Pictures by Khairul Anuar Adnan/UUM Today
JITRA: A 7-member team from the School of Economics, Finance and Banking (SEFB), Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), weaved through the winding bends and turns of an almost deserted road – all the way into Al-Azhar primary school, located on the outskirts of Jitra.
Once there, the team was greeted by the school community with such warmth that even the dark clouds seemed to knowingly dissipate. Team SEFB was there for a full-day CSR programme titled ‘Creative Communication: Activity-Based Learning’, co-organised by Al-Azhar primary school and UUM SEFB.
The English-themed CSR programme, led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Soon Jan Jan, is part of SEFB and UUM’s unrelenting commitment to reach out to the local community, especially those in need. Through pre-activity discussions with the school’s principal, Mohd Razman Ramzan, he fervently welcomed the idea of breaking the barriers of communicating in English by way of small-group and game-based activities.
After almost a 2-month preparation, Team SEFB found it hard to contain their excitement when they came face-to-face with all the school’s Primary Six students, 77 in total (47 boys and 30 girls). By 9 a.m., the school hall was alive, and the planned activities were in full swing.
One could hear gleeful laughter and blissful fun throughout the school – the entire Team SEFB, the students, and about half a dozen of the school’s English teachers were totally engrossed with the activities. By the afternoon session, the students were already visibly engaged, with enthusiasm ripping through their every word and gesture, especially in the ‘Charade’ and ‘Role Play’ activities.
By the end of the day, everyone was singing ‘As We Walk’ with such gusto and fervour that one could not have possibly detected any hues of bashfulness initially evident during earlier parts of the day.
The Al-Azhar school community, especially the principal and its team of English teachers expressed their hopes that there would be more of such meaningful and beneficial CSR programmes for the students.
Team SEFB was told that this CSR Programme was, in fact, the first of its kind ever held there. Team SEFB was grateful for the school’s exceptional hospitality and sincerely wished that the students would be able to reap benefits from the programme. – Assoc. Prof. Dr. Soon Jan Jan