TO English panel head Ruthirayene Poologasingam, The Star newspaper is as good as a textbook.
The teacher from SMJK Kwang Hua, Klang, Selangor, has been using the English daily, with the help of the Newspaper-in-Education (NiE) pullout, as a classroom teaching material for almost two decades.
“It is colourful and attractive to students. But most of all, the newspaper is reliable. The language, suitability and authenticity is anytime better than unverified online sources. Its syllabus-based content is also a big plus.”
So, when Sri Kota Specialist Medical Centre stepped in to sponsor the pullouts, which come with a copy of The Star each, the corporate social responsibility move was much welcomed.
The colourful 12-page NiE pullout brings life experiences into the classroom through its ready-made, hands-on activities.
Published on Wednesdays, it is written by a team of experienced English language teachers.
At a mock cheque event held at the school, Sri Kota Specialist Medical Centre operations manager Emily Lim said that despite the wide use of Mandarin, English is still very important for students, especially when they leave school.
“We hope that the contribution will help improve the learning of English language within the schools in Klang. While Sri Kota deals with healthcare, the surrounding community remains close to our hearts. We sincerely hope that more students will be encouraged to learn and excel in the English language,” she said, after handing a mock cheque worth RM10,000 to Star Media Group circulation assistant manager Fabian Martin.
SMK Telok Gadong, Klang, is also benefiting from the sponsorship.
Present at the event were Sri Kota Specialist Medical Centre marketing and public relations head Gan Kah Long, marketing assistant manager Rubinderjit Singh and SMJK Kwang Hua headmaster Law Choon Lee.
This is the fifth year that Sri Kota Specialist Medical Centre is sponsoring Star-NiE pullouts.
Law commented: “In our school, we are doing the Dual Language Programme (DLP) where Science and Mathematics are taught in English. Learning English is encouraged by the Education Ministry and we welcome support from the outside, especially from the private sector.”
Form Four student Lim Zhong Sheng said he likes the NiE pullout as it uses more pictures. “It’s boring when all we see are words. With NiE, it’s a gentler approach to learning English.
“It also gives us a chance to read the newspaper. It keeps us in touch with the world and with what is happening around us.”
Agreeing, Suvan Rao, also in Form Four, said that NiE includes activities about current issues. “We can relate our studies to social issues that are happening. It also gives me ideas that I can apply when writing my essays.
“Also, NiE is interactive as it promotes group activities. When we are in a group with mixed abilities, we help each other out.”
Student Kimberly Ong Hui Yan, 16, liked the fact that the NiE pullout incorporates literature. “There’s a comic section about the novel we are learning about. It gives me a good picture of the story and I understand the book better that way.”
The NiE pullout is endorsed by the Education Ministry.
For details on the Star-NiE school sponsorship programme, call The Star’s Customer Care Unit at 1300 88 7827 from Monday to Friday (9am to 5pm).