Curtin Sarawak students help primary six kids gear up for UPSR

Presentation by the participants.

Miri – 17 June 2010 – The Curtin Excellence Educational Facilitating Team (Curtin E-FacT) of Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak), a group of student volunteers committed to promoting learning in the local community through academic and motivational programmes, recently conducted a motivational camp for students of SJK (C) Chung Hua, Krokop, here in Miri.

The one-day ‘I’m No.1’ Camp was geared towards helping the 144 primary six students prepare for the upcoming Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) in August, instilling in them the motivation, confidence and discipline to excel.

The team of eight student facilitators, who have conducted several similar events in the past, agreed to conduct the camp at the invitation of the school.

In praising the efforts of the Curtin students, class teacher Chua Sim Ee said, “The camp was a worthwhile event to prepare our students for the UPSR. I think they gained a lot from it. The student facilitators from Curtin Sarawak set a very good example for the children, not only providing them motivation and guidance, but also encouraging them to continually excel in their studies so that they, too, may attend university someday.”

She added that as a result of such activities, the school is anticipating an increase in straight-A scorers this year.

Camp’s project manager Phang Kip Loong said the camp also taught the participating students and their teachers how to communicate and interact better with each other. To achieve this, the facilitators conducted challenging activities designed to help them boost their alertness and attentiveness in the classroom.

Indeed, the activity-packed day saw the students being divided into groups of 18 to 20 for a series of activity sessions of 30 minutes to an hour. The activities comprised seven modules with themes such as creativity, planning, teamwork and self-reflection, and required the participants to demonstrate teamwork, creativity and strategy to accomplish assigned tasks.

In addition, motivational videos were screened and short talks were given by the student facilitators.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of the camp. The students were very responsive and really enjoyed participating in the activities. Most of them expressed wishes of attending the camp again if they could. They also said they would readily recommend such camps to their friends and some suggested that perhaps the camp could have been longer than just a day. They all agreed that the camp was informative, interesting, and meaningful,” said Phang.

“The participants have gained much know-how in tackling academic challenges and have even set clear goals for their upcoming UPSR exam”, added student facilitator Wong Li Ming.

According to E-FacT president Mohd. Zulhilmi bin Mohd. Nasir, E-FacT was established at Curtin Sarawak in 2006 by a group of caring students who were mindful of challenges students in local schools were having in their studies and preparing for examinations and were determined to lend them a helping hand as a meaningful community service.

“We relate a lot of what we ourselves learn in the course of our studies to these students. A lot of the study support we get from our university, especially through The Learning Centre and workshops and motivational talks conducted for our students, are applicable to kids in primary and secondary schools as well,” said Mohd. Sulhilmi.

He said E-FacT consists of a team of hand-picked students who are subsequently trained to facilitate educational events. It operates under the auspices of Curtin Sarawak’s University Life Department and is one of the most active student organisations in terms of community outreach at the university.

“We work with local schools most of the time but are open to collaborating with other institutions and organisations. For instance, we have worked with Shell, Petronas, SCOMI and other institutions of higher learning in the past. We are always seeking partners from all sectors who are willing to join us in supporting the community,” said Head Facilitator Vincent Chin Hua Lung.

More information on E-FacT can be obtained by logging on to For information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at

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