Over 64,000 pupils to benefit from literacy initiative

MORE than 64,000 Year Four pupils, aided by 800 teachers, are expected to benefit from a pilot capacity building programme to address their English literacy needs.

Understanding the pressing need to support pupils who are struggling to keep up with their peers in English language learning, the Financial Industry Collective Outreach (Finco) has inked a memorandum of understanding with the Education Ministry’s English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) to pilot the new initiative which will initially provide English teachers in schools nationwide with structured training, mentoring and classroom resources to employ remedial instruction (RI) strategies to support pupils with low levels of English proficiency.

Along with teaching strategies, teachers will be supported to integrate proficiency assessments into everyday lessons to identify and address the individual needs of pupils and measure progress.

The pilot programme, said Finco chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim, adopts a public-private-partnership approach to achieve a deeper and more sustainable impact, as well as a more efficient use of resources.

The initiative, he said in a press release on June 16, aligns with the government’s efforts to create a more equitable and inclusive society, reducing inequality and ensuring everyone enjoys high-quality educational provision.

According to ELTC director Farah Mardhy Aman, the RI programme supports the In Class component of the Highly Immersive Programme (HIP), which aims to provide learning support to upper primary pupils in mastering foundational English language skills to strengthen their basic literacy.

HIP is a programme under the ministry’s Upholding Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthening the English Language (better known by its Malay abbreviation, MBMMBI) policy, which aims to create a language-rich environment in schools to support pupils’ learning of the English language; public-private partnerships and community involvement play an essential role in supporting the programme.

HIP outreach partners like Finco have been effectively assisting the ministry in providing pupils with access to innovative English language learning activities.

Finco chief executive officer Clare Walker said the pilot programme aims to support pedagogical changes needed to cater to the diversity of learning needs in the classroom.

“The programme aligns with our existing efforts to increase access to opportunities for primary school pupils to master English and improve reading proficiency.

“The timing of this programme is particularly important as it can help teachers to address the significant learning loss experienced by young people as a result of Covid-19.”

In its fifth year of operation, Finco aims to harness the collective resources of the financial industry to provide underprivileged children and youth with the guidance and educational tools they need to achieve their life goals.

Programmes are centred on the financial industry’s shared goals of improved English proficiency, life aspiration, financial literacy and disaster relief.

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