Speech by Mr Ng Chee Meng, Minister of Education at Fiesta Bahasa 2017

Published Date: 12 August 2017 12:00 AM

News Speeches

1. Salam hormat dan selamat pagi. I am delighted to be part of the 3rd Language Fiesta; a collaborative effort between our MOE Malay Language Unit and MLLPC. Please allow me to start off with a few words in Malay.

2. Saya berasa amat gembira dapat bersama-sama anda dalam Fiesta Bahasa tahun ini. Saya yakin anda semua akan seronok melalui pelbagai acara menarik yang telah dirancang untuk hari ini.

Pergi memancing di tepi paya,
Terdapat tembakul ikan sembilang;
Cinta bahasa, cinta budaya,
Masyarakat terus kekal gemilang.

3. I am heartened to see the active participation of our teachers, parents and students at today’s event. I am also very encouraged by the strong support given by our community partners, namely the National Library Board and the National Heritage Board. I applaud all your effort.

4. We know for a fact that teaching and learning is no longer confined by the four walls of a classroom today. Technological innovations have changed the entire learning landscape in school, including the learning of languages.

5. In the Language Fiesta last year, we saw the launch of a Malay language game portal developed by MLLPC, called ‘Misi Mimi’, with the objectives of injecting an element of fun, interactivity and collaboration in learning.

6. This year’s theme, ‘Bijak Teknologi, Cekap Berbahasa’ encourages Malay language learners to leverage on technology to become better language users. This is aligned to MLLPC’s objectives. Today, we will witness yet another milestone with the launch of a mobile app developed by MLLPC.

7. Tembok Kata (Word Wall) is the first of a series of mobile apps developed by MLLPC. Targeted at the upper primary and lower secondary students, it is hoped that the development of this app will not only enrich our students’ vocabulary but will engage them in the learning of Malay language. It is hoped that this app will bring the families together to learn the Malay language in a fun and engaging manner.

8. Mobile apps provide bite-sized learning; learning that is consumable in smaller bites but still follow a coherent learning path. The nature of mobile usage – allowing users to access mobile content while waiting at a bus-stop or sitting in a train – means that mobile learning apps need to be designed to engage learners in interesting activities that can be completed in a relatively short period of time. Apps with their mobile-friendly user interface also create a strong appeal to learners who are swipers and tappers.

9. Harnessing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is fast becoming a staple in teaching and learning today. It is of course still valuable to learn a language with a book, but learning can be made much more engaging when ICT is used cleverly. Language learning apps therefore open up new possibilities in the teaching and learning of languages, especially in our Mother Tongue languages. The multimedia and interactivity facets that mobile devices provide make learning fun and engaging for the young. It also allows for learning to take place anytime, anywhere, beyond the confines of schools or formal learning environment.

10. Participants of today’s event will have first-hand experience of many interesting ICT-based resources that are used for the teaching and learning of the Malay language. Each exhibition booth displays a rich repository of simulations and interactive learning content to enliven learning. The affordances that technology provide to make teaching and learning of Malay language fun and engaging are numerous.

11. Nevertheless, the important role that a teacher play cannot be under-estimated, even with technological advances. While the tasks and approaches in learning can be enhanced with ICT, technology cannot replace a teacher completely as the human touch is paramount in nurturing our young. A good teacher who inspires, awakens the desire and motivation for learning will never be redundant.

12. Through events like the Language Fiesta, we can create greater awareness on the availability of rich ICT-based learning resources and explore new possibilities to inculcate love in the learning of Malay language and to make the teaching and learning of Malay language captivating to the young today. Events such as this also creates a culture of sharing amongst schools and our Malay teaching fraternity.

13. I urge all of you to come forth and provide strong support to promote the use of Malay language amongst our students and in the wider community. Let us work collaboratively in our efforts to preserve our students’ love for the Malay language and culture - an integral aspect of our nation’s multicultural heritage, and to make Malay language a living language for generations to come.

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