Sixty five English teachers from 53 schools across seven states completed a four-day English Enrichment Training Programme (EETP) on innovative methodologies and integrative skills organised by GAB Foundation recently.
Into its sixth consecutive year, the programme equipped teachers with contemporary English teaching skills and materials focusing on inculcating water and river conservation practices amongst pupils.
Teachers are to carry out 20 weeks supplementary English classes at their schools. EETP also offers oral assessments to help build confidence amongst students in conversing in English.
GAB chairman Tan Sri Saw Choo Boon at the programme’s closing ceremony said that with Malaysians being 1.1 per cent of the global population, English proficiency is important to survive in the era of globalisation.
“As Malaysia continues its efforts to build stronger international links, a firm grasp of the English language is important.
“English allows Malaysians from all walks of life to make meaningful connections to an international audience on a wide array of matters, enabling us to integrate and contribute positively on a global scale.
He added that EETP focuses on enhancing the abilities and capabilities of teachers.
“Teachers have played an important role in my life. They are important role models to their pupils, guiding them through a pivotal stage of development.
“So this is why EETP primarily aims to enrich the lives of students, academically and in other aspects as well.”
For Divya Arumugam, an English teacher at SJKT Kampar, Perak who is into her third year conducting the programme with her students said the programme benefitted those in her former school that she is using a similar approach in her new school this year.
“I am definitely going to continue with this programme in my new school. I was teaching in Negri Sembilan when I first started with EETP before being transferred to Perak.
“For some of these students, what we teach in school is the only opportunity for the students to communicate in English. Making them come to school is already a challenge what more attending extra class.
They enjoyed EETP activities conducted after school that they looked forward for the days we run the programme.
Divya said EETP activities are very functional and comprehensive, suitable for 21st century learning, an approach making its way to schools today.
Lina Kavidha Krishnansamy from SJKT Sagga, Negri Sembilan said EETP is conducted after school hours in her school.
“English is a third language for many of the pupils from Tamil schools and some started schooling not familiar with the alphabet. Majority come from a poor background and cannot afford to go for extra classes. Parents too cannot help them with the language at home.”
Both teachers said the programme has reflected positively on the UPSR exam results for English.