Two Selangor School Teachers Training Workshops, organized by the Selangor Education Department, were held on February 11, 2023: at Sabak Bernam and at Kuala Selangor. The identical workshops were designed to discuss more creative teaching methods, enhance teachers’ professional skills, and create a teamwork spirit among the teachers. The attendees included officers of the Selangor Education Department, personnel from the Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia (TECO), thirty school principals, and around three hundred teachers in Selangor, a state on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia.
The workshop originated from a cooperation program between the TECO Education Division, Malaysia, and the Selangor Education Department that resulted in the jointly organized 2022 Selangor School Teachers Training Workshop. This 2-day training workshop was held on April 28 and 29 last year, and 31 Chinese school teachers from Selangor took part. Three professionals from Taiwan—Ms. Kuo Yuh Pyng, Ms. Lai Yu-Ming, and Professor Hsu Yu-Chien—were invited to share their valuable expertise online with the participants on the topics Reading Literacy, From Reading to Writing, and Strategies of Reading Comprehension.
This year, in order to deliver practical teaching techniques to all the schools in all of the counties of Selangor, the Selangor Education Department also invited “seed teachers”—teachers who had participated in the 2022 Selangor School Teachers Training Workshop—to demonstrate the great ideas they had learned from the Taiwanese professionals and share them with the new participants, and also to held workshops in all of the counties, to continue maximizing the outcomes of the previous workshop.
Ms. Beh Siok Kun, Deputy Director of the Language Unit in the Learning Sector of the Selangor Education Department, spoke during the opening ceremony for the training workshop at Sabak Bernam and then the opening ceremony for the training workshop at Kuala Selangor. She said that she hoped that the teachers would be able to enhance their professional knowledge on reading and teaching through the exchanges of teaching experiences and effective teaching methods, so that teachers would be able to guide students to discover their passion for both reading and writing. She emphasized that this is crucial, because reading is correlated with expanding students' vocabulary and it exposes them to different writing styles and new ideas. This in turn will help create a more enjoyable and interesting learning process in school.
Ms. Charlin Chang, Director of the Education Division of TECO in Malaysia was invited to attend the workshop opening and closing ceremonies. She affirmed that these workshops play a significant role in encouraging and enabling school teachers to help their students develop good reading habits, especially in this era of digitalization. The objectives of the 12-year compulsory curriculum launched by the Ministry of Education, Taiwan in 2019 are to help students become lifelong learners in three ways: by 1. taking the initiative, 2. engaging in interaction, and 3. seeking the common good. Developing a reading habit at a young age is a key component of becoming a lifelong learner. This is because reading helps develop critical thinking, an essential life skill for taking on challenges in the future.
Taiwan enjoys high-quality teaching and diverse learning resources for students, and Director Chang told the participants that Taiwan welcomes exchanges with principals and teachers in Malaysia, and she encouraged more students to undertake higher education studies in Taiwan.
The workshop organizers received a lot of very positive feedback from the participants.