GEORGE TOWN: In Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil SJK(T) Sungai Ara near here, learning has been made fun.
Some floors in the school are painted with games such as snakes and ladders and teng teng.
School headmaster S. Sangga, 57, (pic below) said many students started to arrive much earlier – as early as 6.30am although school starts at 7.40am – after the administration adopted the fun learning approach.
“If they do not want to play games, students can also read at the designated reading corners or browse the Internet on computers set up outside the classrooms.
“The students can even use the computers during the school holidays, but they must be accompanied by their parents,” he told Bernama recently, adding that the elements incorporated did not contradict with Education Ministry policies.
The fun learning approach was among the activities introduced in the school since Sangga transferred there in 2011.
He said the teachers were also encouraged to take learning outside the classroom to allow students to explore their surroundings.
“Every Friday, we will take pupils for walks in the surrounding area. On Saturdays, we take them to collect garbage in selected areas. They have become anti-trash heroes. But this is by choice, we do not force them,” he said.
Sangga said the activities organised by the school were well-received by the students, so much so that some become upset if they are not informed about the activities.
“There have been times when pupils got upset with their parents for not telling them about upcoming activities. The school will inform the parents via WhatsApp about such programmes.
“Some parents told me how the students threatened to run away from home if they are not allowed to participate in the activities,” said Sangga with a laugh.
The school also carries out environmental protection and preservation activities.
So far the school has managed to achieve nine out of 17 objectives under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in an effort to educate students to love and care for the environment.
Sangga said the students were taught not to use plastic and to collect recyclable items.
“The school has banned the use of plastic. If pupils find plastic, they have been taught to collect it and put it in a bin to be recycled as eco-brick.
“Junk food and fast food are also not allowed. This is not only practised in the school but pupils also teach their parents to do the same at home,” he said.
There is also a garden patch in the school where banana trees and flowers are planted.
Produce from the garden used to bring in some RM600 a month for the school.
However, Sangga said, the garden was no longer producing as much as it used to, but it is still an active area for the students to cultivate a love for gardening.
Asked about his expectations for the school as he will be retiring in three years, Sangga said he did not expect his successor to travel down the same road, but he hopes projects beneficial to the teachers and 130 pupils will continue. — Bernama