17 schools take part in PLC Teaching, Facilitating Competition

 

By DK RYNI QAREENA

KOTA KINABALU: Rapid evolution witnessed in the 21st century has imposed numerous challenges in education which calls for creative and innovative approach to be practised among teachers.

Not only are students required to master contents and acquire critical skills, but the 21st century learning also demands educators to develop competency in their skills apart from teaching methods.

This is what the Institute of Teachers Education (IPG) Gaya Campus seek to reinforce through its 21st Century PLC (Professional Learning Community) Teaching and Facilitating (PdPc) Competition yesterday.

Held at the campus, the competition saw 17 schools presenting their teaching methods based on PLC – a community formed in schools among teachers and administrators who continuously work towards their efficiency.

National PLC trainer Benny Kong said the approach does not only focus on students learning but also student-teacher interaction, collaborative effort among teachers and certain results among students.

“The three main components for PLC are – focus on active student learning, collaboration between teachers and the need for results, not only academically but also students’ interests and motivation, for example.

“It does not only focus on academic study because most of the time students lose the motivation to learn so they (teachers) adapt by using 21st century application and carry out student-centered activity to entice their attention and encourage more efficient discussion.”

The competition yesterday saw Chinese-Type National School (SJKC) Anglo Chinese named champion with its Science and Information and Communication Technology (TMK) project in mushroom cultivation.

Benny who was the competition chief judge said the team not only presented learning-based project but also incorporated technology and entrepreneurship.

“The students not only learnt factors affecting mushrooms’ growth but they also added technology input by putting in sensors to monitor the temperature and humidity before analyzing the results and later putting the mushrooms up for sale.”

According to (SJKC) Anglo Chinese teacher Angelica, the project that involved Year 6 students required an application called Blynk to monitor the temperature followed by Microsoft Excel to analyze the data.

“We wanted students to learn how microorganisms live in suitable environment and for TMK, we focused on building a sensor, key in the coding and from there, students could get the mushrooms data through their mobile phones.” The idea, she said, resulted from group discussions among the teachers. Present was the school’s headmistress Ong Kooi Huong.

Coming in second and third during the competition were SK Kepayan for Islamic studies and SK Mutiara for Mathematics.

IPG Gaya Campus director Gerturude Jock said although the adaptation to PLC is not easy, the active participation by schools who took part during the competition proved that it is not impossible.

“If we look at the 21st century, there are so many challenges but remember it does not mean that we use technology alone; we need to be creative and innovative in how we teach and how we learn because learning does not happen only for students but also for you (teachers),” she said in her speech.

Their involvement, she said, was inspirational and brought bigger meaning to the institute’s 55th Emerald Jubilee Celebration.

Established in 1963, she noted that the historic campus is anticipating new building within three years. “I realize that this campus is tight but we hope that in three years, we would get a new hall which is expected to be completely set up in 2021; I hope the hall with the capacity of 1,500 people will provide comfort to us all.”

Also present were deputy district education officer Gani Senang, IPG Gaya deputy director Dr Rosmawati Hamzah, and co-organizers head of IPG Gaya Education Department George Thomas and PLC Coordinator Gerard Benjamin.

 
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New Sabah Times