Welcome Remarks By Associate Professor Peter Pang, SIF Governor, At The Launch Of The Skills For Integrated Education In Schools (Skies), In Selangor, Malaysia

Mr Abdul Rahim bin Lamin, Representative of the Director, JPN Johor,
Mr Loy Hui Chien, Deputy High Commissioner and Minister-Counsellor, High Commission of the Republic of Singapore – Malaysia,
Dato’ Tharuma Rajah, Board of Trustees, Teach for Malaysia,
Partners and Friends,

Selamat pagi (Good morning)! Thank you for joining us at the launch of the Singapore International Foundation’s (SIF) Skills for Integrated Education in Schools (SKIES) Project.

Singapore and Malaysia share a special bond through our deep historical links and warm friendships. It is the SIF’s privilege to be able to connect our communities to collaborate and effect positive change. Since 1993, the SIF has collaborated with our Malaysian friends at the people-to-people level, primarily in cultural exchanges, social entrepreneurship, and now in education. Some of our recent work in Malaysia include the ASEAN Youth Fellowship Programme and the ‘Arts and Healing’ segment of arts festival Causeway Exchange, both held in Kuala Lumpur this year. Last month, I also had the privilege of meeting two social enterprises from Malaysia – Langit Collective and Native – who emerged as winning teams in our Young Social Entrepreneurs Programme.

This is at the heart of the SIF’s programmes – bringing people together to collaborate for the greater good and address shared societal issues. I am thus delighted to be here today at the launch of the SKIES project – a collaboration between the SIF and Teach for Malaysia. We believe that quality education is critical to achieve sustainable development. Teachers, in particular, are instrumental in this process. They form the backbone of a student’s learning journey and deserve the opportunities to continually upgrade themselves. In view of this, SKIES is designed to enhance the professional development of teachers and improve student-centred learning approaches in schools. The project will take place across three regions: Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Johor.

Over the next three years, a team of Singapore International Volunteers, or SIVs, comprising education professionals, will be working closely with 200 of their Malaysian counterparts. The SIVs will be sharing knowledge, skills, and best practices in promoting integrated education. Out of the pool of Malaysian participants, 30 will be identified to form a core group of master trainers. This group will be equipped with specialised skills to cascade-train others in the field, thus ensuring long-term sustainability of the project.

Participants will undergo a series of Training-of-Trainers workshops and professional sharing through two symposia. A select group will also embark on a study visit to Singapore for cross-cultural learning. It is our hope that the teachers will be in turn, empowered with advanced teaching and management skills to benefit their students. These include designing lesson plans for engaging classroom activities; applying creative approaches and strategies in teaching; and building effective professional relationships with students and parents. At the end of three years, we expect SKIES to positively impact at least 26,000 members of the Malaysian community, including students, teachers, and other education practitioners.

A project of this undertaking would not be possible without the support and warm hospitality of our neighbouring partners. My heartfelt thanks goes to Teach for Malaysia, the Ministry of Education Malaysia, JPN Selangor and Johor, JPWPKL, and PPD Gombak, Keramat, and Pasir Gudang. It is certainly a privilege to find like-minded partners who share the same goal of making the world a better place. I would also like to express my appreciation to our dedicated team of SIVs. Our Team Lead Mr Roland Ang was part of an earlier Integrated Education project in Bandung, Indonesia to train high school teachers. Thank you SIVs for contributing your time and efforts in extending a hand in friendship with your Malaysian peers.

The SIF has a vision of making friends for a better world. Through this collaboration, we are doing our part to fulfil the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4: Inclusive and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. I look forward to attending the symposium this afternoon. May you have an enriching day ahead.



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