We’re pretty sure you’ve heard of the term ‘new normal’ by now, right? While everyone has their own definition of the new normal, for many students and teachers this meant having to adjust to learning & teaching virtually.
And because this is something so new, it’s only normal to have a few setbacks when it comes to online learning as well as teaching. Teachers and students have to equally play their part to make virtual learning work until it’s safe to attend classes again.
With that said, here are some ways we think would help:
1. Teachers can attend e-learning training courses beforehand
To make sure that both students and teachers are fully equipped for online learning, teachers must first be taught how to handle a virtual classroom. It doesn’t take a genius to know that both are very different environments that require two different approaches!
In order to ensure that both teachers & students excel in the online learning environment, it’s really important to prepare teachers for what they may face and how they can adapt to it. Besides, not all students have the privilege of 24/7 internet access and as a teacher, you should know how to make online learning accessible to them as well!
2. Consolidate all the e-learning platforms so it’s easier to manage
While every institution has its own preferences, it pays off to have a consolidated platform for online learning. This way, teachers have a point of reference and it also makes it easier to manage & track students’ performance & activities.
Currently, we are using many different platforms for online learning and students may not know how to manage jumping from one platform to another. It has also been said that going from one platform to another for classes disrupts workflow.
3. Improve internet connectivity & accessibility especially in rural areas
Since most educational institutions have been required to go digital, many students are now back in their hometowns and attending virtual classes from the comforts of their own home. However, this is not the case in many rural areas as a stable internet connection is hard to come by.
A survey conducted by the Ministry of Education, which involved 670,000 parents and 900,000 students, showed that only 6% of students have personal computers while 46% of students have smartphones. What’s shocking is that 36.9% of students do not have any devices that can be used to attend online classes!
Due to their socio-economic status, this 36.9% of students will fall behind in their studies which is something we definitely do not want.
Evidently, there are many ongoing conversations surrounding the topic of online learning in Malaysia. But if you are a student or teacher who has firsthand experience, Sunway Group would love to hear your thoughts about it!
What else can we do to improve online learning in our educational institutions?
If this is a topic you feel strongly about, you should definitely look into joining the Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition as the theme for this year is ‘Health & Well Being’!
In its 8th year, Sunway Group is calling all Malaysian teachers & students to participate in the longest-running and most popular essay competition in Malaysia to stand a chance at winning a FULL Sunway Bursary among other prizes! Read till the end if you want to know what else you could win.
Working hand in hand with the Ministry of Education as well as the Oxford and Cambridge Society of Malaysia, the Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition aims to equip all secondary school students with critical skills such as proficiency in English, critical reasoning as well as creativity and emotional intelligence. <3
Wow! Can I join the Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition?
If you are a Malaysian secondary school student or teacher, then YES!
The Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition is open to Form 1 to Form 5 Malaysian students and secondary school teachers from ALL schools except those who are using the international syllabus.
The competition will be split into three categories with three different requirements and essay questions. We’ll break it down for you below:
- CATEGORY A — Form 1 to Form 3 Malaysian students
- Write a 200 – 350 word essay answering this question: “The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the challenges of online learning throughout Malaysia. What could make this better?”
- CATEGORY B — Form 4 to Form 5 Malaysian students
- Write a 500 – 650 word essay answering this question: “The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the challenges of online learning throughout Malaysia. How could this be alleviated in the future?”
- CATEGORY C — Secondary School Teachers
- Write a 1,000 – 1,500 word essay answering this question: “The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the challenges of online education throughout Malaysia. How could this be alleviated in the future?”
What are the awesome prizes to be won at this essay competition?
What’s a competition without prizes, right? Lucky you because Sunway Group has prepared a bunch of AMAZING prizes for the Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition!
- Category A & B Winners – The top 13 winners from Category A and top 13 winners from Category B will stand a chance to win:
- 1st Prize — RM5,000 in cash, a Full Sunway Bursary, an Award Certificate, a Trophy & 10,000 Sunway Pals points
- 2nd Prize — RM3,000 in cash, a Sunway Bursary valued at RM15,000, an Award Certificate, a Trophy & 10,000 Sunway Pals points
- 3rd Prize — RM1,000 in cash, a Sunway Bursary valued at RM10,000, an Award Certificate, a Trophy & 10,000 Sunway Pals points
- 10x Consolation Prizes — RM500 in cash, a Sunway Bursary valued at RM5,000, an Award Certificate, a Medal & 10,000 Sunway Pals points
- Category C Winners
- 1st Prize — A Laptop and a Certificate of Commendation
- 4x Consolation Prizes — A token of Appreciation and Certificate of Commendation
Wow, these are awesome prizes!!! It’s also important to note that each participant is allowed to submit only ONE essay and it must demonstrate originality and flair, a link to academic standards and competent use of English as a written language (which means proper spelling, grammar and punctuation)!
Fantastic! How many levels are there to the competition?
For Categories A & B, here’s what you can expect from start till finish:
- 31st March: Submit your essays online by 1:00PM. You may submit your essays via this link.
- 23rd April: After the judges have deliberated, they will then announce the shortlisted finalists for Category A & B. There will be 50 finalists from the Klang Valley and 10 – 20 finalists from other parts of the country.
- 29th May: All shortlisted finalists to attend the compulsory on-site finals at nominated locations nationwide by Sunway. Do note that you are to bear your own accommodation and travel costs!
- 22nd June: Winners of the Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition 2021 will then be announced via email and on their website.
- 10th July: The winners are then required to attend the prize-giving ceremony on this date.
As for Category C, there will be no on-site finals for teachers. You may submit your essay via this link and you will then be called to attend the prize-giving ceremony on the 10th of July if you have won!
BTW, the Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition is organised by Sunway Group, the Oxford and Cambridge Society Malaysia, Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, and Sunway University, with support from Sunway PALS and fully endorsed by the Ministry of Education!
So do you feel like you have what it takes to win the Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition 2021? You’ll never know if you don’t try, plus the amazing prizes definitely make it worth a shot!
If you need more information about this year’s essay competition, visit their website here!
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