A local firm will sponsor NiE pullouts to 20 schools in the hope that it will upgrade the level of English among its students. IT was not a language Zulkanain Kassim was familiar with when he was growing up and it was a struggle for him to learn English at school.
The Malaysian Electronic Payment System (MEPS) Sdn Bhd group managing director said: “I grew up in Kelantan. Throughout my school days, I hardly conversed in English and even then it was difficult. When I started working in Kuala Lumpur, I realised that English was widely used and that it is important for me to be proficient in the language.”
“I struggled in the beginning as I had to deal and communicate with business people in English. I wished I had picked it up earlier when I was still studying.”
Taking a cue from this important life lesson, Zulkanain hopes that teachers and students will benefit with the sponsorship of The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (NiE) programme for the second year.
An event was held at MEPS’s corporate office in Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur, where Zulkanain handed over a mock cheque worth RM20,000 to The Star’s specialist editor M.Shanmugam.
MEPS general manager of business development and marketing Michael Kumar and Star Publications (M) Bhd group enterprise (sponsorship) assistant manager Fabian Martin were also present at the event.
Zulkanain noted that it was best to start learning English at a young age. He also stressed the importance of effective communication in the global language.
“English is, after all, the universal medium of communication. In order to stay abreast with current affairs and technological advancements, we must acknowledge the importance of English.”
From a business standpoint, he said, a solid foundation in English would make Malaysia the preferred destination for business transactions and this will, in turn, spur the country’s economic growth.
Twenty schools from five states – Perak, Perlis, Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu – will be benefiting from the NiE pullouts sponsored by the company.
Zulkanain commended the NiE programme, saying that it was a good approach and a great way to learn the English language.
“NiE is an excellent tool for students and teachers in the classroom. It puts fun into learning. We are more than happy to support this effort as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project by MEPS.”
Actively involved in CSR projects, the company has participated in various charitable causes such as the KL Rat Race and, most recently, the MEPS-IJNF (National Heart Institute Foundation) Heart Surgery Project for Children partnership, where they part-sponsored the heart surgeries of paediatric patients.
The NiE school subscription package of 33 issues per year comes with a copy of the newspaper every Wednesday.
For enquiries on NiE packages and sponsorship programmes, contact The Star’s Customer Care Unit at 03 7967 1777 during office hours (Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm).
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