So proud and honoured to be a part of SMJK Poi Lam, Ipoh!

The Big Classroom - SMJK Poi Lam What a proud, uplifting and memorable morning I spent (together with my husband) at SMJK Poi Lam school in Ipoh, Malaysia on Monday, October 3rd.   A full cultural welcome was given to us at a  special assembly held at 7:30am as part of a presentation for certificates for the DEECD Innovations Showcase 2011, where my two Chinese friends had videoconferenced in two special cultural performances as part of my presentation there. See Malaysian Students in Real Time Performance for Innovations Showcase As we arrived at the school we were ushered into the Principal’s office. The principal, Mr Lau Swee Mun,  is one of excellence ranking in Malaysia. There we had a very informative chat discussing many educational issues some relating to technology. Next we were ushered to the assembly area to the beat of the kompang (Malay drums),  through a  student  guard of honour, including the Chinese dragons, joker and flag bearers. The students were  dressed in National Costume representing the three cultures of Malaysia – the Chinese, the Malay and the Indian. To our delight one student was dressed as an Australian! This was a very emotional moment for me, especially as I am sure that events like this are normally set aside for people or events of high importance. Once seated on the stage and facing the student assembly, the national anthem of Malaysia and the Perak anthem were sung. The treats continued with a traditional   Chinese dragon dance welcome, complete with a joker.

the Chinese dragon with Joker

This was followed by:-

  • a Wushu demonstration  by 4 expert  students
  • a very creative, innovative choral speaking performance “Jom! Let’s Visit Perak!”
  • Choral reading and Acapella “One moment in time with the Lion King”

Choral speaking "Jom! Let's Visit Perak1"

Choral Reading

We were amazed by the confidence and professionalism of the two  MC/s who happened to also be the two students who created book trailers as part of our Globalstorytelling project for the Melbourne Writers Festival. But mostly, I loved seeing the creativity of my friend Veronica Woo and also of Yew Yan Koon and their fantastic work using  performing arts with the students.

The assembly was entitled ” Little Big Classrooms 2011 Innovations Showcase” and it was held to honour the students who took part in the Videoconference linkup as part of  the Victorian Education Innovations and Next Practise Showcase in May 2011. These students would be  issued with their certificates which had been signed by our Victorian Minister for Education.
After a speech by Veronica, myself and the Principal, I was able to give each student their signed certificate. (Veronica had withheld the issuance of the certificates until I came to Malaysia). Veronica had told me that:-
These students will  in Malaysia, students will be awarded maximum bonus points of 20 marks for their involvement in any form of extra curricular activities at the international level.
In return, Innovation and Next Practise and a number of staff, including me received a certificate signed by the Perak Director of Education. This wonderful assembly concluded with the crossing of the two country’s flags – Malaysian and Australian.
A traditional meal of Malaysian Nasi Lemak – Malaysia’s national dish was offered to invited  guests, parents and a number of staff. It was great to be able to continue conversations with the Principal, to meet face to face members of the Malaysian Writers Festival committee, the reporter from the local newspaper, parents and a principal from another school.  Special times were also spent with some of the performing students, getting to know them and learning of their ambitions. Shyness was overcome and we were able to work through our different accents and way of speaking.

Many cultures represented

What a wonderful, honourable, exciting, emotional treat and event to be actually part of. Thank you to my two special friends and colleagues – Veronica and Yew Yan Koon. Thank you for connecting, communicating and collaborating with us, taking on risks,  sharing, pioneering and innovating what technology to experience what it can do for learning on a global level.
As Veronica said:
“The classroom is my world and the world is my classroom!”
Thank you for being part of our little big classroom!
Terima Kasih
Xie Xie
I need to find the Indian word for thank you

Veronica, Evon and me


7 responses to “So proud and honoured to be a part of SMJK Poi Lam, Ipoh!

  1. Anne, Your little big classroom has no walls. What a lovely event. Thanks for sharing. Ellen

  2. You continue to AMAZE me…..what you are doing is incredible. How did you get to Malaysia????

  3. @Ellen thank you for your comment. I am still amazed at the connections we can make globally with the help of the internet. It was a terrific event and will always have a special place in my memory
    @Heather 5 years ago, I joined the Global School House after I googled for global projects. Veronica Woo found my membership there and asked whether I was interested in videoconferencing with her. It was the end of the school year and I got busy with other events so postponed the connection. However, last year, Veronica contacted me again and this time we did start videoconferencing and it has ‘snowballed’ from there. We are all passionate about the use of technology and empowering learning for our students. It is even more special when they are from different cultures. We flew to Malaysia, spent a few nights in Cambodia, then flew back to Malaysia, caught a bus to Ipoh and spent an amazing few days with Veronica and Evon.

  4. Hi Aunty Anne, this is Tisha. I read your blog and it is so intresting. I am glad you and Uncle Bruce had a wonderful time in my mummy’s school and also in Ipoh. I too had a wonderful time with you. I hope you will visit us again. The Indian word for ‘thank you’ is ‘nandri’ pronounced as ‘nun dree’. See you.

  5. Beside answer your comment, I decide to visit you.
    It is amazing that you have had that welcoming to Malaysia.
    What a marbles experience! Have you been to another place?
    love your pictures.”nandri”

    • It is amazing that we have had this welcoming to Malaysia experience. I googled ‘nandri’ and think that you are from India. Thanks for the comment.

  6. Hi! Anne

    Your presence in our school for the special event said it all – that the classroom is indeed flat, and the wonders of what learning beyond borders can take us to, as long as we are passionate in what we are doing!

    I could see the magic of 3Cs in action and how everyone who were present in school that day tried to connect and communicate with each other despite our cultural differences. It was indeed a celebration of cultural diversity but much more than that, education in its broadest sense. Some of our students are even now asking how possible it would be for them to go to Australia one day, visiting your school, experiencing farm stay, sightseeing, etc. Perhaps, I would need to discuss this with you later. In return, your students and teachers are most certainly welcome to come and visit us. I am sure they would love the food here, just as much as Bruce and you do!!! Evon told me that our principal, Mr Lau is even thinking of inviting Bruce to give us a talk about his job in the farm! It would be very interesting as many of our ideas about farm here in Malaysia and Australia could be very different!

    Anne and Bruce, and Australia, you are special, you are important, and this is what we hold dear most in our connection with you. It’s a small world after all and thanks to technology and the social media for making all this happened in the first place. Nevertheless, I think it’s still the human heart that has mapped this journey of the soul for us in this global village! I would definitely love to hear from others who have such similar journeys, to share their stories with us here.

    Once again, thanks Anne and Bruce. We had enjoyed every single minute, every single second, every single moment of the time you spent with us here in our school and also during your stay with us in Ipoh and Penang!

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