BENTONG, PAHANG, 07 JULY 2013 : The East Coast Economic Development Council (ECERDC) continued its academic and motivational programme with some 200 Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Menengah (UPSR) students from Bentong and Temerloh today. The students went through a 2-day special UPSR camp known as “Discover Your Inner Potential for Success”.

The academic and motivational camp held at the Dusun Eco Resort in Bentong was conducted especially for selected empower ECER participants from the rural areas of Bentong and Temerloh in Pahang. The UPSR camp was officiated by En.Muhamad Zaidi bin Yahya (Assistant District Officer, Development Section).

The special study camp gave students a head start in preparing for the UPSR examination which will be held this October. The students who were academically weak were taught study techniques on how to improve their grades.

ECERDC Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John said, “Our study camps adopt a holistic approach, preparing students for the national examination with study tips and techniques while at the same time motivating them to discover their inner potential for success, as this study camp is aptly named. It also emphasizes on personal development and effective interpersonal communication, essential not only to obtain good grades but also to mould well-rounded individuals.

“Our study camps, alongside with other empower ECER programmes, aim to groom them to be academically successful, confident and dynamic individual. The empower ECER academic programme has proven its effectiveness when in 2012, out of 160 empower ECER students from Bentong, 30 of them managed to achieve 5As’ and out of 160 empower ECER students in Temerloh, 70 scored 5As’ he added.

Students from 12 schools attended the Bentong camp, all from low income families. Seven schools are based in Bentong, namely SK Sulaiman, SK Lurah Bilut, SK Pelangai, SK Sungai Dua, SJK (C)Karak, SJK (T) Karak, and SJK (T) Bentong. The remaining five schools are from Temerloh, namely from SK Bandar Mentakab, SK Tanjung Lalang, SK Lanchang, SJK (C ) Mentakab and SJK (T) Mentakab 1.

During the “Discover Your Inner Potential for Success” special UPSR study camp, students were taught study techniques and time management. They were also given pointers on avoiding common errors made when answering examination questions. In addition, they participated in confidence building activities to bring out the best in them.

empower ECER is a twin-pronged human capital development initiative launched by ECERDC in 2010 to reduce economic disparities between rural and urban communities. It focuses on Skills and Entrepreneurship Training for adults and Academic Training for examination-year students in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER). The Academic Training targets academically weak students from disadvantaged backgrounds, enhancing their skill sets and improving their academic results so that they become valuable human capital assets in the Region.

empower ECER was launched in Bentong, Pahang in 2010, followed by Lipis and Temerloh in 2011. In 2012, three more locations were added, namely, Raub, Cameron Highlands and Kuala Pahang. Under empower ECER Pahang, there are currently 2,225 Skills and Entrepreneurship participants and 2,382 Academic Training participants of whom 320 of them are UPSR students, 240 are PMR students and the remaining 240 are SPM students.

empower ECER is also being implemented in 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 have benefitted from empower ECER. All former students of the Academic Training programme have recorded a 100% pass rate, and it is estimated that 80% of participants attending Skills and Entrepreneurship Training become gainfully employed 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.