Educator Profile: Dr. Tengku Fadilah

For this month’s Educator Profile, we sat down with Dr. Tengku Fadilah from Universiti Putra Malaysia to learn more about her thoughts on water safety and her experience teaching on OpenLearning.

Dr. Tengku Fadilah is a former Malaysian national swimmer. She has been advocating water safety awareness for over 26 years through her work with Universiti Putra Malaysia and Life Saving Society Malaysia.

Her mission is to go beyond teaching people how to swim to educating the public about the risks and safety involved with and around water. She is now going online to teach more people about how to be water safe. Here’s what she had to share:

What are your hopes for the course as it transitions online?

I hope that I can penetrate to places where they don’t have access to practical training in water. For example in Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia or places like that, but even they have oasis there and they have paddy fields, they have swamps there, they could still be water safe.

Tell us your experience in designing an interactive online course?

It has been positive all the way. I feel like this is the new way to reach out to students nowadays. It’s quick, it’s interactive and you get unexpected pleasures by meeting new friends online.

How does the online experience compare to conventional methods?

Students get to share and they get to suggest ideas — and then they start to think critically. We now know that youngsters are all very incline to learn and this is the fastest way, by sharing.

Dr. Tengku Fadilah has been working at the Sports Studies Department, Faculty of Education Studies since 1995. She is also a former national swimmer for Malaysia in the early 80s herself and is still actively participating in National Masters Swimming Competition. In 2004, her expertise lands her the post of Technical Reference Expert to set up the National Fitness Council, and also the Expert Consultant for the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the research on sports associations in Malaysia. She was also appointed by the Minister of Youth and Sports as a member of the Board of Directors of National Instructor Board of Malaysia. Dr.Tengku Fadilah is also the Vice President of Malaysia’s Life Saving Society for two straight terms. In July 2005, she wrote the book ‘Parental Guide to Water Safety’ as a manifestation of her grave concern on the issues of drowning among children.