GAMBANG, PAHANG- 14 APRIL 2014:empower ECER Mahkota today celebrated the achievements of its top scoring students in the 2013 UPSR, PMR and SPM examinations at a special event called “Majlis Kecemerlangan Juara empower ECER Mahkota”. Jointly organised by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), it honored 66 UPSR students, 29 PMR students and 12 SPM students.

Among those honored at the event include Hafwanis binti Awang, SMK Lepar who obtained 8A’s for her PMR, Syed Mohammad Khaired bin Syed Edros, from SMK Seri Pekan obtained 9A’s for SPM and Teoh Wee Hock of SK Runchang obtained 5A’s for UPSR.

Certificates of Achievements were awarded to the 107 high achievers by the Guest of Honor, YAB Dato’ Sri DiRaja Haji Adnan bin Haji Yaakob, Menteri Besar of Pahang. YAB Menteri Besar also gave Certificates of Recognition to school principals, acknowledging the role of schools in motivating students, particularly disadvantaged ones, to seek academic excellence.

In his address, the Menteri Besar said, “The State Government appreciates the collaboration between UMP and ECERDC, which harnesses the synergies of both parties for the benefit of the local population. As an institution of higher learning, UMP is well positioned to use its academic resources to implement this program that is modeled after ECERDC’s flagship human capital development program called empower ECER. This is a win-win situation, and from what I see today, the biggest winners are the rakyat.”

YAB Menteri Besar also witnessed the exchange of Memorandum of Agreement between ECERDC and UMP. Representing ECERDC was Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John while UMP was represented by its Vice Chancellor YBhg. Profesor Dato’ Dr. Daing Mohd Nasir Bin Daing Ibrahim.

The agreement paves the way for the extension of empower ECER Mahkota to cover five new schools in Pekan: SK (c) Yok Hua, SK Tanah Puteh, SK Seri Maulana, SMK Dato’ Mahmud and SMK Pekan, and two new schools in Kuantan, SK (T) Ladang Jeram and SK Cherok Paloh.

Hence, the 2014 session of empower ECER Mahkota will see the participation of 2,057 students, comprising 644 students sitting for the UPSR, 792 for PMR and 621 for SPM examinations. The agreement also aims to produce 50 new entrepreneurs under empower ECER Mahkota.

empower ECER 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 examination year students and a Skills and Entrepreneurship Programme. The latter focuses on vocational training for housewives, single mothers, jobless youths and disadvantaged individuals.

empower ECER adopts a holistic approach, combining remedial classes with confidence building sessions to motivate and inspire participants, typically those with low self-esteem. To create a more level playing field, empower ECER focuses on exposing participants to a variety of learning experiences.

Overall, empower ECER has a record of delivering 100% passes among students. The program is 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 ECER district of Mersing, Johor.

To date, the program has benefitted 34,113 participants across ECER, comprising 22,938 students and 11,175 adults. 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.