KUALA TERENGGANU, 20th MARCH, 2014:In the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) results announced today, empower ECERstudents in Terengganu scored 100% passes with 29 students scoring 8As and above. This is an excellent achievement given the fact that they are from low income families with academically challenged background.

In Terengganu, the empower ECER Kemaman was introduced in 2012 with 120 SPM students participated in the programme. In 2013, empower ECER Dungun was introduced and there were 240 empower ECER students who sat for the SPM 2013.

The 2013 SPM results for empower ECER Kemaman and Dungun was announced by Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Seri Haji Ahmad bin Said, Menteri Besar Terengganu in ECERC’s Regional Office in Kuala Terengganu, today after chairing ECERDC’s Implementation Coordination Committee Meeting. According to YAB Menteri Besar, “It is always a pleasure when our students perform well in their examinations. It is even more meaningful, when weak students from poor homes never give up, even though some people may have given up on them. These young people recognised the importance of a good education and seized the opportunities presented by empower ECER to deliver excellent results. I salute them.”

Overall, the empower ECER SPM participants recorded 100% passes at its 11 sites, hence meeting the Key Performance Indicator set for empower ECER. 1823 empower ECER participants from 36 schools sat for the 2013 SPM.

In his congratulatory message to the top scorers, referred to as Juara empower ECER, East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) Chief Executive Officer, YBhg Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John said, “We are proud ofempower ECER which has proven to be a winning formula to bring about the transformation of mindsets. empower ECER‘s Academic Skills Program selects academically-challenged students and develops their potential to the fullest. Participants are taught, tried and tested study skills and to excel in whatever they do. Today’s results are testimony of this.”

empower ECER‘s Academic Skills Program is designed for weak and mediocre students from rural communities. The program combines remedial classes with motivational and confidence-building sessions.

The program has the distinction of delivering 100% passes among participants, with a growing number of students obtaining outstanding results. Participants are mainly children of farmers, fishermen, labourers and general workers.

empower ECER is a twin-pronged human capital development initiative launched by ECERDC in 2010 to help reduce economic disparities between rural and urban communities. It consists of the Academic Skills Program and Skills and Entrepreneurial Development Program. The latter focus on vocational training for single mothers, jobless youths and disadvantaged individuals.

The Academic Skills Program is notable for its study camps, English language classes conducted in collaboration with the British Council. There are also excursions to museums and theme parks. In the class room, students are taught proven study techniques such as mind-mapping, creative thinking and memory skills. The combination of classroom and off-site learning experiences are aimed at enhancing the critical and creative thinking skills of empower ECER students.

Designed as an inclusive human capital development program, to date empower ECER reaches out to different communities in 17 locations in rural ECER. Since its launch in Bentong in 2010, the program has benefitted 34,113 participants, comprising 11,175 adults and 22,398 students.

As at March 2014, the program was conducted in 17 locations; nine locations in Pahang, namely Bentong, Temerloh, Raub, Lipis, Cameron Highlands, Jerantut, Maran, Rompin and Kuala Pahang; three locations in Kelantan, namely, Jeli, Bachok and Ketereh; four locations in Terengganu, namely, Kemaman, Dungun, Hulu Terengganu and Besut; and in the district of Mersing, Johor.