Thursday, March 31, 2011

The system SUCKS!

I started my day early today looking forward to do everything else that has been postponed for a few years. One of them is to visit the dentist. The last time I went blinking under that sunny light and had my dick going….where is that lady smell coming from?--- was the end of 2009. I was supposed to come back middle of 2010 but you know one thing after another you did not realize you were missing your dentist appointment until your breath smells poopier than Snoopy the Dog. I was there half an hour before the place open to get ahead start; I was so eager to have my mouth open wide. But before that I was so intrigued to see how the place started in the morning ---- slow like my old Plymouth in the winter. The doa was read like a talqin for the dead and everyone looked like they do not belong here ----no morning greetings and definitely no one smiling while coming in. That is the best description of a place called Klinik UiTM Shah Alam. I used to come here and it was okay, friendly and inviting but today everything has changed and not like how it used to be.

And you take a number to get a number…..what? confused? ..yes let me go through it again, first you go in and look around and around and around because no one there to greet you, then you think you should go to the place called “counter” because you came in before and you went straight to that place….no one there so you kind of standing and waiting like an idiot until some one happened to come by and told you “pak cik kena amik nombor kat depan”. So me, now an old pak cik, went back to the front and push a number. Now what? Did not what to do next this old pak cik went back to the counter only to be told off again…” duduk dulu nanti kita panggil”. So pak cik sat down with the anger half-boiled already. After a while pak cik was called and given another number and asked to sit down again. Pakcik sat and waited like pak cik has nothing to do for the rest of the day. The nurses come and go like they have everything else to do other than fixing my teeth. So pak cik felt so geram like someone will get belasah today. Waited and my number has not come on the screen. Finally the number was called and pak cik stepped in the room and sat on that chair and the nurse turn on that silau light. The doctor came by and asked to open wide and read my teeth out…..2-6 missing, 2-8 missing, gum problem, oral hygiene blah blah……ok finish go check the appointment with the nurse. Can I get my scaling today? I asked politely. No not today, she cut me off. Forget it then…….and I did my lecture right there and then. For me to come here is a big struggle and now you want me to go home and come back again, God knows when…what kind of a system is this.“ itu polisi kita….” She replied without any sign of apology or guilt. I left with an absolute disappointment. I hate when the system is not forgiving and even more to the people who are proud to protect it.

Then I went to another place---Klinik Pergigian at the Fakulti Pergigian which is closer to my office, hoping for my teeth to get fixed today. No one was there so I thought this could be better that the other klinik. I went straight to the counter and ask to register. Pakcik amik nombor dulu…. But no one else is here and I need to get the number also. I touched on that fancy screen and a slip slid out, took it and sat down. Alone ,no one was there. Not until 15 minutes later the number was called. Aaargh…another stupid system. Pakcik go and sit overthere. When I was called I went in , sat in that chair and the nurse turned on the silau light and the doctor asked me to open wide and he read my teeth out……blah…blah…..oral hygiene not good…..blah…blah. OK finish come back when we call your number(my phone number). So I go home now. Yes we will call….I got so fed up with this stupid system. If I go to a private clinic would they check me and ask me to go home and wait…..I don’t think so. But these govt clinics they don’t think about customers or good services, they just want to follow the system. Well my dear, the system SUCKS!.....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Where to go with only 3 credits in your SPM?

Kids are a lot smarter than before; with all A’s students popped up at every corner of the world we exclaim that statement even more with stories and tales. The reality remains isolated and almost invisible from the public due to shame and frustrations. They are our children, nieces, cousins or neighbors that have more of other letters than A in their results slip. But not to worry, if they can dig up at least 3 credits from their results the hope is still there for a better future….only if they think going to college is better than selling burgers at pasar malam; otherwise please do not bother to read on.

So where to go with minimum 3 credits (the credits ( C grade)must include BM and Maths)? UiTM of course but for this special group the programs are run by franchised colleges (Kolej-kolej Bersekutu (KKB) UiTM) KKB Uitm are private colleges around the country who are allowed to run UiTM programs under strict franchise agreement. They have their own lecturers, facilities and management but deliver UiTM’s curriculum. So if you know anyone who is depressed for cannot go anywhere to study then help them to apply for this program. There are two pre-diploma programs : pre-commerce and pre-science. They will study for one year and if the results are good they can proceed to the wide range of diploma courses in the college of their choice. Pre-commerce will enable them to go for social science programs later on and pre-science for science/technical based programs in the respective colleges.

The UiTM franchised colleges around the country include:
The northern region : KPTM Alor Star(04-7309255), ACMS (Kepala Batas/04-5780800), Kolej Teknologi Pulau (Penang/04-8663351). Inst Teknologi Perak, Kolej Antarabangsa Tek & Prof (Kangar/04-9779177)

The Kang Valley region : Inst Prof Baitul Mal(Kg Pandan), KPTM-KL, KPTM-Bangi, Unikop, Kolej Teknologi Timur (Sepang) , Geomatika (KL/03-42524576)

The East Coast Region : KPTM-KB(09-7472048), Kolej Bestari (Besut), Shahputra(09-5737777), IKIP, KPTM Kuantan
The Southern Region : Instedt(07-8222008), Kolej Islam Johor, MiCOST(06-2329172), Kolej Uniti , Kolej Tek Yayasan Alor Gajah, Kolej SAL JB(03-20728598), Kolej Risda Melaka ,

East Malaysia : Kolej SATT(082-230586), Kucing Sarawak.

Good Luck.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Choosing a place to study

Too many choices can spoil you…….so the saying goes. But we can’t avoid from making choices because life is all about living our choices. With the SPM results out, the celebrations have soon become a frenzy dash to education fair and carnival. The parents are more likely to have headache rather than their still-in-cloud-nine teenager. Looking for the best scholarships with the best programs that match the tattered result paper. 

Well for the record my daughter got 6A+ , 1 A, 1A-, 1B and a C…..I am so proud of her. So much so I will accept whatever decision she made to further her study. Apparently, she has decided.”Ifah wants to study Computer Science at UiTM”, she said a few days ago as we sat for dinner. “Hhmmmm…..that sounds like my area and I do work in UiTM”, I silently calculated the logic. “Is that so? It’s settled then….” ,putting the end of the story. So our life goes on as usual like nothing big has ever happened despite the biggest ultimatum in life has just been decided. May Allah help us all.

Selangkah Ke UiTM
There are three basic things should be considered when hunting for a place to study: curriculum(the program itself), people(the lecturers and graduates), and the facilities.

UiTM has improved a lot and could be one of your top choices
The curriculum : this can be found in the brochure, handed out at the carnival or the place where the promotions are taking place. Universities and sponsors are going all out to attract students, so take this opportunity and spend sometime with them. The brochure should have all relevant information about the program. Go down the list of the subjects they offer in each and every single semester. If the subjects are not familiar due to some fancy names (they like to use some strange names that considered futuristic !) they put there, ask them to clarify and judge whether that is up to date or not. The important thing is to match the subjects with the name of the degree/diploma. A Diploma in IT could be as technical as computer science or applied as merely the use of word processor and spreadsheet. A computing-related diploma is worthy only if there are at least two subjects of programming (one intro and another intermediate/advanced level). So check the curriculum if the subjects are there. Another tip is to ask if the program is accredited or not by MQA(Malaysian Qualification Agency) or any professional bodies such as IEM etc. It is not too much to ask whether the license is still valid or not. If for IPTA then try to look if the program is ‘attached’ to industrial bodies such as CISCO,HP, Oracle, Microsoft and the like. Any link will show that the curriculum is up to date, relevant to current technologies and constantly monitored. If the results are good encourage your child to take up more challenging program and not just “apa2 lah asalkan dia belajar”. But again you know your kid better than anyone else.

The people : the first group of people are the lecturers. Find out what kind of lecturers they have in the department. Browse through the website of the university you are planning to apply and go to the “Staff area”. You want to look for their qualifications and academic activities. For diploma programs, the min qualification is to have a bachelor degree. See how many of them are from the field; if you are going for a computing program, check how many of the lecturers have computing degrees. What kind of computing degree? Where do they get them? Local universities/Foreign universities? The second group of people are the graduates. Look around and check how its graduates are doing. Can they speak well? High achievers? Or merely coffee-makers? They are the products of the university so that would be your child in a few-years’ time.

The facility : Take some time to go and check out the facility. Do not take it for granted especially IPTA, usually diploma programs will be the least in priority. So you could see they dump 30-40 students in one classroom and send a soft-speaking lady to teach in a noisy surrounding, not a good place definitely. IPTA can usually get away with this thing. Although IPTS can also get away, they are constantly monitored by MQA or University panel. Computer labs must be well-equipped for programming courses and technical subjects; so check if such facilities are available.
some lab facilities to aid learning 

even for diploma  good facilities show firm commitment 

Same thing goes for overseas universities, try to check as much as possible through the internet or the current students from that particular university. If you have time and money, pay them a visit. Please do not rely on the sponsors because they have their own panel ( and usually made some weird observations) but most importantly to remember is that they have their own constraints to consider…and that usually involves money. Basically the programs selected by the sponsor are not necessarily good (double check to make sure they are what they are supposed to be).

Some people might want to know the difference between matriculation program and diploma. Matriculation program is a bridging program for a particular university or program of study. There is no cert being given after you finish; only a place at a university. And if you fail matriculation it is just awful because you have wasted 1-2 years of your life. This is what we call a non-terminal program. A diploma on the other hand is a terminal program and you will get a diploma at the end of it. Majority of students will proceed to a bachelor degree after their diploma and they seem to be more prepared compared to matric students. The reason being they are exposed to the area of study while they were doing diploma taking introductory subjects and getting used to the culture of tertiary study. So in short :

  • Matriculation program : good for those who are not qualified to get directly into the feeder program for areas of study such as medical or engineering. So get into matriculation, score four flat and reapply.  
  • Diploma programs : good for those who are determined to get into a particular university and will proceed a bachelor degree at that university in the future.

InsyaALlah those are some tips for the children and parents that are busy contemplating for a place to study. Pray to Allah for He knows best. Good Luck.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Singing it with your body and soul

When the email came in to promote a concert for the deaf, I was speechless to say the least but more skeptical to the whole idea of how a deaf person enjoys music. I asked through the return email and someone replied to warn me not to be so sarcastic and respect the deaf persons. Honestly, I really wanted to know because I have no experience with a deaf person. Some time people just never read the lines in your mail…they always read in between the lines. I was really disappointed with that but then it is always one of those hurdles that you have along your path they you will never kick it through but always jump over it. Anyway, I missed the concert that day due to being stuck in a traffic jam way pass the Maghrib time. I prayed for the event to be successful and it did .alhamd. I’m glad and wish could be part of it in the future. That was Friday evening.

On Sunday night, I dragged myself to an event that always not on my agenda—Malam Pra Graduan ---- a dinner event to celebrate final semester students. The time and place where students come all dressed up with girlfriends and boyfriends. So dressed up we could hardly recognize them altogether. They came to enjoy their time and I came because I had to so we kind of have two different contrasting reasons for being there. The event was great I supposed but it was not for me, honestly speaking. I don’t know how else to put it but the event was definitely not mine. I need a quiet time for my dinner, not a blast of music that ripped off your heart. You know that disco music that pump up your energy to make you jump on the dance floor ( oh dear another trip down the dark lane of Damansara Utama in the late 80s). I’ve been there and done that…and now don’t remind me of that anymore…..OMG I feel so old, so sad, so guilty for breaking my promise to God.It’s like building a sand castle just to see it washed away in a wave of time. I pinned myself to the seat and pretended to enjoy the food and the company. Then the kids in orange lined up the stage. “Ohhhmmm… Dr Nordin they are from our multimedia group that sang during the charity concert last Friday”, said a colleague and one of the Advisors of the group. “ Oh yea…..I have a chance to hear them after all”, I said with a big smile as if my night has just started to begin. And it was AWESOME…big time! I feel like going up the stage and join them doing the hands and all. You put fun into a meaningful context and you have got super fun….a blast. They sang with their body and soul that really made my night worth while after all. My heart danced in silence , my feet thumped the red carpet, my legs trembled with the voiceless sound and in the end we twisted our hands in the air for a superb presentation…..BRAVO! BRAVO!. I won’t miss their next presentation and thank you all for the memorable night.

Watch the video Koir Amal 2011 >> .