Communication skills is recognised by the public as one of the most essential skills of raising quality of education. However, internal research and need assessments have shown that Malaysian secondary school students are equipped with a rather poor command of English and lack the abilities to convery their messages through proper English. This incident is mainly due to lack of exposure of the students to the learning environment.
These are certain facts and evidences of need to be highligted regarding the English literacy of Malaysian Secondary students:
1) Based on the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025 (Preschool to Post-Secondary Education), 3 of 10 of secondary students achieved a minimum credit in SPM English paper.
2) There are 150,000 students are unable to read and write, some even after they are preparing to sit for the Form 3 examinations, Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR). Given that our primary and lower secondary school enrollment accounted for only 4.4 million students, that's a very significant 3.6% illiteracy level.
3) According to MYReaders, a non-profit organisation set up in 2015 to help many Malaysian students learn to read in English using a structured, research-based programme, it is estimated that 10% of students in half the secondary schools are illiterate in English.
As an organisation that strives for Peace and Fulfilment of Humankind's Potential, we have decided to pick up the battle for Malaysia to achieve SDG4 Quality Education. Through our initiatives, we aim to solve or mitigate:
1) Low passing rate of SPM English set by the government;
2) Students' perception towards English as a challenging subject;
3) Student's confidence on communicating in English; and
4) The gap between privileged and underserved students in regards to English Education.
We have designed Speak Up! that aims to empower underserved students in Malaysia to have a better future by developing their English proficiency and enhancing their personal development through workshops and consistent communication initiatives.
How We do It?
AIESEC runs the Speak Up! as our national project in Kedah, Selangor, Penang, Perak, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak. Through obtaining legal permission from Jabatan Pendidikan Negeri from each respective states, we formed partnerships with local secondary schools to support their students who are weaker in English proficiency. Normally, we liaise with a specific teacher that help us to coordinate all the attendance of the students. The schools have also listed Speak Up! as one of the school activities that will contribute to student's co-curricular acitivities as an initiative to encourage student participation in the students.
Prior to the beginning of the project, we conduct first English assessment test with students to ascertain their English proficiency level, which assist us in categorizing the students in accordance to their English literacy. Discussions will also be carried out with the teachers to understand the condition of the students.This step is necessary for us to take good care of and monitor each one of their learnings.
After that, we arrange trainings for our local and international volunteer in collaboration with Teach for Malaysia to ensure that the volunteers are equipped with necessary skillsets and insights to teach and engage with the students. The volunteers will be conducting a series of workshops that include speaking, writing and reading workshops for the students to provide a holistic learning to the students. Some of the activities that they have conducted are Global Village, sharing during morning assembly, internal public speaking competition and so on.
On top of that, action initiatives planning will be done simultaneously with school authorities and some student leaders to design activities that will continue project initiatives in the school in the long run. Brainstorming and feedback sessions will be done to ensure that the project will bring sustainable impact to the students.
At the end of the project, a final English assessment test will be done by the students so that we can measure the improvement of the students. The results will be compiled and sent to the schools to further review and assess to determine the future direction of the project initiatives. The students will also be encouraged to record videos as evidences to indicate the confidence level of the students to speak in English.
With ultimate belief that impact can only be created through long term and consistent engagement with the students, we have created a programme that not only develop through workshops and interactive activities but also have the student's learning and improvement consistently being monitored.
Increase student's confidence level in speaking English.
1. Students are aware of the importance and benefits of speaking English confidently.
2. Students gain confidence to ask questions and speak English in class after the project.
3. Students to encourage peers to join action initiatives and start speaking English.
4. Students are able to pass their final exams and oral tests successfully.
Measure of Success and Target Volunteers Involved
100 School Engaged: 20
Number of students participating in Speak Up! : 1,500
Number of students passing the final assessment tests : 1,200
Number of students passing final exams : 1,000
Goal 1 - Training and Event (100*RM30) & Project Management - consistent follow up with the project progress (20*RM150). Amount Needed: MYRMYR 6,000
Goal 2 - Workshops (Project Materials) (1,500*RM6) and Transportation - solely travelling to and back from schools (20*RM150). Amount Needed: MYRMYR 12,000
Goal 3 - Session Material Development - development of assessment tests and workshops content for 6 weeks. Amount Needed: MYRMYR 2,000
AIESEC is the world's largest non-profit youth-run organization. It is an international non-governmental not-for-profit organisation that provides young people with leadership development, cross-cultural global internships, and volunteer exchange experiences across the globe. The organization focuses on empowering young leaders to make a positive impact on society through actions.
AIESEC strives for Peace and Fulfilment of Humankind's Potential as an organisation.
In today’s context, ‘Peace’ does not necessarily mean only avoiding war. Peace can symbolise a world that does not have conflicts that arise from cultural, religious, or other aspects of differences in humanity. Peace can also symbolise being in harmony with yourself. AIESEC strives to build a world where people can work towards their own understanding of peace while respecting and understanding the views of others.
Through Fulfilment of Humankind’s Potential, AIESEC strives for a world where people can be the best version of themselves.
We place our confidence in youth because they have the passion, dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit that are needed to shape the future. They have the responsibility to improve tomorrow by choosing who they will be today. Hence, AIESEC is a platform for young leaders to run projects that are aligned with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure its relevance to the local community need. We aim to be part of the solution for a betterment of Malaysia.