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Sunday April 12, 2009

Back to basics

DRIVEN by the desire to improve their students’ grasp of English, a group of principals and teachers from the Rayong province in Thailand took their own initiative and introduced English as a medium of instruction for Mathematics, Science and Computer Education.

English for Integrated Studies (EIS) Network Thailand president Surapong Ngamsom said the English language was initially introduced for the three subjects in secondary schools.

“But we found that secondary school students couldn’t really grasp the language as they did not have the basics , so we started teaching from the primary school level instead,” he said.

Ngamson, who is also principal of Sunthonphu Pittaya secondary school, said the group had also decided to start with low achievers.

Asariah (in yellow) meets a delegation of principals and teachers from the Rayong province in Thailand at the ministry’s Teacher Training Division.

The achievements have been impressive, he said, adding that the programme has been in place since 2004.

Ngamsom was part of a delegation, comprising 36 secondary school principals and 44 teachers, who visited the Education Ministry’s Teacher Training Division in Putrajaya on Monday.

Education deputy director-general Datin Asariah Mior Shaharudin said the objectives of the group’s two-day visit was to gain as much from Malaysia on the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (ETeMS), and to share experiences.

“The ministry’s English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) provided an overview of the ETeMS training programme for Mathematics and Science teachers here as well as the integration of ICT in teaching and learning,” she said.

Asariah said the ELTC also organised visits to four schools namely the Victoria Institution, SK Convent Bukit Nanas, SM (P) Jalan Pudu and SK (P) Jalan Pudu where the group observed classroom teaching and had discussions with the teachers.

“We look forward to closer collaboration with our Thai counterparts,” she added.

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