KUCHING: Mastering the English language will be an essential skill for students hoping to be successful in STEM studies, especially in an increasingly digital era.

To boost interest and confidence in the usage of English in rural schools, Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak is organising a one-day rural school and community outreach programme.

The event will be held in collaboration with Subis District Office and supported by Faradale Holdings at Niah in Miri on April 11.

Also joining the programme would be Azam members, Azam Toastmasters Club and youth volunteer group Azam Young Souls.

(STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – in an interdisciplinary and applied approach)

A total of 170 pupils from Primary Four to Primary Six, and 45 participants from Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) of SK Batu Niah, SK Rancangan Sepupok and SK Tanjung Belipat will be taking part in this programme.

Among the event highlights would be the Students’ Motivational Session titled “Being a successful student in the era of Digital Economy” by Azam member and SMT Learning Solutions PLT principal consultant Telemachus Lo.

There are also interactive sessions with the students by Azam Toastmasters Club titled “Boost Your English for Success” which aims to enhance their confidence in learning and using the English language, and a panel session with PTA members titled “PTA roles and contributions to furthering 21st Century Education”.

The panel session will feature key speakers from Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (Tegas) chief operating officer Awangku Merali Pengiran Mohamed, Education, Science and Technological Research Ministry (MESTR) principal assistant secretary Donald Henry Nohed, and SK Batu Niah headmaster Abdul Rashid Yaakub.

Azam board member Sharkawi Yassin will be the session’s moderator.

The programme will also see Azam donating about 500 new and pre-loved English reading books to the three participating primary schools as part of Azam’s initiatives to encourage young students to read, learn and master the English language.

The first book donation drive commenced in early February to date and was the result of generous donations from Azam members, Azam Toastmasters Club, Azam Young Souls, staff of Azam, and MyBookstore Sdn Bhd, Petra Jaya, Kuching.

As part of the outreach programme, the Azam delegation will visit Niah Cave and hold a social gathering in Miri to enhance rapport and networking with local partners.