The true function of a university.

Topic: Some people think that universities should provide graduates with the knowledge and skills needed in a workplace. Others think that the true function of a university should be to give access to knowledge for its own sake, regardless of whether a course is useful to an employer. Continue reading

The Disadvantages of The Internet

In 1990, Tim Bernes-Lee booted up a computer and connected it to a server abroad using the World Wide Web, also known as the Internet. With that successful connection, the Internet was born. Since its inception, the Internet has cemented itself into our current generation, providing an instant gateway to limitless information and entertainment, all in a few clicks or taps. It is no wonder that the slogan, ‘the Internet of Things (IoT)’ has become popularised among the society of today.  However, despite all of its pros, the Internet also has its downsides and disadvantages. What are they you may ask? Well, allow me to explain.

Firstly, the Internet comes off as a privacy risk. Whenever we visit a website, a “cookie” will be sent by the website’s server to you. This cookie is unique, it is like an identification card, it stores your information in it and sends it back to the server. That way, whenever you revisit this website, it will know exactly who you are. The information collected ranges from the name of your computer, your Internet provider, your location, your Internet Protocol address and so on. If someone manages to get ahold of one of these cookies, the Internet user’s privacy will be at risk. The information obtained can be used to do a whole myriad of unlawful acts. Impersonation, cyberstalking, all fall under the possibilities if this information is to land in the wrong hands.

Secondly, the development of an addiction to the Internet is also plausible. Research shows that society nowadays, especially teenagers, tend to use up to almost 8 hours of their day online. Whether it is just chatting with friends or doing research on a school assignment, they still fall under the category of using the Internet. As this goes on, people may develop an addiction and dependency on the Internet to satisfy their needs for knowledge and entertainment. As a result, television and books are being slowly phased out by society, with Internet taking their place as the primary source of entertainment and information. A worrying sight indeed.

Thirdly, the Internet encourages a passive lifestyle. A passive lifestyle is defined as a lazy, unproductive lifestyle. Before the days of the Internet, we would go out, have fun with friends, play games or even go for the occasional game of sports. All of this is done outside. However, with the arrival of the Internet, these things are starting to dwindle in number. Why? Because of the existence of the perception of how “the Internet has all that you need”. This produces a false sense of satisfaction, thus eliminating the urge to go out. It cannot be denied, that how everything can be done at the touch of your fingertips, is extremely convenient, especially during emergencies. But with this feature, humans have become lazy, to the point where they would rather stay at home and go online instead of outside with friends.  

Finally, the Internet is a health risk. Whenever we go online, we are most likely facing a screen of some sort. Whether it is the screen of our phones or our computers, these screens will still emit radiation. The smaller the screen is, the more damaging the rays get. When exposed to these rays for a long time, our eyes will start to become tired. Without suitable breaks, it will then start to damage the eyes, potentially causing eye deficiencies such as myopia and presbyopia, also known as short and long-sightedness. It could also cause back and spinal problems, especially when we are online for a very long time. For example, imagine sitting in front of the computer for 6 hours, you would feel tired, your body will slug, thus adding pressure on your bones. If this goes on, problems such as scoliosis may start to develop.

In a nutshell, the Internet can be both great and bad. However, I personally believe that it will still boil down to how the user uses it. Whether good or bad, it cannot be argued that the Internet is a wonderful way to obtain information and entertain ourselves, but we must realise that these disadvantages must not be overlooked, as they could bring devastating effects on those who choose to disregard them. The Internet is a treacherous place, but by navigating through it and using it the right way, I am confident that the Internet will be a very welcome addition to our generation of future leaders.    

Co-educational schools, or same-sex schools?

Are co-educational schools better than same-sex schools? Ever since the introduction of same-sex schools in our country, society has debated upon this topic, and a conclusive answer to it has never been found. Nevertheless, it cannot be overlooked that both types of schools have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, what are these pros and cons? Which school is truly the better one?

Personally, I feel that co-educational schools have the upper hand against same-sex schools. Why? Well firstly, it prepares the student to face the real world. In a same-sex school, they are only exposed to an environment where their peers are of the same gender, with similar interests, similar perspectives and so on. However, in a co-educational school, the student will be exposed to a diversified environment, with both boys and girls. In this environment, the student must learn to accept and adjust himself to the varying perspectives and interests. This is similar to when a student graduates, when they step into the working world and must learn to tolerate others, regardless of race, religion or gender.

Secondly, students in co-educational schools are able to develop the ability to interact with the opposite gender quickly. In a co-educational school, students are exposed to people who have different thoughts, different perspectives, the way that they see things may not be necessarily the same as they themselves. When opportunities to work together arrive, for example in a group project, the student will be trained to work with each other, to use each other’s ideas to achieve an objective. A mutual understanding between genders will also be established. This contrasts with a same-sex school. The students lack exposure to the opposite gender. If the opportunity to work together arrives, it will be a very awkward situation for both parties due to the lack of experience in interaction.

Thirdly, it develops confidence. By being in a co-educational school, students are presented with the opportunity to lead a group of boys and girls. This will encourage them to step up and have the courage to interact and talk to their group members, thus building confidence. By being confident, even when grouped with other genders, this will help them develop leadership skills, which will be essential when they step into the working life. In contrast, in a same-sex school, the students would only be seeing familiar faces, people whom they already understand and know how to interact with. As a result, they will only get used to working with the people they know, and may falter when interacting with others once they step into the adult life.  

Finally, co-educational school students will allow students to develop a deeper understanding of the opposite gender. The people and friends whom they meet at school will stay with them for at least the next 5 years of their lives. In those 5 years, by interacting with peers of contrasting genders, a sense of understanding will be developed among the students. As a result, a sense of respect will exist among the students. Stereotypes and objectification of each other’s genders will cease to exist and tolerating each other’s differences will become the key to companionship, thus creating a harmonious environment to study and interact. What about in a same-sex school? Sadly, the exact opposite happens. The opposite gender is stereotyped and objectified as “below the men”. It even reaches a point where sexist thoughts will linger among the students, causing the opposite gender to be quickly dismissed.  

As you can see, co-educational schools have notable advantages over a same-sex school. Of course, these points are merely my two cents on this topic. No matter what you may choose, a co-educational school or a same-sex school as your institution of choice, both have advantages and disadvantages that may or may not suit your needs. The ball is in your court. So, what will it be? The diversified co-educational school? Or the academically high-achieving same-sex school?

Report: Reasons for the lack of interest in the use of public transportation

To: The Principal, Methodist Boys’ Secondary School

Date: 8th August 2018

Title: Reasons for the lack of interest in the use of public transportation

A survey was conducted among 200 students of Methodist Boys’ Secondary School to determine the reason why not many students were keen nor interested in using the public transportation services provided in Malaysia. Based on the findings of the survey, there are 3 main reasons as to why these students lack interest in doing so.

The first reason given is the punctuality of the public transportation. Services such as the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the bus network, provided by the government-owned company Prasarana Group under the brand of RapidKL, frequently arrive behind schedule. This is caused by the company’s inability to deploy the services according to the stipulated schedule and its failure to adjust it based on demand. This has caused many problems among the users of public transport, especially students. If the public transportation is late, students who count on public transport to send them to school every day are punished for being late to school, despite it being not their fault. Because of this, students are forced to rely on their parents to send them to school before the bell rings. This reliance however, in turn, troubles the parents because they are forced to wake up earlier than usual to send their child to school to prevent him from being punished again. Quite simply, one problem leads to another.

The next reason given by the students is the expensive fares. Students complained that the fares charged to use services such as buses and the Kuala Lumpur Monorail are much too expensive, especially those who do not come from wealthy families.  These fares are downright ridiculous and have become a burden to them as the pocket money they receive from their parents are barely enough to cover the cost of transport, and yet students are forced to use these services on an almost daily basis. As a result, some students are forced to starve just to make sure they have enough money to go home after school. A prime example of the outrageous fares charged by concession companies is the fare to take the monorail from Imbi station to Hang Tuah station. This journey alone costs more than RM1 one way, despite the fact that the stations are barely 600 meters apart.

The third reason given is the condition of the cars and trains. The vehicles used for the purpose of public transportation are in terrible condition and are in dire need of servicing. The respondents pointed out that some common sights in these decade-old machines are damaged and torn seats, broken or downright missing safety belts, windows with holes, rusted beams and torn straps. Despite all this, the companies in charge of these services seem to be in no hurry to replace them. The condition of these vehicles not only affects the reputation of the company but also pose a safety risk to its passengers. For example, missing safety belts could cause serious injuries and even death in a case where the vehicle is involved in a collision.

Some suggestions should be pitched forward to encourage more students to use public transportation. Firstly, the existing scheduling system for public transportation like buses and trains must be revamped to be more flexible when adjustments need to be made. This will greatly improve the timeliness and efficiency of the existing system and prevent delays from happening. Secondly, operational costs must be reduced. The government can offer subsidies for the purchase of petrol or locally made spare parts for vehicles. The savings earned from these subsidies can then be passed on to the consumer, this leads to a much more affordable fare, much to the relief of students that come from poor families. In fact, the concept of passing on savings has been adopted worldwide by numerous companies as a way to reduce operational costs and increase customer satisfaction. A good example of a company that has done so IKEA, a Swedish furniture company.

Relevant authorities must also take action on the vehicles mentioned above that are in desperate need of repair.  The government should utilise the national budget to fix or replace the ageing vehicles currently in use to carry passengers. The safety of the passenger must always be the number one priority, continuing to use these vehicles in their current condition would put the lives of the passengers at risk.  By fixing or replacing these vehicles, the passenger would be saved from potential danger.

It is hoped that the above suggestions will be able to convince students to use the public transportation in Malaysia more frequently.

Prepared by,

(Gordon Tai, School Captain)

The current government is working towards the improvement of the existing transportation system. Initiatives to replace the existing buses with the new Enviro500 have been in progress since 2015, and have been picked up by the new government smoothly. Meanwhile, we have also saw the reintroduction of the monthly fare pass, priced at RM100. Indeed, it is hoped that this momentum will continue on for years to come.