Funds required / Dana diperlukan: RM 2200

No. of students impacted / Bil. murid diimpak: 40

Name of school / Nama sekolah: SMK Pasir Putih

State / Negeri: Johor

I teach English at SMK Pasir Putih, a school in Pasir Gudang district, surrounded by factories and secluded from the cities. Most of the students' parents in my school work for the factories nearby, either as factory workers or lorry drivers. When asked of my students what they aspire to do after SPM, they mostly have no idea or have thought of working in hotels, restaurants or factories like their parents. I am teaching four classes (from Form 3 to Form 5). In all four classes, I have asked them before how many of them went out of Johor and those who raised their hands were about 20% of the class only. Even for those who have been out of Johor, the furthest they have gone is Indonesia or Thailand. I feel I need to help expose my students to the outside world.

This is one of my form 4 classes. The attendance is a highlighted issue in my school because students always skip school to go to work, just so they could earn extra pocket money. I took this picture because only half of the class attended school that day. When asked, they said they wanted to get the money to buy baju raya as their parents can't afford to buy for them.

I would like them to understand that the world is super big and they have so much more opportunities to explore! So bringing them out has always been in my to-do list. Thus, when I knew about the opportunity to the Malaysia Festival of the Mind 2017 that is held on 8th of July at TAR Univerity College, and the fact that the Malaysia Mind Literacy Movement is sponsoring transportation and lunch for 40 of my students, and for 4 teachers that will be accompanying them, I went to see my PK Koko and Principal the very next day to get their approval to apply for the opportunity. Thankfully, we got the opportunity for my school and the school has also decided to make it a 2 day 1 night trip to make full use of the opportunity to expose the students to more things.

However, the sponsor could not cover for the additional costs that would incur when we stay for a night. Therefore, I would really appreciate if you could help to give my kids an opportunity to discover the world. Many of them have not even travelled out of the state and I would really like to make this happen for them!

The festival will conduct workshops to teach students on strengthening their memory skills. It focuses solely on developing their mind and cognitive development. Students can then use these skills and knowledge in their studies and daily lives. With these new memory skills, I believe it will help to increase their interest in learning. And since the festival with be held at TAR University College, I also plan to bring them to a campus visit as I am hoping to motivate them to work harder, so that they would continue to pursue their higher education.

The students are carefully selected to make sure that they would get the most out of the trip. Students who really really want to go, have basic mastery of English and is determined to improve self. To ensure learning takes place, I would brief students prior to the trip, remind them of the objective of the trip, encourage them to ask questions and jot down important notes. By the end of the trip, I will conduct a debrief session to ask students to write down what they have learnt and share to the group.

To create a long term goal for this trip, I will be doing a mentor-mentee programme in my classes, which I am planning to reinforce it this week. I have set the seating arrangement in classes where there will be one/two higher performing students in the group to help me mentor the rest of the group members. They will help me to make sure everyone is on task and take charge of their learning. So, after those students come back from this field trip, I would like for them to share about what they have learnt with their own classes just so the rest of the students will benefit from the programme and gain the knowledge they need to succeed in life, even though they weren't there at the festival.

With this, I hope the students will be empowered to empower others in their community.

In my class, I encourage my students to ask and answer questions. "Keep trying and never give up", is what I always echo to them from time to time.

I told my student mentors to teach and to not give answers to their peers. I constantly remind them to help their classmates in learning and not steal away their learning journey by spoon feeding them answers.

Sometimes, what a kid needs is just an opportunity - an opportunity to learn and to be exposed to new and positive things, and most of the time you can help to provide that opportunity. Hence, I hope you can help us fund our trip to a whole new world of possibilities!

Cikgu Chiew Teng