‘Dau Dau’ does it again

Congratulations: (from left) Sirhajwan, Sydney and Nurazilah made Malaysia proud again with their latest international achievement.

AN integrated art project by a team of English language teachers from Sabah has again done the nation proud. This time, it received the Judges’ Commendation for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the ELTons Innovation Awards 2022.

This marked Malaysia’s first win at the prestigious awards, a press release from Keningau Vocational College read. Organised by the British Council, the ceremony, which took place in London on Dec 1, saw teachers Dr Sirhajwan Idek, Nurazilah Othman and Sydney Engelbert Ganggang attending the event virtually.

While “Dau dau” means “a long time ago” in the Bajau language, it wasn’t that long ago when the project was recognised on the global stage for its success in honing Sabah students’ English language proficiency and artistic abilities through drama.

In July, Dau Dau won the inaugural Simon Greenall Award, which was launched by Macmillan Education, International House London and International House World Organisation to honour the late English teacher Simon Greenall.

Mentored and supported by Macmillan Education and International House World Organisation, Dau Dau aims to provide students, including those with special needs, with various avenues to explore their artistic talents via the arts. The project guides students to develop their own artistry through performing arts, literary arts, visual arts or a combination of these, where they can express their thoughts and reflect on their personal and cultural stories.

To date, over 150 students from the college have successfully produced performance videos such as puppet shows, readers’ theatre, pantomime, radio play, monologue and animation that were submitted as entries for online art festivals and virtual talent shows. Some of them have earned prizes and made national headlines from these competitions. In addition, some of the students at the college have gotten their written work like poems, short stories, essays and visual artwork published in British magazines.

This project offers alternatives to special needs learners via sign language and animated performances.

The primary theme of this project is folklore, followed by a secondary theme, which is contemporary issues.

Commending the teachers for their effort, Keningau Vocational College director Johari@Jaibet Sabin said the trio have enriched their students’ English language learning experience, while giving the young talents an opportunity to showcase their creativity and to help preserve an important piece of the state’s cultural heritage.

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