Background

Various studies and feedback from public revealed that students from Tamil schools do not have the expected grasp and command of English and Bahasa Malaysia. Lack of proficiency in these languages makes it difficult for the Tamil schools students to cope with the teaching in secondary schools resulting in low academic achievement in secondary school. This hampers their integration with students from other races in secondary schools. Research shows that underachieving students contribute to numerous disciplinary issues in schools thus drawing them to get involved in negative and unhealthy activities which can lead to crime. The Total Empowerment Camp (TEC) indirectly acts as a preventive tool to ensure that targeted students are equipped with the right survival skills, positive values and language command to help them to be productive members of society.

Aims & Objectives

  • To help primary school students venture into secondary education with confidence and vigour.
  • To enable students to experience a seamless transit from a mono ethnic to a multi ethnic environment.
  • To enable students to go through a character change at an optimal level which will help eradicate negative elements from their respective personalities and mould them to be a positive person for the benefit of the community and nation.
Intervention Method

The targeted groups for this programme are students with below average results in their UPSR examination. They will be identified by their respective schools. A 21-day residential programme will be carried out at three levels: basic, pre-intermediate and intermediate. Each level will focus on speaking, reading, writing and listening skills. The functional use of the English language will be emphasized in order to build students’ confidence. Apart from helping them to develop a love for the English language, it is also aimed to develop their personality and improve their confidence level. It will also give students a chance to venture into new skills such as a new sport, dance, drama, arts and crafts to name a few. External subject matter experts will be engaged at all centres to conduct living skills sessions which will include matters relating to decision making, management skills, reproductive health, personal hygiene and so forth. Experiential learning activities will be carried out to instil positive values and help build participants’ character. EWRF believes that these values can help in the transition to a multiethnic environment as well as increase their self-confidence. Comprehensive course modules have been designed to help the teachers, facilitators and wardens in carrying out the 21 day camp effectively. As a follow-up, EWRF has developed a module which will help assess the long term impact of the 21 day camp. Students will undergo a one year follow up programme in which, academic achievements and character development will be monitored and recorded.

Monitoring & Evaluation

EWRF recognizes the importance of comprehensive and continuous improvement. To achieve this, resources will be made available to monitor and evaluate framework.  Monitoring for TEC involves periodic  visits to the centres nationwide to ensure standards are being met by grass root implementers. Students will be assessed prior to the programme and upon completion of the programme. Students will be monitored on a daily basis by the facilitators and wardens.

Activities

Training of teachers, wardens and facilitators
  • Subject matter experts and trainers will be engaged to conduct induction training sessions to ensure the uniformity and standard of programmes at all centres. The training will equip the participants with the following
    • TEC Programme information
    • Job description
    • Reporting
    • Monitoring and evaluation
    • Follow up programme
  • They will also be briefed on the methodology and techniques of making the classes interactive and interesting.
Achievements

In 2011 EWRF had engaged a team of researchers to evaluate the TEC and the team had found that  a total of 554 out of 720 students (77%) improved in their initial scores during the post programmeme assessment. This is an indicator that 77% of the students showed positive changes, out of which a few showed outstanding changes. The complete report also addressed all aspects in which the students showed improvement. About 542 students participated in this camp in the year of 2012. Based on the test scores,  we understand that 77.12% of the total number of students have shown improvement. On the same not, it is a positive implication of the implementation of TEC to have 84.87% of the students having shown positive changes.