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Friday, August 30, 2013

Get 'smart’ pill is just sugar! What science are they teaching in schools?

The 'smart pills' sold in school are nothing more than just sugar.

PETALING JAYA: The pill that can supposedly make children “smarter and more obedient” is nothing more than sugar, said the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).

According to its president Datuk Dr N.K.S. Tharma­seelan, upon analysis, it was found that 95% of the pill marketed as Dimensi 108 consists of sugar and other carbohydrates.

Herbs constituted only 7.5mg, or 1.5%, of the 500mg pill, he said.

“Although some of the herbs have been used in traditional Chinese medicine, the amount in this pill is minuscule to be of any use.

“In conclusion, Dimensi 108 is just a sugar pill with a tinge of herbs,” he said in response to The Star’s Thursday cover story which reported that schools in several states have been pushing the pills to pupils.

Dr Tharmaseelan called for the sale of the pills to be stopped immediately until the manufacturer can substantiate its claims through proper studies.

The Dimensi 108 pills were alleged to be able to “alter” children’s behaviour to make them more obedient and resistant to illnesses, and its listed ingredients include red dates, water lily seeds, rock sugar and spirulina.

Tiga G Dimensi Satu Kosong Lapan Sdn Bhd’s managing director Omar Mohd Yusos had claimed that the pills supplied by his firm were safe, and that the product had been distributed to schools since 2010.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Ting Joe Hang said the notion of popping pills to make children more obedient was preposterous, and there was no drug in the world that could do that.

- Contributed by  By YUEN MEIKENG News Network

What science are they teaching in schools?

I REFER to “Schools push ‘magic’ pills” and “Get smart pills are safe to be consumed, says firm” (The Star, Aug 29 - Malaysian schools push 'magic' pills!)

I’m sure in the coming days the reports will elicit many and varied responses from all the concerned stakeholders.

I am disturbed in particular by the “explanation” by the firm on how the pills are supposed to work.

In loading some scientific terms in its “explanation”, I opine that it is making not sense but rather nonsense out of its defence.

Let’s abstract from the reports: “When consumed, the hydrogen and nitrogen in the tablets will go into the bloodstream and form a molecule chain that acts like a ‘bullet’ to destroy negative molecules and generate positive energy ... This energy also works as a defense against bacteria or viruses that cause illnesses.”

What “defense molecule chain” is formed from “hydrogen and nitrogen” that can fight off “bacteria and viruses”?

And, what “negative molecules” and “positive energy”? What are these? I don’t remember coming across these in my studies of the sciences?

What is more alarming is we have school teachers and administrators who are buying into such arguments.

What sciences are we really teaching in schools nowadays?

It looks like not only the language of instruction and the pedagogy that need re-examining but also the contents of our science curriculum and syllabi. I cry for our innocent charges!

Indeed, our soon to be revealed Education Blueprint 2013-2025 and its implementation has a taunting and heavy task ahead, especially in the field of science education.


Related news:
 Stop distributing ‘magic pills’
From A CONCERNED MOTHER of Kuala Lumpur.

Related post:
Malaysian schools push 'magic' smart pills!

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