JELI, 30 NOVEMBER 2013: ome 120 Year 6 pupils from Jeli and Bachok today completed a 2-day holiday camp organised by the East Coast Economic Development Council (ECERDC) at Pusat Dakwah Jeli (Pondok Moden Jeli), Bukit Bunga, here today, as part of their preparation to enter secondary school next year.

Known as “Seribu Langkah ke Menara Gading”, this holiday camp was one of the initiatives implemented under the empower ECER Academic Training programme which was aimed at preparing Year 6 pupils for secondary schools and empowering them to achieve excellent academic performance. These students were chosen based on their UPSR 2013 result, with a minimum result of 3A’s.

The camp was officiated by State Assemblyman of Bukit Bunga Y.B. Mohd Adhan bin Kechik. It was attended by students from SK Jeli (1), SK Kuala Balah, SK Gual Jedok, SK Sungai Rual, SK Perupok, SK Beris Kubor Besar dan SK Seneng.

During this 2-day holiday camp, students participated in various activities that were aimed at giving them the much needed confidence to enter secondary school. At the same time, they were also given the encouragement to discover their inner potential and motivation to succeed in the field that they choose.

“We hope that this holiday camp will help the students to be mentally and emotionally prepared in facing new challenges as they enter a new phase in their lives, since the shift from primary to secondary schools may be a daunting experience to some,” said ECERDC Chief Executive Officer, YBhg. Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John.

“As they enter secondary school, not only they will have to learn new subjects, but there will also be more pressure for them to do well in their studies and in co-curricular activities. This programme was designed to help and guide them in coping with this new experience, so that they will be able to achieve excellence in all aspects of their student life,” he added.

Apart from holiday camps, ECERDC also organised motivational and academic camps as well as educational trip for empower ECER participants who are mostly from rural areas and were identified as academically weak.

The empower ECER programme was introduced in Kelantan in 2011, starting with Jeli, and followed by Bachok in January 2012. There are currently 1,399 Academic Training participants and 1,300 Skills and Entrepreneurship participants in Jeli and Bachok.

empower ECER is a twin-pronged human capital development initiative launched in 2010 by ECERDC which is aimed at reducing the 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 are not left out of the Region’s ongoing transformation.

To date, a total of 22,262 participants, comprising 13,537 students and 8,725 adults have benefitted from empower ECER. All former participants of the Academic Training programme have recorded a 100% passes rate to date, while for participants of Skills and Entrepreneurship Training, it is estimated that up to 80% of the 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.