RAUB, PAHANG, 30 JUNE 2013 : Some 120 Form 3 students from Raub who are participants of empower ECER Academic Training Programme took part in a 2-day study camp organized by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) at Pusat Kegiatan Masyarakat Gali here in Raub.

Aptly named “Mind Over Matter, the camp was organised to give the students an early headstart in preparing for the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examination which will be held this October. The programme was also conducted following the 100% passes recorded by previous participants of empower ECER in PMR 2012 and the growing number of participants who scored 5A’s and above in the exam. Out of the 120 participants of empower ECER in Raub who sat for the examination last year, 44 students managed to obtain 5A’s and above, reflecting the effectiveness of the programme.

Today’s event was officiated by YH. Dato’ Haji Ismail Bin Haji Mohd Ali, District Officer of Raub.

ECERDC Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John said the PMR camp was aimed at building the students’ self-confidence by exposing them to highly effective study techniques such as mind-mapping, creative thinking and memory skills. This will help ensure a more effective learning experience for the students, as well as enhance their critical and creative thinking skills.

“By encouraging them to pursue excellence, we are also sowing the seeds for a brighter future, not only for them but also for the East Coast Economic Region (ECER). Ultimately, these students will grow up to become the vital source of human capital in the region, which will elevate ECER’s transformation into the next level ,” said Dato’ Issace

During the “Mind Over Matter” study camp, the students were also taught on how to use the mind mapping technique in doing revisions, the right techniques of answering examination questions, common errors in answering questions, as well as effective learning methods and time management.

Participants of this camp were mainly children of farmers and general workers who came from several schools in Raub namely, SK Raub Jaya, SK Sega, SK Ulu Dong, SK Batu Talam, SK Satak, SJK (C) Chung Ching, SJK (T) Raub, SJK(C) Sg Klau, SMK Mahmud, SMK Datuk Shah Bandar Hussein, SMK LKTP Tersang and SMK Dong.

The empower ECER programme was launched in Pahang in 2010, starting with the pilot project in Bentong. In 2011, it was launched in Temerloh and Lipis, followed by Raub and Cameron Highlands in 2012. The programme currently has more than 5,000 participants in Pahang, comprising 2,372 students who are attending the Academic Training programme and 2,725 adults participating in the Skills and Entrepreneurship Training programme. Under the empower ECER Raub programme, there are 400 students attending the Academic Training programme at the moment, of which 120 of them are PMR students, while another 500 adult participants are taking part in the Skills and Entrepreneurship programme.

empower ECER is a twin-pronged human capital development initiative launched in 2010 by ECERDC which is aimed at reducing the economic disparities between rural and urban communities. It focuses on Skills and Entrepreneurship Training for adults and Academic Training for examination-year students in ECER. The Academic Training targets academically weak students from disadvantaged backgrounds, enhancing their skill sets and improving their academic results so that they are not left out of the Region’s ongoing transformation.

empower ECER is also being implemented in Mersing in Johor, Jeli and Bachok in Kelantan and Kemaman in Terengganu.

To date, a total of 18,686 participants, comprising 11,261 students and 7,425 adults had benefitted from empower ECER. Students to date have recorded a 100% passes rate, with several scoring outstanding results. For adults, it is estimated that up to 80% of participants will gain employment after completing their courses or have sufficient knowledge and practical experience to start their own business, and the ability to generate income of between RM500 and RM1,500 per month, or even more.