MERSING, 11 JANUARY 2014:The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC)’s empower ECER Academic Training programme continued its success stories with 25 of its participants in Mersing scoring 8A’s and above in their Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) 2013 examination.

The outstanding students represent 21 per cent of the total 120 participants of empower ECER Mersing who took their PMR exam last year. Overall, a total of 70 empower ECER Mersing participants scored 5A’s and above in their PMR 2013.

The programme’s effectiveness was also proven by the results of its participants who took the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (USPR) last year, where 33 pupils scored 5A’s and above, representing 27 per cent of the total UPSR participants from Mersing in 2013.

As a recognition of their achievement, ECERDC today organised a special ceremony in Mersing to celebrate the outstanding students, who are also known as “Juara empower ECER”. They were presented with excellence awards by Endau State Asssemblyman, YB Datuk Hj Abdul Latif Hj Bandi.

“These students are outstanding examples of ECER youths who can rise above difficult circumstances to excel with the right guidance and motivation given under the empower ECER programme,” said Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC, YBhg. Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John today.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all our Juara empower ECER on their success, which was made possible by their own hard work and commitment, in addition to the effective modules introduced under the empower ECER Academic Training programme,” Dato’ Issace said.

“Their achievement is indeed exemplary as most of them are formerly categorised as ‘academically weak’ students and come from disadvantage family,” he added. “It is our hope that their success in this year’s PMR will encourage them to keep pursuing for excellence in the academic field, which will ultimately help them build a better future for themselves and their family.”

In 2013, a total of 1,830 Form 3 students from 33 schools in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) were involved in empower ECER programme, one of ECERDC’s human capital development programmes in the Region which is aimed at enhancing the socio-economic status of the local rakyat through better academic achievement among the students and higher income for the adults. A total of 611 empower ECER participants scored five A’s or more in their PMR last year, with 371 participants scoring 7A’s and above.

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 Training programme for students, as well as Skills and Entrepreneurship Training programme for adults.

empower ECER Academic Training is a unique programme that combines remedial classes with confidence building. To create a more level playing field, empower ECER focuses on exposing the participants to a variety of learning experiences. Overall, this programme continued its momentum, delivering 100% passes among students who attended the programme which is conducted in 11 locations across ECER namely, Jeli and Bachok in Kelantan; Kemaman and Dungun in Terengganu; Bentong, Temerloh, Raub, Lipis, Cameron Highlands and Kuala Pahang in Pahang; and Mersing in Johor.

In 2013, empower ECER’s Academic Training programme saw the participation of 5,901 students who were sitting for three national examinations, consisting of 2,255 participants for UPSR, 1,830 participants for PMR and 1,816 participants for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).

To date, a total of 22,216 participants, comprising 13,491 students and 8,725 adults have benefitted from empower ECER. Students to date have recorded a 100% passes rate, with several scoring outstanding results. For adult participants, it is estimated that up to 80% of 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.