Following the close collaboration with Teach For Malaysia (TFM) since October 2013, UTAR has embarked on a mission visit to secondary schools stationed with TFM teachers and has been tirelessly offering assistance to students.
Driven by the passion to promote affordable quality education and mental literacy to all, recently, UTAR Council-cum-Malaysia Mental Literacy Movement (MMLM) Chairman Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik led a delegation to visit SMK Dato’ Wan Ahmad Rasdi (DWAR), Changkat Jering and SMK Kamunting, Kamunting in northern Perak.
Head of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC), Perak Branch Campus, Assoc Prof Dr Choy Siew Chee was also present to accompany the trip.
The delegates were cordially received by the principal, assistant principals, head teachers and TFM fellows of each school and were introduced to the brief history, school and student activities, achievements and challenges faced. The TFM fellows of each school also presented their past and ongoing school-based as well as community engagement projects aimed to bring the best out of their students.
Impressed by the dedication of the TFM fellows and the success of the projects in benefitting mostly underachieving students in various potential ways, Tun Ling also extended his welcome to students of the schools to further their education at institutions under the University System of Tunku Abdul Rahman (USTAR), namely UTAR, TAR UC, the Institute of Childhood Education-Studies and Community Education (CECE) and KOJADI Institute.
“To date, UTAR has offered RM63 million worth of scholarships to deserving students to pursue their Foundation programmes. While we welcome top achievers by providing them scholarships, we’re also very interested in engaging the underachieving but talented, skillful students to hone their existing talents, be it in cooking, repairing, arts and performances and others,” remarked Tun Ling. He added that UTAR, along with TAR UC have the pool of experts available to coach the students in areas such as STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), sports, culinary arts and others should the schools require such assistance.
Acknowledging the importance of mental literacy amongst Malaysians, Tun Ling also warmly welcomed the schools to attend the upcoming 11th Malaysia Festival of the Mind held at UTAR Perak Campus from 8 to 9 August 2015. “We’d be happy to see all of you at the festival where the students will be shown and taught fascinating tips about tapping the potential of the human mind,” he said, further introducing West Wong Woon Chieng, a UTAR Actuarial Science alumnus who is also dubbed the “Human Calculator” of Malaysia to the schools. “West Wong is one of the outstanding UTAR alumni who won third place in the Flash Anzan category in the World Mental Olympic Games in 2012. It’ll be interesting to let the students know that if they can train their minds, they will also be able to calculate digits like how West Wong does,” Tun Ling said.
The visit also saw Wong demonstrating his extraordinary ability to give razor-sharp and accurate answers in split second for a series of equation thrown at him. Through his stunning demonstration which garnered applause from teachers and students alike, Wong also shared that Mathematics is a pattern. “Once the pattern is learnt, there is no reason to dread the digits because they can be calculated quickly and effortlessly,” he concluded.