Najib witnesses signing of MoU to help under-performing Orang Asli students

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Kuala Lumpur
– Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak today witnessed the signing of a strategic collaboration that will see aid given to under-performing Orang Asli students in the East Coast Economic Region that covers Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.

The cooperation, between the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) and MyKasih Foundation, will see 117 Orang Asli students given a cashless monthly allowance of RM60 through the MyKasih ‘Love My School’ student bursary smartcard.

A Memorandum of Understanding on the collaboration was signed at Parliament House today between ECERDC CEO Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John and MyKasih Foundation chairman and co-founder Tan Sri Dr Ngau Boon Keat.

The collaboration, through the ECERDC flagship human capital development programme – Empower ECER – will focus on improving the academic achievement of under-performing students, including the Orang Asli, in the rural areas.

“It is a part of the federal government’s overall strategy to ensure that the rakyat (people) benefit from the socio-economic transformation of ECER,” ECER and MyKasih said in a joint statement released to the media after the signing.

The statement said the smartcard would enable the students’ to take care of their daily necessities, such as buying their daily meals at the school canteen, as well as books, stationery, sports attire and learning essentials from the school bookshop.

Jebasingam was quoted as saying that the empower ECER-MyKasih programme was introduced earlier this year as part of ECERDC’s inclusive efforts to ensure all rakyat, regardless of their socio-economic background, can benefit from the spillover benefits of the region.

“The initial phase of these programmes have immensely benefited the Orang Asli students by providing a more conducive environment for studying and, as a result, we have seen better attendance and results among the students,” he said.

Ngau said MyKasih was pleased to be able to join hands with ECERDC to support the latter’s programme in schools, particularly the Orang Asli schools in the suburban and rural communities.

“We hope that through the cashless MyKasih student bursary scheme and other supporting activities, the students will no longer need to worry about daily meals and learning essentials, and can, therefore, focus on their studies,” he said.

At the ceremony, Najib, who is also the chairman of ECERDC, distributed school bags to students of Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Rual, Jeli, Kelantan, and Sekolah Kebangsaan Tasik Cini, Pekan, Pahang, in the presence of their parents and teachers. – Bernama