PETALING JAYA: Having studied at a small town Chinese school, TSH Resources chairman Datuk Kelvin Tan understands that English may not be the strength of pupils from vernacular schools.
This was one of the reasons that prompted him to continue the sponsorship of The Star’s English education pullout Step Up for the sixth consecutive year.
“English is a very important language, especially in business. For pupils to be conversant in English, one of the avenues is to encourage them to read more, especially English newspapers,” he said after handing over a mock cheque to Star Media Group managing director and CEO Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai at Menara Star yesterday.
“Pupils build important foundations in primary school. Also, when they go to universities, they may not have a lot of time to focus on language learning at this level.
“It is best to start learning a language when pupils are still young. It is during this time that they can absorb like a sponge.”
As a native of Perak, Tan is channelling the sponsorship to 25 selected non-urban schools in the state.
Seven schools in Tawau, Sabah, will also receive the sponsorship as TSH Resources Berhad began its business in oil palm plantation there.
This sustained effort in helping pupils master the English language started in 2012.
“To help build a strong language base in schools, it cannot be a one–off contribution,” he said.
“It is overwhelming to receive thank-you cards and letters from pupils. I really appreciate it. I have the cards framed at the lobby of Menara TSH. It is something that money cannot buy.”
Furthermore, he said Step Up had proven itself to be effective. The pullout has a total of 17 issues per year, which includes four revision issues in examination format.
This educational supplement is an initiative by The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (NiE) programme that features Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia translation of words.
The version with the Bahasa Malaysia translation is published on alternate Tuesdays while the one with Chinese translation comes out on alternate Thursdays.
For details on the Star-NiE school sponsorship programme, call The Star’s Customer Care Unit at 1300 887 827 from Monday to Friday (9am to 5pm).