KUALA SELANGOR: A total of 153 underprivileged pupils from seven primary schools are entitled to the Eco World Foundation’s aid programme.
During the programme's launching ceremony, the pupils were all smiles as they went up on stage and received their new school bags and stationery.
They will receive more aid such as free meals at schools, school fees and tuition fees when they return to school next year.
The pupils were from SK Saujana Utama, SK Bukit Kapar, SJKC Ijok, SJKC Chung Wah, SJKC Ying Wah, SJKT Bestari Jaya and SJKT Methodist - all from Kapar and Kuala Selangor areas.
Foundation chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said that with the addition of seven schools, it brought the total number of schools adopted by the foundation to 134, of which 33 of them were in Selangor.
"At present, the foundation is supporting 2,753 pupils from Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Pahang and Sabah through the programme.
"With a RM5mil annual budget, the programme adopts a holistic approach by addressing all aspects of a pupil's basic education needs, from school equipment, meals, to school fees and tuition fees.
"We hope to reduce the parents' burden so they can focus at work while their children's school needs are taken care of through this initiative," Lee said during the launch at the EcoWorld Gallery in Puncak Alam here Friday.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon was invited to launch the programme.
Also present were foundation trustees Tan Sri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad and Philip Matthews, Eco World International Bhd president and CEO Datuk Teow Leong Seng, Eco World Development Group Bhd president and CEO Datuk Chang Khim Wah, and executive director Datuk Voon Tin Yow.
Lee said pupils who achieved good results in their UPSR exam were also eligible under the programme.
"Currently, there are about 400 secondary students and 36 university students who continued benefiting from the programme after their primary education," he said, adding that 18 of the university students have graduated.
In his speech, Chong lauded EcoWorld Malaysia and the foundation’s noble effort in helping disadvantaged young Malaysians to improve their quality of life while focusing on promoting education as a key element in breaking out of poverty.
"Education is the ultimate way to change the destiny of a person, a society and even a country, and that explains the reason why we have the UPSR exam format changed and are doing away with the exam-oriented system at the primary level.
"It is a noble act for EcoWorld Malaysia to take the initiative to provide assistance to students right up to the university level," he added.