Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Service-Learning best way to engage, solve community issues

Saturday, September 19th, 2020
During this pandemic, the Department of Language Education in Universiti Selangor, had to think creatively to facilitate an online teaching practice for their final year students. - NSTP file pic, for illustration purposes onlyDuring this pandemic, the Department of Language Education in Universiti Selangor, had to think creatively to facilitate an online teaching practice for their final year students. – NSTP file pic, for illustration purposes only

SERVICE-LEARNING is an educational pedagogy that has been much talked and discussed but least implemented. We want to share our experience on how we revisited the idea of service-learning and immediately began executing it.

During this pandemic, the Department of Language Education in Universiti Selangor, had to think creatively to facilitate an online teaching practice for our final year students. In the beginning, the idea of incorporating the concept of service-learning into teaching practice was merely an alternative.

Later, we found that it is now the best time, to start giving back to the community through this means. It will be a worthwhile learning opportunity for us, especially the students, if they could gain knowledge and engage the community at the same time.

This is grounded on the assumption that university students are the ones who are equipped with progressive knowledge in their field; hence, they have the responsibility to help the community during this difficult time. Thus, for individuals who are frequently bogged down by the belief of “We don’t know how to help” which then hinders them to act, ’service-learning’ is the answer for them.

According to Vanderbilt University, service learning is “a form of experiential education where learning occurs through a cycle of action and reflection as students seek to achieve real objectives for the community and deeper understanding and skills for themselves.”

This complex definition is simplified by Wolpert-Gawron, a teacher who writes on Edutopia, where she explains that “in service-learning, students learn educational standards through tackling real-life problems in their community.” Now that we know what it is, we ask “how do we execute it?”

A service-learning project is carried out to tackle a specific problem in a targeted community. Simultaneously, students involved in this project also gain academic related knowledge, go through assessments, and write reflections through project-based learning.

When enforced to resolve real-life problems via service-learning projects, students may find it a challenge which would then motivate them to be more involved as compared to sitting in a lecture hall. However, identifying a solvable real-life problem may be deemed difficult by some students. Here, the project supervisor, a lecturer, should guide the students by giving clear instructions and objectives.

Prior to engaging the community, students conduct a needs analysis to identify the issue. Data is collected through, first, a survey, and later an in-depth interview with the targeted community. Once they identify the problem, the students develop clear project objectives and a teaching blueprint, in the forms of teaching plan, modules, and assessments. The project can be split into five stages:

1. Research. Students conduct a needs analysis, analyse the results, and present the findings to the project supervisor. In this stage, students gain research knowledge and skills. Besides, students learn how to present data in graphs and charts and communicate them to others.

2. Blueprint development. Based on the findings, students devise a plan, materials, and strategies as well as instruments necessary to solving the identified problem.

3. Project execution. Students carry out the project in the targeted community and evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of the project.

4. Assessment. Assessing students in a service-learning project may be holistically done. All parties, including university and community, are involved in the assessment. Since the community can have their say on the student performance, it is suggested that they are given a rubric as a guide to evaluate.

The project supervisor evaluates the knowledge and skills that students apply in the execution of the project.

5. Reflection. The students can evaluate themselves through a reflection. They think back on what they gain throughout the project and examine what they have carried out.

The key idea of service-learning lies in the commitment to promote societal engagement via educational activities. Students will share their knowledge and expertise while working in partnership with local organisations and residents. At the same time, the students get the chance to experiment and evaluate the knowledge and skills learned in the university.

More importantly, service-learning approach offers a meaningful experience for the students. ‘Meaning’ is crucial for an effective learning. For this reason, more service-learning initiatives are urgently needed.

By Dr Astri YuliaDr Soo Ruey Shing

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2020/09/625579/service-learning-best-way-engage-solve-community-issues

Education must never stop

Saturday, September 19th, 2020
Pix for representational purposes only. -- Pix: STR/ AFPPix for representational purposes only. — Pix: STR/ AFP

LETTER: Upon reading the article titled “Rise to the challenge of encouraging kids to read”, I was surprised and appalled to discover that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the learning of 463 million children.

Even more important to note, the children are mostly those who are poor or disempowered and deprived of the essential tools for online school.

When schools close, education invariably stops too. So, as an international school student, I recognise now that the resources that I have, including devices and access to online education, cannot be taken for granted.

At the same time, I often wonder and ask myself this – what can I do to help others? In that article, the writer suggested that even though schools close, there is still a way for education to go on – through reading.

While we can encourage lawmakers to promote quality education that is accessible for every family, it is our job, especially those of us who have more than we need, to help all of those affected children who are right now lacking the education and learning that they deserve.

In another way, I am inspired by the solution proposed in the article. Let’s encourage reading initiatives such as providing community libraries with books and resources for learning to those in need.

Not only can we provide a child with an education, but also in the process, we can transform their life.

by MIKAYA RONZHEIMER.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/09/625718/education-must-never-stop

Malaysia among top 5 non-EU countries sending students to UK

Friday, September 4th, 2020
British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay (right) exchanging pleasantries with 38 Malaysians who received the Chevening scholarship at his official residence yesterday.Hay said the Chevening Secretariat received some 800 applications from Malaysians, of which only 38 were selected=British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay (right) exchanging pleasantries with 38 Malaysians who received the Chevening scholarship at his official residence yesterday.Hay said the Chevening Secretariat received some 800 applications from Malaysians, of which only 38 were selected to undertake studies in various fields for the 2020/21 academic year – including a Chevening Fellow who will undertake a short course at the prestigious Oxford Centre of Islamic Studies. — BERNAMA photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia remains one of the top five non-European Union (EU) countries for sending students to the United Kingdom.

British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay said this development reflected a testament of the strong education link between the two countries, a key pillar in their longstanding relationship.

Hay said some 19,000 Malaysians pursued their higher studies in the UK last year, adding that the number will probably be lower this year due to Covid-19.

“With a track record of academic and research excellence, UK universities are highly sought after, and UK graduates are among the most employable in the world according to QS Graduate Employability Rankings,” said Hay in his speech at the Chevening Scholarships award presentation ceremony to 38 Malaysians at his official residence here.

He said in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, the British government and the education sector were working together to ensure the health and safety aspects of all Malaysian students, including Chevening scholars, in the country.

“You can expect to undertake your studies with a combination of online and in-person learning, get support for your well-being from your respective university and the Chevening Secretariat, as well as up-to-date guidance from Study UK,” he said.

Hay also hoped to see the active involvement of Malaysian Chevening Scholars in the Chevening Alumni Malaysia Committee’s activities to ensure the continuity of the alumni’s strong and dynamic network across Malaysia.

Hay said the Chevening Secretariat received some 800 applications from Malaysians, where only 38 were selected to undertake studies in various fields for the 2020/21 academic year – including a Chevening Fellow who will undertake a short course at the prestigious Oxford Centre of Islamic Studies.

The recipients will pursue courses at top UK universities in a wide variety of fields including environment and climate change, human rights, and public policy, as well as arts and media.

Malaysia is the second-largest recipient of Chevening awards in Asean, and there are already over 17,000 Chevening alumni in Malaysia.

by Bernama.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/education/2020/09/621956/malaysia-among-top-5-non-eu-countries-sending-students-uk

Optimising technology to overcome Covid-19

Monday, August 31st, 2020

A COLLABORATION between industry and academia has led to the production of a system that enables contactless implementation of Covid-19 standard operating procedures.

This is done through Industry 4.0 technologies such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT), which are all integrated into a single device.

The partnership is between Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Smart Manufacturing Research Institute.

MARii chief executive officer Datuk Madani Sahari said the system, known as the Modular and Open System-Plus (MOST-Plus), is undergoing further research and development (R&D), as well as commercialisation.

This is to include additional features such as real-time data monitoring and mobile application functionalities to improve its effectiveness based on industrial standards and demands.

“To advance the partnership to the next level, both parties are actively working on the establishment of a MARii UiTM Satellite Node to offer industry-grade facilities, tools and equipment focusing on automotive, automation, robotics, IoT and other related fields.

“This includes a Digital Factory with Augmented Reality applications, a mechatronics and robotics lab, and a hydrogen fuel cell car development area.

“The MARii UiTM Satellite Node is expected to officially open by the end of the year,” he said.

The institute has also collaborated with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) to enhance the development of new age solutions.

The collaboration with UKM, Madani said, aims to accelerate the development of the three new elements outlined in the National Automotive Policy 2020 by utilising research facilities and local talents.

One of the projects includes the development and commercialisation of electric vehicle (EV) batteries, focusing on battery performance, battery replication and the development of a lithium-ion battery production line, he added.

“We are also working closely with UPM in the local development of EVs and to establish a testbed which has reached the final stages of R&D.

“An EV Wireless Charging System is also in the works, with goals to enhance the capabilities of the local automotive sector to penetrate the EV market, including the creation of high value jobs in the areas of EV development.”

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, he said, poses a continuous demand for new skills, knowledge and familiarisation of expertise, making industry-academia collaboration vital.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2020/08/30/optimising-technology-to-overcome-covid-19

Application to MRSM for 2021 session opens today

Monday, August 24th, 2020

BEAUFORT: Application for admission to the MARA Junior Science Colleges (MRSM) for the 2021 session for Form 1 and 4 students opens from 9am today (Aug 24).

MARA chairman, Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun said students applying for admission to MRSM for next year’s session are required to sit for the MRSM Entry Tendency Test (UKKM) to test their potential and interests in Mathematics, Science and English as well as aptitude test.

She said application can be made through the website http://www.mara.gov.my and the closing date is Dec 4.

“Candidates must pass all four UKKM tests to qualify to be considered for entry to MRSM and priority is given to students from low-income families. Applicants are advised to apply early to avoid any problems and facilitate the implementation of UKKM,” she added.

She told reporters this after officiating the two-day MARA Educational Institution Carnival, at Dewan Pa’Musa here Sunday. The Beaufort Member of Parliament said a MARA Professional College (KPM) would be built on a 30-hectare site in Beaufort.

The college, which will be the first in Sabah, is expected to be in operation in 2023., she added.

Read more @ http://www.newsabahtimes.com.my/nstweb/fullstory/39769

Evolving education in times of Covid-19

Friday, August 7th, 2020

Cybersecurity must be present across all ICT areas.

COVID-19 has challenged organisations to rethink and execute radical new approaches to their business operations.LGMS chief executive officer Fong Choong Fook LGMS chief executive officer Fong Choong Fook

The widespread global pandemic has presented challenges that drastically changed the way businesses and organisations operate today, necessitating an online approach as opposed to traditional physical presence.

As we head towards the new normal of the foreseeable future, adapting to the needs and technology of the times is a must. As with anything online, security is a major concern, as data and information are far more exposed to hackers and cyber theft.

Recognising technology as a key enabler to respond to the new normal, INTI International University & Colleges has collaborated with Amazon Web Services (AWS), LGMS Group Sdn Bhd (LGMS), and SAS to create its new Diploma in Computer Science (DCS), which includes modules with industry-standard training in cybersecurity, cloud computing, and data analytics.

As companies embrace remote working, cloud computing addresses on-demand delivery of IT resources over the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing.SAS Malaysia managing director Cheam Tat Inn

SAS Malaysia managing director Cheam Tat Inn

Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centres and servers, users can access technology services such as computing power, storage and databases almost entirely online.

Managing the Cloud is an essential skill for all professionals and one that students should learn even before entering the workplace.

Cybersecurity must be present across all ICT areas.Simultaneously, organisations are facing greater cyber attacks. Some of the ways that cybercriminals have cashed in on the Covid-19 situation include virus-themed social engineering attempts, the sale of counterfeit medical masks, and the spread of rumours pertaining to the pandemic.

“Employees working remotely must be aware of cyber threats. Every organisation and individual should regularly ensure their connections are secure, be cautious of phishing emails and ensure all software and operating systems are up to date, ” said LGMS chief executive officer Fong Choong Fook.

The incorporation of a cybersecurity module in DCS helps students to identify and appreciate the applicability of cyber security across all areas of ICT including programming, networking, systems administration, big data analytics and artificial intelligence.

To help learners and professionals further adapt to new routines, SAS offers flexible data analytics options for users.

“SAS’ software tools and platforms can help companies harness their data to drive informed decisions, ” said SAS Malaysia managing director Cheam Tat Inn.INTI International University & Colleges’ chief executive officer Tan Lin NahINTI International University & Colleges’ chief executive officer Tan Lin Nah

“From predictive maintenance in manufacturing, to gaining insights into customer behaviour in online retail, to resource allocation within a hospital,

analytics can help companies make better decisions to sustain and thrive in an unpredictable world.

“The demand for workers skilled in analytics has outpaced supply, and companies are looking to analytics to gain insights into their data for better decision-making.

“The modules offered in INTI’s DCS programme will provide students the skills in data analysis, data management, predictive analytics, machine learning and more, that can provide a foundation for students to pursue a career in data analytics, ” shared Cheam.

“In these challenging times, education must become a continuous, experiential, and regularised process, ” said INTI International University & Colleges chief executive officer Tan Lin Nah.

“This makes micro-credentialing within education syllabus a critical component in a student’s long term career aspirations and provides them early training and pathways for certifications in specialised fields.

“This is how education can evolve so that it remains constantly relevant with industry trends.

“At INTI, we prepare our graduates for the jobs of the future and sustain them during challenging times by equipping them with the transferrable skill sets needed to excel and adapt in the ever-changing job landscape.”

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2020/08/06/evolving-education-in-times-of-covid-19

Turn your skills into money-making online courses with OpenLearning

Thursday, July 9th, 2020
Organisations can now take their certifications, training and accredited programs online. - OpenLearningOrganisations can now take their certifications, training and accredited programs online. – OpenLearning

WITH the current economy experiencing a downturn, many people are turning to side hustles to diversify their sources of income. One of the upcoming trends gaining popularity is content entrepreneurship, also known as contentpreneurship.

So, what is contentpreneurship?

A contentpreneur is someone who earns income through creating online learning content. Anyone with the skills, experience or knowledge on a certain topic can become a contentpreneur. All you have to do is use your expertise to create short, highly-focused courses online. For instance, if you’re proficient in the Iban language, or if you enjoy baking traditional Nyonya kuih, you could turn these skills into online courses or tutorials.

HOW TO BECOME A CONTENTPRENEUR?

There are many ways you can become a contentpreneur, be it through your own YouTube channel or your own blog. However, these methods are not entirely suitable for online learning. An online learning platform like OpenLearning is designed to make it easier for you to turn your passion into profitable online courses by crafting an engaging learning experience for your audience.

OpenLearning has all the tools you need to create your very own online tutorials. In fact, you can tailor your courses by adding rich multimedia content of any type like text, audio and video. Besides that, the platform also lets you customise the look and feel of your course by adding logos, banners and colour schemes. Learners can also actively share and collaborate with each other.

Here are some additional benefits when you use Open Learning:

  • You can add value to others by offering certificates to those who complete your course.
  • You can collect payments directly through OpenLearning’s online payment gateway.
  • You can connect learners from around the world with user-friendly social learning tools. You can also keep track of their progress and encourage learning together in an active online community.
  • You can quickly and flexibly personalise or update your course content for different groups of learners.

One of the people who have put their courses up on OpenLearning is Norizan Sharif, who offers online self-development courses in Bahasa Malaysia. In less than a month, his first course, Interpersonal and Human Relations, priced at RM30, attracted more than 2,000 students, earning him over RM60,000 in income.

“I did not expect to gain over 2,000 learners in less than a month after launching the course. This proves that there is high demand for professional development courses in Bahasa Malaysia,” said Norizan.

GET STARTED WITH OPEN LEARNING

Now, you can also become a contentpreneur on the OpenLearning platform with their comprehensive free 30-day trial. During the trial, you can take part in the 30-Day Creator Challenge, a guided challenge that will direct you to build and launch your online course.

Besides that, you can also apply for the RM100,000 Creator Fund Program as a creator on the OpenLearning platform. The fund offers additional support and incentives to help selected high-potential creators, trainers and educators take their existing content or training material, and convert them into sellable online courses or programs.

Successful applicants to the fund will receive course building support worth up to RM100,000 through:

  • A seat at one of OpenLearning’s exclusive digital workshops where you will learn the A-to-Z of online course creation
  • Access to community consultation sessions with OpenLearning’s team of expert learning designers and digital marketers
  • Full or partial course building sponsorship by OpenLearning

Being a Creator on OpenLearning means you could stand a chance to benefit from revenue share opportunities and extra marketing boosts on UPSKIL.my, an online skills portal. Launching soon, this portal will host a collection of high-quality, skills-based courses and certificate programs for Malaysians. This will give you even greater exposure for your online content.

DIGITISING YOUR BUSINESS

For businesses that are interested in positioning your business online, the team at OpenLearning can assist you with strategies and team onboarding to help you get on your feet quickly. Now, instead of spending endless hours on face-to-face training, businesses can also provide training online, efficiently saving time and reducing costs as well.

“Businesses in the education sector can look into offering fully-online short courses and microcredentials, whilst training businesses can start to diversify their offerings by building online versions of their services,” said Sarveen Kandiah, Managing Director at OpenLearning Malaysia.

OpenLearning is currently offering a live system walkthrough and complimentary personalised consultation on ways your organisation can move online. Plus, for a limited time only, Malaysian organisations stand to receive an exclusive discount (valid on a first-come, first-served basis) on subscription plans.

Click here to find out more about OpenLearning’s Digital Transformation initiatives.


Take advantage of these offers that will only run from July to November 2020. Start your free trial now to become an Official OpenLearning Creator, and get your course featured on UPSKIL.my.

Find out more via OpenLearning’s website or by emailing mymarketing@openlearning.com.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/bots/2020/07/607186/turn-your-skills-money-making-online-courses-openlearning

King briefed on schools reopening

Monday, June 8th, 2020

PETALING JAYA: The King has been briefed on preparations to reopen schools, says Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin (pic).

The Education Minister said Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had also given his views and advice on the matter.

The online briefing was conducted on June 5.

In a Facebook post on Monday (June 8), Dr Radzi thanked the King and said the invaluable input would be adhered to.

On Sunday (June 7), Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said schools would be reopened in stages within the recovery movement control order (MCO) period after receiving input from the Health Ministry.

“The Education Minister will make a detailed announcement soon,” he said.

By CHRISTINA CHIN.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/06/08/king-briefed-on-schools-reopening

Focus on education and training for faster recovery

Friday, June 5th, 2020
THE government has just announced a recovery plan to enable the Malaysian economy to regain its strength after weeks of restrictions on work following the introduction of the movement control order (MCO). The government will also launch next year the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025), which will outline the medium and longer term policies for achieving our nation’s development goals and provide the public sector expenditure programme to implement such policies.

In carrying out its development plans for economic and social progress, the government must place more focus on the human aspects of development to empower the people to face the challenges that lie ahead, such as a second round of the pandemic and the uncertainties arising from the geo-political tensions around the world.

We will have to increasingly rely on our own domestic strength to remain resilient against the adverse external developments. Hence, our development plans must place greater attention on improving the quality of the education and training system to create the internal capacity for growth and prosperity. They should equip school leavers and graduates with a stronger foundation to learn new skills.

Employers prefer to recruit job applicants who are trainable to raise their productivity and technical skills. New entrants to the labour market who are good in Maths, Science and English and who impress employers with their confident personality will find it easier to get the better paid jobs.

Those whose parents can afford to send their children for private tuition in Maths, Science, languages, music and art tend to have the advantage in having these superior qualities in them. There is a growing number of children who go to expensive private schools locally and abroad. These are the children of privileged families, political and corporate elites and the middle class.

This division of success in finding good jobs between income classes is not healthy for national unity. The national education system should therefore introduce reforms to provide the quality required in the employment market. Education should be free from racial, religious and communal politics to allow reforms to be successfully implemented so that all youths will have a level playing field in life.

In general, wage levels in Malaysia are low relative to its per capita GDP and standard of development. The main reason is the weak labour policies on employment and lack of controls on importing foreign workers. Irresponsible employers are taking advantage of undocumented workers, who out-number their legal counterparts, to suppress wage levels and ignore workers rights across all segments of the labour market. The culture of low wages spreads to all levels of employment, including executives. The result is that the share of wages in national income in Malaysia is low by international standards, thus indicating an imbalance in the distribution of the country’s wealth between owners of capital and the working class.

Depressed wage levels explain much of the hardships among households living in the major urban centres. In addition, urban households struggle with the higher cost of living in cities compared to the rest of the country.

As our planners work on policies for the recovery of the economy and its long-term growth, they would prioritise projects that have a high impact on generating employment and income opportunities. This is to be expected as GDP growth is essential to lift up income levels.

At the same time, our planning agencies should also strengthen the education and labour policies to make them more dynamic in providing our working population with better wages and a higher share of the national income.

With higher levels of skills, the talent pool will be enhanced and facilitate Malaysia’s efforts to attract more local and foreign investment into high technology and state-of-the-art industries, as the East Asian Tigers have done to restructure their economy and

become so advanced in their standards of living. They placed high priority on investing in their human resources to transform into high income countries within a short period of one generation.

by TAN SRI MOHD SHERIFF MOHD KASSIM.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/06/05/focus-on-education-and-training-for-faster-recovery

Three sexagenarian sisters who just can’t stop teaching

Saturday, May 16th, 2020
The D’Cruz sisters conducting online classes. -NSTP/ASWADI ALIAS.The D’Cruz sisters conducting online classes. -NSTP/ASWADI ALIAS.

PETALING JAYA: Three sisters, all of whom are teachers, are proving that age truly is just a number.

The D’Cruz sisters, all in their 60s, have, since the Movement Control Order began, taken up the challenge to learn new skills in terms of online teaching so that they can continue to impart knowledge to their students.

Having for so long been accustomed to traditional and conventional classroom teaching methods, the sisters — Juliet, 68, Iris, 67, and Bridget, 61 — are now keen hands at using Google Classroom and Google Meet on their laptops at home to remain in touch with their students.

Necessity, said Bridget, was the mother of invention.

She said she had only 72 hours to learn the ropes of using online tools to teach.

She said she had some experience in online teaching but only on a surface level.

“It’s nothing like what we’re doing now, where we conduct classes daily via online platforms like Google Classroom and Google Meet.”

She admitted that it was tough in the beginning.

“We had to work hard in a short period of time to learn how to conduct classes online. Although it was tough and challenging in the beginning, we managed to do it and add to our repertoire of teaching skills that we garnered over the years.”

Bridget, who worked as an accountant for more than two decades, began teaching only in 2011. She said she decided to make the transition to teaching as the demands of corporate life had taken a toll on her health.

“Being an accountant in the private sector was good and rewarding, but the high level of stress and long working hours affected my health,” said Bridget, whose first teaching job was with Taylor’s University, where she taught accounting and business to hospitality students.

“I had a lot of experience in accounting, finance and business from my years working in the private sector. I took up the offer to become a teacher as I had a lot to offer to students instead of just textbook knowledge.

“I could leverage on my experience to give them a better perspective while learning.”

Bridget, who is single, sees teaching as a continuous pursuit of betterment.

“Not only do we get to give back to society, we also get to learn, as well as keep abreast or even ahead of the students.

“For the older generation like us, it’s a steep learning curve,” said Bridget, who teaches business studies and accounting at Campus Rangers International School.

Her sister, Juliet, began teaching 42 years ago in 1978 after returning from Mumbai, India, where she completed her studies in teaching children with special needs

The D’Cruz sisters (from left) Iris, Juliet and Bridget. -NSTP/ASWADI ALIASThe D’Cruz sisters (from left) Iris, Juliet and Bridget. -NSTP/ASWADI ALIAS

Juliet, now a teacher at Stella Maris International School, said she had always wanted to become a teacher.

The desire to teach special needs children, she said, came later.

“While doing my diploma in India, I went on a field trip to observe a school for special needs children. I was so taken by the children there that from there on, I decided to become a special needs teacher.”

Juliet said she spent some of her best years teaching children with special needs.

“They will always have a special place in my heart. Many of their parents have been appreciative of our dedication to teach their children and for accepting them as they are with love and open arms.”

Not one to be content with her achievements, Juliet completed her Masters in Early Childhood Education at the age of 60 from Unitar International University in 2012 on a part-time basis while still teaching.

Juliet, who is married and has two children, a daughter, 37, and a son, 35, quipped that teaching has kept her young and is something she couldn’t stay away from.

“I’ve retired from the profession more than once but I kept coming back because I loved it. It kept me sane and enabled me to do good for society and I have never looked back,” said Juliet, who teaches English, History and Geography.

Juliet D’Cruz began teaching in 1978 after returning from Mumbai, India, where she completed her studies in teaching children with special needs. -Pix courtesy of Juliet  D’Cruz.Juliet D’Cruz began teaching in 1978 after returning from Mumbai, India, where she completed her studies in teaching children with special needs. -Pix courtesy of Juliet D’Cruz.

Juliet’s other sister, Iris, meanwhile, retired as a government school teacher after 33 years in 2008. She started teaching in 1976 at St Michael’s Secondary School in Penampang, Sabah.

However, her passion for teaching saw her take up a post at ELC International School in Sungai Buloh, where she has been teaching for the last six years.

She said after she retired, she realised that she still had a wealth of knowledge to share.

“As such, I kept on teaching. Education to me is an ongoing, continuous process, where I still wake up every day and am able to learn or pick up something new, like teaching online via Google Meet and Google Classroom,” said Iris, who is married and has two sons, aged 42 and 40.

Iris said she found it especially rewarding when weaker students succeed against all odds.

“I also take pleasure in having taught thousands of students throughout my years as a teacher,” said Iris, who also studied part-time while teaching to earn a Masters in Literature from Universiti Malaya back in 2004.

She said for her and her sisters, the best moments were when adults came up to them in public and call out, “Cikgu!”.

“They would thank us for being their teachers all those years ago. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

By Azdee Amir.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/05/592961/three-sexagenarian-sisters-who-just-cant-stop-teaching