Art Enthusiasts Used Murals To Create Belonging Among Students

KENINGAU: A group of wardens at Keningau Vocational College led by Lerry David, a Malay language teacher, launched a mural project in mid-2020 to build a sense of belonging among their students especially those who stayed at the college dormitories.

He submitted a poster on this project to YSEALI Younified, a Southeast Asian association, as a community project and the poster was selected to be displayed during a hybrid youth event in Vietnam on 3 December 2020.

According to Lerry David, the students who stayed at the dormitories were required to create murals that were inspired by nature and they needed to include local idioms and old quotes associated with their traditional cultures.

As a Malay language teacher, he believed that having these words of wisdom on the school walls can encourage the students to behave better and it is also a great way of preserving intangible cultural heritage.

In fact, the project helped to nurture a sense of community, belonging and identity among the students as they learnt to work together while expressing their creativity throughout the production process.

He credited the success of the project to the teamwork and commitment shown by his fellow wardens as well as the students. As a group of teachers who enjoyed arts, the wardens found the mural project to be an ideal combination of visual arts and literary arts.

They planned to continue the project through regular maintenance of existing murals and possibly transforming more walls into murals with profound messages.

Mr. Johari @ Jaibet Bin Sabin applauded the efforts made by the team. He stated that many of the school teachers and students possess artistic abilities in different areas and such project enabled some to channel their creativity in a way that can impact the school.

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