ALMOST a year after work started to turn a classroom in SJK Sam Tet into what is now known as the Frog Classroom, the school recently unveiled the new learning space.
The special classroom, boasting bright blue exterior and colourful boards at the back of the class, is the first of its kind in Perak under education advocates YTL Foundation and online learning organisation FrogAsia’s classroom makeover initiative.
The classroom has been designed to enhance and facilitate the use of modern technology with tools like ChromeBook laptops and the web community-based Frog Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) programme.
The Frog Classroom also features curved desks and chairs where students sit across from each other in groups to learn collaboratively.
Speaking about the Frog VLE, SJK Sam Tet Principal Khoo Ooi Ling noted that the school has a strong record of over 1,000 logins a week, making the school the leader in terms of the number of students logging into Frog Virtual Learning Environment in the state.
Khoo said this was made possible through the help of parental encouragement.
“We strongly believe that parents play a huge role in their children’s education, and we do our best to engage them and keep them informed on what happens in the classroom daily.
“We are now able to do this through technology, and we’d like to encourage parents to log onto the Frog Virtual Learning Environment to keep themselves updated about the school and their children,” she said in her speech during the official launching of the Frog Classroom at the school in Ipoh last Tuesday.
Khoo said, right from the beginning of orientation in Standard One, parents and students are given their individual login details and are taught how to access the Frog VLE programme from home.
“Parents can even find their children’s homework available for download so they can keep track of their children’s progress,” she said.
The lady behind the idea of transforming classrooms, YTL Foundation Programme Director Datin Kathleen Chew said the amazing parent engagement at SJK Sam Tet is a great example of how parent involvement can truly bring learning beyond boundaries.
“A good education today means being able to think critically, work with others, communicate well and push boundaries with the power of the Internet.
“The Frog Classroom has been designed to facilitate these skills and allow the students to take learning beyond the boundaries of the classroom,” she said.
Present to launch the Frog Classroom was Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woon.
In his speech, Chong said the modernisation of classrooms through the Frog VLE project shows how education has truly changed in comparison to a few decades ago.
“Whether you like it or not, this is the era of information and communications technology. Teachers, old and new, must keep up with the times and adapt to these changes so they can educate their students more effectively,” he said, adding that this would also make students feel more interested in learning new things.
Chong added that parents are also growing smarter as well.
“Nowadays, parents are more understanding with what goes on in the classrooms. They are ready to provide feedback and assistance if needed.
“It is no longer like how it used to be back in those days when the education of children was 100% reliant on schools and teachers,” he said.
Last June, YTL Communications Sdn Bhd employees came together to work with the school and its Board of Governors to build the Frog Classroom.
In a matter of weeks, a classroom chosen by the school was transformed into a Frog Classroom. Extra funds raised by the Board of Governors were used to provide the room with better lighting and a plaster ceiling.
Schools interested in the Frog Classroom Makeover programme can email firstname.lastname@example.org.