Joining TRACC as Education Intern

      I was about to complete my Master’s Degree and was hoping to take some time off from studies before continuing my PhD. Going for a working holiday was the plan, and I had been searching for a place where I can do something meaningful and have fun at the same time. It was then I came across TRACC webpage and found out that this marine conservation organization was doing education projects as well.

Lauren had been teaching Longgom kids for
 3 months and the kids loved her
      TRACC have had an intern teaching kids in the village Longgom before. This time the housewives asked to have a Kelas Ibu-Ibu conducted so that the women, who mostly hadn’t much chance to complete their education and hadn’t any other way to learn as much as they like, could have someone to teach them English. I had been teaching English to adults and secondary school children for some time before I started my Master’s, so teaching the mothers in the village was not really a tough job. The difficult part was travelling through several hills on dirt road in a car I very much worry might break down anytime (Just kidding, of course =P).

      It was indeed inspiring to see the housewives being so passionate in improving themselves. The class started with 8 students, and at one time there were 12. Using materials provided, the ibu-ibu were taught how to converse in English in various daily situations. I realized many of them understood English quite well, and a few of them could actually speak English though not very fluently. What they needed was more scenario practices with simple sentences which they could use as a natural response when they’re spoken to in English. Aside from that, they needed to build confidence in speaking English. After all, no one speaks perfectly in any language, so who can laugh at them if their 3rd or 4th language isn’t perfect?

My most hard working students,
attending every class from the beginning till the end.
      But then, probably learning a language was not an easy task for all, and probably the villagers have started getting busy on their farms with the raining season approaching… not every student who at first signed up for the programme remained till the end until TRACC left Kudat. Regardless, I’ve tried to teach as much as I can. And to make sure they can continue learning even after we leave I’ve left some books and CDs for them to do self-studies.

      The mothers were glad that TRACC has sent people to the village to teach them English. I myself hope that they will keep on improving themselves – with better English they can actually sell their handicraft directly to tourists rather than handing it to a middle man – they can earn more and make their life easier. It could make great difference, especially to the single mothers.

Sometimes the children join in and learn alongside
their mom.  Can't be more welcomed, mothers are
always the best role model for the child =)

Emily with TRACC - Tropical Research And Conservation Center
— at Tip of Borneo

More info about learning to dive or volunteering to help save the ocean with TRACC in Malaysia - Turtle Snorkellers - Divers 

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Management note:--- The education programme is important and we will restart it as soon as possible.