UTAR and ECM Libra Foundation offering free tuitions
for primary school students
Aimed at instilling a sense of social responsibility among UTAR staff and students as well as to bring quality education to the young schoolchildren, UTAR once again collaborated with ECM Libra Foundation to organise a series of comprehensive English, Bahasa Malaysia and IT Tuition programmes for selected primary schools in Perak.
Held successfully for the sixth year, the ECM Libra-UTAR Tuition and IT Skills Programme 2019 officially ended with a closing ceremony on 23 November 2019 at Kampar Campus. Among the schools selected were SJK (C) Thung Hon, Chenderong in Batu Gajah; SJK (C) Jeram; SJK (C) Lawan Kuda in Gopeng; SJK(C) Sin Min in Tronoh Mines; SJK(C) Bemban in Batu Gajah; SJK(C) Yu Ying in Mambang Diawan; and SJK(C) Bukit Merah in Lahat.
Jointly organised by DSSC, Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, Faculty of Arts and Social Science and Faculty of Business and Finance, the tuition programme aimed at improving schoolchildren’s English, Bahasa Malaysia and Information Technology skills. The tuition programme was also designed to help schoolchildren feel more confident and also used as a channel to prepare the school students prior to Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and their school final term examinations.
Present to grace the closing ceremony were UTAR Vice President for Student Development and Alumni Relations Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong, ECM Libra Foundation Board of Trustee Lim Beng Choon, DSSC Kampar Head Hew Chwen Yee, SJK (C) Thung Hon’s Headmistress Lai Yoke Kam, SJK (C) Yu Ying’s Headmistress Chan Swee Ying, SJK (C) Jeram’s Headmistress Choong Hoo Fung, representatives of schools, UTAR student volunteers and staff, school students and parents.
Emphasising on the importance of improving the quality of education, Prof Choong in his speech said, “The tuition programme is a good opportunity for schools and young students from new villages to learn and equip themselves with the right education and essential knowledge, especially with English as a lingua franca, as well as IT skills as an essential skill of the 21st century. To face the challenges brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we have to prepare our children with the right skillsets. Some schools may face shortage of resources in doing that, especially in the new villages. Hence, these programmes are also bridging the gap between urban schools and rural schools.”
He added, “On behalf of UTAR, I would like to thank ECM Libra Foundation for its generous contribution towards promoting education and mastery of languages, especially amongst the young. This marks the sixth year of our collaboration with ECM-Libra Foundation since the first project in 2014. UTAR and ECM Libra Foundation have enjoyed close ties as we both share the passion in giving back to society. We are glad to see so many students benefitting from the tuition programmes through the classes conducted by UTAR staff and assisted by UTAR students.”
Meanwhile, Lim in his speech enthused, “It is always fundamental for ECM Libra Foundation to help students in need to receive a quality education and indeed we feel education is an important component that will help in ensuring sustainable societal development. He added, “We offer grants to institutions and schools as well as interest-free loans to deserving students to pursue tertiary education. In addition to that, ECM Libra Foundation also provides various projects to needy schoolchildren through tuition, educational and non-academic programmes.”
Lim also highlighted the importance of English and Bahasa Malaysia by explaining that, “The purpose ECM Libra Foundation constantly provides English tuition programme to schoolchildren from new villages is to create awareness in the community and the parents that learning English can help the children to learn through more channels and sources. Grasping English can also be a huge benefit to help the children grow greater communication ability, in addition to accessing wider sources of information. I would like to encourage school students to take full advantage of the programme and embrace English to be a global leader in the future. Additionally, Bahasa Malaysia is also equally important as it is the national language of Malaysia. As a Malaysian, we should take pride in our national language and it is seen as an essential tool in promoting a sense of national identity. Therefore, we would also like to encourage the schoolchildren specifically from vernacular school to learn and master the Bahasa Malaysia as well.”
The English and Bahasa Malaysia Tuition programmes focused primarily on the teaching of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills to the school students. Apart from indoor learning, the students also engaged in interactive activities such as storytelling, grammar lessons, English language-related games, reading aloud, and singing action songs to stimulate students’ interest in English and Bahasa Malaysia.
Meanwhile, the components of the IT Tuition programme involved indoor class training on some basic programming and animation skills. The tuition programmes were conceptualised as an educational yet enjoyable platform to encourage young schoolchildren to be dynamic, creative and innovative. Guided by the instructors and UTAR student volunteers from various faculties, the school students had a whale of a time with exciting language and IT classes.
At the closing ceremony, schoolchildren from Standard One to Standard Six showcased their language ability through performances such as storytelling and singing English songs. The closing ceremony ended with Lim presenting prizes to the school students who had performed well in the final assessment as well as those who had shown great improvement in the programme.