In response to Covid-19 school closure, Teach For Malaysia (TFM) and Bain & Company (Bain) are launching a Distance Learning Initiative to ensure learning does not stop for all children in Malaysia whilst supporting the Ministry of Education’s efforts in building a culture of home-based learning among students, teachers, parents and school leaders.
The Distance Learning Initiative has a three-pronged approach, in which TFM and Bain work alongside students, parents, teachers and school leaders to: (i) capture their best practices in distance learning, (ii) support schools in co-creating solutions to address issues faced during and following the Covid-19 pandemic, and (iii) consolidate these best practices and co-created solutions in the newly-launched Distance Learning Initiative microsite.
Capturing best practices in distance learning: Through continuous conversations with Teach For Malaysia Fellows, Alumni, teachers and school leaders, TFM and Bain are learning about different innovations happening in schools, such as ingenious relatively low-tech approaches to teach via messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram.
Supporting schools in co-creating solutions to address issues faced during and following Covid-19 pandemic: In the pilot phase, TFM and Bain are partnering 2 schools in the Klang Valley. By directly supporting schools in addressing their existing challenges, TFM, Bain and the schools are identifying new issues and co-creating solutions. TFM and Bain hope to support more school communities in facilitating effective teaching and learning during and following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Consolidating best practices and co-created solutions in the TFM-Bain Distance Learning Initiative microsite: Through continuous engagement with teachers and schools, as well as collaboration with Edvolution Enterprise and Pemimpin GSL, TFM and Bain have co-created user-friendly guides for distance learning for school leaders, teachers, parents and students. These guides can be found in the newly-launched TFM-Bain Distance Learning microsite. The guides cover creative low, mid and high tech solutions, as well as recommendations for communities that have no access to technology at all. The microsite will continually be updated with new guides as TFM and Bain work alongside communities to collectively develop knowledge, ensuring learning can continue outside of school during and following Covid-19.
YAM Tunku Ali Redhauddin ibni Tuanku Muhriz, Chairman of Teach For Malaysia said, “At Teach For Malaysia, we believe that all children in Malaysia should have access to an excellent education regardless of their socio-economic background or the circumstances they are in. The Covid-19 pandemic has further exposed how such factors hinder students’ education. The limitations of internet connectivity and mobile coverage in different parts of Malaysia pose real challenges to ensuring all children have access to education. For example, our TFM Fellows and Alumni teaching in Semporna, Sabah have only been able to reach about 50% of their students during the Movement Control Order. As we reimagine what the “New Normal” in Malaysian education looks like, we need to make sure that no child is left behind.”
TFM’s new CEO, Chan Soon Seng, added, “Through the Distance Learning Initiative we have launched in partnership with Bain, we hope to support the Ministry of Education in their efforts to overcome these challenges both during and following Covid-19, and make home-based learning work. We strongly encourage principals, teachers, parents and students to make use of the guides and support provided through this initiative. We also know that there are many other innovations happening and we welcome the public to share them with us so that we can include them on our microsite, as we continually seek to improve it.”
Shazrul Asari, Partner at Bain & Company, based in Kuala Lumpur, commented, “We are delighted to partner with Teach For Malaysia in working on a long-term impactful solution to address the emerging challenges in education, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. We need a scaled, coordinated, multi-stakeholder response between stakeholders such as the Government, school administrators, teachers, parents, students, NGOs and tech firms. We are hopeful that this Distance Learning Initiative can catalyse the kind of strategic and transformational collaboration we need to ensure that learning does not stop.”
The guides are available in English at the TFM-Bain Distance Learning microsite at tfmdistancelearning.org, and the Bahasa Malaysia version will be up in the coming week. Students, parents, teachers or school leaders who are interested in getting support through the TFM-Bain Distance Learning Initiative, can get in touch through the microsite.
Since the Movement Control Order, Teach For Malaysia has also partnered with YTL Foundation’s Learn from Home Initiative to create engaging online lessons for students which are aligned to the national curriculum, as well as with HP Malaysia’s #iMovewithHP social media campaign, bringing the online community together to raise awareness and provide laptops to students from B40 communities.