PETALING JAYA: Three education providers, SMRT Holdings Bhd, Prestariang Bhd and privately held E-Graduate.net Sdn Bhd have been shortlisted to undertake a RM5mil English Language Proficiency Teaching blended learning pilot project spearheaded by the Education Ministry (MoE), according to sources.
The three-month pilot project will involve 2,000 English Language teachers in primary schools. It is the prelude to a full-fledged RM100mil contract to train 10,000 teachers.
The course involves e-learning and face-to-face learning on the English subject.
While SMRT will train 1,000 teachers, Prestariang and E-Graduate will train 500 students each.
“Although the contract amount for the pilot phase is small, it is important that the education players implement it well, as the successful completion of this phase will result in a full-fledged RM100mil English Language Proficiency Teaching contract being awarded,” said the source.
The source said that Key Performance Indicators have been set for this pilot project and the education player that fulfils the requirements will have the edge for the job to train the 10,000 English teachers.
There is a possibility that the players share the contract.
Meanwhile, a two-year English proficiency project valued at RM70mil was awarded to the British Council by the MoE early this year. The contract also involved training some 10,000 English teachers.
There are some 70,000 English language teachers from a total of 500,000 teachers in Malaysia.
“The MoE is urgently looking to up the standard of English among students. To fast track this target, it needs to enlist the help of the local education players. The Government is going to make it a requirement that English teachers must pass the Cambridge English Placement Test (CEPT),” said the source.
Earlier this month, Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the MoE would have 40,000 qualified English teachers through the CEPT to help improve the command of the language among students.
He said 5,000 students throughout the country had successfully taken the advanced training programme provided by the British Council.
Meanwhile, all three education players appeared to be recipients of government education projects.
Late last year, SMRT Holdings was granted a two-year extension contract by the MoE for an English Language teaching programme in primary schools for RM60mil.
SMRT is up 280% on a year to date basis at its price of 83.5 sen.
As for Prestariang, it has been the darling education stock over the last two years with its share price appreciating almost 300% at its last price of RM2.24.
Prestariang recently collaborated with the MoE on a national project to make Malaysia a regional hub for digital content. The Government intends to introduce 3D design and software to be made accessible to all national schools for free.
Over the last seven years, Prestariang has trained and certified 40,000 students for the information and communications technology sector.
Egraduate.Net, which calls itself an “Innovater in learning” is a certified 1Malaysia Training Programme provider.
Under the programme, it targets to train the workforce under the upskilling and reskilling programmes to create a pool of competent, well-trained and skilled workforce.