Kuala Lumpur, 15 December, 2011 – Some 120 school children of low income families participating in the East Coast Economic Region’s (ECER) Agropolitan scheme, made their maiden visit to ‘Aquaria KLCC’ and PETROSAINS gallery at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre today.

Thanks to the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) which organised the educational excursion, the children under the ‘Sinar ECER’ programme had the rare opportunity to experience a well-stocked aquarium and an interactive science discovery centre all within a single day.

The objective of the excursion is to inculcate knowledge which could benefit and motivate the Sinar ECER participants in their studies as well as enable them to experience the metropolitan life of Kuala Lumpur.

The excursion also aims to engage the school children to activities centred on subjects involving Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (SMET) while at the same time help fill up their free time during school holidays.

The ‘Sinar ECER’ programme is targeted at underprivileged children from the ages of 6 to 12 years old of poor families who participate in the Agropolitan Pekan projects in ECER.

Taking a holistic approach, ‘Sinar ECER’ helps these children with academic excellence, personal development, soft-skills, positive mindset and character building.

ECERDC chief executive officer Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John, said the excursion served as a platform to motivate them to excel in their studies and have high ambitions.

“It also gives these children a wider perspective and stimulates their interest in the world of science & technology as well as to appreciate marine life,” he said.

Dato’ Issace added the children were from families of Agropolitan Pekan participants in Runchang and Lepar, whose primary economic activity is in farming ‘Dorper’ sheep.

On 8 December 2011, a group of 50 Orang Asli Agropolitan children made a similar visit to ‘Aquaria KLCC’ and PETROSAINS at the invitation of ECERDC.

The Agropolitan programme is an integrated socioeconomic project initiated by the ECERDC to balance economic growth between rural and urban areas, accelerate rural economic growth through agriculture activities and farm-based industry while providing sustainable income for its participants.

Under the ECER Master Plan, the Agropolitan projects will elevate the monthly income of poor households of between RM1,000 and RM2,000 within the first three years and RM5,000 per month over the long term.