KUALA LUMPUR 19 DECEMBER 2013:296 participants of empower ECER Academic Training programme scored straight A’s in their Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) 2013 examination, the results of which were announced today.

This is 2.38 per cent higher than the achievement recorded in last year’s PMR, when 21 participants of empower ECER Academic Training programme, a human capital development initiative undertaken in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), scored the maximum results of nine A’s. The students are from empower Bachok (7), empower Kemaman (10), dan empower Mersing (4).

“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 Chief Executive Officer of the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC), YBhg. Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John today.

In 2013, a total of 1,200 Form 3 students from 33 schools in ECER were involved in empower ECER programme, one of ECERDC’s human capital development programmes in the Region which is aimed at enhancing the socio-economic status of the local rakyat through better academic achievement among the students and higher income for the adults.

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

“Their achievement is indeed exemplary as most of them are formerly categorized as ‘academically weak’ students and come from disadvantage family,” he added. “It is our hope that their success in this year’s PMR will encourage them to keep pursuing for excellence in the academic field, which will ultimately help them build a better future for themselves and their family.”

empower ECER 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 continued its momentum, delivering 100% passes among students who attended the programme which is 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 who were sitting for three national examinations, consisting of 2,255 participants for Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR), 1,830 participants for PMR and 1,816 participants for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).

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 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.