Easing tension with SPM tutoring sessions

Screenshots of AskBee, an on-demand video tutoring app that enables students to get one-to-one guidance in real time.

SOME 100 students from the Bukit Gasing constituency in Petaling Jaya who are sitting for their SPM examinations next month will be offered a micro-scholarship programme to help with their revision.

“This initiative is in collaboration with on-demand video tutoring app AskBee, as part of their #SaveSPM2020 campaign to help SPM 2020 candidates, ” said Bukit Gasing assemblyman R. Rajiv.

The app provides revision sessions through live, one-to-one guidance from volunteer teachers and tertiary students.

“Due to the pandemic, SPM 2020 was postponed twice and all lessons were conducted online for most of last year, ” Rajiv said in a statement.

“With the movement control order in effect again barely one month before SPM 2020 takes place (scheduled for Feb 22), we understand that most students will need as much coaching and assistance during this crucial period.

“With most tuition centres unable to operate, AskBee provides the necessary guidance for these students.”

Rajiv said he had urged the Education and Health ministries to announce the health and safety measures to be undertaken for SPM examinations as well as a possible back-up plan to secure the students’ future, should there be a need to postpone or cancel the national examination due to Covid-19.

“I have received many messages and comments from students who have expressed their concerns and anxieties over preparations for SPM and what will happen if it is postponed again, ” he said.

“Some have shared how depressed and demotivated they have become, with the uncertainties surrounding the examination and no clear picture of their future.”

AskBee is an on-demand video tutoring app that enables students to get one-to-one guidance in real time.

Students can select a subject they need help with and the app automatically matches them with a tutor who then appears live on screen.

Through the micro-scholarship programme, 100 students will be given 20 revision sessions each.

Each revision session is priced at RM1.

Rajiv said the scholarship was available to any SPM 2020 candidates attending secondary schools within Bukit Gasing, namely SMK (P) Assunta, SMK (P) Taman Petaling, SMK (L) Bukit Bintang, SMJK Katholik Petaling Jaya, SMK La Salle, SMK Sultan Abdul Samad and SMK Sri Utama.

A similar offer is also available in the Subang Jaya constituency, with assemblyman Michelle Ng’s office offering micro-scholarships for 150 students via the AskBee app.

It is available for SPM 2020 candidates studying in these schools: SMK Subang Jaya, SMK Subang Utama, SMK Seafield, SMK SS 17, SMK Bandar Sunway, SMK USJ 4, SMK USJ 13, SMK USJ 8, SMK USJ 12 and Sekolah Agama Menengah Bestari Subang Jaya.

“The app is almost like a delivery service for students. Only instead of food, you request for a revision session which is delivered to your screen if a tutor is available, ” said AskBee founder Jason Khong.

“Each revision session will last for about 15 to 20 minutes and the students can get help for core SPM subjects at any time.

“This gives students the flexibility to study at their own time and pace, and reduces their anxiety as the examination draws nearer.”

Khong said the company was collaborating with various education partners such as Teach For Malaysia, Generasi Gemilang, Real Education Group and Taylor’s Education Group to bring in volunteer tutors.

“We have also opened a call for tutors to join our campaign to #SaveSPM2020, ” he said.

“We invite university students to sign up as a tutor to help their juniors and provide academic peer support, it is almost like a “peer mentoring” programme.

“We also welcome companies or even the general public who would like to sponsor a student, from as low as RM20 per student for 20 revision sessions, similar to our collaboration with Rajiv.”

Khong said proceeds from AskBee’s #SaveSPM2020 tutoring sessions will go towards education non-governmental organisations such as Teach For Malaysia and Generasi Gemilang.

Applications for the micro-scholarship can be made via www.askbee.my/savespm2020 and is available until the allocation is used up.

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