Friday February 1, 2013
Friendlier school assemblies effective this year
By ZORA CHAN
KUCHING: Students can no longer be punished and embarrassed during assemblies under the new standardised school assembly system effective this year in Sarawak.
State Education director Abdillah Adam said school assemblies would be standardised to be more lively, friendly, informative and motivational to students, as well as the teachers.
“In the past some schools used assemblies to mete out punishment and we do not want this to be carried out anymore. There are other avenues to carry out punishments, not in school assemblies.
“School assemblies will not be a boring administrative routine from now on,” he told reporters here after launching the new system at SMK Demak Baru, Petra Jaya here yesterday.
The new system, which is the first of its kind in the country to be implemented, aims at transforming school assemblies from a tedious weekly event to one that can instil and create creativity and innovation among students and teachers.
Abdillah said under the new system all assemblies must not exceed 40 minutes for secondary schools and 30 minutes for primary schools, to safeguard instructional time.
He said assemblies should not drag on for too long as students would be bored and time for teaching would be used and wasted on irrelevant speeches.
“Materials that will help to boost students’ morale, discipline and unity will be imparted during assemblies. We want to create students with positive attitude,” he said.
On prayers during assemblies, he said, mission schools could pray in the Christian way if the majority comprised non-Muslims.
“The department will be distributing a circular and handbook on the new system to all 175 secondary schools and 1,260 primary schools to follow.
“We will keep schools informed on current issues concerning education so that teachers and students will know the latest policy or announcement by the Education Ministry,” he said.
The handbook is available in Bahsa Malaysia, English, Iban and Chinese.
Earlier in his speech, Abdillah said, the new system would give each school assembly committee - comprising students and teachers - to brainstorm on its weekly programmes.
He hoped that the system would help improve the teaching and learning process.
The department’s Academic Unit head Bedui Une explained that sitting arrangement for the assembly had been changed with teachers sitting in front and facing students, and another group of teachers sitting behind the students.
“After an assembly ends, teachers sitting behind the students (who are actually those with ready for lessons) will escort students to their classes so that lessons can start immediately.
“Before this all teachers will return to their common room after assembly before going to their classes while students are left unattended for five minutes or so. The new system will prevent time-wasting and students from loitering around,” he said.