According to UNICEF, over five million children in Malaysia were unable to attend any in-school education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This led to them losing interest in their studies from the lack of motivation and stagnancy of not attending classes for a prolonged period.
This situation became worse for students who had poor or no internet access, especially the Orang Asli children. With the lockdowns stretching intermittently for the past one and a half years, schools have seen a decline in attendance due to students lacking proper devices to attend online classes such as laptops, tablets and stable internet connection.
In July, Gamudians came together to launch GL Cares, an initiative to aid those who need help in getting food essentials. At the same time, the Gamuda Parks team supported Orang Asli children from SK (A) Bukit Cheding and SK (A) Bukit Kemandol located nearby Gamuda Cove by providing 165 tablets and broadband access for one year. The aim is to ensure the students attend online classes without depending on their parents’ devices and subsequently, ignite their interest in education.
Students in SK (A) Bukit Cheding receiving the tablets
Additional English and Mathematics after-school classes are also being provided virtually to help them get back on track with their lessons after missing out nearly full year of school.
With the belief that everyone has the right to access to education, 34 special needs students are taught by qualified teachers who have the experience teaching down syndrome, cerebral palsy, ADHD, dyslexia and autism students. These classes are are conducted in a safe manner.
Ever since the daily classes started in early September, we have seen an increase in attendance from the students in their school and healthy participation during the additional classes.
With interactive classes that incorporate dancing and singing, students actively participate and get help with their school work via these additional classes.
The teachers from SK (A) Bukit Kemandol received the tablets on behalf of the students
Moving forward, plans include providing lessons to students on singing, arts and crafts, photography and music. This aims to foster new hobbies, improve their social skills, and explore new experiences.
Interactive virtual classes are held daily via Google Meet