By HAMDAN RAJA ABDULLAH educate@the star.com.my
FOR the first time, students of a religious secondary school and nine primary schools in the Ledang parliamentary constituency in Johor have the opportunity to use The Star newspaper and its weekly NiE (Newspaper in Education) pullout to learn English in the classroom.
The schools are SM Agama Lughatul Quran Kesang Tasek, SK Parit Bunga, SK Kesang, SK Rawang, SK Abdullah, SK Serom Tiga, SK Serom Lapan, SK Sawah Ring and SK Simpang Lima.
Former religious school student Khairin Nisa Ismail, who is now a lawyer, will contribute 3,000 copies of the newspaper for students to use in learning the English language.
Khairin Nisa, who studied at SK Agama Sarang Buaya and SM Agama Maahad before entering International Islamic University Malaysia in 1984, made the decision after noting that many village children have limited opportunity to learn English.
“I grew up in a village and studied in religious schools which lacked many facilities, before I entered university and managed to become a lawyer.
“I thought my knowledge of Bahasa Malaysia and Arabic would be sufficient to see me through my years at the university but I was wrong,” she told students and teachers of SM Agama Lughatul Quran Kesang Tasek recently.
She said it was in university that she realised the importance of mastering the English language.
Moreover, she added, manybooks were in English and the international students also spoke the language.
Khairin Nisa said after she began to speak and write in English, she found that the language was not very hard to pick up.
At the launch of the sponsorship, she indicated her willingness to provide other educational aid, including giving motivational talks to encourage pupils to learn English.
Earlier, SM Agama Lughatul Quran Kesang Tasek principal Hidhir Ismail said his school, which focused on Islamic religious studies and the Quran, would encourage the students to master the English language in addition to Arabic.
He said this was the first time the school had received such a contribution and hoped more would come forward to help religious school students.
“We are grateful to Khairin Nisa for providing each school with 30 copies of The Star and NiE pullout every week for 10 weeks,” he added.
The NiE pullout is distributed with every copy of The Star on the third Wednesday of the month. On other Wednesdays, the pullout is only available to schools which order The Star.
Bulk orders of The Star are given a discount. To subscribe, call The Star’s customer care unit at 03-7967 1777, from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.