RAUB, Pahang, September 9: Some 200 Form 3 students from six schools in Raub today attended the “empower Conquer the Intellect” study skills workshop organised by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) in preparation for the upcoming Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examination.

The selected students were from SMK Shah Bandar, SMK Mahmud, SMK Dong, SMK Tersang, SMK Tengku Kudin and SMK Sri Raub respectively.

The study skills workshop was officially launched by YB Dato’ Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism and Member of Parliament for Raub, at Dewan Serbaguna Kampung Sempam Baru, Taman Mutiara here today. Also present was ECERDC’s General Manager for Social Development Division, Encik Zulkifli Ya’acob.

“Today’s workshop will help boost the academic performance of below-average students in Raub, especially those from low income families, and further motivate them to do their best in the PMR examination,” said YB Dato’ Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

“It also complements the existing Academic Skills Training under ECERDC’s empower programme, which offers free tuition classes and motivational guidance to the selected participants,” she added.

According to ECERDC Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John, the “empower Conquer The Intellect” workshop is aimed at building the participants confidence by exposing them to highly effective study techniques such as mind-mapping, the use of brief notes, creative thinking and memory skills to ensure a more effective learning experience as well as enhancing their critical and creative thinking skills.

“This workshop takes into account the specific needs and requirements of the participants and is part of ECERDC’s continuous commitment in developing quality local talents within the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) in general and Pahang in particular, right from a very young age,” said Dato’ Issace.

“empower Conquer The Intellect” workshop is part of ECERDC’s human capital development initiatives under its empower social development programme, particularly the Academic Skills Training initiative, which is designed to help below-average students who are sitting for Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR), PMR and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations to excel in their respective examinations.

Similar workshops were earlier held for UPSR students in Jeli, Kelantan and Kemaman, Terengganu, as well as Raub and Bentong in Pahang, with the latter focusing specifically on students from the Indian and Chinese community. The workshops have so far benefitted 800 students in ECER.

To date, some 2,000 students in Pahang have benefitted from the Academic Skills Training programme under ECERDC’s empower initiative, recording 100% passes in public examinations and marked improvement in their academic performance.

Since the launch of the pilot programme in Bentong in 2010, the ’empower’ programme has been expanded to Temerloh, Lipis, Raub and Cameron Highlands in Pahang; Jeli and Bachok in Kelantan; and Kemaman in Terengganu.

About 900 local residents in Raub are currently benefiting from the expanded programme. Of this amount, some 400 are participating in the Academic Skills Training programme while another 500 are taking part in the Skills and Entrepreneurship Training programme.