KUCHING: Quoting from a famous Khmer proverb, “a good teacher is the backbone of a quality education”, this is a fact no stranger to all of us. Teachers play an extremely important role in shaping the young generation and in this case, this refers to English teachers.
Shouldered with great optimism to help teachers in Malaysia improve their proficiency in the English language, Sasbadi Holdings Berhad and the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (Melta) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly develop two English upskilling programmes specifically designed for Malaysian teachers.
The signing took place at the opening of the 28th Melta International Conference here that was graced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang
Johari Tun Openg and Raja Puan Besar Perak Raja Nazhatul Shima Sultan Idris Shah, who represented Melta.
These two programmes are the Professional English for Teachers online programme, and Mentoring for English Language Teacher Professional Development, an online mentor-mentee programme.
The Professional English for Teachers online programme aims to make available robust modular English lessons tailored to the needs of teachers who are teaching in the Malaysian context.
Meanwhile, the Mentoring for English Language Teacher Professional Development programme enables teachers (mentees) to seek support from mentors who are experienced teachers, wherever they may be located in the country.
Both programmes will be delivered via a dynamic industry-leading online platform designed for education purposes. This collaboration will see Sasbadi as the technology partner and content curator alongside Melta as the content partner for the development and design of the courses or modules.
“Sasbadi has been championing quality education for Malaysians for more than three decades, and English literacy is close to our hearts,” said Sasbadi Holdings Berhad managing director Law King Hui.
“We have enjoyed a strong relationship with Melta for more than 15 years and we believe that we can come together to do something to help Malaysian teachers thrive, especially when English is not the mother tongue for most Malaysians.
“Competent English teachers will also be able to provide a solid English language foundation to children looking to master STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses.
“And STEM education is increasingly critical to build a skilled, innovative and high-income nation that has great potential for our country to compete on the global stage,” he emphasised.
Echoing his sentiments was Melta president Prof Dr Ganakumaran Subramanian, who said, “Melta is deeply committed to representing all Malaysian English language educators and it is invested to contribute towards their continuous professional development in line with national goals.”
“Therefore, we are excited to collaborate with a like-minded partner like Sasbadi to bring about the changes we want to see for our future generations to master the English language.
“And we know that teachers provide a crucial foundation to the solution,” he stated.
With this joint effort, both partners hope to contribute to the Ministry of Education’s aspirations in the English Language Education Reform in Malaysia: The Roadmap (2015-2025).
In the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025, it is emphasised that apart from proficiency in its national language, Malaysia needs to be English-proficient, as English is the global language of communication and business.
With the MoU in place, Sasbadi Holdings Berhad and Melta will be working closely to develop the two English programmes targeted to roll out in early 2020.