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Letting little ones learn
Source:  The Star Online
Date:  Sunday December 14, 2014


Knowledge at their fingertips: Miliee (standing, left) and Kok introducing the pre-schoolers to the wonders of information technology.



SEVEN pre-schoolers at a charitable education centre at the Pangsapuri Enggang apartment, Bandar Kinrara, Puchong, recently discovered the wonders of information technology on their newly refurbished desktop computers.


Being first timers did not deter them and their tiny hands from handling the mice and keyboards, or exploring the various controls on the computers.


For the pre-schoolers of an underprivileged community in Puchong, the e-Learning initiative undertaken by F&N Dairies E.L.I.T.E. (Empowering Lives Through Education) programme, in conjunction with the Kassim Chin Humanity Foundation (KCHF), gave them a precious opportunity to obtain the basic foundations to learning.


The F&N Dairies E.L.I.T.E. programme was established to assist underprivileged children in taking learning to the next level, by empowering these children and their families to rise above their conditions and strive for a better future, effectively shaping the children into future agents of transformation for their families.


In 2011, F&N Dairies (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. partnered with the KCHF through their E.L.I.T.E programme, providing financial assistance for the upkeep of KCHF’s Pangsapuri Enggang tuition centre and food aid in the form of F&N milk products. To-date, over 300 children have benefited from the programme.


The F&N E.L.I.T.E e-Learning Centre is well-equipped with four refurbished computers pre-loaded with simple, user-friendly educational software, and will provide basic computer literacy to the underprivileged children at Pangsapuri Enggang.


“This initiative will help PangsapuriEnggang’s disadvantaged children access to computer and its many educational resources,” said Kassim Chin Humanity Foundation executive director Miliee Kassim.


“We value and appreciate the support of F&N Dairies to provide these deserving young people with the essential tools they will need to be successful in the future,” she added.


Speaking at the launch of the F&N E.L.I.T.E e-Learning Centre, F&N Dairies’ head (Human Capital) Zenas Kok said that computer literacy was a prerequisite for advancement in the 21st century.


The cost of acquiring computer related skills prevents the poor and underprivileged children from mastering these skills, which are in demand and gives them the basic foundation to education.


“We believe that all children have the potential to succeed and our goal is to nurture their development to the fullest,” said Kok.


“The launch of the new F&N E.L.I.T.E e-Learning Centre addresses the imbalance in opportunity among underprivileged children by giving them a chance to learn how to interact with computers, allows them to connect with the world and nourish their innate curiosity,” he stressed.


The new computer facility was launched at the F&N E.L.I.T.E. Graduation Ceremony 2014, which celebrated the completion of the foundation’s kindergarten course by seven pre-schoolers.


The young students of KCHF showed off their various talents in a concert featuring cultural dances, poem and pantun recitations, storytelling, singing and a fashion show.


At the graduation, F&N Dairies also renewed its annual pledge to the KCHF with a contribution of RM60,000 to finance the KCHF’s Pangsapuri Enggang education centre.


Among the graduates was six-year-old Nagavaitheswary Subramaniam who was first in her class.


“I can’t wait to go to school nex year, and meet new friends!” she said.


Her mother, Janaki Mardan praised Nagavaitheswary’s academic achievements.


“She is hardworking and puts extra effort into all she does,” said Janaki, adding that her daughter loves going to school and does her homework without being told. “My husband and I missed the opportunity to gain a basic education and we are happy for the opportunity that F&N Dairies and KCHF offer children from our community,” she said.


Kumar Odayappan, father of six-year-old Yashini Kumar was beaming with pride when he saw his daughter on stage.


“I am really proud of her. She stays focused when learning a new subject.


“It is great to see my daughter growing up equipped with knowledge and with a solid foundation,” he said.


“All children deserve a good education regardless of their families’ economic status or the neighbourhoods they live in,” said Kok.


“It’s inspiring to see the progress these children have made, not only in their language skills, but in their level of confidence,” he said.


KCHF’s Pangsapuri Enggang tuition centre was the first of five KCHF centres to be established and currently has an enrolment of 50 students, from pre-school to secondary school level.


The centre also extends its assistance to the children’s mothers, offering food aid and tailoring classes, as well as an annual camping trip in Semenyih for the children and their parents.