BESUT, 1 MARCH 2014:The first batch of 400 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) students from empower ECER Besut had a taste of world-renowned Dale Carnegie “Conceive, Believe & Achieve, the Dale Carnegie Way” course today. Organised by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC), the course aims to inspire students to think and manage time strategically and creatively. It is also designed to nurture young minds to become promising leaders of the future.

The course is the first motivational session to be conducted in the newest empower ECER location in Besut, where classes began in January 2014. It was officiated by Kota Putra State Assemblyman YB Mohd Mahdi bin Musa at SMK Tembila.

In his statement, ECERDC Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John said, “empower ECER’s Academic Training goes beyond remedial classes. Our emphasis is on developing well-rounded, confident youths equipped with the thinking skills to compete and excel as resourceful individuals.

“Our participants are based in rural communities and come from low income families. By bringing motivational programs such as this Dale Carnegie course to them, we create learning experiences that are not within their reach. This fosters inclusiveness, bringing academically challenged rural students into mainstream academic culture”.

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. The Dale Carnegie course today was attended by students from nine schools; • SMK Kuala Besut, • SMK Kota Putra, • SMK Tembila, • SMK Pelagat, • SMK Tengku Mahmud, • SMK Tengku Mahmud 2, • SMK Nasiruddin Shah, • SMK Permaisuri Nur Zahirah • SMK Tok Dor.

Overall, empower ECER has a record of delivering 100% passes among students. The program is currently conducted in 17 locations across ECER namely, Jeli, Bachok and Ketereh in Kelantan; Kemaman, Dungun, Hulu Terengganu and Besut in Terengganu; Bentong, Temerloh, Raub, Lipis, Cameron Highlands, Jerantut, Maran, Rompin and Kuala Pahang in Pahang; and Mersing in Johor. In Terengganu, there are 1,600 students involved in the empower ECER Academic Training programme and 800 participants in its Skills and Entrepreneurship Programme.

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 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 22,216 participants, comprising 13,491 students and 8,725 adults have benefitted from empower ECER. Students to date have recorded a 100% pass 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.