GAMBANG, Pahang, September 8: Some 200 Year 6 Orang Asli students from Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu are on a stronger footing to face the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) 2012 examination next week after completing a one-day preparation camp here today.

Known as “Kem Kecemerlangan UPSR Orang Asli – Dari Desa Ke Menara Gading”, the academic camp was organisedat KolejMatrikulasi Pahang, Gambang by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC). The programme aims to motivate the participants to do their best and achieve 100 per cent passes in the upcoming UPSR examination.

The camp was officiated by Pahang Menteri Besar, YAB Dato’ Sri DiRaja Haji Adnan Haji Yaakob. Also present was ECERDC’s General Manager for Social Development Division, Encik Zulkifli Ya’acob.

In his speech YAB Dato’ Sri Diraja Haji Adnan commended ECERDC for its efforts in enhancing the quality of human capital in ECER, including the Orang Asli community, through its empower programme.

ECERDC Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John said the one-day camp was part of empower’s Academic Skills Training programme for the Orang Asli pupils, which is aimed at improving the academic achievement of the participants through scholastic guidance and motivational coaching.

Mainly chosen among weak and average students, Kem Kecemerlangan UPSR Orang Asli was specially tailored to cater to the needs of Orang Asli pupils in ECER, he noted.

“We hope that it will give them the much needed boost to excel in the upcoming examinations which will be held next week, and ultimately lead them to better academic opportunities in the future,” said Dato’ Issace.

The Academic Skills Training under ECERDC’s empower human capital development programme has already proven its success, with its previous participants achieving 100 per cent passes in all subjects taken during the UPSR, PMR and SPM examinations in 2010 and 2011, he added.

During the one-day camp, the students were exposed to the correct techniques in answering exam questions by experienced lecturers, teachers and UPSR examiners. They were also given pointers on avoiding common mistakes when answering examination questions.

The programme also focuses on school attendance and was customised to meet the level of competencies of Orang Asli students.

The camp participants are from eight schools in Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu, of which five schools are currently involved in ECERDC’s empower programme.

From Pahang, the six participating schools were SekolahKebangsaan (SK) Kuala Koyan, Jelai, SK Sungai Koyan, Jelai, SK Sungai Dua, Bentong, SK Satak, Raub, SK Betau, Lipis and SK KampungTerisu, Cameron Highlands. From Kelantan and Terengganu, the schools involved were SK Sungai Rual, Jeli and SK Sungai Pergam, Kemaman, respectively.

The empower programme was first introduced by ECERDC in Bentong in April 2010 in its effort to enhance the quality of human capital of ECER. The programme currently involves 7,200 participants, comprising 3,200 students under the Academic Skills Training and 4,000 adults under the Skills and Entrepreneurship Training.