Photos by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wong Woei Chyuan/UUM TODAY
CHANGLUN: Little Changlun town was abuzz with activities on an otherwise laidback Saturday morning. An 11-member team from the School of Economics, Finance and Banking (SEFB), Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), was already hard at work in the school hall going over minute details of the day’s programme.
Team SEFB was there for the CSR programme titled ‘Speak with Confidence: The Fun Way’, co-organised by the committee of Kawasan Rukun Tetangga (KRT) Pekan Changlun and UUM SEFB, with the support of Pejabat Perpaduan Negara dan Integrasi Nasional Daerah Kubang Pasu.
The English-themed CSR programme, led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Soon Jan Jan, is part of SEFB and UUM’s tireless effort to reach out to the local community, particularly the residents of Changlun town and its surrounding areas.
Through pre-programme discussions with the KRT committee chairman, Yeap Sow Min, he avidly embraced the idea of breaking the confidence hurdle of communicating in English for primary-school children through fun-filled activities away from the confines of typical classroom settings.
The two VIP guests and representatives from Pejabat Perpaduan Negara dan Integrasi Nasional Daerah Kubang Pasu, Mohd Shafirul Abdul Satar and Ahmad Najmie Ahmad Maliki – arrived and made their way to the school stage amidst the pomp and pageantry of a fully packed hall of the programme participants, committee members, and parents.
There were a total of 134 participants from Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina Yit Min, Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil Changlun, Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Dato’ Wan Kemara, and SK Batu Lapan. After the grandeur of the opening ceremony, the school hall and its surroundings became a beehive of activities, with the children swarming over their small-group instructors. Just before the tea-break session, all the planned activities were well under way.
By noon, any remaining traces of English-speaking self-doubt had been cast off, with participants chattering enthusiastically in the language of the day. Their doting parents, about a dozen of them, were bemused by their children’s spirited antics, especially during the ‘Charade’ and ‘Role Play’ activities. By the end of the programme, everyone was ripping through the lyrics of ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’, animatedly imitating the accompanying actions of the song.
The Changlun town community, especially the KRT committee and the parents, expressed their hopes that there would be more of such meaningful and beneficial CSR programmes for their children. Team SEFB was told that it had been ages since the last such similar CSR programme was held in Changlun town.
Team SEFB was indebted to KRT’s co-organising efforts and the keen support of Pejabat Perpaduan Negara dan Integrasi Nasional Daerah Kubang Pasu. Team SEFB wholeheartedly wished that the participants would be able to reap benefits from the programme. – Assoc. Prof. Dr. Soon Jan Jan