Sarawak Foundation Student Retreat Program

1. Mersal (sitting third right, second row) with the students at the closing ceremony.

A relaxed way of learning

The Sarawak Foundation Student Retreat Program was hosted by the YSKL or Yayasan Sarawak (Sarawak Foundation) Kuala Lumpur Branch at the YSKL@Ampang. The programme lasted nine days, from September 2, 2022 to September 11, 2022.

The programme was attended by 41 students who were sponsored by the Sarawak Foundation under the Sarawak Foundation Student Exchange Program Scholarship (BPPPYS) and who attended the GENIUS@Pintar Negara Center, Full Boarding School (SBP), MRSM, and Sports Schools throughout Peninsular Malaysia.

YSKL has planned and organised a variety of activities, led by Franklyn Messat Kujang, Head of the Kuala Lumpur Office Branch, and assisted by Suhana Ahmad, YSKL Student Affairs Officer, and other YSKL staff.

The students had the opportunity to tour Kuala Lumpur and see the Petronas Twin Towers. The students’ visit to the National Monument or Tugu Negara continued the next day after hiking for a total of 5km at Taman Tugu in Kuala Lumpur, which all of the students successfully completed.

Melaka students get up close and personal with nature during a study trip to the Melaka Zoo, which houses over 1,200 animals, including 215 bird and reptile species.

On the same day, the students had the opportunity to visit the Ocean Museum (Flor de La Mar), which is located on Jalan Quayside near the mouth of the Melaka River. This museum depicts the evolution of trade since the Malacca Malay sultanate and is built in the shape of a Portuguese ship measuring 34m high, 36m long, and 8m wide. There are also paintings, old maps, ship models, and artefacts related to maritime and trade in Melaka on display.

The students took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the scenery of Melaka by riding the Taming Sari Tower, which rotates 360 degrees and stands 110m above the ground.

The student retreat week also included a Self-Esteem Camp at the Malacca Agrotourism Homestay Human Capital Camp for two days and one night, where students participated in various leadership, collaboration, communication, and public speaking activities.

A specially invited speaker, Dr Shafie Hj Lugom, also gave a talk on the topic of ‘Menebus Maruah Diri,’ in which he discussed self-management and effective learning as a school student. Comprehensive classes for Additional Mathematics and History subjects were also held throughout the week, and YSKL also invited Curtin University to share information about its courses.

At the closing ceremony, Sarawak Foundation director Mersal Abang Rosli spoke to the students about the importance of early exposure to personal development in order to face future challenges and ensure that the students are always taken seriously while under the Sarawak Foundation Student Exchange Program Scholarship (Peninsular Malaysia Zone). The Principal Assistant Director (Scholarships, Programs, and Assistance), senior officers from Yayasan Sarawak Headquarters, and YSKL staff all attended the closing ceremony.

Eva Mina Balan, a 14-year-old Lun Bawang student from Sekolah Sains Seri Puteri (SESERI) Kuala Lumpur, was overjoyed to be among the participants while also benefiting from the various activities.

Another student, 16-year-old Matthaeus Tambit Tomy from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s (UKM) GENIUS@Pintar Negara Center, felt that the essence of the programme is very suitable for the needs of students who need a relaxed way of learning while also providing more input through the hands-on learning given, and student Beatrice Racheal Deliven Budit from MRSM Tun Ghafar Baba Jasin, Malacca, also shares the same sentiment.

Nur Syazwani Mohammad Fadzli, a Form 5 student at Tunku Kurshiah College, provided feedback, saying that the essence of the programme implemented should be used as a basis because it drew her attention and encouraged her and her friends to participate in the upcoming Student Retreat Program. Marsya Muhaimi, a Form 2 student at Sekolah Tun Fatimah in Johor, is also looking forward to the next Student Retreat Program.

For more information on the Student Exchange Program, contact the Program and Assistance Section at 082-441686 ext. 103 or by email at ys@yayasansarawak.org.my.

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