In the December 2020 edition of Touchpoints, we took a closer look at the Foundation’s Learn From Home initiative (LFH): its origins, aims and achievements to date. Last time, we saw that the Foundation formed a collaboration with YTL Communications to offer SIM cards with free data to all students in government schools. This was followed by free phones being offered alongside a 120GB, 12-month data plan to B40 families with children in public schools, whose households do not have access to smartphones or other smart devices. Since then, further developments have been made.
This is the story of one such development: the Jaringan Prihatin x YES programme, in collaboration with YTL Foundation.
Jaringan Prihatin arrives at an opportune time. Well into 2020, it was apparent that home-based learning would continue in 2021. Since the establishment of LFH, the Foundation has received applications for free phones where demand has outweighed supply enormously. When the Government announced an allocation of RM1.5 billion to implement the Jaringan Prihatin, it was apparent that YES and the Foundation would be able to further press on with offering free phones, having been able to offer 100,000 smartphones by the beginning of 2021. As such, it made full sense to capitalise on the Jaringan Prihatin’s subsidy. By doing so, the Foundation would be able to meet the increasingly pressing demand for smartphones, while subsidising the remaining costs involved in procuring the smartphones and providing free SIM cards with data plans. With a subsidy of RM300 for families, the Foundation is now able to offer enhanced data plans as part of the package. This would allow wider access to devices and data plans, simultaneously ensuring the rakyat would not have to fork out an extra cent, which is not the case with other service providers.
The importance of these smartphones simply cannot be underestimated. As recently as early July, a news clip was featured on Astro Awani.
A grandmother, unable to afford her rent as a result of the MCO, living with two grandchildren. The camera pans in the direction of her grandchildren, sitting at a table: in hand, a YES Altitude smartphone, actively in use for an online lesson. It has become the case that in casting the proverbial net wider, we see those in dire need having access to a crucial gadget they would otherwise not have. This is, ultimately, the story behind the collaboration: one that affects a substantial amount of the population, made to broaden access while alleviating as much pressure as possible.
This is a story about bridging the divide.
YTL Sustainability recently organised the 2021 YTL Sustainathon Earth Day Art & Photography Contest to promote and raise awareness towards Making a Good Future Happen and Building the Right Thing. A few students from Leaps Academy participated in the contest and successfully placed in the contest! Ryan and Khaira, both aged 10, won second and third place respectively. Ryan’s piece incorporates his interest in designing and building robots, inspired by a futuristic drone in a comic book and his mom’s vacuum cleaner. On the other hand, Khaira’s piece shows a turtle made out of rubbish and recycled items, aimed at raising awareness on sea pollution. Both Ryan and Khaira have been actively attending Leaps Academy drawing class. To see the winning artwork, visit BTRT Website
This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit itOn 29th May 2021, FrogAsia organised Leaps of Knowledge: Episode E(njoy What You Do and Who You Do It With) as part of a wider seminar series titled Leaps of Knowledge: the HEART series. Leaps: Episode E featured the premiere of an engaging documentary-style episode, offering insightful perspectives on what it means to make education enjoyable and engaging in the contemporary world. Two interactive Masterclasses by icons of Malaysian theatre and practitioners of Design Thinking were subsequently held, capping off the day with a fun networking session where participants exchanged thoughts. Click here to read more!.