Newly Rebranded Spark Foundation Continues Commitment in English Programme. More than 500 educators mentored since 2012.
4 March 2018, Kota Kinabalu – The English Enrichment Training Programme (EETP), an initiative of SPARK Foundation, is now its seventh year. In its continuous quest to empower, engage, and educate, the programme aims to increase proficiency and fluency in the English language by mentoring an important group of individuals – educators.
Conducted in Sabah for the first time from 2 – 4 March, the intensive three-day training programme brought together 20 Year 1 teachers from Kota Marudu, Tambunan, and Tamparuli. This year, the 10-month supplementary classes will commence in 51 schools led by 60 EETP participants in seven states – Kedah, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, Sabah, and Sarawak.
Renuka Indrarajah, SPARK Foundation Trustee remarked, “I am proud that our education programme has empowered a growing number of educators in just seven years. With continued encouragement, I am positive that we will be able to support the future generation through enhanced learning opportunities, and better prepare them for the evolving global environment.”
Participants are equipped with key skills that supplement and enhance their current teaching styles in the core areas of facilitating, innovative teaching, and integrated teaching of the four skills – listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students in turn benefit from improved overall English skills by more than 30 percent – results tracked from the participating schools in seven states, from Years 1 to 3, throughout the past seven years.
The EETP this year ignites further excitement in East Malaysia as 10 new schools in Sabah have joined in; with four new mentors from Sabah selected and trained to reach out to more rural areas in Kota Marudu, Tambunan, and Tamparuli.
Over the years, EETP has mentored more than 530 teachers from 280 schools in seven states across Malaysia since the programme started in 2012, and indirectly benefitting around 7,200 students. The EETP teaching plans are reviewed every year to ensure that the topic and modules are in-line with the national school curriculum.
SPARK Foundation, also formerly known as GAB Foundation, has invested close to RM6 million in EETP since its inception in 2012. With its reach across seven states in Malaysia, and counting, beneficiaries have had the chance in improving their English language proficiency – be it in overall communication skills, or academically – in a fun and systematic learning programme.
EETP is a results-driven programme and sets itself apart from the rest as it is conducted and delivered by experienced early childhood specialists and English language professionals. The programme does not end after the workshop, but instead, provides support for up to eight to ten months to the participants, who will be able to closely monitor their students’ pre and post-test assessments in a three-year commitment starting with Year 1 students.
Speaking about her experience as a participant of EETP since 2012, Lina Kavidha a/p Krishnansamy from a Tamil school in Negeri Sembilan shared, “In 2016, our students’ passing rate for the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) English paper was at 91 percent. However, in 2017, the students who had been taught through the EETP methodology for three to four years achieved a 100 percent passing rate in their UPSR English paper. This is a first for our school, and I could not be happier with the results. What I hope to further gain from this project is to have all my students pass every subject in their UPSR to ensure that they continue schooling. I am thankful to the trainers and SPARK Foundation for this opportunity as this programme has enabled me to use the specially designed teaching plans to better engage with my students in enjoyable English-based activities.”
The EETP participants will be guided by mentors in their respective states for the next eight to ten months – Shelly Mujin, a first-time mentor from Kota Marudu who will be guiding seven schools enthused, “I am looking forward to observing and guiding participants using the knowledge and skills learnt from this workshop. Classroom management, one of the core components taught in EETP will be useful as smaller schools tend to have students of varying English proficiency all in one classroom. I hope that the wonderful work of SPARK Foundation for Kota Marudu will flourish and touch the hearts of the teachers and students, as well as the community to acknowledge the importance of learning English.”
For more information on SPARK Foundation, EETP, and other projects, please visit www.sparkfoundation.com.my.