Ensuring kids in need get an education


Surmounting challenges: A teacher addressing parents and guardians during a meet-up. (Inset) Zaharah

KLUANG: In a bid to prevent underprivileged children from abandoning their studies, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) has come up with a programme to provide free tuition.

Free Market Johor coordinator Zaharah Raishan Mohd Yassin said the initiative, which started about four years ago, has benefited some 80 children so far.

“We want to ensure that children from difficult backgrounds do not give up on their studies just because of their circumstances. This is important as they would stand a far greater chance of changing their lives through education,” she said.

 Zaharah said Free Market Johor is collaborating with a tuition centre in Kampung Gajah here where classes are held for these children.

“We share with our donors details about the children’s family background and the challenges they face.

“Each donor will then ‘adopt a child’ and help pay for that child’s monthly tuition fees for the year.

“The subjects they study depend on their age and academic needs.

“Sometimes, the children will go to the tuition centre on days that they do not have any classes just so that they can have a comfortable space to study,” she said.

Zaharah said about RM2,800 is needed every month to sponsor the tuition classes for the children, who are aged between nine and 19.

“Our donors are paying between RM75 and RM195 every month, depending on the number of classes the children take.

“At the moment, we are able to provide classes to 20 students in a year. The spots of those who have graduated will be replaced by other needy children,” she said.

She also said the children under the initiative are required to give their full commitment by attending all the classes.

“We have reminded the children and their guardians on the importance we place on attendance as we want to make sure that they are really serious about their studies.

ZaharahZaharah

“If they fail to do so, we will give the spot to other children who are in need of such support.

“We want them to take this opportunity very seriously, work hard towards achieving their goals and to have a better future,” she said.

Zaharah said schoolchildren attending the classes include those who have lost one or both parents, the hardcore poor and children of single parents.

“Many of them are also working part-time despite still being students.

“We hope this initiative will motivate them to stay in school regardless of their circumstances and to let them know that there are people who care about them,” she said.

“Our aim is not to produce high achievers but to help them improve on their studies. We want to give them a chance to uplift their lives.

“In fact, many of the children who benefited from the programme were also the first in their families to go into tertiary education,” she added.

Apart from the free tuition initiative, the NGO also organises markets at various locations once every few months where people in need can take anything they require for free.

Another is the Free Canteen programme where hot meals are given to underprivileged students in selected schools.

Those interested to support or find out more can go to the NGO’s Facebook page at https://web.facebook.com/freemarketjohor

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Human Interest , SGHA , Golden Hearts

   

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