Communities today are now facing different challenging conditions around the world, forcing them to embrace social resilience in order to collectively cope with or respond to external pressures and interruptions. We now need to adopt and adapt to a new normal way of life, learning from the experiences of many indigenous communities who have emerged as champions of social resilience, as these communities have acclimatized to many circumstances affecting their ways of life, such as climate change.

Learning from indigenous communities is becoming increasingly important, as they are capable of providing insight on different issues that affect us. In recognition of the invaluable wealth of knowledge belonging to indigenous communities that we can learn from, the Institute of Social Informatics and Technological Innovations (ISITI), has spent over twenty years building a close, working relationship with these communities. Over the years, ISITI has been involved in numerous projects with the communities, beginning with the eBario project, before continuing to replicate and grow these projects on larger scales to address various issues that are of importance to the communities.  

An example of such an expansion is the ACES project spearheaded by a team of researchers comprising of Dr Jacey-Lynn Minoi, AP Dr Fitri Suraya Mohamad, Professor Dr Tarmiji Masron, AP Dr Tan Chong Eng, Dr Leonard Lim, Dr Aazani Mujahid, Dr Floriana Lendai, Dr Farah Zaini, and Mr. Chuah Kee Man. The project looks at the the importance of an inclusive and equitable quality education in Sarawak, as students now have to be equipped with the necessary technical as well as soft skills needed to prepare themselves for IR 4.0. The project is also in-line with the Education 4.0 initiative by the World Economic Forum, which states that it is also crucial that learning and teaching methods be aligned with these skills needed for the future of our students.

The project aims to use develop a community- centred pedagogical model that encourages the development of social resilience within local communities. Through this, young people will learn non-discipline specific capabilities which would build more than fulfilling friendships and exchanges of ideas. The ACES project will also focus on innovation and design, social innovation and entrepreneurship, in the areas of STEM education, engineering and technology climate change, socio-economy, cultural heritage, special needs and learning disabilities, and sustainable agriculture.

“The work that started as the Pangaea project in 2009 by our Education Group, led by Dr Fitri then, has now blossomed to become this Global Partnership for a high impact translational research. There is tremendous potential, particularly in expanding on our long term cultural resilience initiatives at ISITI’s Long Lamai Living lab”, said Professor Dr Narayanan Kulathuramaiyer, the Director of ISITI.

The team will also look at collaborating and co-creating with teachers, student and communities to build a more personalized way of learning and accelerate remote learning in order to create an inclusive education environment. The team will also investigate the impact of transformative education through playful approaches and experiences towards developing the social resilience of young people in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Interested in knowing more about the project and how you can be a part of this exciting journey? Visit https://is.gd/aces_my to connect with us.

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