UKM Helping Terengganu Students Improve Their English
By Asmahanim Amir
Pix Shahiddan Saidi
KUALA TERENGGANU, Jan 13, 2016 – The Your Language My Culture (YLMC) programme sponsored by the Sultan Mizan Royal Foundation (YDSM) and implemented in partnership with the Terengganu Education Department and the National University of Malaysia (UKM) will help secondary school students in Terengganu to improve their English.
UKM Vice Chancellor, Prof Datuk Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali said YLMC which involves UKM academics and specialists, have been producing since a year ago supplementary reading modules used by teachers to teach 9,000 form one students at 53 secondary schools in Terengganu.
“I am confident that in the next five years, all the form one to form five students will get the benefits from this programme.
“I believe innovative approaches pioneered in this State (Terengganu) have the potential to be applied at the national level and also at the international level,” he said in his opening remarks at the YLMC launch, here on Jan 12.
The Sultan of Terengganu, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Almarhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah launched this programme.
Also present at this ceremony were Menteri Besar Terengganu, Dato’ Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman, the Speaker of the State Assembly, Dato’ Mohd Zubir Embong and Senior Officials of the State Government.
Prof Dr Noor Azlan said the uniqueness of these programmes is the application of local culture, i.e. culture and life at Terengganu, within the context of teaching English to students.
“Through this method, students in Terengganu can improve their English speaking skills more effectively because the learning materials are based on the values and culture of Terengganu.
“The application of local cultural values will strengthen the pride and love of the state among the younger generation,” he declared.
He added YLMC is also a pioneer of the UKM4State Programme, a new initiative implemented with UKM which will be taught in every state.
“With the state government’s cooperation, learning programmes, research and UKM community service, it will be structured based on the specific requirements of the states in improving the socio-economic development, the quality of people’s lives while preserving the state’s cultural heritage,” he said.
Meanwhile, YDSM Board Member, Prof Emeritus Dato’ Dr Abdul Rahman Embong who is also Chairman of the Main Committee of the YLMC Programme, said YLMC is a supplemental learning programme with additional reading programme within the framework of local culture.
“Besides learning English through additional reading with the example of culture, history, tradition and local heritage, the content can be beneficial to teachers and students to join the competition dubbed ‘YDSM Strengthening English Cup,” he explained.
Prof Abdul Rahman, who is also Principal Fellow at the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS) UKM, expressed confidence that YLMC will yield dividends and get the attention of other foundations in Malaysia and abroad when it completes the programme a few years from now.
YDSM allocated RM1.2 million to produce the YLMC programme module as a supplementary to the Ministry of Education’s textbooks.
The YLMC books are distributed free to schools around Terengganu.