DUNGUN, 17 JANUARY 2014:The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC)’s empower ECER Academic Training Programme continued its momentum of success at its newly launched site of Dungun, Terengganu, where 100 of its participants emerged as top scorers in the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examinations held in 2013.

Known as “Juara empower ECER”, these top scorers obtained 5A’s and above in their respective examinations. Their achievements were celebrated at a special ceremony held here today, which was officiated by the Terengganu state executive committee member, YB Roslee bin Daud. YB Roslee also presented the top scorers with certificate of achievements from ECERDC.

Consisting of Academic Training programme for examination year students, as well as Skills and Entrepreneurship Training programme for adults, empower ECER is the flagship human capital development program implemented by ECERDC in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER).

empower ECER was launched in Dungun in April 2013, and the first intake of its Academic Training Programme consisted of 400 students, comprising 160 pupils sitting for UPSR and 120 students each for PMR and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) respectively.

In his statement, ECERDC Chief Executive Officer YBhg. Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John today said the success of empower ECER Dungun reflects the inclusiveness of the programme, whereby the participants were selected from both national and vernacular schools. The main criterion for the participants is that they must be academically challenged students from low-income families.

“These students are outstanding examples of ECER youths who can rise above difficult circumstances to excel and shine, when provided with the right guidance and motivation,” said Dato’ Issace.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all our Juara UPSR and PMR on their success, which was made possible by their own hard work and commitment in addition to the effective study modules introduced under the empower ECER Academic Training programme.”

There were 31 Juara empower ECER from Dungun who scored 5A’s in their UPSR last year. The high achievers came from seven schools, namely, SJK (C ) Kwang Hwa, SJK (C ) Sin Chone, SK Kuala Dungun, SK Kuala Abang, SK Sura, SK Paka and SK Bukir Besi. The remaining 61 Juara empower ECER who scored 5A’s and above in their PMR were from SMK Bukit Besi, SMK Paka, SMK Seri Dungun, SMK Pulau Seri and SMK Sura.

empower ECER Academic Training Programme is a unique programme that combines remedial classes with confidence building. To create a more level playing field, empower ECER focuses on exposing the participants to a variety of learning experiences.

Overall, empower ECER Academic Training Programme has achieved an impressive record of delivering 100% passes among its participants. The program is currently conducted in 11 locations across ECER namely, Jeli and Bachok in Kelantan; Kemaman and Dungun in Terengganu; Bentong, Temerloh, Raub, Lipis, Cameron Highlands and Kuala Pahang in Pahang; and Mersing in Johor.

In 2013, empower ECER’s Academic Training programme saw the participation of 5,901 students sitting for three national examinations, consisting of 2,255 participants for UPSR, 1,830 participants for PMR and 1,816 participants for SPM.

On an overall basis, 681 empower ECER participants scored five A’s or more in last year’s PMR, with 355 participants scoring 7A’s and above. For UPSR, 435 empower participants managed to obtain 5A’s.

empower ECER is a twin-pronged human capital development initiative launched by ECERDC in 2010 to help reduce economic disparities between rural and urban communities. It consists of the Academic Training programme and Skills and Entrepreneurship Training programme. The latter focuses on vocational training for single mothers, jobless youths and disadvantaged individuals.

To date, a total of 22,262 participants, comprising 13,537 students and 8,725 adults have benefitted from empower ECER. Students to date have recorded a 100% passes rate, with several scoring outstanding results. For adult participants, 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.