AFS was represented at a webinar on “Education in Malaysia: Embracing Changes & Multiculturalism for Impactful Teaching and Learning” for trainee teachers of the Teachers Training Institute at its Temenggong Ibrahim Campus in Johore recently.
AFS Chairperson Khalilah Dato’ Mohd Talha was one of three speakers at the online training session.The other two were Rajalingam Pillai, a lecturer with ELT Pedagogy Department of the English Language Teaching Centre and Yasmin Noorul Amin, an award winning Chemistry teacher from SMK La Salle in Petaling Jaya.
Khalilah spoke about AFS being an advocate of intercultural learning and how it complements the education process in Malaysia by bringing in students from all over the world and immersing them into our Malaysian school environment. In this context, Malaysian students are able to experience first-hand interaction with their peers from another part of the world without having to travel abroad.
She added that being interculturally competent or culturally fluent is important across all professions today as businesses, governments, the academic world and NGOs all need people who have international experiences and insights, as well as other critical skills. Increasingly, they also seek students, staff and volunteers who have a good sense of the world beyond their own communities and are comfortable interacting with people from other countries and cultures in a more connected and rapidly changing world.
Khalilah noted that it is no longer enough for education to produce individuals who can read, write and count. “Education must fully assume its central role in helping people to forge more just, peaceful, tolerant and inclusive societies.” She shared that AFS learning programs support key education goals for the 21st century through cultivating critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, collaboration, communication, empathy, flexibility and teamwork with its Experience, Learn and Practice approach.