Ads 468x60px

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Final full day at SMKDPM – what a treat! - and goodbye - for now.

Thursday July 15, 2010
After breakfast at the school canteen, I set off with Surie, Margaret Chee, Judy Liew Su Tsin and students Priscilla and Wilfred from the Environment Club to Rasa Ria Resort. The Resort is part of the Sabah Orangutan Rehabilitation program and incorporates the Orangutan Education Centre. It is currently the home of 3 of the orang-utan sponsored by the school. The resort was about 40 minutes drive from the school.

First we viewed a video presentation about the threat to the orang-utan and the program in place to try to save them. Then we had a short walk along a path into the jungle to the feeding platform. The orang-utan are only fed by one ranger at this stage of their rehabilitation. He called the orang-utan and after a short time 2 of them came down from the tree tops to feed and entertain those present. We spent about half an hour here and then went back to the information centre for some souvenir shopping and lunch. The resort is an interesting example of ecotourism in that it is a luxurious tourist haven on the pristine beaches of the South China Sea and the jungle. The Orangutan education centre is strictly controlled and all money raised from this part of the resort is put back into funding the rehabilitation program. After a period of rehabilitation at Rasa Ria (depending on the individual’s adaptation to life back in the wild, the orang-utan are moved to the larger reserve near Sandakan.

One area for ongoing collaboration as part of an environmental focus will be to join in this program by sponsoring an orang-utan as well. In addition if is hoped that both schools will become involved in a program to sponsor a koala.

How could you not fall in love with this face!!

On our return trip, we visited the Tuaran Crocodile Farm, located about 30 kms from Kota Kinabalu. The 7 acres farm is an education centre, but also is a commercial breeder of saltwater crocodiles with up to 1,000 crocodiles on the farm at any time!

After returning to school, I met up with Badinah Bianis. She is from the Penampang area, so took me to a variety of locations around the area, including Taman Donggonan, the St Michaels Church – the oldest in Sabah, and to one of the old suspension bridges – one of the oldest forms of transport across the river. After a meal at a Chinese restaurant in the area, I returned to Surie’s house for my last night in Kota Kinabalu.

Friday July 16, 2010
Final short session at SMKDPM before returning to Kuala Lumpur. After a discussion with PN. Fauziah and Fay about our joint desire to ensure that our relationship can build into an ongoing collaboration it was time to say our farewells, get in the car with Surie once again and head to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

All too soon my time here had come to an end - for now!

I would like to thank everybody who has made me so welcome

  • Pn. Fauziah and Fay who shared their insights into the school, its operation, achievements and challenges

  • the teachers who allowed me the privilege of visiting their classrooms

  • the members of the Student Council for sharing their experiences and questions with me - and for teaching me to dance!

  • Mayrilyn and Brittany for making sure I didn't get lost and for sharing their enthusiasm and pride in their school

  • the students of the hostels for their wonderful welcome, cultural performance and sharing their sense of community - and especially the girls who chatted with me long past the normal curfew!!

  • Sabaria and the girls at the Mahligai Seri Saloon - the facial almost put me to sleep

  • Marcella, Judy and Surie for my first day in Kota Kinabalu - the laughter and good times you shared with me were an ideal beginning to my visit and will be a lasting memory

  • every student and member of staff who greeted me with a smile and quiet good morning each day

  • Margaret, Surie, Judy, Priscilla and Wilfred for a special day with the orangutan

Special thanks to Ramzie, and Lim who welcomed me into their homes - and Badinah for the tour and friendship.

Finally a special thank you to Surie for her quiet dedication to achieving our plans, her hard work and excellent blogging skills and for welcoming me into her family. Say hi to Shah and Ameera from Auntie Janet!

Terima kasih, sampai kita bertemu lagi.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Another inspirational Day!

Wednesday July 14, 2010

6.45 am NILAM in the Harmony Hall

8.00 am Co-curriculum Discussion with Mr Salehan Timin and Sabrina Ujin, Co-curriculum activity visits

All students are involved in co-curricula activities and clubs as part of their school program. As the curriculum is so centralised, Surie had identified these activities as a possible focus for several collaborative projects. Salehan coordinates the program, so we discussed potential ideas for development. An obvious area is the environment and conservation, through the Kelab Pencinta Alam (Environmental Club). The club is very active in the school and is involved in a range of project in the school and community. One area of focus is the sponsorship of several orang-utan in the rehabilitation program. This theme fits perfectly with our Year 7 integrated program which currently has a focus on the Indonesian environment and orang-utan rehabilitation.

We also discussed the possibility for collaboration through our Year 9 Personal Best program – an individualised project based program and other Co-curricula groups such as the Cultural club and dance club. Salehan will discuss this further with Surie and relevant staff at SMKDPM.

All students were involved in a range of activities for the first session of the day.
These included:-
· Marching drills for the school sports
· St John’s ambulance
· Red Crescent
· Police cadets
· Army cadets
· Fire brigade
These activities rotate with other clubs on a fortnightly basis throughout the year.

9.00 am Special Education Integration Program Orientation and Activities with Piluh Mathilda Osong
This was an opportunity to visit the teachers and students in the Special Education Program for the students with a hearing disability. The students undertake the same curriculum program as other students but all instruction is in signing or written instruction.
Students in this program come from throughout Sabah. The students face many challenges as they have to be able to sign to communicate in both English and Bahasa Melayu using the American signing language. There could be potential for a project for Tallangatta students to learn signing and communicate through a skype link up. We need to investigate the viability of this as a potential collaboration.
The students were eager to communicate and ask questions about Australia, our school and my opinion of their school and Sabah. We did this with one of their teachers translating for all of us. This was followed by a discussion with Piluh about the aims of the program for these students and the challenges they meet on leaving school.

11.00 am Class visit – Bahasa Melayu with Minnie Suiking
This Form 2 class were reading a short story in Bahasa Melayu, acting out the story and discussing characterisation. For many of the students , Bahasa Melayu is their 2nd language. There were 40 students in the class and all were given the opportunity to contribute to the class during the 40 minute lesson. Prior to the class the students had all contributed to buy me a special drink as they were concerned that I would not be coping with the humid weather – typical of the care and hospitality extended to me throughout the visit.

1.00 pm Class visit – Science with Chong Pik Yen Students were completing an activity on classification of animals. A quiz activity was used to engage students (45 of them) and link the class to the previous lesson. They then worked in groups to identify and classify different animals based on images and pieces of information about animal characteristics. Each group then designed a poster to represent the different classifications of animals.
This group was possibly the most challenging class I visited, both in size of the class and maintaining focus of some of the students.

2.00 pm Class visit – English with Siow May Peng
For many students English is their 3rd language. Class size was about 35 studentsThe topic for the class was informative writing based on the topic of water pollution.Strategies used by the teacher were similar to any Victorian English class at the same level (Year 9/ Form 3)The teacher used images to engage students and have them guess the topic they were going to read about. She then used a combination of short, sharp activities in individual, partner and small group to analyse the passage and re-structure paragraphs. This was followed by a vocabulary activity to ensure understanding. The activity was leading to students writing their own informative writing piece in the next lesson.
All students were engaged in the topic, given the opportunity to contribute to their group and to the whole class and focussed for the whole lesson.

End of school day – Joined staff Exercise for Health Program
This is a weekly session involving staff in a range of physical activity options including badminton, line dancing or working out at the gymnasium.

Homestay - Asrama Puteri
After a meal at an Indian restaurant with Fauziah, Surie and Sabaria, I returned to the school for a night at the student hostel. As well as running the Hair and Beauty program, Sabaria is a warden at the girls’ hostel. The students had prepared a PowerPoint presentation explaining life in the hostel and the activities that are organised to support their academic and personal welfare at the hostel. This was followed by a cultural performance of dance and music in my honour. After the performance I had a long discussion with many of the girls – keeping us all up past the set curfew!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The DPM Culture

Date : 13 July 2010 - Tuesday

NILAM – Reading Session

Each school session (Morning and afternoon groups) begins with NILAM. This is a literacy session. All students and session staff assemble in the hall for 15 minutes of quiet reading. It is the responsibility of Student Council members to ensure that all students are assembled in the hall before 6.45 am. Students may read books in English or Malay. Teachers also sit and read with the students to reinforce the importance of reading. This reflects the emphasis we have on reading in Tallangatta, but we take a class by class approach rather than the whole school reading together.

Students Council (MPP) Orientation and Activities with Sabaria Andi Ahmat , Irene Lung and Students Council

The members of the Student Council welcomed me and gave an explanation of their role within the school. The Council was formed in 2003. Prefects were previously part of the Council, but were separated in 2007. The Student Council operates under the student welfare administration, whereas the prefects now operate under the school’s disciplinary unit. School Council members wear a green uniform so that they are easily recognised by other students. Prefects also wear a different uniform.

The question and answer session after their presentation covered topics such as differences in timetables and the role of the SRC at Tallangatta, do your teachers offer extra classes before the exams, the obviously topical “are your students allowed to have mobile phones at school?” to “What is the mission of Tallangatta Secondary College?”
After the formalities, students performed a local Kadazan dance and also taught me the basic steps, culminating in all members of the Student Council and their supervising teachers joining in to welcome me to the school – a moving experience with some outstanding future leaders of their community.

Counselling Orientation and Activities with counselors Fadley, Imelda Stephen and Zawani Mamat.
I spent a session with Mohd Fauzi and Nainey discussing programs held by the Counselling staff throughout the school. Their program begins with a transition activities program of one week with their incoming Form 1 students incorporating activities such as school familiarisation and team building. Across the school they operate programs such as Drug prevention programs, Health issues and career counselling and education. They operate on a whole class and small group basis, depending on the nature of issues and individual student needs.
The counselling team also operate as a drop in centre for students with concerns, either personal or academic, and offer students individual support to maintain their academic standards. They also deal with a range of student concerns for students from the interior who must live away from home. Fauzi is also a warden in the boys’ hostel.
Many of the programs offered by the counsellors are carried out as part of the Health and PE program for all students in Victorian schools.

State Sports School Discussion with Medi Marau, Ruhenny Mokuja and Chong Swee Lee
Although we had first targeted this as an area for possible projects, it may not be as easy to link as first envisaged. The school is a state sport school with a major niche area of track and field, but also includes hockey, netball, badminton and archery in its program. About 90 students are part of the sports program and must live at the hostel. They begin each day with 2 hours of training before they start their academic studies. The school has a gymnasium and a stadium is under construction – all this has come to a halt at present. Students have to use other facilities in the area for their daily training. We had considered sharing fitness programs between schools and students following these programs to improve personal fitness – and eventually a friendly sports contest when we develop student visits to our respective schools. The potential for this will be subject to financial restraints but can be investigated further in the future.


11.00 am Class visit – Form 5 Chemistry with Yeo Peck Cheng

Mr Yeo is an excellent teacher with 20 years’ experience in Senior Chemistry classes. He sets high goals for his students and uses a lot of different strategies, including creating demonstrations using ICT resources which students can use for revision purposes. Form 5 is a critical year for students in the examination system. Instruction is Science is currently delivered in English, although it is proposed to change this to Bahasa Melayu by 2012.
The Form 5 Chemistry class had 42 students. They were carrying out a prac related to different metals and oxidisation. Mr Yeo had access to basic equipment and was able to improvise for other pieces of equipment so that all students were able to participate in the prac. Students were engaged and focussed on the activity for the whole session.

Mahligai Seri Saloon Orientation and Activities with Sabaria Andi Ahmat (MPV subject)

The school has a program at Form 4 and 5 which gives students the opportunity to undertake a Beauty and Hair dressing skills course. Class size is a maximum of 25 students. In some respects the course offered is similar to a VET course or pre-apprenticeship course in Victoria. The school has its own saloon for students to put their theoretical studies into practice. The course ensures that the girls leave the school with employable skills and a real chance to obtain employment in the area after school.

A relaxing facial at the end of the session, brought a busy day to an end.

Homestay with Lim Hong Chu

Lim teaches Chinese at SMKDPM. Lim took me to her home, then on a tour of a range of local features, including a nearby waterfall with spectacular views. Unfortunately due to the recent rain the river was churned up and muddy.
Lim treated me to her home-cooked bird's nest soup - the geniune version made from the nest of the swiflet birds which create their nests from saliva. Lim's husband has a business which harvests the nests from purpose built 'houses', cleans the nests and markets them. The bird's nest soup is prized for its medicinal qualities.

We also visited Sutera Harbour, enjoyed a delicious meal with Lim's family at a Chinese restaurant and visited other areas of Kota Kinabalu. Thanks Lim for your hospitality and showing mw another aspect of the SMKDPM community!

First Day in SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin

Date : 12 July 2010 - Monday

7.00 am : Weekly Assembly :
Introduction to Students and Teachers
Tallangatta Secondary College presentation by Janet Floyd

8.30 am :Introduction to morning session teachers

9.00 am : School Orientation by Ronald, Mayrilyn and Brittany
Mayrilyn and Brittany were appointed as my Liaison officers due to their roles in the Council. Both are in Form 4 and Mayrilyn is one of the Council Vice-Presidents. They were outstanding examples of the school student leadership program. As well as the tour on the first day, they met me every each morning and made sure that I was able to find my way around, appearing like clockwork at the end of each session to ensure I reached my next location. Their knowledge of all aspects of the school and its programs, combined with their ability to discuss the school’s achievements and challenges was exceptional. A strong sense of pride in and belonging to the school community was obvious and they were outstanding ambassadors for SMKDPM.

10.00 am : Meeting with principal and senior assistants
Briefing on Curriculum aspects with Senior Assistant (Administration), Fay Mogindol

12.00 pm : Lunch

1.20 pm : Join Morning prayer (Meetings for all teachers and administration)
Despite my misunderstanding of this session, it was in fact the weekly staff meeting held in the Library Resource Centre for the teachers of the morning session. A similar session is held for the afternoon session teachers each week. Issues discussed ranged from daily management concerns to explanation of administrative requirements in relation to the exams and reporting expectations.
These meetings are sometimes replaced by staff activities on a Saturday to promote staff cohesiveness and collegiality.

Homestay with Mohd Ramzie Faizal

Ramzie is in charge of School discipline. He is originally from Sarawak. His wife is a teacher at a Mission School. Mission schools, as the name indicates were originally established by Christian missionaries. They are now fully assimilated into the national education system.

Unfortunately a heavy downpour limited the activities planned for my visit, instead we shared a meal and then went for a tour around Kota Kinabalu.
Thank you for looking after me, the meal we shared, the city tour and welcoming me into your home, Ramzie. Maybe one day in the future we will met again under the durian trees!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Kota Kinabalu Tour

Date : 11th July 2010

We started at 6.00 am and went to Gaya Street Fair at Gaya Street and Tamu KPD, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah with Janet Floyd, Judy Liew Su Tsin and Marcella E. Jimbangan.

At Tamu KPD

Afterwards we went to Open University Malaysia (OUM), had lunch and then visited Sabah State Museum. At Sabah State Museum, Janet Floyd briefed on the history, people and culture differences among various ethnic in Sabah.

In the afternoon we went again to Tanjung Aru First Beach at Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and strolled along the beach and ate durians before heading towards Sabah currently biggest shopping complex, 1 Borneo.

At 1Borneo we relaxed and freshened up with Twilight Eclipse at GSC 1Borneo.

We had dinner at Gayang Seafood Restaurant at Gayang, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and headed home at 10.00 pm. It was a great day full of stories and laughter.

For Janet, this was a enjoyable day, action packed day, connecting with Malaysian colleagues and building new relationships. Thanks to Surie, Judy and Marcella for a wonderful introduction to the hospitality and friendship that I would experience in the coming week from everybody at SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Welcome To Malaysia and Welcome To Kota Kinabalu

A warmest welcome to Malaysia (6 July) and welcome to Kota Kinabalu to our Australia Sister School, Janet Floyd from Tallangatta Secondary College on 10th July 2010 (Saturday) at 4.35pm.

We went to local Handicraft Centre (Pasar Kraftangan) and buy a few souvenirs, then had some grilled fish, prawn and squid as dinner at the night market nearby. Afterwards, Janet and I walked at the beach and view the night atmosphere at Tanjung Aru First Beach, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.


View My Stats

Sample Text