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Charting brighter future for fishermen’s children

Charting brighter future for fishermen’s children

Published by The Star • 17/09/2022

Farizan (centre) chatting with students taking part in PHP-2022.

FIFTY students living or going to schools near the Penang South Islands (PSI) project site took part in a four-day Hybrid Education Programme (PHP-2022) organised by the Penang government in collaboration with Usains Holding Sdn Bhd.


The students including fishermen’s children, who will be sitting for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), were taught to answer examination questions and tips on how to study effectively using “gamification”.


Gamification refers to adding game design elements to an educational setting to make learning more fun and at the same time, taking the students’ emotional development into account.


Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) students provided guidance as mentors and buddies. Usains is the corporate arm of USM.


PHP-2022 will be conducted in two phases this month and in December. It will feature motivational and counselling sessions. There will also be parenting workshops to give advice to students’ parents on time management, family support and nutritious food for children.


The programme is part of a series launched by the state under the PSI project’s Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP).


It was launched by Penang Deputy Chief Minister I and Fishermen’s Task Force chairman Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman who was represented by Penang Infrastructure Corporation chief executive officer Datuk Seri Farizan Darus.


In October, two other programmes will be conducted under SIMP, namely “Learning Recovery Class” for Year One to Three pupils, and “Jaya Didik” which offers out-of-school tuition classes for primary and secondary schoolchildren.


The “Learning Recovery Class” programme, which will be conducted with the support of the Penang Education Department, is for children who have yet to master reading, writing and counting (3M) skills as their education was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.


These pupils will be given two extra classes each week at their schools, with meals and teaching materials provided.


The “Jaya Didik” programme provides tuition for fishermen’s children at centres identified as partners in the programme. The monthly tuition fee of RM200 per primary school pupil and RM250 per secondary school student will be borne by the state government.


The children of south Penang island fishermen registered with the Fisheries Department and who go to schools near the PSI site and beyond the area are eligible for the programme.


Children from other poor families in the project area and have the potential to succeed in SPM can also attend, but priority will be given to fishermen’s children.


Farizan, who read out Ahmad Zakiyuddin’s opening address at the launch at USM, said the state wanted to make sure the fishing community benefitted from the PSI development, in line with the Penang2030 Vision aimed at making Penang a smart and green family-focused state.


“We hope the children, in the short term, can take advantage of the job opportunities that will be created through the reclamation and construction process.


“In the long run, we hope that the children will become part of the highly skilled workforce in the new industrial park on Island A, which is Green Tech Park.


“The PSI development is expected to create 460,000 jobs by 2050, and the state is making an effort to find talents among the local children to support PSI and Penang’s economic growth,” he said.


The launch was also attended by families of students attending the PHP-2022 programme starting the same day. The students were from SMK Batu Maung, SMK Teluk Kumbar, SMK Seri Bayu and SMK Bayan Lepas.


Also present were Usains Holding Sdn Bhd group managing director Farid Wajidi Mat Yusoff and representatives of PSI’s project delivery partner SRS Consortium which had helped to plan the education programmes.


SRS Consortium deputy project director Azmi Mohamad advised the students to make the most of the PHP-2022 programme.


“I was told that USM students will be spending time with you as buddies.


“They are young and smart, so make friends, learn from them and make them your role models,” he said.

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