Using drama to teach poor and rural students English 


Yayasan Sime Darby partners with Enfiniti Academy to improve communication skills of pupils in underprivileged and rural schools


Students from SK Pos Bersih presenting a fun drama performance they learned during their English Speech and Drama Workshop boot camp with Enfiniti Academy. 


Slim River, 13 July 2017 – Amidst misty hills and clear rushes of Slim River, an Orang Asli student is reciting his lines in preparation for drama class at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pos Bersih.

The student is among 64 pupils from the school who are learning English through the performing arts.

Sitting in classes with not more than 10 bright eyed students, learning English through drama is something many of them would never have had the opportunity to experience, if not for the English Speech and Drama Workshop.

A collaboration between the Ministry of Education (MoE), Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) and Enfiniti Academy, the workshop involves the implementation of interactive speech and drama workshop in 20 identified primary schools over a period of one year.

The 20 schools participating in the Speech and Drama Workshop have been identified from 5500 schools on board the Highly Immersive Programme (HIP) in 2017. HIP is an initiative under the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 that encourages schools to develop a holistic environment that supports students’ English language learning.

YSD’s commitment of RM245,000 towards the one-year programme includes Enfiniti Academy’s development of drama modules with specialised toolkits.

The programme is designed to serve as an aid to learning English; pupils and teachers learn how to create their own English drama clubs in their school, following the specialised drama modules.

YSD Governing Council Member Tan Sri Dato' Seri Dr Wan Mohd Zahid Mohd Noordin said the English Speech and Drama Workshop is a novel way for underprivileged and rural schoolchildren to learn the English language.

“The workshop allows pupils to use the performing arts as a tool to hone their creativity and improve their communication skills in English,” he said.

“It also allows the teachers to improve their skills by utilising the toolkits and modules designed in this programme, which can be implemented in their teachings as well as other external classroom activities with the pupils.

“We hope that by encouraging children and teachers at underprivileged and rural schools to use the English language in creative ways, they will be able to converse in English confidently,” he added.

Enfiniti Academy founder Puan Sri Tiara Jacquelina Eu Effendi said the programme serves as a platform for pupils from underprivileged and rural schools to obtain a high quality learning experience outside of school hours.

“We want to use the performing arts as a significant platform for the personal development of underprivileged children, particularly on raising their self-esteem and improving communication skills,” she said.

“This programme enables them to be immersed in the world of drama and use the English language in an exciting and exhilarating way.

“Our trainers are highly experienced theatre professionals such as actors, performing arts practitioners, directors and facilitators,” she added.

The workshops focus on effective verbal and non-verbal communication, where the pupils and teachers craft ideas to write a story and act it out.

Each school is given toolkits for teachers and children as well as a box of supplies to help them start their very own club, where the appointed teachers will carry out the English drama club as a two-hour extra-curricular activity.

Enfiniti Academy trainers will return to schools for follow-up visits to support, track, monitor and survey teachers and pupils in their progress including school performances.

Teachers are also required to submit progress reports every three months to aid the monitoring of the programme’s implementation.

Since 2009, YSD has committed RM114 million under the Community and Health Pillar towards community-based programmes, advocacy and research efforts targeted at increasing the well-being of disadvantaged people, reducing socio-economic disparities as well as enhancing the welfare of neglected children, senior citizens, vulnerable women, physically challenged individuals and other marginalised groups.

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Last Updated:
03 Aug 2017
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