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English is Fun
One organistion is making English fun again for orang asli kids.
For years, the UPSR students at Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Dua in Bentong, Pahang were unable to achieve an A in English. This is why Sara Dalina and IACT College’s Communication students (under their Save Our Society club) stepped in. Joining forces, they created a program called English Is Fun. The program currently serves 24 students from Primary 1 to 6 from Orang Asli villages – some from as far as Kelantan.
Sara runs the program pro bono through her company Challenge Accepted Consultants, which does training and outdoor activities including corporate social responsibility (CSR) for clients. It was during one of the CSR trips that they came across the Orang Asli community, and the idea to help their children by providing free English classes, was born.
Sara explains to us how this program came to fruition, “I discovered them in 2014 when they did a sewang dance for one of my corporate clients. I met them at an eco resort in Raub where they were brought to perform to the resort's guests. That was when I met their headmistress and she invited me to their school in Bentong. I brought my other clients there twice in 2015, in which we gave them a library upgrade and planted fruit trees in the school compound as part of the client's Corporate Social Responsibility effort. In Feb 2016, I started my own initiative to teach English to the students for free with other volunteers, this time without any client to cover any costs.”
Sathisvaran, a communications student from IACT, saw Sara’s post on social media and reached out to ask if his Save Our Society club could participate in volunteering. They met up with their lecturer Puan Elyana, and started the ball rolling by setting up an English module in UPSR format. There have been three visits to Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Dua since February, with about 20 to 30 volunteers per trip.
“The response has been great; the teachers were very welcoming. In fact, they thanked us for showing them how we can make learning English fun by including games in between, making checkpoints for the students to move from one place to another, keeping things interesting while learning,” explains Sara. In order for them to consider expanding the English Is Fun program to other schools, they would first need to see an improvement in Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Dua’s English results in the UPSR exams.
If you are a teacher, educator or college/university student interested to help out, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Kevin Yeoh
Photos courtesy of Justin Wong from IACT
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