Five school teachers have won a total of RM18,000 to carry out their innovations on how to mitigate learning loss during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This was part of the inaugural “Cikgu Kickstart” competition, which saw 15 teachers pitch their ideas on improving education.
Last night, Mohammad Aliff Othman (above) of MRSM Tun Mohammad Fuad Stephens in Sandakan, Sabah, was crowned one of the winners.
He received a RM6,000 grant to expand his “Kampung Code” initiative.
The initiative teaches students how to code using paper materials without the need of a computer.
It is targeted at those from rural and low-income communities who have trouble accessing the internet and digital devices.
Since 2019, Aliff has carried out Kampung Code workshops in 14 schools to more than 1,000 students in Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Beluran and Telupid.
During his pitch, he said he planned to use the grant money to improve teaching materials, create a video guide, adapt his Kampung Code kit to students with disabilities and reach out to even more students.
Aggregating educational content
The second winner was a teacher trio from Perak comprising Mohd Razif of Malay College Kuala Kangsar, Mohd Izham of SK Trolak Utara and Mohd Azhar of SMK Simpang Beluru.
They won a RM6,000 grant to build up their Educogator website, which compiles online lessons and educational content from blogs, websites, podcasts, YouTube and social media onto one platform.
Educogator stands for “educational content and collaboration aggregator”.
During their pitch, they said they planned to use the grant money to improve their website, onboard more teachers who create educational content and build a mobile phone application.
Turning parents into English teachers
The third winner was Ishwaar Singh, a teacher at SK Tebrau Bakar Satu, Johor.
His winning pitch was the “Convertible English Teacher” programme, where teachers would teach parents how to conduct lessons in basic English phonics for their children.
During his pitch, Ishwaar said school closures due to the pandemic have required many stay-at-home parents to become teachers overnight.
However, many parents felt ill-equipped or were not supported enough.
Under his programme, teachers will teach a set of fun modules to parents so the latter can help their children have a better foundation in the English language while at home.
These parents can then equip other parents with these skills.
Not only would this improve students’ English level and scores, Iswaar proposed that it would also lead to a better relationship between teachers and parents, as well as between parents and their children.
He planned to use his RM6,000 grant to purchase a printer, tablet computers, books, phonic game sets and reading materials to carry out the programme.
Aside from the three winners, the other 12 finalists also received RM2,000 each to carry out their respective projects.
Cikgu Kickstart was organised by Edufication, a non-profit organisation co-founded by Samuel Isaiah, a teacher who came to national attention for his dedication to his Orang Asli students and for being named as one of the Top 10 finalists of last year’s Global Teacher Prize.
The competition was supported by Teach for Malaysia, Pemimpin GSL, the YTL Foundation and the ECM Libra foundation.