Manjung opens door for better future

Zahratulhayat Mat Arif

MANJUNG: THE best way to empower society is through education. By educating the younger generation, we are arming them with the skills and knowledge to help them grow, The PINTAR-TNB Student Leadership Programme, an initiative under the GLC Transformation Programme to help average and less advantaged children, is an example of how education can open the minds of the young. The camp, which has been running since 2007, has helped numerous students through its interesting programmes. PINTAR, which stands for ‘Promoting Intelligence, Nurturing Talent and Advocating Responsibility’, is a collaboration between Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and the Pintar Foundation. It supports students via an adopted school concept. From two adopted schools in 2007, the programme has grown, and TNB now has 18 adopted schools for the 2017-2019 period. The programme is supported by the Finance and Education Ministries. It targets average students with the intention to instill leadership potential in each student, so that after a three-year period the student will display excellent leadership skills as well as academic excellence.

(File pix) Technician Ku Halim Ku Ahmad briefing the students on the operations of the Sultan Azlan Shah Power Plant. Pix by Muhaizan Yahya

This year, a visit was held for the students to the Sultan Azlan Shah Power Plant in Manjung, with the intention to expose the students to the principles of physics and chemistry in action, as well as to open their eyes to the engineering profession and teach them about environmental sustainability. TNB Senior General Manager (Corporate Affairs) Datuk Ir Mohd Aminuddin Mohd Amin said the objective of this programme was to give leadership exposure to students and prepare them for their UPSR examinations. “This is done by many ways, including by revising the techniques of learning skills, motivation workshops, extra classes and much more.” “This time, the students also got to visit the Sultan Azlan Shah Power Plant, giving them exposure on the operations of the station which uses the latest technology. At the same time this is a new experience for them and we hope to open their eyes on a future career as an engineer,” he said.

(File pix) Datuk Ir Mohd. Aminuddin Mohd Amin. Pix courtesy of TNB

Mohd Aminuddin said he hoped the programme would continue to bring benefit to the students and the teachers. Besides sponsoring academic and leadership programmes and activities, there is also a representative from the TNB state management office who acts as a mentor for the schools. TNB also monitors the programme via periodic visits. Among the programmes that have been held include camps for teachers and students, hockey camps, motivation workshops, extra classes during weekends and school holidays, UPSR Clinic, Yasin prayers, NIE workshops for teachers and many more.

(File pix) The students were exposed to the operations of the power plant. Pix by Muhaizan Yahya

Transforming young minds Seeing her parents waking up early in the morning every day to tap and collect rubber, has made Nur Salsabilla Mohd Sobri determined to change her family’s life for the better. The 11-year-old student of Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Tan Sri Ghazali Jawi in Grik here, knows that education is the best tool for her to change the fate of her family. “I realise that I am still young, but that will not deter my spirit to help my parents and it must start now. I used to be a shy kid in my kampung but today, I believe my kampung would be dull without me,” she wittily said. Nur Salsabilla, who hails from Kampung Air Panas, Grik said she could not have done it if she was not selected for the Pintar-TNB Student Leadership Programme. “The programme has helped me enhance my communication and soft skills, as well as boost my self-confidence. I used to be a shy student but now I am talkative, and can express myself better,” said Nur Salsabilla who wishes to be a doctor. She is one of the participants who attended the three-day camp which took place at Orient Star Hotel in Lumut here. This year, for the first time, the students were taken to visit the Sultan Azlan Shah Power Plant. The schoolchildren took on a variety of modules and courses that were designed to enhance self-awareness, personal growth, and management as well as leadership and academic achievements. Echoing her sentiment was Muhammad Haiqal Mohd Ridzuan from SK Tanjung Batu in Pekan, Pahang who gave the thumbs up on the contents of the programme. “I spent three days here and I get to make new friends from Selangor, Kedah, Terengganu, Kelantan and more. This was also my first time in Perak,” he said. Muhammad Haiqal said besides having new friends, he was also excited to learn how electricity was produced during the field trip to the power plant. “I have never thought that the electricity could be produced by using coal. The power plant is huge and it supplies up to 25 per cent of our country’s electricity supply. “It is amazing and something new for me. The explanation given by the staff on how electricity is produced was really fascinating. This camp is packed with knowledge and it drives me to be an engineer,” he said.

(File pix) Salina Saad. Pix by Muhaizan Yahya

Salina Saad, a teacher of SK Jelutong, Penang, said her school was adopted by TNB since last year and the eight students who were chosen to take part in the programme have shown positive development. “A healthy self-esteem is a child’s armour against the world’s challenges. Children who know their strengths and weaknesses are better at handling conflict. “The programme has definitely met the objective which is to guide them in terms of leadership, academic and soft skills,” she said. Mohamad Safirudin Hamdan, a teacher at SK Datuk Akhir Zaman in Negri Sembilan said it was a good initiative taken by the TNB in carrying out their corporate social responsibility. “Having to teach students in the rural areas for years, most of them refuse to come forward and they find it hard to express their opinions during the learning session. But for those students who had participated in this programme, I have seen some changes. “Even though it is still early, but there has indeed been a change in the students. They can now express their opinions and ideas,” he added.

(File pix) Mohamad Safirudin Hamdan. Pix by Muhaizan Yahya

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