KUALA LUMPUR: “Pupils should make an effort to pick up books and read more. It is discouraging to see the reading culture on the decline,” says Eco World Foundation chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
He hoped the sponsored Step Up pullouts by The Star would help spark the interest to read among pupils.
“I hope that pupils will make the effort to read and put the sponsorship to good use,” Lee said after handing over a mock cheque worth RM30,000 to Star Media Group executive content officer Brian Martin.
The event was held at SJK(C) Yak Chee in Puchong.
Also present were Eco World Foundation trustee Tan Sri Mohd Radzi Sheikh, chief executive officer Datuk Liew Siong Sing and Star Media Group special officer in group managing director and chief executive officer’s office Loo Phan Kooi.
Since its inception in 2014, education has always been a focus of Eco World Foundation.
Step Up, an initiative by Star Media Group’s Newspaper-in-Education programme, seeks to improve English proficiency among primary school pupils and is in line with the foundation’s objective.
With the foundation stepping in to sponsor the pullout for the fourth time, Lee urged students to learn as many languages as possible in order to thrive.
“English, for example, is an international language and it is very important for our students to master it.
“The faster and easiest way to learn is through newspaper reading.
“I sincerely hope that the newspaper will benefit students and teachers in their learning activities,” said Lee.
SJK(C) Yak Chee headmaster Chin Ah Soon said the school had been encouraging parents to buy Step Up so that their children would benefit from having an additional English resource.
“The newspaper exposes pupils to more English and the pullout is also helpful to them,” he added.
Chin also emphasised the importance of mastering the English language.
“Chinese, Bahasa Malaysia and English are all important languages for pupils in Chinese schools.
“My son attended a Chinese school too. When he entered the workforce, English was more commonly used,” he said.
SJK(C) Yak Chee is one of 35 schools nationwide receiving the Step Up pullouts from July this year to May 2020.
The 24-page colourful pullout features Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia translations of difficult English words.
Step Up, which is now in its eighth year, is an activity-cum-workbook with syllabus-based content that tackles themes set by the Education Ministry for Years Four, Five and Six.
Contact The Star’s Step Up team at 1300-88-7828 during office hours (9am to 5pm) to enquire about the subscription packages and sponsorship programmes.