THE STAR – Leap of faith leads to global success

Winners’ circle: Eswaran (right) taking a picture along with teachers and students after they emerged winners in the Frog World Championship 2020.

 

KLUANG: This estate school only has 25 students, who sometimes have to ride on a tractor to get to school, as the 3.5km road leading to the school gets too muddy whenever it rains.

 

But the 74-year-old SJK(T) Ladang Elaeis, located in an oil palm estate here, has received international recognition after it emerged as winner of the Frog World Championship 2020.

Against the odds, this school beat over 3,000 others from 13 countries to clinch the top prize of US$3,000 (RM12,000).

 

The second and third prize went to two schools from the United Kingdom – the Frederick Gough School and Yardleys School.

 

SJK(T) Ladang Elaeis headmistress Manimekalai Athimolam said that they were elated when informed that they had emerged winners in mid-July.

 

“This is a great achievement and team effort involving all our eight teachers, students and even parents who supported this project,” she said.

 

Teacher Eswaran Balakrishinan, from the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) section of the school who spearheaded the project, said that he found about FrogAsia and its competitions when attending a course last year.

 

He said that this was a useful e-learning platform whereby teachers posted quizzes to their students online.

 

“When we joined this competition which was held for 60 days between March 2 and April 30, we had to post some 4,000 quiz questions to our students daily,” he said, adding that initially, all was going on well until the movement control order (MC0) was issued on March 18.

 

Eswaran said earlier, the students were using the computers at the school. However they had a problem when the MCO started and they had to do their work from home.“Many did not have Internet lines. Some of the parents also did not have smart phones.

 

“However, our students and eight teachers were determined and we started finding new ways to gather students at one of the teachers’ homes, including mine, to do the quiz daily.

 

“Parents also chipped in and started purchasing phones to get their children to study online,” he said, adding that this was a huge transformation as many of the parents here also did not even know how to communicate via social media programmes like WhatsApp in the past.

 

Eswaran said that the quiz questions that they posted daily via the platform included questions covered eight subjects – Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mathematics, Tamil, design and technology, ICT, Moral and Heath education.

 

He said that they hoped to use the prize money to upgrade some facilities at the school, including getting new mouse for their ICT rooms, projectors, portable speakers, a new television set and even a camera for the school.

 

The Frog World Championship is an international competition held annually since 2018 that has garnered participation from over 7,000 schools in 15 countries worldwide.

 

Hosted by FrogAsia in collaboration with Frog Education UK, the Frog World Championship showcases and celebrates how schools and students strive to be globally competitive through collaboration, perseverance and fun in learning.

 

The competition centres around the use of the FrogPlay gamified-learning application offered within Frog VLE (Virtual Learning Environment), where schools and students from around the globe compete for the world title and the chance to win a total of US$10,000 (RM40,000) worth of prizes.

 

The main objective of this championship was to educate and create awareness about the values and cultures of other countries who are also on the Frog platform, as well as creating a sense of community among international Frog users and fostering a sense of pride for being part of something bigger.

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