More trust schools wanted

Nina: Students like the student-centric approach used in trust schools.

MORE than 85% of school students think the quality of teaching and learning is high in trust schools.

Ninety-one per cent of primary school students and 88% of secondary school students perceive the education quality at their trust schools is high, said LeapEd Services Sdn Bhd (LeapEd) Educational Development Division general manager Nina Adlan Disney.

LeapEd is a social enterprise and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad.

The study was conducted to review the effectiveness of the programme and to identify opportunities to further enhance the model moving forward.

“This is because the teaching and learning process is more student-centric in these schools,” she told StarEdu.

The findings were part of the Trust Schools Programme Impact Study, which has been carried out since the inception of the programme in 2011.

The Trust Schools Programme is a public-private partnership programme by LeapEd designed to develop holistic students with 21st century learning capabilities.

Done in collaboration with Yayasan Amir and the Education Ministry, the programme is a customisable model that ensures sustainability in the schools.

The programme has impacted over 65,000 students in 83 schools across 12 states in the country.

It was also found that student learning gains are greater where students’ ratings of the quality of teaching are higher.

Nina said that teachers conduct lessons based on the students’ individual learning abilities.

One example is how students are grouped according to their learning levels so teachers are able to concentrate on the weaker students without slowing down the progress of others.

“There is no one-size-fits-all anymore,” she said.

She said these schools practise the “assessment for learning” method.

“The objective is not to judge the child but to see how effective the teaching has been,” she said.

“In assessment for learning, we identify what the students know and the things that we need to work on.

“Then, we adjust the teaching in order to meet our objectives.”

She said trust schools still follow the national school’s curriculum but teachers are shown how to make the teaching process “fit the student”.

“We don’t change the (government’s) policy but we adapt in a way that best suits the child.”

She added that trust schools and the method used are already part of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025.

“The trust school is not a one-off programme and we are working towards changing the culture in the school.

“It’s slow, it’s hard work but we see greater profits at the end of the day. Students are engaged in the classroom.”

LeapEd Programme Design and Development specialist Dr Jayanti Sothinathan said teachers are given continuous guidance at these schools.

“There are always one trainer and one adviser stationed in the school.

“We are there in schools throughout the three years, co-instructing and being there for the teachers through their ups and downs,” she added.

The head of a trust school said the programme has been successful in drastically improving student outcomes and teacher career development.

However, he said teachers are required to do additional paperwork. They have to prepare the Malaysian Education Quality Standard Second Wave report.

The report, said National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Harry Tan, is a requirement under the Education Act 1996.

It does not use academic achievement as its main criterion, but focuses on other areas such as school administration and student discipline.

LeapEd managing director Zulhaimi Othman said: “Through the impact study, we have seen how the Trust Schools Programme has positively impacted the lives of teachers, students and parents.”


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