Beefing up Punjabi teachers in Malaysia

158 Punjabi Language teachers from 50 PECs took part in two-day professional development course in Ipoh in August

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Ipoh | 27 Sept 2017 | Asia Samachar |
158 Punjabi Language teachers from 50 PECs took part in two-day professional development course in Ipoh in August – Photo / Supplied

By Jaginder Singh Rahpatti

A total of 158 Punjabi Language teachers teaching at some 50 centres in Malaysia took part in a professional development course in Ipoh in last month (August 26-28).

These teachers are actively engaged in teaching kindergarten to secondary five classes at the various Punjabi Education Centres (PECs) nationwide.

The event, organised by Punjabi Education Trust Malaysia (PETM), the education wing of Khalsa Diwan Malaysia (KDM), was handled by five coordinators and nine facilitators.

Such professional courses, which are held from time to time, provide a platform for teachers to share and exchange knowledge and experience, in an effort to keep improving themselves.

Based on feedback from teachers and performance of students in examinations, oral communication stood out as the grey area which needed urgent attention. Hence, it was agreed that this course would focus on enhancing verbal communication among the students. Themed “An Innovative Approach To Effective Oral Communication”, the course and workshop activities were geared towards applying innovative approaches to help students communicate effectively.

The participants were trained to plan student-centred activities that would enhance the verbal communication skills of students by engaging in pair (face partner/shoulder partner) or group work. They were asked to come up with a three-part lesson structure in which they had to plan innovative activities for the starter, main and plenary stages. Through engagement in these activities, teachers would be able to help their students develop oral communication skills.

MIC VP Senator Jaspal Singh (seated centr) officiated the PETM/KDM two-day professional development course in Ipoh in August – Photo / Supplied

The objectives of the course were achieved, thanks to the contribution and effort of Prof Dr Kuldip Kaur, who heads KDM’s Teacher Training Division, together with her dedicated team of facilitators, who were mostly professionals in the field of education. The feedback from the participants was testimony to this fact. Most teachers were satisfied with the course content and delivery. They shared and learnt a lot from the lively workshops, and gained valuable insights on how to promote verbal communication in the classroom.

The participants even made numerous suggestions to further improve the teaching and learning of Punjabi Language. For example, textbooks for Kindergarten and Lower Primary should have more dialogues to enable students do role-playing in the classroom. Some teachers wanted PETM to set up teachers’ and students’ portals to facilitate sharing of knowledge, information and experience among Punjabi Education Centre (PECs) nationwide. The PETM welcomes these suggestions, and will look into them when planning designs for future courses.

PETM takes this opportunity to thank all the coordinators, facilitators and course participants for the smooth running of this course, and hope this partnership and cooperation will continue to grow.

In order to enhance the usage and dissemination of the Punjabi Language to higher levels, the concerted effort of all is needed. Teachers, parents and the community on the whole, have a collective responsibility.

Malaysian Indian Congress Vice President Senator Jaspal Singh officiated the event.

The course was made possible to the aid from Socio-Economic Development of the Indian Community (SEDIC), a unit in the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Department, which has provided financial aid to KDM to help preserve and promote the use of Punjabi Language.

[Jaginder Singh Rahpatti is the Secretary of the Punjabi Education Trust Malaysia, the education wing of Khalsa Diwan Malaysia]

 

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