he Star, April 28, 2021
by Vijenthi Nair
A TOTAL of 62 students from Section 17 and Kampung Baru Damansara in Petaling Jaya have enrolled for free online Bahasa Melayu and English tuition classes, courtesy of the Petaling Jaya MP’s service centre.
To help students who have fallen behind in their studies — especially those from underprivileged backgrounds — because of school closures during the movement control order, Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah and Petaling Jaya City councillor Bryan Ng Yih Min pooled their resources to run a “Tuition for a Cause” programme at the Section 17 community hall every Saturday, starting from April 24.
Maria said they were grateful to sponsors and volunteers who had contributed to the cause.
“YTL Foundation donated 15 Chromebooks and committed teachers from its Leaps Academy to kick off the lessons.
“Generous individuals donated tables, chairs and earphones to be used during the lessons.
“We have also shortlisted 20 volunteer teachers, who will be trained to take over lessons when they are ready, ” said Maria at the programme’s launch, which coincided with the first day of the class.
Ng said students, who had their own computers or smart devices, could follow the lessons from home, while those who did not, could go to the community hall to use the facilities there.
“Every lesson will be an hour and 15 minutes long.
“There will be volunteers to help the students with the devices at the hall, ” he said.
Also present were YTL Foundation programme director Datuk Kathleen Chew Wai Lin and several volunteer teachers.
Among them were retired airline senior manager Daud Abdul Kadir, 74, from Subang Jaya, retired agriculturist Billy Woo, 77, from Subang Jaya and retired human resources trainer Jaline Wellington, 67, from Kelana Jaya.
Daud said he believed retirees should continue to contribute to society and signed up to teach English to upper secondary students.
“The level of English among students is dropping.
“Forms 4 and 5 are vital years to brush up on the language before they step out into the world.
“With much time on my hands at the moment, I hope that I can be of help to these students, ” he said.
Woo said his patriotic spirit motivated him to contribute to nation building.
“I came to know about the call for volunteer teachers and decided to sign up, since I have the time to do it, ” he said.
Wellington said she had always loved teaching and got her Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages certificate after retirement.
“I took up various jobs at private schools and language centres, but I have not been working over the past year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I want to continue teaching, so I signed up as a volunteer, ” she said.