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Spark Foundation Expands English Programme to More Teachers in Sabah and Sarawak

Significant progress achieved since 2012 with RM6 million invested to train more than 580 educators from 300 rural schools.

26 March 2019, Petaling Jaya – SPARK Foundation’s commitment to uplift education has resulted in significant strides made towards enhancing the teaching of the English language as well as boosting language proficiency amongst Year 1 to Year 3 students in primary schools across the country. In addition, SPARK Foundation increased its efforts in expanding the English Enrichment Training Programme (EETP) to benefit more teachers and schools in Sabah and Sarawak.

This year, 54 teachers from 46 rural schools across seven states in Malaysia participated in SPARK Foundation’s EETP. Of the seven states, Sabah had the highest number of participants, covering 16 schools representing the regions of Kota Marudu and Tambunan. In Sarawak, SPARK Foundation doubled the number of participants, with five new schools bringing the total to 10 schools from Miri, Bau, Limbang and Semantan.

SPARK Foundation, the Heineken Malaysia Berhad’s corporate social responsibility arm, introduced the EETP in 2012 with the aim of equipping English language teachers in rural communities with contemporary and creative teaching techniques. Teachers who participated in the EETP are provided support to conduct additional English language classes for Year 1 to Year 3 students in their respective schools, creating a fun and engaging platform that helped inspire interest in learning the language. Since EETP’s inception, SPARK Foundation has invested close to RM6 million in the programme, successfully training more than 580 educators from 300 schools in rural communities and in turn benefitted approximately 8,600 students in Malaysia.

Renuka Indrarajah, Trustee of SPARK Foundation said, “Through this programme, we give our future generations access to learning opportunities, and this can be best achieved by equipping our educators with the right skills and tools. Teachers are indeed the powerful agents of change who will mould the leaders of tomorrow.”

Based on EETP’s programme evaluations done annually, it has recorded an average of 23 percent improvement in English language proficiency amongst students from participating schools. Additionally, feedback from participating teachers have been encouraging, with all teachers acknowledging that the four integrated teaching skills approach (focused on listening, speaking, reading and writing) have helped improve the level of engagement between teachers and students.

Roland Bala, Managing Director of Heineken Malaysia Berhad, took the opportunity to meet and speak with the teachers during the training session, where he shared his personal experience in learning the English language when he was a student growing up in a remote village in Sarawak.

“The EETP’s core approach to improve English language proficiency amongst Year 1 to Year 3 students resonates very strongly with me. This is because part of my success in my career can be attributed to the fact that I had very good teachers who inculcated in me at a very young age the value of mastering the English language,” he said.

“As I continue to grow in my career, I cannot emphasise enough the critical role that teachers have played in my life. Be it in English or any other subjects, I shall always be indebted to the educators who have guided me to become a better individual. I am truly inspired by the passion our teachers have in providing the best learning experience to students, and for this I would like to thank the teachers who committed their time and effort to make SPARK Foundation’s EETP a great success,” Roland added.

Primary schools located in rural communities are encouraged to find out how they can participate in the EETP by sending their enquiries to [email protected] For more information on SPARK Foundation, the EETP, and other projects, please visit www.sparkfoundation.com.my.