Sus­tain­able learn­ing trans­for­ma­tion

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - EDUCATION GUIDE -

tHE fast-evolv­ing chal­lenges of the 21st cen­tury re­quire that stu­dents of to­day be ver­sa­tile, com­pe­tent and well-rounded learn­ers.

They need to be equipped not only with ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion and crit­i­cal think­ing skills, but also eth­i­cal and spir­i­tual val­ues that will serve as their moral com­pass for life,” says lead­ing aca­demi­cian and LeapEd Ser­vices Sdn Bhd chair­per­son Prof Tan Sri Datuk Dzulk­i­fli Ab­dul Razak.

Dzulk­i­fli is op­ti­mistic, how­ever, that an ed­u­ca­tion pro­mot­ing such at­tributes will soon be ac­ces­si­ble to a grow­ing num­ber of Malaysian stu­dents.

In his in­volve­ment with LeapEd Ser­vices, a home-grown ed­u­ca­tion ser­vices provider and wholly-owned com­pany of Khaz­anah Na­sional Ber­had, he is see­ing progress in holis­tic and stu­dent-cen­tred learn­ing un­der the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion’s ex­pand­ing Trust Schools ini­tia­tive.

“If you go to one of the Trust Schools, you can see that even the classrooms are or­gan­ised quite dif­fer­ently,” he says.

“Not only is the learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment en­riched with teach­ing and learn­ing re­sources, but stu­dents don’t sit the­atre-style any more with every­body fac­ing the teacher in front. Now, stu­dents are or­gan­ised in clus­ters of four or six, de­pend­ing on class size. They are guided to form groups among them­selves where they in­ter­act re­spect­fully and learn from one another.

“They are able to cor­rect the mis­takes of their peers and dis­cuss to find an­swers to­gether. They work and learn col­lab­o­ra­tively.

“In other words, the re­spon­si­bil­ity of learn­ing is given back to the stu­dent.”

Ig­nit­ing a love for learn­ing

This stu­dent-cen­tred ap­proach to learn­ing is a hall­mark of LeapEd’s school im­prove­ment pro­grammes.

Founded in 2010 to de­liver holis­tic school im­prove­ment in Malaysia through a di­verse and en­er­getic team of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional ed­u­ca­tion ex­perts, LeapEd op­er­ates on the prin­ci­ples of a so­cial busi­ness.

It is best known as the de­sign and im­ple­men­ta­tion part­ner of the Yayasan AMIR Trust Schools Pro­gramme, which now has in its net­work 13 Trust Schools across Malaysia and could ex­pand to as many as 30 schools in 2014.

While tra­di­tional ed­u­ca­tion ap­proaches tend to rely on ex­ams, mem­o­ri­sa­tion and rote learn­ing, LeapEd’s teach­ing and learn­ing ex­perts work to en­hance learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments through im­proved class­room re­sources and col­lab­o­ra­tive learn­ing struc­tures that em­power stu­dents to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for their own learn­ing.

“Our goal is that ev­ery stu­dent will want to learn in­stead of merely feel­ing that she has to learn,” says LeapEd Ser­vices chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor John D. Chacko.

“By en­rich­ing the learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in pub­lic schools, we aim to in­spire a deep love for learn­ing in young Malaysians so that they grow up to be learn­ers for life.”

Holis­tic im­prove­ments

Chacko adds that the unique­ness of the “LeapEd way” is its holis­tic ap­proach to in­te­grated school im­prove­ment, build­ing a net­work of sup­port and ac­count­abil­ity that helps strengthen a pro­gramme’s ro­bust­ness and sus­tain­abil­ity.

This is re­flected in the way learn­ing trans­for­ma­tion at Yayasan AMIR Trust Schools is guided by strate­gic goals tar­get­ing the four key stake­holder groups that are es­sen­tial to a vi­brant, co­he­sive school en­vi­ron­ment – the school lead­er­ship team, the teach­ers, the stu­dents them­selves, and also par­ents and the larger com­mu­nity.

“Per­for­mance mon­i­tor­ing data has shown that teach­ers in the Trust Schools are in­creas­ingly ef­fec­tive in their teach­ing com­pe­ten­cies, which we be­lieve will ul­ti­mately re­sult in im­proved stu­dent out­comes,” says Chacko.

“It has been an amaz­ing priv­i­lege for the LeapEd team to sup­port th­ese teach­ers in their prac­tice through our pro­grammes and ap­proaches.”

In its on­go­ing ef­fort to build and strengthen net­works in the re­gional ed­u­ca­tion ecosys­tem, LeapEd has also em­barked on strate­gic part­ner­ships in the area of school lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment and in­tro­duc­ing vir­tual learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments in schools.

“As a com­pany, we are driven by the be­lief that ev­ery stu­dent has great po­ten­tial that just needs to be un­locked and nur­tured through the right learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment and ex­pe­ri­ences,” says Chacko.

“The fact that the as­pi­ra­tions stated in the Malaysia Ed­u­ca­tion Blue­print are guided by this very same con­vic­tion is truly in­spir­ing. It’s an as­sur­ance that we’re all in this to­gether, in­vest­ing in a com­mon jour­ney of ed­u­ca­tion trans­for­ma­tion for the long haul.”

For de­tails, look out for the ad­ver­tise­ment in this StarSpe­cial.

Prof Dzulk­i­fli (left) and Chacko at the re­cent launch of LeapEd’s brand man­i­festo and tagline, ‘Learn­ing En­riched’.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.