Projek BacaBaca remains committed to uniting individuals from various walks of life, all working towards a shared goal of enhancing literacy among schoolchildren in underserved communities across Malaysia.
Made up of secondary school and tertiary-level students, working professionals, and retirees from around the country with a presence even in Bangladesh and Brunei, these dedicated volunteers, known as “reading coaches”, have collectively reached over 300 children who are at risk of falling into learning poverty.
Ongoing support from major corporate sponsors Mah Sing Foundation and Trinovik Labs has made it possible for Projek BacaBaca to spread its wings beyond its pilot phase held in PPR Seri Alam, Cheras to approach several primary schools and communities around Selangor and Kota Belud, Sabah.
This year, the programme is set to begin its first outreach with an Orang Asli school in the Klang Valley.
In 2023, the project saw encouraging results of improvement in Bahasa Malaysia and English reading and literacy skills between 90 to 91 per cent respectively over the course of eight months, among the participating students.
“My son Athavan has really improved a lot in terms of reading after participating in Projek BacaBaca,” shared beneficiary parent Chitra Devi, from Rawang.
“He used to be very weak in both BM and English reading and sometimes could not understand very simple words. But since then he has shown immense improvement and recently achieved Tahap Penguasaan (TP) 5 (competency score) for English at school.
“His reading coaches were impressed with him as well and I am forever thankful that he is able to have this opportunity to improve his reading strength and his education journey from now on.”
“One thing volunteering for Projek BacaBaca has taught me is definitely a sense of greater responsibility as even when there were busy days, I arranged for our weekly online sessions at a cafe or elsewhere when I’m not at home,” said reading coach Kazi Ishaat Mazhar, who is also one of Taylor’s international students from Bangladesh.
“I really love being their reading coach and having my students love learning with me too. I hope the knowledge I shared in our time together will continue to benefit them in the long run.”
“Through Projek BacaBaca, we aim to cultivate a positive and supportive reading environment for the children, where they can hone their reading skills and develop a lifelong love for learning and pursuing knowledge,” said Projek BacaBaca leader and Taylor’s School of Education senior lecturer Hema Letchamanan.
“Anyone who is enthusiastic about reading and believes in the power literacy has to transform lives can join us as a reading coach, whether or not you have prior teaching experience as we will provide the necessary training.”
Projek BacaBaca is an example of the Taylor’sphere ecosystem and one of the initiatives under the Education for All Impact Lab whereby like-minded partners, academics, and students come together to reach the nation’s most vulnerable populations, to provide them with the resources to spark a positive impact.
If you are interested in becoming a reading coach for the next phase commencing in April 2024, click here to register.