16 March 2015, Petaling Jaya – In just 3 years, GAB Foundation has successfully reached out to over 100 rural schools and more than 200 English teachers in 6 states to equip them with enhanced teaching skills through their English Enrichment Programme (EETP). Through the initiative, the teachers have been able to facilitate better learning and as a result raise the English language proficiency of their students in rural areas. The success it has received inspired GAB Foundation to expand the EETP this year to a new state – Johor.
The initiative is a year-long programme which begins with a 4-day intensive training session conducted by education specialist annually. The teachers are to apply what they learnt by teaching supplementary after-school English classes back home. During these after-school classes, mentors comprising experienced educators will monitor their progress over a period of 6 months. On top of that, the mentors are also on hand to provide guidance to the teachers over the phone or email at any point.
To ascertain if the EETP has truly benefitted the teachers, students of those supplementary classes have to sit through pre-programme and post-programme tests which requires them to display their English proficiency in listening, comprehension and writing.
“Based on the test results, majority of the pupils who attended the English supplementary classes conducted by our EETP teachers have shown improvement in their English ability. We are very encouraged by the results, as such, we decided to expand the programme to Johor,” highlighted Datuk Seri Saw Choo Boon, Chairman of GAB Foundation.
Datuk Seri Saw explained that much of EETP’s success comes from GAB Foundation’s long term view to the initiative: “The programme is very involved as we ensure that the teachers have mentors who are able to see them through their progress. We test the students to ensure our programme is really helping the teachers. Finally, we are also committed to see through their students from Standard 1 to Standard 3. In summary, teachers are slated to attend at least 3 training sessions over a 3 year period as trainings take place annually.”
Datuk Seri Saw was speaking at the closing ceremony of the EETP 4-day intensive training session which kicked off on 14th March and ended on 17th March. A total of 60 teachers attended the training programme with 60 % of the teachers having attended the session the year before.
During the closing ceremony, several teachers who were present also shared their appreciation for the programme: “The EETP training is interesting and the lessons scheduled throughout the 4-day training are lively and enjoyable. It gives the teachers the opportunity to enhance our command of English as we are taught and trained to speak the language throughout the lessons.” says Mr Hor Kwan Fong, from SJK (C) New Kopisan, Perak.
Ms Priyadarsini, a teacher from SJK (T) Ladang Kemuning Kru shared “I have learnt so many different teaching methods through the GAB Foundation English Programme which enables me to maximise learning among my pupils.”
Apart from education, GAB Foundation also champions river conservation as well as community empowerment.