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English role for Gaya Campus?

Kota Kinabalu: Institute of Teachers Education (ITE) Gaya Campus should be turned into an English-medium teachers university in Sabah, said State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

“This is the first time I am making this suggestion as there are rumours or rather proposals to turn this campus into a technical vocational school,” he said, after signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Institute of Teachers Education (ITE) Gaya Campus Kota Kinabalu and Special Olympics Sabah (SOS) at the ITE Gaya Campus on Tuesday.

He said all the talk about turning it to a TVET school was not favoured by the state government.

“The state government did not take it well and opposed it. Each ITE in Sabah has history of its own.

Take ITE Gaya Campus, it was the first teachers’ training college that used English in Sabah.

“You know in those days, when we didn’t have universities in Sabah. This (Gaya College) was the next big thing because there was no other higher institution,” he recalled.

Gaya College, as it was known then, was established in 1962 and was officially opened by the Governor in July 1963.

Masidi insisted the iconic institution be allowed to continue to produce teachers for Sabah.

“You cannot just take away history and forget about it.

In my opinion, the world today has turned people to think less and more robotic in our approach.

“It is important to set up a teachers’ university and I suggest turning this historic campus into one and producing quality teachers in Sabah,” said.

He stressed that there is also high value in preserving historical heritage.

“Life is not all about money but (it is also important) also to create our own integrity and to be proud of our history.

Obviously, this is one of them,” he said.

He also said it would be a good form of investment for the state as having an English–medium teachers’ university would attract students from the Asia Pacific region and the rest of world.

“Now that other universities are encouraged to take foreign intakes, there is no reason we can’t do the same with our teachers’ university. It’s as an investment for the future,” he added.

Source: Daily Express

Masidi supports re-establishment of English medium schools in Sabah

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun has pledged his full support for the re-establishment of English medium schools in the state to improve the command of English among students.

He said the setting up of government English medium schools was timely in the face of various challenges due to the wave of globalisation.

“The world has changed, whether we like or not, and we have to prepare ourselves with various knowledge to address the wave of globalisation. Actually I had proposed the same idea to the government before.

“I know there are concerns by several parties on the proposal as it involved a change of policy…nonetheless I am confident it will not erode our love for the country…in fact it will make Malaysians more prepared to handle future challenges,” he told reporters after launching a book ”The Natural History Of An Endangered Ape” here Monday.

Recently the Minister in the Prime Minister”s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan had proposed that English medium schools be re-established in Sabah. – BERNAMA

Source: Astro Awani

ATI now offers twinning programmes to Ireland

Kota Kinabalu: Asian Tourism Institute has tied up with Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) of Ireland for a credit transfer programme on degree courses.

The courses involve accounting, tourism, hotel management and business management.

Ireland Education Consultant Chiau Choon Kiak on Wednesday said the agreement will allow students to complete their final year abroad.

“Students will also get the opportunity to stay back and work part time upon completing their studies and the possibility of being hired permanently there.

“Otherwise they can return to Malaysia which is presently in need of highly-skilled labour,” he said after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between both institutions here.

Also present were Asian Tourism Institute Chief Executive Officer Datuk Wong Khen Thau and AIT New and Emerging Market Representative Karl Turley.

The courses offered at AIT are also cheaper in Ireland than the United Kingdom at 9,000 Euro (over RM42,000). – Jason Santos.

Source: Daily Express

Sabah targets 200,000 students for VLE

KOTA KINABALU: All primary and secondary schools in Sabah are encouraged to use the Frog Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) as a platform for teachers to write and record their Planned Daily Lesson (PDL).

Sabah Education Department (JPN) director, Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul, said that despite having over 1,200 primary and secondary schools, Sabah records only three schools which are currently utilising the VLE, namely SMK Tebobon, SMK Tambulion and SMK Taman Ria.

“I’m sure that more schools are using the VLE, it’s just that we haven’t identified them yet,” she said during a sharing seminar on best e-PDL practices via the VLE.

Maimunah said RM800,000 was previously allocated to print PDL books for the 40,000 teachers in Sabah.

She called upon the academic management sector to monitor and collect data and statistics on the number of schools using the online system to aid e-PDL recording.

In a JPN financial meeting, a new alternative needed to be introduced to continue with the PDL system without such a high cost, she said.

“The RM800,000 is the allocation from our ministry and it can be used to fund other activities, one of the alternatives being using the VLE for PDL.

“The PDL is a must for every teacher who teaches in a classroom, whether it is written, printed, typed and kept in a file or, using the latest means, stored online with the VLE as a platform,” said Maimunah.

In addition, she said, the second phase of the Academic Development Plan by the Ministry of Education targets a nationwide VLE usage of two million students.

“In Sabah, we are targeting 200,000 students and although we have not achieved that target, we will work towards it,” she said.

According to Maimunah, the VLE can be accessed from any place and saves printing costs. Last year, JPN had issued a circular which gave schools the choice of using the physical PDL books or the online method. Nevertheless, Maimunah encouraged the use of the VLE, as it has many benefits.

Also present at yesterday’s seminar was YTL Communication Sdn Bhd director, Shahirul Amran.

 Source: Borneo Post

First step towards better English

Kota Belud: The Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu Pearl’s (RCKK Pearl) signature project called Project REAL (Rural Focus – English For All) is an ambitious one, said Rotary International (RI) District 3310 Governor (DG) Michael Yee from the Rotary Club of Garden City, Singapore.

Project Real, a collaborative effort by the Sabah State Education Department and RCKK Pearl, aims to improve English proficiency in rural schools in line with the Education Ministry’s HIP focusing on primary school children in Standards Four, Five and Six.

DG Yee was impressed with the Club’s intention to extend the project (beginning with three schools in three different districts, namely SK Kawang, Papar, SK Pekan Kiulu, Tuaran and SK St Edmund (M), Kota Belud) to more schools in the rural areas of Sabah.

“This is very ambitious, and I wish your project a very successful one. I hope Project Real will become a model for other Rotary Clubs in District 3310 to imitate. May this flourish and spread to more schools, hopefully not only in Sabah, even in Sarawak where many rural folks also need to learn English in order to succeed in this high-tech world.

“The Rotary Club of KK Pearl is the second biggest club in District 3310 (covering Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei).

You have a lot of women power. And because your core leadership are all from prominent positions in government, you have the influence as well. In fact, the influence of the leadership is very important. You have the ability to influence so you (Rotarians) can become advocates of learning English.

“Other clubs may not have this power of advocacy but you do have the power of advocacy even among your top leaders alone, so this will help you to push more programmes,” he said to applause when opening the English Corner (also known as Highly Immersive Programme (HIP) Corner) at SK St Edmund (M), here, Tuesday.

The English Corner, which is the second component of Project Real, was set up in the school library with 668 English books, audio-visual equipment and DVDs to further enhance the teaching of English in the school.

Earlier, the project kicked off with the distribution of 376 dictionaries to pupils in the three schools concerned.

UMS Chief Librarian Dayang Rukiah Ag Amit helped to catalogue the books, while the Sabah State Library will make books more accessible to the students here with their mobile library. SK St Edmund (M) has also come up with action plans to raise English proficiency through borrowing of books, reading, video clips, word master, spelling competition and E-Buddy.

Meanwhile, Yee promised to look into the matter in response to RCKK Pearl President Datuk Noni Said’s request for his assistance to secure books, funds and collaboration from Singapore to further boost Project Real.

She was appealing for generous contributions or sponsorship of books for schools from corporate and individual donors.

In this respect, he hoped there would be no problem with the Malaysian Customs, citing a previous experience where he encountered difficulties in sending books from Singapore to Melaka some years ago.

“Although these were for a good cause, the items were held back at the Customs, and because of this real experience, we stopped sending books. Very unfortunate. We have many books in the National Library of Singapore but we may face a difficulty in delivering them to Malaysia,” he lamented.

The State Education Department’s Principal Assistant Director (English Unit Academic Management Sector), Mohd Fadli Abdul Rozan, said Project Real, which provides a better English learning environment, could stimulate the students’ interest in learning and using English Language as a tool of communication.

“It is one way to narrow the achievement gap between rural and urban schools, and enable rural students to compete with their urban counterparts. I hope the Real programme can be extended to other rural schools.”

This, he said, is in tandem with the implementation of the Highly Immersive Programme (HIP) under the MBMMBI Policy (that is, to uphold Bahasa Malaysia and to strengthen the English Language). HIP supports the five shifts of the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB), namely Shift 1 – Provide equal access to quality education of an international standard; Shift 2 – Ensure every child is proficient in Bahasa Malaysia and English Language, and is encouraged to learn an additional language; Shift 3 – Develop values-driven Malaysians; Shift 6- Empower JPNs (State Education Departments), PPDs (District Education Offices) and schools to customise solutions based on need; and Shift 9 – Partner with parents, community and private sector at scale.

“In this regard, we urge all schools to implement supporting activities to increase students’ exposure to the English Language,” said Mohd Fadli who represented State Education Director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul.

According to him, the Department was always looking forward to collaboration and smart partnership with any private agency or non-governmental organisation (like the RCKK Pearl) that can contribute their expertise for a better academic achievement.

Mohd Fadli was optimistic that SK St Edmund (M) would become the “showcase school” for English Language excellence.

“While the Club provides support to the school, all parties concerned must be committed to producing results.

There must be follow-up and follow-through to ensure a good outcome.” Being an ex-pupil of the school from 1980 to 1983 until Primary Six, he was overwhelmed by nostalgia, saying he was a “product” of the school.

“I am proud to be associated with Project Real.”

Earlier, in her address, Noni said the English Corner aims to provide a more conducive environment for the students to learn English. “We believe with the right environment, materials, support and encouragement, the students can successfully and easily learn and master the English language. Mastering English and being able to converse freely and fluently is the door to wider and deeper knowledge, greater opportunities for career and business, as well as an important medium for international friendships.”

Sharing her experience, she related: “I came from a Malay medium primary school in the fifties.

I felt handicapped when I went to an English medium secondary school. From there, I realised early the weakness of not being able to speak in English. This motivated me to seriously learn the language. Mastering the English language made so much difference in my life and also in my family’s life.

“Today, we want to encourage our children to master English and open for them the vast ocean of knowledge and the multitude of opportunities available for them in the future.

“Our District Governor Michael Yee himself has a Master’s Degree in English.He is also an avid reader who has vast knowledge. I often hear people refer to him as a walking Encyclopedia.

He knows the value of instilling the love of English in our children the way our RCKK Pearls do.”

Noni thanked State Education Director Datuk Maimunah and the Headmaster of SK St Edmund (M), Missie Goporoi for their support for Project Real.

“This is a great school with a great leader and great teachers who share the same sentiment about the importance of the English language.

The Kota Belud District Education Officer, Abdul Bakhrin Mohd Yusof, and Head of the District Education Office’s Language Unit, Catherine Benjamin, have given us so much support, guidance and encouragement that we are motivated to do our best for the benefit of the students.”

Turning to the children, she said: “We (RCKK Pearl) hope to be a catalyst, an inspiration, to make you love studying, especially studying English. Our dream is that one day you will stand proud as our future leaders.”

Headmaster of SK St Edmund, Missie Goporoi, expressed pride in being chosen as one of the pilot schools (the others being SK Kawang and SK Pekan Kiulu), describing Project Real as a catalyst for the pupils’ advancement in the learning of English.

“I am happy to note that this project is not a one-off thing. Today marks the beginning of more achievements in terms of proficiency in English, which promises a better future for the pupils,” he said, adding that more pupils have started to converse in the language.

He concurred with Noni that better competencies in English mean better opportunities for the future of our children who have the potential to lead the State one day.

Also present were RI District 3310 Assistant Governor, Kent Chau, Chairperson of the School Management Board, Cecelia Vitus, Project Real Chairperson, Susan Chang, Vice-Chairperson Tulip Noorazyze, the Club’s Board of Directors and members.

Source: Daily Express