Building The Right Foundation for Students

How you can be part of helping children learn better.
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Last November, Her World connected with PINTAR Foundation to collaborate on our exclusive Teen issue. As we wanted to learn more about the foundation,  we spoke to Puan Karimah Tan Abdullah, CEO of PINTAR Foundation to learn more about their programs that help under served school in Malaysia.

Could you share with us what was the driving inspiration behind the creation of PINTAR Foundation?
The PINTAR Programme was launched in Dec 2006, and was the brainchild of Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, the then Minister of Finance II. It was an idea mooted to close the gap and inequity in education opportunities between children and youths in cities and rural communities. Rural and urban poor students are often disadvantaged when compared to their peers in big cities and high- and middle-income urban areas.
PINTAR Foundation was established by Khazanah Nasional Berhad (KNB) in 2008 to spearhead the PINTAR school adoption programme, which was aimed at providing intervention programmes to inspire the success of students of under-performing schools through holistic education. PINTAR which stands for “Promoting Intelligence, Nurturing Talent and Advocating Responsibility”, is guided by the four PINTAR pillars, which are Motivation & Teambuilding; Educational Support; Capability and Capacity Building; and Reducing Vulnerabilities and Social Issues.

How do you see PINTAR Foundation helping children and youth today stay interested in school?
Today’s world is vastly different from that when PINTAR Foundation was established a decade ago. And the Ministry of Education has introduced various initiatives and programs to help schools equip their students for the progressively changing world. Through the PINTAR Programme, the Foundation has been leading the charge to get more private sector involvement to help schools engage students in 21st century learning.
We aim to give children and youth today what they need to build a solid foundation in their formative years, and develop them as wholesome, hardy individuals ready to thrive amidst challenging environments. To do this, PINTAR and its members work closely with schools and the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE). PINTAR members and partners fund and implement programs independently at their respective adopted schools. PINTAR too implements its own programs – PINTAR National Programmes – which complement its members’ programs, for PINTAR schools irrespective of its adoptee company. PINTAR National Programmes are national scale programs designed, implemented and funded by PINTAR Foundation, and executed across PINTAR schools nationwide. Lifelong learning is a mantra for all of us, and it is especially imperative for teachers to maintain their edge and the kind of adaptability sought in the 21st century. Under the PINTAR National Programs, there are programs for school leaders and teachers so as to facilitate their students’ learning that is so vital as even the latest information they learn will likely become outdated in a relatively short time with a high need to relearn skills continuously.

Among the most impactful and well received programmes to date are:
a) PINTAR Mobile Learning Unit (PMLU) which comprises thematic-customised vehicles fitted with various educational tools and interactive learning stations. PMLU provides an alternative to conventional classroom learning and its experiential elements of fun and active interactions attract students and teachers alike, apart from promoting learning through creative, innovative and mentally stimulating methods while complementing the academic curriculum.
a) Leadership Programme for PINTAR School Leaders, which is a structured programme currently using the PINTAR Core Module for Leaders (PCL), which focuses on 21st century leadership structured around the “LOREC” (Layers of Responsibility for Change) model, an adaptation of the Harvard Education Visible Thinking approach that ensures school leaders understand their roles as leaders of learning in communicating and implementing a shared vision for 21st century learning through a holistic approach that involves all stakeholders, giving them ownership of the change and concurrently, keeping them accountable for achievement of agreed targets.

These and other programs such as Sustainability and Green Technology through iG-Home programme and PINTAR-TM 3D programme look at ways to promote STEM as an approach and help their students to think in a more creative, yet logical and holistic way in order to be equipped with 21st century skills.
English language is taught using a fun approach such as Drama and Action Song. These different approaches make learning fun and keep students interested in seeking knowledge and learning.

The Deputy Women’s Minister has said that sex education should also be taught outside of school. Do you see PINTAR taking this up as one of the programs under PINTAR?
As PINTAR Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, we have manpower and financial constraints which limit the number and type of programs that we can implement at our schools. Typically, our programs are focused on our four pillars, which are Motivational & Teambuilding; Educational Support; Capability and Capacity Building; and Reducing Vulnerabilities and Social Issues. We therefore welcome collaboration with other organisations that can provide expertise or funding and access to relevant programs that are beneficial to our students, including sex education to our PINTAR schools.

How do the schools benefit from PINTAR’s support and is there limited time that PINTAR supports a school?
The PINTAR Programme, is a structured and ready-made model that enables companies to adopt most-in-need schools as PINTAR schools for a minimum adoption period of three years. During this period, the company will fund various programs and activities which can contribute to the holistic development of students and help the schools meet their KPIs. The Foundation monitors the PINTAR Programme on a yearly basis and provides feedback for programme improvements.

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