2020 – Report of the Native Counselling Camp
From 16 to 23 December 2019, the Education Affairs of the West Malaysia General Assembly organised the 2019 Native Counselling Camp at Ipoh church. 25 students came from different areas: nine from Peng- kalan Hulu, five from Cameron Highlands, seven from Kampung Pergum, two from Batu 9, and two from Pos Dipang.
Thank God, the team arrived earlier at Ipoh church on the 14th to conduct a two-day training course for the Native Counselling Camp. During the course, the facilitators and trainers discussed about the curriculum, and the facilitators received training. The team also visited Kampung Pergum on the afternoon of the 15th. A fellowship session was held in a kindergarten with the native children and parents, which includ ed activities such as a sing-along session and a testimony session.
Before the camp began, the students were required to sit for evaluation tests for four subjects—Malay language, English language, Mathematics and Religious Education (RE). They were then divided into three classes based on the evaluation tests’ results and they were taught according to their respective levels. In addition to the three subjects (Malay language, English language and Mathemat ics), the students also had to learn life skills such as cooking and sewing. RE was surely covered and music theory lessons were also included in their daily timetable.
Before the camp ended, the teachers took all the students to Gunung Lang Recreational Park in Ipoh for an outing. This left behind memories of happy laughter and cheerful voices amidst the mountain greenery and streams. Thank God for His grace, the 2019 Native Counselling Camp came to a successful completion. Looking forward to seeing you all next year.
2020 – Report on RE Dialogue (Perak Region)
The Religious Education (RE) Dialogue for the Perak region was conducted at Ipoh church on Sunday, 5 January, 2020. The target audiences of the dialogue were the regional RE chairpersons, local RE coordinators and all the RE teachers. There were a total of 14 participants. The vision of the General Assembly’s Education Affairs-A Holistic Religious Education for the Transformation of Lives—was discussed in the dialogue.
The Education Affairs Department has set three missions:
1. To have a structured, efficient and dynamic organization that caters to the needs of the General Assembly and local churches.
2. To have a systematic learning and the training facilities for students to develop their biblical knowledge, spiritual characteristics and skills.
3. To prepare and inspire students to become the future spiritual pillars of the true church.
The activities on that day included spiritual nurture, self-enrichment, seminars, and so forth. Additionally, the organisation al chart of the Education Affairs and the regional RE systems were also presented. The General Assembly’s Education Affairs also shared the programmes planned for 2020; hoping for the active participation of the regional RE chairpersons, local RE coordinators and all the RE teachers in the Perak region. During the dialogue, the Education Affairs’ chairperson, Pr. Nahum Lim, and Sis. Phei Chein discussed and offered advice on the issues faced by the local churches.
Thank God for His grace, guidance and care for the smooth conduct of this year’s RE dialogue for the Perak region. May all glory be unto His name!
2020 – Report on RE Dialogue (Southern Region)
The RE Dialogue was conducted for RE teachers in the South Southern region on Feb 15, 2020 (Saturday). Spiritual nurture began at 8.30am in Skudai church. Thereafter, three dialogues were conducted between Pr Nahum Lim, the region-in-charge, RE-in-charge and RE teachers. The RE dialogue ended at 12.30pm. There were a total of 36 participants: 19 from Johor Bahru church, and 17 from Skudai church respectively.
The RE dialogue was then conducted in Seremban church (North Southern region) on the following day, on 16 Feb, 2020 (Sunday). A spiritual nurture session was held from 9am to 10am. After a 20-minute break, four dialogues were conducted. Each dialogue lasted for an hour, with 10-minute breaks in between. There were a total of 18 participants: 4 from Malacca church, 13 from Seremban church and 1 from Bahau church, respectively. The RE dialogue ended at 3.40pm. Thank God for guiding the RE dialogue over these two days.
2020 – Northern & Central – Region Religious Education Teacher’s Seminar
Northern region (Kedah) religious education teacher’s seminar was held on 7th March 2020 (Saturday) in Sungai Petani church. The seminar was attended by 8 persons. On 8th March, another seminar was held in the Northern region (Penang) Bayan Baru church. It was attended by 14 persons.
Central region religious education teacher’s seminar was held on 10th May (Sunday) via Zoom online classroom due to prohibition of congregating under the Movement Control Order. Due to the larger number of teachers from central region churches, the education affairs department divided the participants from central region churches into two groups and conducted the online seminar in two different sessions. The first online classroom started at 9am with 79 teachers participating while the second online classroom started at 2pm and had 60 participants. The seminar content was largely similar to previous religious education teacher’s seminars held in Southern and Perak regions. Thank God for His guidance!
2020 – Central Region Religious Education (CRRE) Online Teaching Report
In the beginning ofthe year 2020, at the Central Region Religious Education (CRRE) meeting held before the announcement of MCO, the Religious Education Unit Chairperson of each church in Central Region had approved a 3 years project to study the feasibility to compile religious education resources onto an online platform. However, the will of God is always higher than our thoughts. Under the threat and restrictions of the pandemic, the religious education unit of each church had to begin the use of the different online applications to carry out religious education classes.
Initially, most of the religious education teachers, students and parents were unfamiliar with E-learning platform. Nonetheless, we thank God that the CRRE chairperson took up the responsibility by providing trainings for the teachers. This help allay the fear of the teachers on the unknown about the internet.
Thanks to God, after mutual sharing and exhortations, the eligious education unit of each church gradually began their weekly online religious education classes on the 2nd and 3rd week of MCO. Some teachers also joined in the online classes of other churches to observe and to learn. The software currently used by the churches includes Google Classroom, Google Meet, ZOOM, Hangout, Skype, WhatsApp and so on.
Currently, the CRRE has set up a Google Classroom as a platform to compile all the religious education textbook, teaching materials, and videos according to the age, classes, and languages (including Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil). Religious education teachers were invited to upload their teaching materials onto the platform according to the classes. Hopefully when all the materials are completely uploaded, there will be more resources for the teachers to access while preparing for classes.
2020 Online Training – National New Teachers’ Training Course
Thank God that we have successfully conducted the biennial New Teachers’ Training course from 30th to 2nd August and on 16th August 2020. A total of 35 new teachers participated in this Religious Education Teachers’ training. It is hoped that these new teachers can teach and guide the little lambs of the Lord with the knowledge from the Bible with love, patience, and to be faithful in accomplishing the responsibility instructed by the Lord Jesus.
We were unable to hold a three to four consecutive days of training like in previous years because of the current Covid-19 pandemic. Hence, we could only conduct the New Teachers’ Training via online video sessions.
The first section was from the evening of 30th July (Thurs) to 2nd August (Sun). This first section covered theory training. A lesson on the RE Teachers’ Handbook was taught on the evening of 30th July. The lesson time on the second day onwards was from 7.10am to 9.00pm. The second section was on 16th August (Sun) which was a practical examination.
For the first section, the modules for theory training included doctrines, teaching methods, assessment, pedagogy, child development, classroom management, activity, fundamentals of counselling, hymns teaching methodology, and lesson planning.
For the second section, a practical exam was conducted in which the new trainee teachers were required to conduct an online practical lesson based on what they have learnt. The session was from 9.00am to 5.15pm. The teachers were divided into two groups based on their language preference (Chinese or English). Within each group, the teachers have to teach a simulated classroom lesson. At the end of the lessons, the facilitators in the evaluation committee would evaluate and give comments.
2020 National Lower Classes RE Teacher’s Seminar
On the 24th to 25th October, the Education Affairs of True Jesus Church General Assembly in Malaysia conducted a one and a half day seminar through a virtual meeting (Zoom). The targeted audiences here were only reserved to teachers who are currently teaching the kindergarten, lower and upper primary classes.
The seminar begin with a morning prayer at 8 a.m on Saturday, with Pr. Nahum Lim as the speaker. The content of his exhortation was on the development of deviant behaviors caused by Saul’s misconceptions towards Jesus. Pr. Nahum continued on with the second session by elucidating the causes of deviant behavior. The third and fourth lessons were on pastoral care with sis Chin Phei Chien as the speaker. She addressed the involvement of the three aspects (parents, teachers and students) in the pastoral care of a religious education unit. While shepherding their students, RE teachers ought to be equipped with patience, love and faithfulness, nurturing them to grow in spiritual strength, wisdom and virtues. Pastoral care is a long-term work and effective results will not be imminent within a short period of time. The teachers all the more would need to constantly offer up their love and patience. The lesson in the evening started off at 7.30 pm, led by sis Racheal Lee, with the topic on enhancing students’ engagement. In this session, she shared about methods to intensify the students’ engagement in their lessons. A child whom is fully participating in the lessons will manifest him/herself through these 4 aspects – cognitions, emotions, physical behavior and the body.
The subsequent 4 lessons on Sunday after the morning prayer were lectured by sis Ruth Liew. In these few sessions, she explained how can the teachers promote the young children’s social and emotional health in the kindergarten, lower and upper primary years. Other than that she also discussed on the making and the using of toys and activities for the RE Lessons.
Religious education isn’t solely a teacher’s assignment. The roles and responsibilities sheltered by the parents are also crucial. In order to recognize the situation of the child, teachers should maintain a harmonious relationship with the parents and both parties will need to have a favorable communication to complement one another. If it is necessary, the value systems of the parents should be rectified for they are the ones determining the state of their children’s faith. Do encourage the children to participate in all bible camps, spiritual meetings, fellowships and so on, creating opportunities for the church to be the center points of their lives as they grow. As time passes, they will be able to secure spiritual partners and good friends in the church. What has been mentioned above is still located within our capability and as for the rest; we could only pray to God, seeking after a renewal of strength from Him.
Thank God, in total there were 152 teachers participated in this seminar. May all glory be given unto His Name.