THE success of a fun learning initiative by a private company to help students at vernacular schools, has been recognised by the Education Ministry, which is now collaborating to improve the programme.
A total of 22 volunteers from the Institute of Teacher Education, International Languages Campus (IPGKBA) have teamed up with staff from Rimbun Capital Sdn Bhd to help students in Klang Valley schools improve their English, Bahasa Malaysia and Mathematics.
IPGKBA director Dr Nagalingam Karuppiah described the collaboration with the Rimbun Education Programme (REP) as a “symbiotic relationship.”
Besides being able to help those selected for the programme, he said, the volunteers from IPGKBA received on site training during the REP, which runs for three hours on Saturdays.
“We are also helping the REP improve their teaching modules based on 21st century learning,” he said. REP started with just 100 students from four schools in 2015, which increased to 138 students from six schools last year.
This year, 250 11-year-olds from 10 schools have been selected for the programme.
Rimbun Capital managing principal Datuk Raveendra Kumar Nathan said REP had evolved with the support of the Education Ministry and IPGKBA.
Previously, the REP relied on law or accountancy undergraduates to facilitate the programme but, he said, this was not ideal because teaching was not their career path.
This year, REP had also introduced a mentor system, where four weaker students are teamed up with an average student from the same school.
“These mentors and mentees will be able to see each other everyday. The weaker students will have the opportunity to practise their English or refer to if they are weak in Maths,” he said.
The reason average students were chosen, Raveendra said, was because more advanced students would get bored with the REP curriculum.
“Moving forward, we want more students to come forward to become mentors, so they can upskill themselves.
“This would trigger self-improvement along the way,” he said.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk P Kamalanathan who was present at the appointment ceremony of the mentors and the symbolic handover of REP modules to schools, applauded Rimbun for its efforts.