Empowering orang asli pupils

5/29/2012 — The Star

LIPIS: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council recently launched a special outreach initiative for 140 orang asli pupils from SK Kuala Koyan to promote the importance of reading, writing and arithmetic (3R) under its empower Cameron Highlands programme.

Pahang Rural Development and Orang Asli Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail was present to launch the initiative and present reference books to 27 pupils of the school who would be sitting for the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination this year.
Council’s chief executive officer Datuk Jebasingam Issace John said the 3R sessions – conducted twice weekly for 10 months – was part of its empower’s academic skills training module to improve the academic performance of weak students through scholastic and motivational guidance.
“The initiative is an extension of empower Cameron Highlands which was specifically tailored to meet the needs and requirements of orang asli students.
“Through interesting activities and mind games, we hope they would be motivated to remain in school and strive to achieve academic excellence,” he said.
Niyana Munan, 12, who will be sitting for this year’s UPSR examination, said she was grateful for the reference books to help in her revision.
The fifth of nine siblings, Niyana said the programme had made learning more fun and motivated her to study harder.
“I like Mathematics and wants to be a teacher,” she said.
Ady Denana, 12, who lost his father when he was still young, was also aspiring to be a teacher.
His mother is a rubber tapper and the sole breadwinner, taking care of five other children.
“I enjoy learning Mathematics and English. The group activities are fun and helps me understand both subjects better,” he said.
Sisisafila Holdi, 12, pledged to study hard and make full use of the reference books to do well in the examination.
“I am happy to take part in the programme which incorporates interesting activities and mind games during classes,” she said.
Empower Cameron Higlands consists of academic skills training for students who are sitting for their UPSR, Penilaian Menengah Rendah and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examinations as well as skills and entrepreneurship training programme for youths.
Currently, there are 540 students participating in the programme including 140 orang asli pupils from the Lipis district.
Empower was first introduced in Bentong in March 2010 to enhance human resource capabilities through academic empowerment and character-building in primary and secondary schools.
Following the success of the pilot project, empower was expanded to Temerloh, Lipis, Raub and Cameron Highlands, Kemaman in Terengganu and Jeli and Bachok in Kelantan.