Miri – 21 February 2010 – Students enrolled in Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak)’s January Intake Programme spent half a day organising a series of fun activities for the orphans at Kompleks Kebajikan Hamidah run by Persatuan Kebajikan Anak-anak Yatim Sarawak (PERYATIM) in Permyjaya on 12 February 2011. The activities were part of a project for their Malaysian Studies unit called ‘1 Malaysia, Caring Society’.
At the orphanage, the students were separated into groups, each group running a different activity with knowledge sharing as a key element for the children. The activities ranged from simple ice-breaking games, such as a draw-and-search game where the children had to draw names of their friends out of a bag and then search for them, to teaching the children how to make homemade washing detergent from fruit skins.“The kids were very sporting, friendly and very well-behaved. It was a most enjoyable experience and I’m glad we were able to spend time with them,” commented Audrey Jinjuli Disimond, a Foundation Studies (Commerce and Arts) student from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
According to Valerie Velina Nagreg, the students’ Malaysian Studies lecturer, the project involved 114 students from the degree, diploma and foundation programmes.
“Involving such a mix of students was good as it gave them a better understanding of the 1Malaysia concept. I was very impressed with their response to the project and see it as a good way of exposing them to the spirit of helping others in our multicultural society,” she said.
Hajjah Juliyanah binte Abdul Hamid, general manager of Kompleks Kebajikan Hamidah, was thankful to the Curtin students for their efforts. She said that the project’s aim of creating a sense of understanding, friendship, and respect transcending culture, race and religion was beneficial to the children at the facility.
She encouraged the Curtin students to organise more events at the facility and become mentors to the children, providing them educational support like tuition and study advice.“Curtin Sarawak already provides educational support for those sitting the UPSR, PMR and SPM, but hopefully with more mentors, all our children will have someone to guide them,” Hajjah Juliyanah said.
According to Hajjah Juliyanah, PERYATIM has been operational for 17 years, initially in Kuching and expanding to Miri seven years ago. Currently, there are 100 children aged between 7 to 17 years living at its Miri facility.
She said PERYATIM will assist any family which has lost either its breadwinner (the father), or both parents, and has a monthly income of less than RM750. Children under its care are provided education and supplementary education support, clothing, health care, nutrition and nourishment, lodging, transportation and allowances. It also teaches Islamic Studies to those who are Muslim.
Hajjah Juliyanah said the facility relies heavily on public support, adding that 90 percent of its income comes from public donations, and it welcomes all forms of assistance from the public.
Curtin Sarawak’s January Intake Programme is a special intake programme mainly for school leavers awaiting their SPM and STPM results. The five-week programme allows them to take the Ministry of Higher Education’s compulsory subjects for entry into tertiary studies (Malaysian Studies and Islamic or Moral Studies) before the actual start of the academic year in February (undergraduate programmes) or March (pre-university programmes).This gives them a significant head start on their university careers at Curtin Sarawak should their SPM or STPM results prove adequate for entry into any of the undergraduate or pre-university programmes offered.
In addition to these subjects, the programme incorporates the ‘Essentially Curtin’ module, which offers subjects in English Language, Critical Thinking and Computing Skills, Time Management, Mind Mapping and Learning Styles. This 10-hour per week module enables the students to adapt to the university environment as well as acquire the essential skills for a successful tertiary education.
The programme is also open to current students in foundation, diploma and degree programmes who would like to take advantage of their current semester break to complete the compulsory subjects, which they would otherwise have to complete sometime in their course of their studies.
For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit www.curtin.edu.my, call +60 85 44 3939 or e-mail [email protected]