1. Description of Our Community
Kuala Gula, a small fishing village, is located on the coastline off Perak, approximately 50km. to the west of Taiping. Kuala Gula forms a part of the Matang Forest Reserve which consists of vast streches of tidal mud flats and mangroves. There is a bird sanctuary in Kuala Gula. Over 160 species of exotic birds, some protected, have been spotted here. Every year, from September to December, there is a huge influx of thousands of birds of all sorts coming here. This sanctuary is also a home to a variety of land and sea animals. Kuala Gula is not only renowned for its resident as well migrant birds life, it is also recognised as a good fishing village supplying fresh cockles, crabs, shrimps and fishes.
2. Summary of Our Project
The main aim is learning English across the curriculum and the bird sanctuary in Kuala Gula is chosen to promote local attractions in Malaysia.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:less than 20
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:4-6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dial-up modem
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
The internet access is very slow in our area. We have to prepare all the web pages during off-line. When everything is ready, then we will go on-line to upload our html files, gifs and jpgs to the server.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
I. The timing of our visit to Kuala Gula,the Bird Sanctuary, is not right(February). The best time would be in September till December. Instead pupils listen to talks by the officers attached to the Bird Sanctuary to obtain lists and photographs of birds. Pupils interviewed the Director of Wildlife and National Parks, Perak, Encik(Mr) Jasmin bin Abdul (AMP, AMN) II. Limitation in the English Language of the officers and the pupils. The officers gave talks in the Malay Language and the pupils made notes and records in the same language too. Later, with the help from the English teachers and using dictionary, they translated their research into the English Language.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Awareness for the need of conservation measures to be taken to preserve the habitats of wildlife, be it in Malaysia or the mother earth.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Pupils were chosen from years 5 & 6(11 to 12 years old). Pupils applied the 4 skills, i.e. listenig, speaking, reading and writing skills, acquired during English lessons, as well as critical and creative thinking skills, to do the research/project (Learning English across the curriculum). They also learnt to conduct interviews, do research, scan for information, transfer information from questionaire,and IT skills. Pupils understand more by getting of gathering information from people in charge, reading from books and pamphlets, using dictionary, do research work and using the computer. Our educational system is exam-oriented. Everybody is obsessed with getting straight A's. Pupils do not have much time to carry out projects as most of their learning is connected to answering examination questions. The teachers too, have no choice but to conform to the needs of the society to produce students who excel in examinations! Using the Internet for teaching and learning is definitely more effective than traditional methods. But, as there are only 10 computers available to about 1000 pupils (1:100) and the percentage of students using Internet at home is less than 20%, it hinders the effectiveness.