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By Dawn Chan, January 17, 2018 @ 3:43pm

PORT KLANG: Some 75 principals, headmasters and senior assistants from 24 primary and secondary schools in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor have been chosen to take part in the Global School Leaders (GSL) Malaysia programme.

The two-year pilot programme, aimed at providing continuous professional development for school administrators, will see them attending 11 workshops organised by GSL Malaysia, centred around themes such as leading people and improving their respective institutions.

The school administrators will also receive training that revolves around technology in classrooms as well as utilising technology for school management in a collaboration between GSL and FrogAsia, an advocate for 21st century learning.

Supported and funded by YTL Foundation, Hap Seng Consolidated Berhad and Tan Chin Tuan Foundation, GSL Malaysia was launched by Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kampung Idaman, whose headmaster and senior assistant were also picked to be part of the programme.

Also present were YTL Foundation programme director Datin Kathleen Chew, GSL chief executive officer Sameer Sampat and GSL Malaysia country director Cheryl Ann Fernando.

Kamalanathan said programme, emulated from the successful India School Leadership Institute programme but adjusted to suit our local approaches, is inline with the ministry’s vision.

“We want to provide school leaders with the needed skills, motivation and knowledge to help them transform their schools.

"I understand that the 24 schools chosen to be in the pilot programme consists of school leaders who are highly motivated and ready to pave the way for their schools' success.

“This will assist the school leaders to improve their competency which will definitely benefit students holistically.

"The schools will receive positive impact from this where the generation of high performing students can be shaped and fulfil the nation's aspirations.

“I am confident that the school administrators will be able to lead effectively and lead with their hearts,” said Kamalanathan.

Cheryl Ann said the GSL Malaysia programme took 10 months of planning and research.

“I am confident the schools under this programme will be able to learn and employ new strategies in hopes of improving student learning and teaching practices.

"It is also very heartening to see the enthusiasm of school principals, headmasters and senior assistants coming forward in an effort to strive to do better for their schools.” she said.


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By Wei Kong

Conceived as a principal leadership development initiative at venn2015, APC went on to catalyse what became Global School Leaders (GSL) Malaysia, which is championed by APC member, Kathleen Chew (YTL Foundation), and with support from APC member, Chew Kwee San (Tan Chin Tuan Foundation), and partner, Hap Seng Consolidated Berhad.

If it takes a village to raise a child, then bringing up GSL Malaysia has been the focus and efforts of hearts and minds spanning countries, communities, multiple disciplines, and government support to prepare the pioneering batch of 25 schools and 75 school leaders to start their 2-year commitment to the GSL pilot programme.

APC’s first steps in framing an approach to improve public school education demanded expertise and experience for school leader training not yet available in Malaysia. A search for suitable existing models led to the streets and alleyways of New Delhi, to see on the ground the success of the Indian School Leadership Institute (ISLI) programme, which forms the backbone of the GSL model. ISLI’s track record in sustained school leadership performance, effective teaching and increased student learning objectives provided the right framework to adopt and adapt in Malaysia.

Sharing a common vision for Malaysia (and beyond), APC partnered with GSL co-founders Sameer Sampat and Azad Oommen to establish GSL Malaysia, with Kathleen Chew’s stewardship and YTL Foundation as an incubator. The candidate search for the critical role of Country Director led to Teach for Malaysia alumni Cheryl Ann Fernando whose personal experience in transformative change while teaching at Sungai Petani, Kedah are documented in her book ‘T for Teacher’ and an award-winning movie ‘Adiwiraku’. Also critical was the securing of government support giving GSL Malaysia full access to any school in the Klang and Sentul districts. With GSL Malaysia set up as its own entity and programme managers, Ainu Shazwani and Shankara Kumaran completing the team, the programme was officially launched on 17 January 2018.

From the first steps until the official launch by Deputy Minister for Education YB Dato’ P. Kamalanathan, bringing GSL Malaysia to the starting line has been a one and a half year effort. Success for GSL Malaysia is now down to the delivery of the programmes. With a strong team, a full complement of schools on board, school leaders will train in monthly workshops and customised coaching sessions to increase their leadership skills and improve overall school performance.

By the end of 2019, the objective of the pilot is to show significant impact and gain continued Ministry of Education support (and eventual adoption) for the programme in alignment with the needs of local government schools.


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