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|Datu Hj. Abdul Rashid b. Haji Aziz receiving ISO 9002 Certification
for Yayasan Sarawak
The Sarawak Foundation was established under the Sarawak Foundation
Ordinance as a State Statutory in May 1971 with certain objectives, foremost amongst
which are education and welfare.
In the beginning the Foundation was formed more towards fulfilling its core activities
which is mainly education. Gradually it embarked on pursuing welfare activities
benefiting organisations such as the ex-Police and Army personnels, the Sarawak
Heart Foundation, to name just a few, and extending gifts and donation to victims
of disasters in the form of cash and kind.
In the past, the Sarawak Foundation was mainly seen as the provider of financial
assistance to students pursuing their studies at schools and institutions of higher
learning. Though that may still be true today, however the Foundation is revamping
itself to cater for the needs of the society at large.
True to its motto of being the "Catalyst in Educational Development," the Foundation
has geared itself towards community training and education. This continuous programme
is held to broaden the knowledge and skills of all level of the community - students,
peer groups, parents, community leaders and the public in general.
The aim of the programme is to help these people realise their aspirations and
dreams and bring out their potentials so that they could become members of society
who are well educated and with a vision and hence to enable them to have a better
quality of life.
Parental roles in Educational Excellence
|Yayasan Sarawak also conducts education awareness course
to instill among students the importance of education
In some of the rural areas of Sarawak, the backwardness of education is not solely
due to the lack infrastructure framework but the lackadaisical attitude of the
parents has been seen to be the contributing factor in this malaise.
For instance, they are more conscious of their social standing in the community
rather than be more concern of the educational needs and requirements of their
school-going children. As an example, there seems to be more modern furniture
and other gadgets in a house than study tables and other educational aids that
would make their children' s learning more conducive.
The Foundation started a course of seminars for parents in 1996 with the aim of
making the parents aware of their role and responsibilities in guiding their children
to have a better future through excellence in education.
Apart from that, the Foundation also ventures into motivational programmes such
as the Education Awareness Course to instill in students as well as their parents
the importance of education in shaping their future. A Smart Study Technique course
is also conducted to give emphasis on the advantages of systematic learning in
mind mapping, note taking, and scheduling. In addition students are also afforded
workshops on examination strategies and techniques.
In 1996 the Foundation introduced a project called HIPERS which stands for High
Performance Rural Schools project. HIPERS has the aim of helping to raise the
levels and number of passes for the Ujian Penilian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Penilian
Menegah Rendah (PMR) for students in rural areas. Under this project workshops
on educational and examination techniques are conducted for teachers and students
of those schools.
Education and Skills Enhancement programmes In 1998, the Foundation
together with the Sarawak Education Department initiated a programme which ensures
that the development of excellence in education in Sarawak runs concurrently with
other development and progress in Sarawak.
A sum of RM4 million was set aside for this joint programme over a 5 year period.
Activities such as the Mathematics and Science Enhancement Project, PRODELT (a
programme for the enhancement of the study of english for students and teachers),
in-service training, and the supply of teaching and learning aids to schools are
included under this programme.
Starting February 2000, the Foundation has initiated a RM5 million ‘Skills
Enhancement Programme.' The main purpose of this programme is to encourage school
leavers and those who have not been through the formal schooling process to pursue
technical training and to equip them with the necessary skills to face an ever
competitive job market. Eligibility under this programme is restricted to those
aged 24 years old and below.
Set up in 1996 to assist all Sarawak students, this fund is part and parcel of
the Foundations' Educational Assistance Schemes. Its main target is to provide
temporary financial help to students who have been accepted into the various institutions
of learning until they get their scholarship, loan or other educational assistance.
Even though enough publicity has been done to inform the public about the existence
of this fund, nevertheless many have still not heard about it. In fact it is a
fund where Sarawak Foundation can assist students who are in emergency financial
For instance, a student who has been accepted into an institution of higher learning
and has to register at a certain time, but lacking the money at the time to pay
for the purpose, he can approach the Foundation for assistance. The Foundation
would like to assure such students that their case will be speedily dealt with.
Shift of Focus
Fairly recently, the Sarawak Foundation and other similar Foundations in the country
have been advised by the Ministry of Education to shift their focus of assistance
to students who are not sponsored by the National Higher Education Fund. These
are students who are pursuing certificate courses at Polytechnics, and those who
are pursuing post graduate courses at approved institutions of higher learning.
An understanding has been reached between the Foundations in all the States in
Malaysia and the National Higher Education Fund initiated by Ministry of Education
on this matter.
Any financial assistance required by students entering public universities will
be seen to by the Ministry of Education. However, this does not mean that the
Foundations will leave the students in the lurch. Students can still approach
the Foundations for consideration based upon the merit of each case.
Computers to Schools
The Sarawak Foundation allocates RM5,000 per year to participating rural schools
for them to buy computers on condition that they are used by the students and
not used for administrative purposes.
On average about a hundred schools per year came under this assistance. The schools
would apply for the computers through the Education Department and the department
would forward the request to the Foundation for further action.
However, for a school to get the computer, it must first have a Computer Resource
Centre and a teacher who is conversant in computer knowledge.
The Sarawak Foundation is an MS ISO 9002 certified organisation obtained in 2000.
It has also won the Chief Minister's Award in conjunction with the Civil Service
Due emphasis is given to Quality in all its undertakings. The Foundation has a
section on Quality which is responsible for devising Q programmes. A proper analysis
would first be made on customers' needs before any Quality programmes are developed.
The Foundation practices an ongoing Quality programme. There is a critique session
which proves very popular amongst management and staff. Staff of the Foundation
is free to give ideas and criticisms during the session. This model is adopted
from de Bono's concurrent critics. This normally happen about three times a year
plus the regular morning prayers and an informal discussion among heads of departments
with the active participation of the staff themselves.
There is a panel of senior officers meeting every month to discuss on Quality
and ISO programmes, financial needs, etc.
For a more detailed information about the Sarawak Foundation and the services
it provide, please visit their website at www.yayasan.org.my