Abg Jo: Teaching methods need to be redefined due to Covid-19 pandemic
Posted on : 02 Oct 2021  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari. – Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (Oct 2): Educators have no choice but to redefine their teaching methods with the current Covid-19 pandemic, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He pointed out that the concept of teaching and learning needs to change, as the students of today are not like the students of yesteryears.

“They must learn on their own with the aid of their parents or guardians in the case of younger children. This is called heutagogy or self-directed learning.

“In the past, where classes can be conducted normally, students were recipients of knowledge, but now as there are limitations to conduct face-to-face classes, children have no choice but to be co-curators of knowledge,” he said today during the virtual launching ceremony of Sarawak Preschool International Convention 2021 themed ‘Character Building in the New Norm’.

Abang Johari said that educators need to rethink on the designs of teaching and learning to make learning more fun, challenging, active, interactive and immersive.

“Educators have to engage in more innovative teaching methodologies such as role-plays, hands-on and minds-on learning.

“Thus, competent educators need to equip themselves with certain skills to facilitate them to face the challenges of 21st century education as well as the ongoing pandemic,” he said.

He said that furthermore, students in the new millennium are vastly different from students of the past as they have more access to information because they are more exposed to the rapid pace of technology.

“With the aid of smart technologies such as Google, Youtube, and Facebook, information can be obtained from anywhere and anytime.

“Apart from that, the current pandemic has forced educators to conduct their classes virtually via Zoom meeting, Google Meet and video calls. Even our current convention is done virtually,” he said.

Noting that early childhood care and education (ECCE) involves more than preparation for primary school, Abang Johari said that he is intrigued by the theme of this preschool convention, as he truly believes that character building is the basis for personal growth, and it is the foundation for lifelong learning.

“Character building among children promotes their character development which enables them to build a reservoir of strength from which they can draw throughout their lives.

“Good character development among children is enormously important as the children will build a core foundation that they can adapt to meet the demands of the new norm throughout their lives,” he said.

Abang Johari said that while the Covid-19 pandemic period is a challenge in all fields, one of which is education, the development of online learning platforms such as Google Meet and Zoom Meeting can mold a generation with good character.

“Therefore, educators play an important role in achieving the goal of good character building.

“Even though there are limitations in conducting face-to-face lessons, educators must be present to continue the mission of building good character among young children. Educators and parents or guardians must work together as part of the efforts to build good character among children,” he said.

Abang Johari hopes that the inaugural Sarawak Preschool International Convention can increase the knowledge and understanding of educators on the basics of character formation among children.

“I also hope that the participants can identify the challenges faced in shaping human character, talents, interests and potential of children during Covid-19 pandemic through knowledge sharing from international speakers at this convention.

“With this, I hope this convention will be able to enhance the educators’ skills in cultivating and nurturing children’s spiritual, cognitive, social, physical and emotional developments in the new norm,” he said.

The international convention, happening between October 1 to 3, is organised by the Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development, aiming to increase the knowledge and understanding of educators on the basics of human character formation among children.