The SEE Project@ Sekolah Kebangsaan Temai…Malaysia is an exciting outreach project. The Queensland University of Technology(QUT) and Universiti Putra Malaysia(UPM) are partners in this initiative. The project is supported by the QUT Short-Term Mobility Program and UPM. This partnership will enable students from both universities to teach in cross-disciplinary teams at Sekolah Kebangsaan Temai – a primary school in Pahang, Malaysia. This school has 160 students – 40% are of Orang Asli background.
The challenge for the teams is to integrate ICT focused classroom activities that are based on the local curriculum. Also, it is also envisaged that this experience will enhance students’ cross-cultural understanding. This engagement will occur over a week – from 28th September to 2nd October. This project builds on similar outreach activities initiated by the SEE Project in Fiji for the past three years.
This project was born out of QUT’s policy to encourage domestic students to undertake semester-long studies and short study activities internationally. The project will be led by Mr Graeme Baguley (International Student Services), Dr Vinesh Chandra (Education) and Dr Richard Medland (IT), Ms Jocelyn Tan (International Student Services) from QUT. Without the support and interest of Dr Siti Isa at UPM, this partnership and activity would not have eventuated. Dr Isa has worked exceeding hard in leading and facilitating the project in Malaysia. She identified the school and liaised with a number of key locals, including the QUT Alumni to make this project a reality. In particular, the input of Mr. Ash Tan, Mr. Suranthra Sahotharan, Ms. Deeviyanam Prabhakaran, Ms. Syarifah Nazurah was useful and informative. In Brisbane, the advice provided by Jan Harvey (QUT), Sabrina Amir (UQ) and Emma Sulaiman(QUT) was invaluable in refining and reshaping our ideas.
The QUT students disciplinary backgrounds are in Information Technology (IT), Film and TV, Design, Education, English as Second Language (ESL), Health, and Business. The overall theme of this engagement is ‘Culture and the Environment’. After weeks of brainstorming and collaboration with their Malaysian colleagues/advisors, the four QUT teams have developed classroom activities that will focus on the following sub-themes:
Year 3 Culture and History
Year 4 Environment- to include aspects of pollution, our footprint, etc
Year 5 Deforestation
Year 6 Alternative Energy
While designing classroom activities in unseen learning environments can be a challenge, even for the more experienced educators, for QUT students it has been an exciting journey. Some of the students explained their reasons for their participation in the project as follows:
Jessica Davis – Bachelor of Information Technology (3rd Year)
“I like how Computer Science incorporates mathematical problem-solving skills, and can be used to solve scientific problems, but also allows you to build something and see results almost instantly. Combining science and IT is something that I am passionate about, and I hope to share that with the students at SK Temai. While in Malaysia, the other IT students and I plan to run sessions around renewable energy concepts, using Little Bits and Arduino boards. We hope to get the kids interacting with hardware and drag and drop coding so that they can have the experience of interacting with something that they have built while also learning about scientific concepts”.
Elliot Kennedy – Bachelor of Secondary Education (3rd Year)
“I am majoring in English as a Second Language and Geography. I decided to study ESL due to a few reasons, and they are associated with my passion to travel. I have visited parts of Africa and South America, but my largest trip to date was living in Mexico for two years. I noticed on these trips that children, regardless of where they are from, want to learn. How could I help and be a valuable asset to these children’s education? Being lucky enough to have learned Spanish while living in Mexico, I experienced first hand how empowering and beneficial learning another language could be. I decided that studying ESL and secondary education was the best way to enable me to be a positive influence on these children’s’ lives. Before I began studying at QUT, I taught English in Malawi and Mexico and have since gone on to volunteer at Milpera State High School in Brisbane. I enjoy working with international students and see my career spent both here in Australia and globally. I decided to study Geography for my love of traveling because I am always interested to learn about people, their culture and their way of life. I spent two years working as a travel agent. This experience enabled me to constantly learning about new places and people. I am extremely honoured to be able to join this amazing project to Malaysia and look forward to furthering my teaching skills in an international classroom. I hope this is the first of many teaching trips to Asia”.
Vicki Jacobs – Masters in Social Work
“I am studying a Masters in Social Work and currently on placement at QUT International Student Services. I will graduate in December this year. I am very excited to take part in the SEE project and am looking forward to meeting new people from KL and Pekan. I enjoy travelling and learning about new cultures as I believe it broadens the mind and encourages respect for diversity. I am looking forward to working with students and staff at UPM and QUT, sharing knowledge and skills to provide a unique experience to the children of Pekan. When I am not on placement at QUT, I work at a community centre, helping young people overcome difficulties at home or school. In the future, I would like to work in international development, focusing upon widening participation for children and young people in education. I am British, married to a South African and live in Brisbane”.
Mitchell Neil – Bachelor in Software Engineering (3rd Year)
“I am currently in my third year of study as a software engineer at QUT and am employed within QUT as an Events Support Assistant and as a sessional academic. I am passionate about education and volunteer within numerous educational roles within QUT including the Peer Programs Student Advisory Team, and the STIMulate program. These initiatives are examples of some of QUT’s Peer Programs. I believe education should be available to all people and should be a custom experience that reflects a student goals and individuality. I look forward to understanding and overcoming numerous and challenging problems along my journey and am always looking for new opportunities where I can develop both myself and my skill set”.
We are looking forward to this unique experience and, in particular, working with the staff and students of Sekolah Kebangsaan Temai.
Here is a link to the Official tentative program STOMP