As children returned to physical classrooms earlier this year, teachers faced the challenge of adapting their lessons to match students’ different learning levels due to learning loss during the Covid-19 pandemic.
For teachers at eight schools in Sabah, Sarawak and Kuala Lumpur, their efforts to catch up with their 643 students on basic literacy and numeracy skills have been boosted by the incorporation of a game-based learning app.
Accessible anywhere, even without an internet connection, the Sekolah Emuma (SE) application has been fully contextualized for Malaysian children to learn Bahasa Melayu, English and Mathematics subjects.
It has also been designed to allow students to learn according to their individual abilities.
Students recorded an average play time of 45 minutes per week throughout the SE pilot program, which ran from March 28 to August 5.
At the end of the program, schools saw a 10% to 12% increase in the number of students scoring above 80% in the key skill areas of Bahasa Melayu, English and Mathematics. Funded by Yayasan Telekom Malaysia (YTM), the pilot program was born out of a partnership between Teach For Malaysia and Enuma Inc, a leading US-based education technology company, aimed at delivering a scalable solution capable of effectively bridging learning gaps between learners.
Having seen learning gains in basic literacy and numeracy skills among young learners in a short period of time, the partners are now in talks to complete phase two of the program, with plans to target 4,000 students in four regions of the country with a high Orang Asli population or B40 communities.
YTM director Izlyn Ramli said the collaboration is an extension of the foundation’s existing support to the education ecosystem, particularly in promoting digital learning among pre- and primary-school students.
“This game-based offline digital app will encourage and facilitate the learning of Bahasa Melayu, English and Math in a fun and interactive learning process,” she said in a press release.
“It is also aligned with TM’s aspiration to enable digital Malaysia while supporting the government’s digital education transformation agenda,” she added.
The pilot program ended on August 27, with Sarawak State Department of Education Director, Datuk Dr. Haji Azhar Haji Ahmad, attending the closing ceremony.
Four schools in Sabah that serve stateless and undocumented children, three public schools in Sarawak and one school in Kuala Lumpur, with a majority of students from Peoples’ Housing Program (PPR) communities, participated in the programme.