On September 23, it was announced that a Malaysian rural school, from what was once a small fishing community serving predominantly B40 students, has made it as Top three Finalist in the World’s Best School Prize. This feat demonstrates what our public schools can achieve if we focus on the right developmental priorities.
SK Kempadang now has a chance to become the World’s Best School in the Innovation category.
If you look at Kampung Kempadang on Google images, you will get a sense of how far the school has come.
Our team at LeapEd first met the leaders, teachers, students and the community when we started our Trust School Programme in 2015. At that time, the students were passive learners and did not take an active interest in their learning. Classrooms were teacher-centric and parental and community engagement was minimal. The school did not have a structured improvement plan and there was very little cross-collaboration to collectively improve student outcomes.
Cut to 2022, and we now see a school that has the capacity and confidence to develop its own digital tool (SmartZoom) to continuously track student progress, critical to overcome the switch from standardised testing (UPSR) to school-based assessment during the pandemic.
SK Kempadang is now a school that will now be sharing its digital innovation with thousands of educators around the world during World Education Week to help other children in other developing parts of the world.
A school, despite serving a low-income community, that has, in all its generosity, pledged any winnings to help other schools in Malaysia with their SmartZoom innovation for all children across Malaysia.
Malaysians have mobilised to fight for Malaysia for all sorts of things. We have roasted MasterChef judges over chicken rendang all the way in the UK for saying our chicken rendang needs crispier skin. We have taken a man to task for uploading a photo of a female thigh. We have rallied on social media and on Whatsapp to help those in need during the lockdowns.
If there’s one thing Malaysians know how to do, it’s to harness the power of social media to make a difference. And we now have another opportunity to do so.
We now have a chance, to come together as one nation, to stand behind a school that has triumphed against all odds, a school that has showcased Malaysia to the world and one with the spirit to make
Let’s get behind SK Kempadang now.
Let us together stand for education transformation and #voteforkempadang.
Let’s make their hopes matter. Because every child deserves a great future.
Malaysians can vote for SK Kempadang at here before Oct 3, 7.59 am.
This letter was written by Nina Adlan Disney, Executive Director, LeapEd Services, a Malaysian advocating for Education Transformation.
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