KUCHING: The British Council’s English Language Teacher Development Project (ELTDP) has made a great impact on teachers and communities in Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan since its introduction four years ago.
State education director Serina Sauni said the project started with a simple plan for change in mind, which was to mentor Malaysian teachers and help them develop reflective practices towards taking charge of their own professional development.
“What the ELTDP has done has been more than what we thought possible. To say that it has made a difference would be an understatement.
“The change we have seen goes beyond professional development. It’s not just teaching styles that have changed but people who have changed, and communities and lives have changed as a result,” she said at the opening of the ELTDP Symposium here yesterday.
With the ELTDP due to end in September, Serina said it was important for teachers to be able to sustain their professional growth beyond the project for the benefit of their students.
“The symposium is an ideal platform for you to share ideas and knowledge with one another. Growth comes from the new ideas you will learn about.
“When you go back to your schools, you should try out the new things you have learnt and share them with your colleagues,” she said.
Over 350 participants, including 120 ELTDP teachers from primary schools in Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan and 60 British Council mentors, are attending the three-day symposium themed “Keeping It Going: Sustaining Professional Growth”.
Organised in partnership with the Education Ministry, the symposium aims to share knowledge across the project and motivate mentors and teachers in their professional development.
Keynote speakers Dr Angi Malderez, Jim Scrivener and Jamie Keddie shared their teaching expertise to help the participants further develop their skills.
Project teachers also had the opportunity to present their work and share their experiences.
The ELTDP, which is part of the Education Ministry’s Projek Penutur Jati Bahasa Inggeris programme, works with about 2,000 teachers in 600 schools in Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan.