RAUB, PAHANG, 06 JULY 2013 : The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) today held the first convocation ceremony for some 420 empower ECER Raub participants. The empower ECER programme undertaken by ECERDC has already proven its success in creating top scorers in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and new entrepreneurs within only one year of its launch in Raub.

The participants received their certificates of completion at the “Juara empower ECER Raub” ceremony from YB Dato’ Haji Shahiruddin bin Ab Moin, the State Assemblyman of Dong, who is also the State Executive Council Chairman in charge of Cooperatives, Entrepreneurs and Consumers.

The ceremony was held at the Dewan Sekolah Menegah Sains Tengku Abdullah (SEMESTA) here today.

empower ECER is a twin-pronged human capital development initiative of ECERDC which focuses on Skills and Entrepreneurship Training for adults and Academic Training for examination-year students in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER).

Under its Academic Training Programme, a total of 120 empower ECER students in Raub who sat for 2012 SPM achieved 100 percent passes, with 28 students obtaining 5A’s and above.

Most of the participants were once classified as “academically weak”, yet they managed to achieve remarkable improvement in their grades after attending the Academic Training programme.

One of the top scorers among the empower ECER participants in Raub was S. Thamilarasi d/o Sithambaram from SMK Mahmud, who scored 11A’s in SPM. Being selected in the programme coupled by the encouragement and motivation given by her empower ECER trainers gave her the much needed boost in achieving her dreams.

At today’s ceremony, 300 adult participants who successfully completed their 10-month empower ECER Skills & Entrepreneurship Training programme also received their certificate of completion.

Madam Yap Ngok Moi, a housewife who attended the Make-up and Bridal course under the Skills & Entrepreneurship Training module, is yet another empower ECER success story. Through the training, she learnt the ropes on how to run the business and gained enough confidence to strike out on her own. Today, the housewife owns a wedding boutique earns more than RM3,000 a month.

“We are proud of the achievements shown by the participants of empower ECER programme in Raub within a relatively short period of time,” said Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John.

“They are excellent examples of how the locals of ECER are able to transform their lives if given the opportunity, as well as the right guidance and training,” he said.

The students selected for the Juara empower ECER programme came from 12 schools namely SK Raub Jaya, SK Sega, SK Ulu Dong, SK Batu Talam, SK Satak, SJK © Chung Ling, SJK (T) Raub, SJK © Sg Klau, SMK Mahmud, SMK Datuk Shah Bandar Hussein, SMK LKTP Tersang and SMK Dong.

empower ECER Raub has 900 participants consisting of 400 UPSR, PMR and SPM students attending the Academic Training and 500 adults participating in the Skills and Entrepreneurship Training during 2012.

The Skills and Entrepreneurship Training participants of empower ECER Raub completed a 10-month programme in courses such as cake baking, sewing, bridal, Masakan 1Malaysia, wiring & plumbing, ICT, hawker management, front desk management and mobile phone repair. Single mothers and youths were among those who successfully completed the Skills and Entrepreneurship Training programme in 2012.

The Academic Training programme involves remedial classes and motivational sessions for weak students, who are taught learning techniques such as effective note-taking, mind-mapping and speed reading, among others, to enhance their academic performance while helping them develop their soft and social skills. Meanwhile, the Skills and Entrepreneurship Training programme offers courses that reflect the needs of the job market as well as that of the community.

The empower ECER programme was introduced in Pahang in 2010, starting with Bentong and followed by Lipis and Temerloh in 2011. In 2012, three more locations were added namely, Raub, Cameron Highlands and Kuala Pahang. There are currently 7,381 Academic Training participants and 4,325 Skills and Entrepreneurship participants in Pahang under empower ECER.