| Faza Suraj |
SULTAN Abu Bakar Secondary Girls’ School (SABSGS) of Muar, Johor from West Malaysia yesterday attended a workshop organised by Anthony Abell College (AAC) of Seria.
The Ingenious Sharing Session Programme with the theme ‘Innovative Thinking (iThinking) in Learning Mathematics’ witnessed the students from both institutions actively engaging with each other during the event.
The workshop started off with presentations by SABSGS’ students on the different methods in solving mathematical problems such as quadratic equations, trigonometry and statistics.
Wan Hjh Normala binti Abdul Rahman, the Deputy Principal (student welfare) of SABSGS who led 16 female students, sat with the Bulletin in an interview and was keen to share details regarding their visit. “This visit is one of the programmes for schools that received the ‘Cluster Schools of Excellence’ status award by the Education Ministry of Malaysia and is aimed at gaining to experience and learning from the schools during the stay. Another objective is to share the concept of iThinking which is widely used in schools in Malaysia as an educational tool for a more efficient way of learning,” she said.
Wan Hjh Normala further explained, “In Malaysia, schools are categorised by the ranking which depends on the results of the academic achievements of the students of the school and our school falls under Category Two out of six categories with Category One being the highest and Category Six being the lowest.”
She also expressed the aspirations of the school to achieve the highest category next year, adding that the Education Ministry awards schools with the highest category with a budget and the schools that fall under it are given the opportunity to choose two ‘expertise’ options — academic and co-curriculum.
The Deputy Principal of SABSGS continued, “In the academic side, we will choose Mathematics because we are one of the schools which has the highest achievement in the subject with 90 per cent of the students achieving A grade and the rest B.”
Netball is the co-curriculum expertise the school aims to select as most of the students who take part in Netball can reach National Level, Wan Hjh Normala said.
Halizawati binti Hj Kepli, the Principal of AAC, who was also as the coordinator of the programme in an interview said, “Twenty students from Year 10 from our side participated in the workshop where they learnt and applied the iThinking after sitting through presentations by the students from SABSGS.”
The principal hoped that the collaboration between the two schools will help produce quality students thanks to the experience shared among the students and she also mentioned that the school plans to conduct a response visit to SABSGS in the near future.
Cynthia Phua Kai Shien, the leader of the student entourage, was keen on sharing her experience with the media and said, “Every Wednesday for a few months prior to this visit, we had practices for the presentations. This is actually our first time as students to visit Brunei and join this sort of a programme.”
When asked about what kind of preparations they made to support their visit, Cynthia replied, “We conducted a fund-raising by selling food items during sports day and the school’s open day, and on top of that we started an online business to support the budget needed for the trip.”
The Bulletin also sat with Mohd Rafizan bin Aminoorashid, the Head of the Student Council of AAC. “I’ve learnt a lot from the workshop as I’ve never thought of the possibility of the existence of other methods in solving math problems apart from the ones that are taught in school. I see the importance of sharing information with schools from other countries as they may have a different approach of education which can be adopted to further better the quality of our education,” he said.
The Malaysian team expressed interest in watching Brunei’s first feature film, Yasmine, as one of the attempts to learn the culture of Brunei.
The entourage will also visit other places in Brunei guided by Freme Travel Agency. They are expected to leave Brunei on Saturday.