By HARIZAH KAMEL / Pic source yayasanpetronas.com.my
YAYASAN Petronas, through its “Program Duta Guru” (PDG) initiative, has equipped its first cohort of 136 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teachers for hybrid teaching via classroom and virtual modes across 113 school districts in Malaysia.
“Teachers are critical to the nation’s progress as they play such a huge role in the success of our students.
“Together with our partners, we are supporting the teachers’ professional development so they may better help students navigate the new normal and enhance their higher-order thinking skills through STEM subjects,” CEO Nelly Francis Shariah said in a statement yesterday.
Over the months, each teacher received an online teaching kit, which includes a mini green screen kit, a pedagogical book “Pembelajaran Abad-21” and stationery to help make online lessons effective, fun and interactive.
They also received guidance on how to innovate and apply these items to create more engaging virtual lessons for their students.
With public secondary schools reopening this week, over 180,000 school teachers are expected to transition back to regular teaching duties in Malaysia.
Despite this, teachers would still need to continue with the online delivery of lessons as and when needed.
Initiated in 2019, PDG is a collaboration between Yayasan Petronas and the Education Ministry’s National STEM Centre, with Teach For Malaysia as the implementation partner. It aims to strengthen the teachers’ capability and continuously improve their teaching quality through training and coaching, curated content and by providing infrastructure.
Teach For Malaysia CEO Chan Soon Seng said along with the rest of the world, the future of educators is one fused with techno- logy and that teachers will need to become savvy users of digital tools, as well as creators of online content and knowledge.
“They need to help their students foster these skills for the future workforce as well,” said Chan.
Since the delivery of the online teaching kits in December, many teachers have taken the opportunity to prepare ahead for their lessons this year.
National STEM Centre senior principal assistant director Dr Ihsan Ismail said with STEM teachers so consequential to the students’ future, their needs must be addressed as they face new challenges.
“We hope to see more organisations stepping forward to collaborate with us in improving the quality of teaching in Malaysia,” he said.
By 2030, PDG aims to empower 4,500 teachers to be highly capable STEM educators serving as role models in enhancing students’ interest and competency in STEM education and higher-order thinking skills.
PDG’s Cohort 2 is set to be inducted through a virtual session this month.