SEPANG – Malaysia Airports announced that it has adopted four new schools under its Beyond Borders School Adoption Programme. The announcement was made during the launch of Phase 4 of Beyond Borders at Sama Sama Hotel KL International Airport today. The four new schools which were on-boarded early this year were selected to undergo a three-year programme that aims to improve English language proficiency among primary school students through innovative teaching and learning concepts.
Beyond Borders is one of Malaysia Airports’ flagship corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and has been running for 10 years since 2007. With the addition of four new schools, a total of 33 schools have participated in this programme where it has created a positive impact and touched the lives of more than 20,000 students since its inception. With the tagline, ‘Give them wings, let them fly,’ Beyond Borders helps to boost the confidence level of the students in the usage of the English Language upon graduating from the programme at the age of 12.
The four schools that have been selected for the Beyond Borders Programme Phase 4 this year are Sekolah Kebangsaan Dengkil, Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Wah Lian, Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (India) Dengkil and Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Bangkong (Asli) in Sepang. The selection of the schools was based on certain academic and social criteria as well as their location within the vicinity of Malaysia Airports business operations. A total of 1,900 Standard 4 students and 25 teachers at the selected schools will benefit from the line-up of programmes such as Beyond Borders English Language (BEL), UPSR Clinic, Read and Reward, Living in English, English Day and I Start First Motivation programme. These programmes have proved successful throughout the years in helping the alumni schools strengthen the grasp of English among their students.
The Beyond Borders Programme Phase 4 was launched by YB Deputy Minister of Education I Dato’ P.Kamalanathan who applauded Malaysia Airports’ efforts in reaching out to the community especially schools and students. He said, “I am happy to see that the Beyond Borders Programme operates within a comprehensive structured framework with equal emphasis on excellence in teaching and learning. I can see that one unique aspect is the opportunity given to teachers to increase their knowledge. This is aligned with the culture of lifelong learning that we wish to encourage among civil servants and Malaysia Airports has gone beyond its corporate responsibility and has truly embraced the nation’s education aspiration.”
Managing director of Malaysia Airports Datuk Badlisham Ghazali who was present at the event further explained on the Beyond Borders Programme with pride, “Our main objective in implementing this programme is to ensure sustainable progress in improving English language proficiency among primary school children. This is done by laying a strong foundation and understanding of the language not only through conventional means within a classroom setting but also through creative means in a fun environment. Students are encouraged to listen, speak, read and write the language, as well as enhance their confidence by participating in activities such as drama and storytelling.”
“Our Beyond Borders Programme is unique because its activities are based on two conceptual frameworks that focus on Enrichment and Artistic approaches. The Enrichment approach aims to enrich language excellence through engagement and support programme, while the Artistic approach aims to discover and refine articulation skills with expression. Schools identified under this programme are based on several criteria that we feel will benefit well from the activities planned,” he added.
He also stressed that everyone is entitled to be given equal opportunity to succeed and thus, there should be no limitations to achieve excellence in life. He further said, “It is our responsibility to shape the young minds of our children and empower them to design their own successful future by providing them with the necessary tools and supporting them in every possible way.”
Speaking on the success rate of Beyond Borders, Datuk Badlisham mentioned that the students’ proficiency level from the third phase showed considerable improvement. The third phase started in 2013 with the adoption of Year 3 students from seven schools all over Malaysia. Four years later, the same batch of students achieved commendable UPSR results particularly in the subject of English language with an average passing rate of 73.11% in English subject for year 2016 as compared to 63.52% when phase 3 of the programme first started.
Through Beyond Borders, Malaysia Airports has also been able to reach out and contribute to the community within the airport vicinity. The sustainable and structured programme has created greater value to not only the teachers, students and parents but also to the management and staff of Malaysia Airports. Employees of Malaysia Airports are given the opportunity to participate in the programme through its staff volunteerism initiative. Currently, there are approximately 200 registered volunteers who have proactively contributed 4,534 of volunteering hours in the Beyond Borders programme alone.
Malaysia Airports is grateful for the continuous support given by the Ministry of Education, the State Department of Education, the District Education Office and PINTAR Foundation in the development and implementation of the Beyond Borders programme as well as ensuring only the best approaches are taken to develop the activities for both teachers and students.