136 STEM teachers fully trained for hybrid lessons

Angela engaging with her students online during a science lesson, in front of a green screen provided by Yayasan Petronas.

KUCHING: Yayasan Petronas has successfully trained 136 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teachers for hybrid teaching via classroom and virtual modes.

The teachers were the first cohort of trainees under the Yayasan Petronas’ Program Duta Guru (PDG) initiative carried out across 113 school districts nationwide.

Under the programme that was implemented over the last few months, each participating teacher was provided with an online teaching kit, which includes a mini green screen kit, a pedagogical book titled “21st Century Learning”,’ and school stationery to help make online lessons more effective, fun, and interactive.

Nelly Francis Shariah

The teachers also received guidance on how to innovate and apply these items to create more engaging virtual lessons for their students, said Yayasan Petronas chief executive officer Nelly Francis Shariah.

She said teachers played a critical role in the nation’s progress; they also played important role in ensuring the success of the students.

“Together with our partners, we are supporting the teachers’ professional development so they might better help students navigate the new normal and enhance their Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) through the STEM subjects,” said Nelly.

PDG, which was initiated in 2019, is a partnership between Yayasan Petronas and the Ministry of Education’s Pusat STEM Negara, with Teach For Malaysia as the implementation partner.

PDG aims to strengthen teachers’ capabilities and continuously improve their teaching quality through training and coaching, curated content, and providing infrastructure.

It was rolled out through a series of three virtual sessions last year where teachers gained insight from successful innovators in STEM education, discussed trends and challenges in the field – including how to effectively manage online classrooms and improve student learning outcomes.

Teach For Malaysia chief executive officer Chan Soon Seng said along with the rest of the world, the future of educators was one fused with technology.

“Teachers will need to become savvy users of digital tools, as well as creators of online content and knowledge. They need to help their students foster these skills for the future workforce as well,” he added.

Zulfadzli Mahamad @ Muhamad, a teacher from SMK Trusan, Sarawak who is part of PDG’s Cohort 1 said the programme was very beneficial.

“It has impacted how I apply integrated STEM teaching into delivering online lessons. It also helped boosting my confidence to be a STEM leader in school.”

Angela Joseph, another PDG inductee from Labuan, went a step further by collaborating with Yayasan Petronas to create videos for primary school students on the practise of good personal hygiene.

The collaboration was part of Yayasan Petronas’ Back To School campaign, where 21,000 underprivileged primary school students received school supplies and personal hygiene kits.

“PDG taught me how to engage with students virtually and share these key takeaways with our teacher community groups. Through the collaboration with Yayasan Petronas, I am glad that students nationwide can also benefit from science to help them remember to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and stay safe,” said Angela.