Mah Sing Foundation And Taylor’s University Join Hands For The Fourth Consecutive Year To Empower Young Readers Through The “Projek BacaBaca” Initiative

23 May 2024

Kuala Lumpur – As Projek BacaBaca enters its fourth year, Mah Sing Foundation and Taylor’s University School of Education proudly celebrate the continued success of their collaborative effort to enhance literacy among primary school children. The official launch of the fourth phase commenced with the distribution of reading kits to 37 students at SJK (T) Seaport, Petaling Jaya recently. Dato’ Indera Syed Norulzaman b. Syed Kamarulzaman, Chairman of Mah Sing Foundation, Prema Ponnudurai, Director of Education for All Impact Lab at Taylor’s University, and Hema Letchamanan, Senior Lecturer and Project BacaBaca Lead at Taylor’s University, graced the event with their presence.

This year, 140 primary school students from B40 families will benefit from Projek BacaBaca. The students come from seven schools and communities across Klang Valley and Kota Belud, Sabah. The programme is conducted by trained volunteers known as “Reading Coaches”, who are secondary school and tertiary-level students, working professionals, and retirees from around the country.

Dato’ Indera Syed Norulzaman, Chairman of Mah Sing Foundation, expressed the importance of this ongoing collaboration: “The need for literacy programmes is incredibly high, especially in underserved communities. Our previous year’s impact showed remarkable results. In 2023, there was a significant improvement in Bahasa Malaysia and English reading and literacy skills, with increases of 90% and 91% respectively over the course of eight months. This reinforces our commitment to continue this partnership and reach even more children in need.”

Hema Letchamanan, Senior Lecturer at Taylor’s University School of Education and Project Leader of Projek BacaBaca, emphasised the transformative power of reading: “Reading is not merely a skill; it is a gateway to knowledge, empowerment, and opportunity. For children from disadvantaged backgrounds, access to quality education can be life-changing, breaking the cycle of poverty and unlocking their full potential. World Bank statistics in 2024 reveal that nearly 42% of children in Malaysia cannot read grade-appropriate texts by the time they complete Year 5. Projek BacaBaca aims to reverse this trend, ensuring that all children in Malaysia can read at grade level by the age of nine.”

Dato’ Indera Syed Norulzaman expressed gratitude for the enduring partnership with Taylor’s University and commended the remarkable progress made by the children. “This programme embodies Mah Sing Foundation’s steadfast commitment to education, recognising it as the cornerstone of a brighter future for every child. We are immensely proud of the strides these young readers have made and extend our heartfelt appreciation to the dedicated volunteers whose support has been instrumental in driving the programme’s success.”

“As we embark on the fourth year of Projek BacaBaca, we reaffirm our commitment to nurturing a generation of confident and proficient readers. Through this collaborative endeavour with Taylor’s University, we are not only imparting essential literacy skills but also instilling a lifelong love for learning. The impact of this programme extends far beyond the classroom, shaping the future leaders of our nation and paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable society,” said Dato’ Indera Syed Norulzaman.

 

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