Nurturing global citizens

  • Education
  • Sunday, 01 Sep 2019

Form Four students at a Global Citizenship Education workshop conducted by Alia Nur.

This piece is written by English teacher Alia Nur Dodgson from SMK Taman Daya 2, Johor, on how the The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education programme complements the Global Citizenship Education (GCED).The GCED, a notion proposed by the United Nations, aims to nurture young people so that they become responsible and active global citizens. It maintains 17 global goals to solve world problems and achieve sustainable development. A form of civic learning, it involves students’ active participation in projects that address global issues of a social, political, economic or environmental nature.

And what better way to learn about current global issues than reading the newspaper?

The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (NiE) programme, with its specialised education pullout, has always encouraged schools to carry out various learning activities with its newspaper.

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.

I carried out a GCED workshop with The Star newspaper as the source of material for vocabulary, current news, information and visuals.

At the workshop with my Form Four students, the newspaper was a window to the world for all of them. Students became detectives as they searched for current world problems. They gained deeper understanding about those issues by reading the articles.

Students then discussed and explored causes and effects of the world problems, and came up with creative solutions. This built a sense of belonging to a common humanity and was a good exercise in cultivating proactive global citizens.

The Star newspaper has indeed been a helpful and resourceful tool for students to further venture into the GCED.

This programme also encourages critical and creative thinking, as students gain new knowledge. They become aware and develop concern for what is happening around the world.

For some Form Four students, reading a hard copy of the newspaper seemed like an alien thing to do.

“I am so used to the Internet. It felt awkward to use the newspaper, ” said Muhammad Shahfiq Shahrom, one of the participants of the workshop.

Agreeing, Iffah Aqilah Ismail noted that teenagers rarely use the newspaper. However, she found that she liked using it as it has detailed information.

Alya Mirza Soffea Ahamad Saifudin said that she got to know about what was happening in other countries, apart from learning new words.

Keshveneei Subramaniam said: “I learned a lot of world problems through the newspaper. There are many issues outside of Malaysia. Many people in other countries are suffering, and it makes me sad. It is scary to think that if the world is not taken care of properly, World War Three could start.”

Another fourth former Leong Wan Ping commented: “Newspapers use a lot of words you don’t see in textbooks, hence, we are exposed to new words. It is a good experience for weak students because newspapers use words for both general and specific topics. It was fun!”.

The Star-NiE programme is endorsed by the Education Ministry.

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