Initiatives for needy students under home-based learning

Wan Junaidi (second left, back row) and others at the handover ceremony.

KUCHING: Bank Rakyat has launched the ‘BR Didik Digital’ initiative in collaboration with Yayasan Telekom Malaysia (YTM) to help students from asnaf (poor) and B40 families gain access to home-based teaching and learning.

Through this collaboration, Bank Rakyat donated tablets to 240 asnaf students between the ages of seven and 17 years old, involving RM105,000.

Meanwhile, Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), through YTM, contributed 740 #BEBAS Unifi Mobile SIM cards worth over RM180,000 to school students and Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) students.

In view of the worrying Covid-19 situation, Bank Rakyat took the initiative to assist students who were affected and faced difficulties in gaining access to meet the needs of the new norm of digital education, especially those from low-income and underprivileged families.

Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said his ministry welcomed the collaboration between Bank Rakyat and YTM through the ‘BR Didik Digital’ programme.

“During this difficult time in the post-Covid-19 era, many are still affected, especially students. Not everyone is fortunate and able to live life in this new norm. Therefore, it is hoped that such strategic collaboration can help support their learning sessions.

“This contribution is one of the efforts to make education inclusive to all,” he said when met at the handover ceremony of the tablets which took place in Santubong.

Bank Rakyat chairman Datuk Abd Rani Lebai Jaafar said the ‘BR Didik Digital’ programme was in line with the transformation of the national education system towards a digital education system, aimed at improving the skills of teachers and students with regard to the use of IT equipment.

He added that the contribution of tablets and internet data was in line with Bank Rakyat’s five-year strategic plan 2025 (BR25).

Bank Rakyat chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Syed Abdul Aziz Syed Hassan said, “This programme is one of the initiatives in implementing the mission of Bank Rakyat’s Sustainability Framework to provide continuous community development and ensure inclusive and quality education.”

It is hoped that these contributions and initiatives will pioneer digital learning models for future use as well as bridge the learning gap between those who can afford digital devices and those who are less able.

Meanwhile, YTM Board of Trustees member and TM group CEO Imri Mokhtar said through its  continuous commitment in driving Malaysia towards becoming a digital nation, YTM believed that every student was entitled to receive equal education regardless of location and family social status.

“YTM hopes that through the ‘BR Didik Digital’ programme, we can make it easier for our children to stay connected and more focused in their studies without any constraints.

“The contribution of these SIM cards is part of the Finance Ministry’s funds in supporting digital learning efforts among school students. Therefore, we hope this contribution can be the driving force behind the success of future leaders of the nation,” he said.

A total of 240 tablets will be handed over to asnaf students while the other 240 students will receive the #BEBAS Mobile Unifi internet data package for free for a year. The handover will be done in stages to nine identified schools.

The programme also provides free internet data packages for a year to 500 students from 10 MRSMs.

Meanwhile, a total of 20 asnaf students each from three schools — Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Bako, SMK Lundu and SMK Santubong in Kuching — received tablets while 20 others received #BEBAS Unifi Mobile SIM cards. The contribution was presented by Wan Junaidi, who is also Santubong MP.

Aside from Sarawak, students from Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Jalan Raja Syed Alwi, Kangar; SMK Tunku Putra, Langkawi; SMK Paloh, Gua Musang; SMK Kerteh; SK Satu, Jalan Hospital, Tapah; and SMK Taun Gusi, Kota Belud also received the assistance.

Students from selected MRSMs also received the internet data from YTM, including those at Arau, Langkawi, Balik Pulau, Taiping, Serting, Kem Terendak, Muar, Kuantan, Terengganu and Pengkalan Chepa.

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