In Malaysia, SPM is the minimum requirement for a child to attain academic recognition to pursue tertiary education or even to enter the workforce. The uncertainties of COVID-19 have impacted students, depriving them of a fully functional school environment and affecting their education. While schools and teachers are endeavouring to provide them with online lessons, many students who do not have the means are left out of education in the new norm.
Digital poverty is increasing and this dilemma considerably affects students from low-income and marginalised families, having no access to necessary online tools and internet connectivity to learn online.
Rotary Malaysia’s “Laptopbank” project in collaboration with MB Inc Perak will see 100 Form 4 & 5 students who are preparing for their year-end 2021 and 2022 SPM examinations receive free laptops. Connectivity will be made available with YES through their respective schools. Project Strategic Partner, Brickfields Asia College will provide free SPMflix online learning for the students preparing for SPM.
“While many have to struggle with the basic necessities during these stressful times, for some with unemployed parents, education may not be a priority to them at the moment,” said Pathma Devy, President of the Rotary Club of Ipoh South. This project is to give every student an opportunity for education where deserving students are identified by Rotary Clubs in Perak and the Student Monitoring Process ensures that every student’s needs with regard to online learning are attended to,” she added.
“The challenges faced by students are huge and it is only through collaboration and strategic partnerships can such pressing problems be addressed collectively,” said Nor Afzanizam Abdul Manan, Chief Operating Officer of MB Inc, one of the leading Government Linked Companies (GLCs) in Perak.
“Since March 2020 when the MCO was enforced, Rotary Clubs in Malaysia embarked on providing emergency relief through its Food-Aid initiative. Rotary Malaysia has raised more than RM1.1 million distributing food items, grocery and healthcare essentials to families in need. The relief effort has reached more than 12,000 families and 10,000 frontlines. The Laptopbank project is Phase 2 of Rotary’s initiative, focusing on education and building on sustainable relief, and we welcome donations of laptops,” states Siti Subaidah Mustaffa, Rotary Past District Governor and the current Laptopbank project Chair.
The beneficiary of the first laptop for Perak is student Vishalini Selvam whose father, Selvam Maniam works as a gardener. The presentation was held at the Chambers of the Yang di-Pertua Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak.
“I welcome the engagement of the State, GLCs and Rotary as this synergised effort will strengthen the government mechanism to reach out and provide for our underserved communities, especially those in rural areas. Due to COVID-19, the use of technology becomes a necessity and we have a responsibility to ensure that the students are well equipped,” said YB Dato’ Mohamad Zahir bin Dato’ Abdul Khalid, Yang di-Pertua Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak.
Present at the presentation were YB Dato’ Mohamad Zahir bin Dato’ Abdul Khalid, Yang di-Pertua Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak; Nor Afzanizam Abdul Manan, Chief Operating Officer of MB Inc; Siti Subaidah Mustaffa, Past District Governor Rotary Malaysia; Kamarul Dato’ Mohd Arif, Assistant Governor of Rotary Malaysia; Pathma Devy, President of Rotary Club of Ipoh South; and Asokan Kandiah, Past President of the Rotary Club of Ipoh South.
Rotary International is a service organisation and with more than 200 Rotary clubs in Malaysia, their cause is to transform communities, irrespective of race, creed and culture. Rotary is where neighbours, friends, and problem-solvers share ideas, join leaders, and together, see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in communities, and in oneself.
To donate a laptop or support the Laptopbank project, complete the Donation Form at http://laptopbank.cloud.my
For further details, contact Siti Subaidah at firstname.lastname@example.org