More than 140 Mandarin teachers from 80 secondary schools around Malaysia attended a “Bengkel Pemantapan Pedagogi Bahasa Cina Sekolah Menengah” workshop at UTAR Perak Campus from 19 to 20 September 2014.
Jointly-organised by UTAR and the Taiwan Education Center in Malaysia, the two-day educational workshop was also supported by the Perak Education Department and UTAR Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS).
During the opening ceremony, Perak State Education Department’s Penolong Pengarah Bahasa Cina Lim Song Khan reminded the participants that, being educators, they have the responsibility to help and inspire students. “When the students need a cup of water, we should always provide them a bucket of water instead,” he said, before encouraging the participants to explore Kampar and other places in Perak after the workshop.
“I believe that behind every great student, there is always a great teacher. Over the years, the Malaysian students in Feng Chia University have shown outstanding performance and I am really glad to meet their teachers here today,” remarked Feng Chia University Vice President Dr Chiu Chuang-Chien. He added that both Feng Chia University and UTAR are sister universities and both sides are actively carrying out student exchange programmes. “In the future, we wish that there will be exchange among academics from both universities to enhance research, teaching and learning experiences.” he added.
UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato’ Dr Chuah Hean Teik concurred and said, “Teachers have the responsibility to grow and guide students in learning.” He also talked about the technological revolution timeline and quoted from the book “The World is Flat” to inspire the audience to think and analyse things at a deeper level. “The world is flat, therefore everyone has the chance to achieve their target,” he concluded.
Lending significance to the workshop was the presence of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia Director of the Education Division Chu To-Ming who thanked the organisers for their efforts in organising such educational workshops. “The Taiwan Education Center in Malaysia also provides information such as scholarships in Taiwan universities and activities such as conducting the Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL),” he said.
Others guests at the opening ceremony were UTAR Council Member Hew Fen Yee, Taiwan Education Center in Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Beh Chew Nam, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office Deputy Assistant Director of the Education Division Canny Liao, ICS Dean Assoc Prof Dr Chong Siou Wei, Director of Division of Community and International Networking Assoc Prof Dr Tan Sin Leng as well as other Penolong Pengarah Bahasa Cina from Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Pahang, Selangor and Malacca.
There were a total of four talks in four areas, namely “Research on Chinese in Malaysia” by ICS Deputy Dean for R&D and Postgraduate Programmes Assoc Prof Dr Wong Wun Bin; “Literature and composition” by ICS lecturer Toh Teong Chuan; “Infusing life education into teaching” by Faculty of Arts and Social Science lecturer Pheh Kai Shuen and “Malaysian Chinese literature” by ICS lecturer Lee Soo Chee.
Certificates were also presented to the participants by UTAR Vice President for Internationalisation and Academic Development Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat during the closing of the workshop.