenging global economy.
· Explore opportunities for a wider cooperation in the field of tourism in areas such as joint promotion, marketing, investment, and manpower development.
3. Consolidating Functional and Development Cooperation
· Cooperate including through development cooperation programmes, to support and facilitate ASEAN's economic development and integration efforts as it strives to realise the ASEAN Community, giving special attention to projects under the IAI and the VAP.
· Strengthen existing efforts to bridge the development gaps in ASEAN by developing the sub-regional growth areas, such as the ASEAN-Mekong Basin Development Cooperation (AMBDC), Ayeyawaday-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), Cambodia-Laos-Viet Nam Triangle, the Emerald Triangle, Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle, and Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) to promote economic and social development, strengthen the cohesiveness of ASEAN and improve standards of living in the region.
· Continue Official Development Assistance (ODA) from Australia and New Zealand to ASEAN, especially to the new Member Countries and least developed countries (LDC) of ASEAN in their efforts to narrow the development gaps given the importance, impact and relevance of their past ODA to ASEAN.
· Reinforce mutual cooperation and assistance in human resource development through promoting further education sector linkages student and youth exchanges and scholarships.
· Strengthen cooperation in preventing and combating the spread of communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, SARS and Avian Influenza.
· Encourage the development of new collaborative regional partnerships between Australia, New Zealand and ASEAN members.
· Enhance cooperation in energy security, non-conventional energy, and science and technology.
· Promote cooperation in the field of sustainable agricultural development focusing on human resource development and capacity building, particularly for the least developed countries of ASEAN, in sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures and agricultural standards.
· Promote sustainable development through strengthening cooperation in various areas of the environment protection and management such as biodiversity, chemicals and hazardous waste, forestry and zoology management ASEAN Heritage Parks and cultural heritage and Marine Protected Areas, and water resources management.
4. Promoting People-to-People Contacts and Exchanges
· Deepen and expand partnership based on mutual trust, respect, equality and understanding of each other's cultures and values through people-to-people exchanges among government personnel, educational and academic exchanges, professional exchanges and grassroots interactions
· Welcome initiatives taken by ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand to promote a conducive and favourable environment for citizens of ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand who are living, working and studying in each others territories.
· Promote awareness and understanding of ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand among our peoples through enhanced cooperation in the areas of public information, media interaction, tourism, language learning, culture, heritage development and grassroots leadership.
· Foster dialogue among cultures and religions as a means for better understanding and friendship among our peoples.
Implementation and Funding Arrangements
· Task our Ministers to continue to identify and implement concrete measures and activities in realising the purposes of this Declaration and to provide, within respective national capacities, resources needed for its implementation.
· Strengthen funding mechanisms for the effective implementation of this Declaration.
· Provide periodic review of the progress made in the implementation of this Declaration utilising existing mechanisms in the dialogue relations.
SIGNED in Vientiane, Lao PDR, this Thirtieth Day of November in the Year Two Thousand and Four in three originals in the English language.
For Brunei Darussalam

Sultan of Brunei Darussalam
For the Kingdom of Cambodia

Prime Minister
For the Republic of Indonesia

For the Lao People's Democratic Republic

Prime Minister
For Malaysia

Prime Minister
For the Union of Myanmar

Prime Minister
For the Republic of the Philippines

For the Republic of Singapore

Prime Minister
For the Kingdom of Thailand

Prime Minister
For the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam

Prime Minister
For Australia

Prime Minister
For New Zealand

Prime Minister


UUM ONLINE: 22 September - Bertemakan 'Merintis Kesatuan Tamadun ASEAN', Seminar Pemikiran Tokoh Negarawan ASEAN anjuran Institut Pemikiran Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (IPDM) Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) dan Arkib Negara Malaysia menjadi medan perkongsian ilmu dan ketokohan negarawan Persatuan Negara-negara Asia Tenggara (ASEAN) dalam pembentukan dasar pentadbiran negara yang berlangsung selama dua hari mulai hari ini di EDC-UUM.Seminar yang disertai enam negara selain Malaysia iaitu Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, Filipina dan Vietnam telah menghimpunkan ahli akademik, pakar sejarah, pertubuhan bukan kerajaan, agensi-agensi daripada perkhidmatan awam dan swasta serta pelajar-pelajar Institusi Pengajian Tinggi (IPT).
Perasmian Seminar Pemikiran Tokoh Negarawan ASEAN telah disempurnakan oleh Timbalan Ketua Setiausaha (Kebudayaan) Kementerian Pelancongan dan Kebudayaan Malaysia, Dato' Ab. Ghaffar A. Tambi dan turut serta ialah Ketua Pengarah Arkib Negara Malaysia, Azemi Abdul Aziz dan Naib Canselor UUM, Prof. Dato' Wira Dr. Mohamed Mustafa Ishak.Yang Berbahagia Dato' Ab. Ghaffar berkata, program seumpama itu memberi peluang kepada ahli akademik, ilmuan dan pengkaji sejarah membincangkan pelbagai isu mengenai tokoh-tokoh negarawan di peringkat negara-negara ASEAN yang terlibat dalam memacu dan menentukan hala tuju negara masing-masing.
Menurutnya, pada masa sama seminar itu juga memberi peluang kepada peserta terlibat untuk mengetahui dan menyelami pemikiran, falsafah dan pendekatan yang dilakukan oleh pemimpin-pemimpin utama negara ASEAN dalam kerangka yang lebih luas termasuk melibatkan kepentingan serantau."Jika dilihat pada sejarah negara ASEAN, kita dapati setiap negara mempunyai tokoh-tokoh utama yang bertanggungjawab menentukan hala tuju negara masing-masing termasuk Malaysia umpamanya yang mempunyai tokoh negarawan seperti Mantan Perdana Menteri, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj yang bertanggungjawab meletakkan batu asas kemerdekaan negara ini.""Sesungguhnya ASEAN memiliki ramai tokoh negarawan yang boleh ditonjolkan ke arah kemajuan, kemakmuran dan keselamatan di rantau Asia Tenggara.Saya berharap kerjasama ini akan diteruskan lagi pada masa hadapan bagi mencungkil lebih banyak maklumat bersejarah berkaitan tokoh negarawan ASEAN," katanya.
Sementara itu, Yang Berbahagia Naib Canselor dalam ucapan beliau merakamkan terima kasih kepada Arkib Negara Malaysia kerana memberi kepercayaan kepada UUM sebagai rakan kerjasama dalam penganjuran seminar tersebut yang mana ia akan mengumpulkan kertas kerja secara 'Call For Papers' dan seterusnya diterbitkan sebagai bahan rujukan berkaitan dengan pemikiran tokoh negarawan.Menurutnya, melalui perbincangan tokoh itu, peserta dapat melihat ke belakang perjuangan membangunkan negara oleh tokoh-tokoh terdahulu dan melaluinya kepimpinan pada hari ini akan dapat menggarap idea-idea pembangunan bersandarkan kepada asas yang ditinggalkan kepimpinan terdahulu.
Selain itu, katanya lagi, pemilihan IPDM sebagai rakan kerjasama ini adalah bertepatan dengan visi penubuhan institut tersebut untuk menjadi pusat rujukan utama pemikiran Perdana-perdana Menteri dan tokoh-tokoh negara, malah menerusi seminar itu juga sumbangan yang dimainkan oleh tokoh negarawan dapat disebarkan kepada masyarakat, didokumentasikan dan diterbitkan sebagai khazanah ilmu untuk rujukan generasi akan datang."Seminar ini juga dapat mengeratkan lagi hubungan diplomatik antara negara-negara ASEAN dan saya berharap pertemuan selama dua hari ini dapat menyumbangkan banyak cadangan dan idea bernas untuk dimanfaatkan dalam membantu memahami usaha mengenal pasti falsafah pembinaan negara bangsa di setiap negara ASEAN," ujar beliau.Di akhir majlis itu, UUM telah memeterai Perjanjian Persefahaman (MoU) dengan Arkib Negara Malaysia yang mana UUM diwakili oleh Naib Canselor dan Pengarah IPDM UUM, Prof. Dato' Dr. Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz, manakala Arkib Negara Malaysia diwakili oleh Ketua Pengarahnya bersama Pengarah Bahagian Arkib Negarawan, Arkib Negara Malaysia, Ihsan Hassan.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

ARTICLE : Final Exams Are Quietly Vanishing From College BY Danalaximii .

hey incite panic in the souls of even the most diligent students. Everything about final exams is fraught with terror: the blue books passed out from the front of the room, the clock ticking on the wall, three hours to finish in some large auditorium with banked seating, and grade point averages hanging in the balance. If professors listen closely enough, they can hear the sound of pens scribbling and caffeine pumping through the veins of 200 students who have been cramming for days, intent on learning, if for no other reason than they don’t want to fail.
These exams are not just a rite of passage, but a fundamental and longstanding tool that American college professors have been using, in some format, since the 1830s. Now comes the twist, the pop-quiz question of the day: What happens when the final exam starts vanishing from American higher education?
The answer: No one knows. But apparently we’re about to find out.
Across the country, there is growing evidence that final exams — once considered so important that universities named a week after them — are being abandoned or diminished, replaced by take-home tests, papers, projects, or group presentations. Anecdotally, longtime professors say they have been noticing the trend for years. And now, thanks to a recent discussion at Harvard University, there are statistics that make clear just how much the landscape has changed.
In the spring term at Harvard last year, only 259 of the 1,137 undergraduate courses had a scheduled final exam, the lowest number since 2002, according to Jay M. Harris, the dean of undergraduate education. Harris said he’s hesitant to read too much into the numbers, which, he said, don’t include whatever final exams were scheduled in language courses, don’t reflect the other forms of assessment that have replaced exams, and don’t account for small seminar classes, which typically would not have a traditional, sit-down, blue-book final.
But the low rate of actual scheduled finals at Harvard last spring — just 23 percent — was considered significant enough to prompt one striking change. For years, final exams in Cambridge were considered a given, and the bureaucratic rules reflected that reality. Courses were simply assumed to include a seated, three-hour final exam; any professor who wished to opt out had to request permission. But that wasn’t happening, Harris said, forcing the registrar’s office to track down professors each semester, only to learn that, no, they were not planning on a final exam. So starting this fall, the onus has been flipped: The university will assume there will be no finals in courses. Any professor who actually wants to hold one will need to say so.
The change, which was first reported in Harvard Magazine, is not a statement on the value of final exams one way or the other, Harris said. But the shrinking role of big, blockbuster tests at Harvard and colleges elsewhere is raising serious pedagogical questions about 21st century education: How best do students learn? And what’s the best way to assess that? Is the disappearance of high-stakes, high-pressure final exams a sign that universities are failing to challenge today’s students, or is it just a long overdue acknowledgment that such tests aren’t always the best indicator of actual knowledge?
“You can interpret this in two ways,” said Robert Bangert-Drowns, dean of the school of education at the University at Albany SUNY. “One way is, institutions for higher education are abdicating their responsibility for having high standards and demanding high performance from their students. But on the other hand, if you looked at a lot of final exams in courses you’d think, ‘This is not a very valuable standard.’ These tests ask the kind of questions that students may never be asked again in their lives, in detail that they may never be asked again in their lives.”
There’s nothing magical about finals, Bangert-Drowns added. They can be arbitrary and abstract — an inauthentic gauge of what someone knows. Research, by Bangert-Drowns and others, shows that frequent testing is more beneficial. And yet, many still find value in the final exam. It might be stressful, even terrifying, but it has the singular power to force students to go back over material, think critically about what they have read, review hard-to-grasp-topics once more, and even talk about the subject matter with classmates and instructors — all of which enhance learning.
“You can measure an institution’s performance, a department’s performance,” said James Engell, Gurney professor of English literature and professor of comparative literature at Harvard. “But the real question is: How much did your students learn? How much better are they at something now than they were when they started? And I think examinations — whether they’re final examinations or other kinds of examinations — play a real part in that.”
Exams, in one form or another, have been a part of higher education in America since the very beginning. Students attending Harvard in the 1640s, shortly after the college was founded, were required to take both entrance and graduation exams, according to Arthur Levine’s “Handbook on Undergraduate Curriculum,” an exhaustive, 662-page history of the subject.
But these early examinations were oral. The goal was often rote memorization: getting students to recite text verbatim. These “recitations,” as they were called, were despised by students, required almost no intellectual analysis, and became increasingly hard to manage as college enrollment climbed and class sizes grew. Consequently, in the 1830s, Yale and Harvard began introducing written biennial tests. The notion spread, and by the late 19th century, such exams had become accepted practice on many campuses, according to John R. Thelin, author of “A History of American Higher Education.”
“Prior to that time,” Thelin said, “the idea that undergraduates would have known how to, or been inclined to, write three-hour essays on some intellectual topic would have been pretty unlikely.”
So began the era of the grand final exam: great, sweeping tests, often taken in huge collegiate halls or auditoriums by large numbers of students on the clock. It was an efficient way to assess students in large numbers. But in more recent decades, researchers have questioned whether such finals are truly the best way to help students learn.
“With final exams, it’s study, study, study. Take the exam — and now it’s gone. Move on,” said Linda Serra Hagedorn, a professor at Iowa State University and president-elect of the Association for the Study of Higher Education. “The better approach is to have a more holistic approach to learning where it’s smaller increments, where one learns in steadier and smaller increments.”
Such views are not only increasingly shared among professors, but also backed up by a growing number of studies. One such study, published last year, focused on more than 1,500 students taking algebra at Richard J. Daley College in Chicago between 2004 and 2006. M. Vali Siadat, the chairman of the math department there, compared the outcomes of algebra students who took weekly, cumulative quizzes over the course of the semester with those who received less rigorous, regular assessment.
Those tested weekly not only did better on the midterm and the final exams, but better overall, outperforming their classmates who did not receive regular quizzing by about 16 percent by the end of the semester. With regular, cumulative testing, Siadat concluded, the students were simply better prepared.
“The students know the final is just another act,” said Siadat, who coauthored a paper on these findings last year with his Richard J. Daley colleague Euguenia Peterson. “It’s going to be cumulative just like the previous tests. They’re ready for it and they tend to do well.”
University professors around the country have tried implementing such changes in recent years, putting more emphasis on weekly or even daily quizzes, smaller tests, and papers and less emphasis on formal final exams. At the University of Arizona recently, roughly one third of professors have reduced the value of large exams in students’ overall grades, according to Thomas Fleming, a senior lecturer and associate astronomer at the university who chairs a committee overseeing general education courses. Fleming, who is part of the trend himself, said many professors have made the shift after realizing that some students simply aren’t good at taking exams. And perhaps not surprisingly, students are thrilled to avoid the terror of the blue books.
According to a poll that Fleming took last spring in a large 600-student astronomy course, 93 percent of students said they’d prefer weekly quizzes over a couple of large midterms and a final. Seventy-eight percent reported actually learning more that way, and almost all of them — 98 percent — said they were less stressed taking short, weekly quizzes than they were taking large exams.
“Some of it is just the whole situation, a psychological thing,” Fleming said. “You’re sitting in a room with maybe 150 other people. The clock’s up there. You have maybe 50 minutes to do the exam and the fact that you’re under pressure can lead to brain lock. You can panic.”
And all the panic may be for naught. In a wired world, where Internet search engines have reduced the need for memorization of facts, final exams might not be as useful as they once were, some professors suggest. “Life is not structured like the exam anymore,” explained Charles S. Maier, Saltonstall professor of history at Harvard. “Life is open book; it’s not closed book.”
Still, many are troubled by the idea that professors are giving fewer finals. Siadat said it’s clear to him that students aren’t doing well on in-class final exams. Otherwise, he said, professors wouldn’t be eliminating them. And Maier suggested that other issues may be contributing to the trend at Harvard. Recent cutbacks have made it necessary, he said, for professors or their assistants to monitor their own final exams — an unwelcome task at best, and a nuisance at worst.
“A lot of people said, ‘I don’t want to go through that,’ ” Maier said. “They didn’t say it openly. But it probably was a factor.”
He and others would like to see more discussion of the issue. Harris, Harvard’s dean of undergraduate education, said he’d like to gather more information on how different forms of assessment are working. One idea, he suggested, would be to follow up with students several months after a course has ended to see what information they have retained. Meantime, the academic calendar at Harvard pushes on through the fall.
This semester, according to the calendar, classes end on Dec. 2. The next 10 days are dedicated to reading period — a time when students are historically supposed to be preparing for final exams. And then there’s still another nine days set aside for students to take the finals themselves — at least for the diminishing number of students who actually have finals to take.