Squash queen to power learning

Broadening horizons: Nicol introducing workshop participants to the educational resources at the APU computer lab.

Nicol David Organisation (NDO), spearheaded by the renowned squash champion Datuk Nicol Ann David, has embarked on a transformative journey alongside the Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU), converging their expertise to drive philanthropic endeavours.

Partnering with APU, NDO aims to harness the university’s pool of qualified professionals, particularly through the Asia Pacific Centre for Analytics (APCA), to introduce a series of creative computing workshops.

These workshops are designed to empower underprivileged students with essential computational skills, addressing the stark digital disparity prevalent among economically disadvantaged communities.

Commencing May 10, this initiative stems from a memorandum of understanding (MoU) inked between APU and NDO on Feb 6. Twenty-five students from marginalised backgrounds are undergoing a comprehensive 40-hour learning programme at APU, slated for completion by October.

Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science, which can help nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity, said Nicol in a press release.

“However, due to their social and economic status, most primary and secondary school students from B40 and M40 backgrounds do not have access to it, creating a digital divide where some students are knowledge-rich and others are knowledge-poor,” she said when inaugurating the learning programme.

APCA head and the varsity’s senior lecturer Hema Latha Krishna Nair said the programme’s objective is to offer hands-on learning experiences to B40 and M40 students.

“We at APU have formed a training team composed of experienced lecturers from the School of Technology led by senior lecturer Dr Veerakumar Soundrapandian.

“The team will lead the children to participate in meaningful and personally relevant computing activities, to study and rethink the creative practices of computing,” she added.

The training curriculum encompasses diverse modules, ranging from basic computer operations to fundamental game mechanics, meticulously crafted to instil both technical acumen and critical thinking prowess among participants.

In tandem with the workshops, APU students, under Hema’s guidance, developed the NDO Students Performance Analytics dashboard. This four-month project underscores the symbiotic relationship between academia and philanthropy, driving impactful innovation in education.

While APU extends its infrastructure and pedagogical support, NDO enriches the learning experience by furnishing robotic kits and imparting supplementary skills in English proficiency and squash.

The MoU outlines a strategic roadmap for collaborative ventures between APU and NDO, spanning domains like sports analytics, technology applications and educational interventions for the betterment of society.

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education , APU , Nicol David , NDO , squash , B40


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