Malaysia’s Ministry Of Education Has Recognized National Schools’ Top English Writers

Celebrating The Writing Achievement Of Young Malaysian Students

The Grand Champion, Lim Zi Chye (middle), First Runner Up Clairra Anak Freddy (left) and Second Runner Up Isabel Ooi Yo Yi (right) with their prizes.

ELS Language Centres (ELS) recently recognised the writing accomplishments of a group of Malaysian students in the first-ever ELS English Language Ambassador Award Essay Writing Competition.

The competition, which included an online English language writing programme to help students prepare for their SPM English exam, attracted 19,154 participants from 247 schools across the country, all of whom were in Forms 4 and 5.

Puan Sarina Salim, Deputy Director of the Curriculum Development Division, Ministry of Education, represented the Deputy Education Minister in giving recognition to the top 10 winners in the presence of their families as well as representatives from the MOE, Australian High Commission, ELS and its strategic partners – the University of Adelaide, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Sunago Education and Just English.

According to Puan Sarina, “The Ministry of Education has many initiatives to promote English language proficiency in our schools and it is also great to see that this is not just the responsibility of the Ministry but also that of private institutions like ELS Language Centres. We encourage such public-private and international partnerships as it brings about a healthy ecosystem for developing competent talent all across our national schools – and we look forward to the continuation of programmes like the ELS English Language Ambassador Award in years to come.”

Ms Fiona Morris, representing the Australian High Commission as the Counsellor of Education and Research, extended congratulations to the MOE and ELS, along with their strategic partners, for the successful outcome of the competition.

Ms Morris said, “We are very proud that the University of Adelaide is a sponsor of this award and that the winner will have the opportunity to spend 7 days in Adelaide, which this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of its sister city relationship with Penang. Australia and Malaysia have developed deep people-to-people links through education, with many Malaysians having studied in Australia and Australian students undertaking study and internship experiences in Malaysia. We congratulate all participants and winners of the competition and commend their pursuit of English language excellence.”

ELS launched a new CSR initiative known as the ELS English Language Ambassador Award Essay Writing Competition in 2022, which aims to assist the Malaysian government in its “Driving English Language Excellence” campaign among secondary school students.

With the support of the MOE, this annual CSR programme is designed to help Forms 4 and 5 students improve their academic and creative writing skills, and also prepare them for the SPM English Writing exam.

Students registered for the competition through DELIMa and participated in an 8-week online English writing programme by ELS to prepare them for the contest and SPM English Writing.

By completing the programme, students are eligible for co-curriculum marks from the MOE. ELS chose the 10 best essays for evaluation and shortlisted candidates underwent an interview for final ranking.

Mr Sean Chee, Director of Group Strategy and Alliances at ELS, explained, “The main objective of the programme is to promote English language excellence among Form 4 and 5 students. But we cannot achieve this by ourselves. This is why we invited our university partners UPM, UTM and the University of Adelaide to join us on this journey. They say, “it takes a village to raise a child,” and this is a clear illustration of the efforts required to elevate the English standards among our students.”

Lim Zi Chye from SMK Jenjarom, Selangor, won the Grand Prize, which comprises a one-week study tour to the University of Adelaide in Australia, covering the cost of return flight tickets and accommodation.

Additionally, the prize includes a cash award of RM 2,000, a trophy, a certificate of achievement, and a one-year subscription to Just English Magazine.

In July, he will participate in the university’s Orientation Week and get a taste of studying abroad through social gatherings, cultural events, and tours around Adelaide.
The first runner-up was Clairra Anak Freddy from SMK St. Anthony in Sarawak, and the second runner-up was Isabel Ooi Yo Yi from SMK Seri Kebangan in Selangor.
They received cash prizes of RM1,500 and RM750 each, as well as a trophy, a certificate of achievement, and a one-year subscription to Just English Magazine.

Schools from the Top 20 schools and students in the online writing programme, as well as the Grand Champion’s school, all received prizes. All participants who completed at least 70% of the online writing classes were given a certificate of participation and co-curriculum marks.

ELS is scheduled to kick-start the 2023 ELS English Language Ambassador programme in May.

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