Friday, December 6

Waiting for green light on land to run English programme

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The programme incorporates the use of games to teach English to the children.

MIRI: Miri Education Initiative Society (MEIS) is waiting for approval from the Land and Survey Department to use a piece of state land here to run its English literacy programme for children from low-income families.

Its founder Councillor Leslie Lau told The Borneo Post that MEIS had tendered the application letter to the department in May this year, and are currently waiting for a reply.

“Our My Readers programme began in early 2018. Currently, we have nine children who, with the help of volunteers, learn the English language through reading and phonics.

“However, the space constraint only permits us to teach a limited number of children, and it is now full meaning we can no longer accommodate more children unless we can secure a larger place,” he said.

The programme is currently held at a house lent to MEIS by a resident of Tudan Desaras Phase 6, according to Lau, who said the land identified by MEIS is located near Tudan.

He said the new site would enable them to not only reach out to more children, but also put in place more facilities and amenities, as well as run more programmes such as computer classes.

MEIS is a registered non-profit organisation established in November 2016. Inspired by Teach for Malaysia, MEIS offers a comprehensive programme designed to help students learn to read and write in English within a prescribed period, beginning from phonics.

The first batch of students comprises children from Tudan Desaras Phase 6, whose families fall in the lower income or hardcore poor brackets.

Lau revealed that from not knowing English at all, some of the children have shown remarkable progress.

“We expect some of them to complete the programme by the end of this year. While some are quicker than the others in picking up the language, all of us are happy that they are starting to be able to converse
with the volunteers in English,” said Lau.

He added that the students are encouraged to communicate in English whether in school or at home, as a means of giving them the opportunity and confidence to apply what they have learnt in the programme.

Meanwhile, a session held Saturday saw MEIS inviting volunteers from Curtin University Malaysia to join volunteers in teaching the children.

For more information on the programme, visit www.meis.org.my or email [email protected] Lau can be reached on 019-8646363.