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Second chance at local varsities for school leavers
Published on: Sunday, April 22, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: School leavers who fail to secure a place at the public higher learning institutions now have a second chance to do so with the Jelajah Pendidikan Bumiputera 2018 Borneo Zone, which kicked off in Sepanggar, Saturday. Sepanggar has been picked as the first venue for the programme's Borneo Show roadshow, making it the 19 venue to host the programme nationwide.

The programme, inspired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, with its tagline #InilahPeluangku, #KitaBinaNegara and #JomSambungBelajar, takes public higher learning institutions to these school leavers and not the other way around. The roadshow, held at Dewan Masyarakat Manggatal, was officiated by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, who represented Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman.

"The programme gives a second or third chance to those who prior to this have had no opportunity to further their studies at the public higher learning institutions," said Abdul Rahman, who is Minister in charge of the Economic Planning Unit. He said the Prime Minister had instructed Yayasan Destini Anak Bangsa (YDAB) and Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Sahol Hamid, as the Jelajah Pendidikan Bumiputera Main Committee Chairman, to look for school leavers instead of them (school leavers) having to look for universities.

He said the programme was especially aimed at helping those in the city outskirts, interiors and from underprivileged families.

"Today we give our commitment to those who turn up at the Dewan Masyarakat Manggatal that all will get a place at public higher learning institutions," he assured, adding that on top of that, those offered a place will also be given a RM1,500 grant.

He said the education development agenda is one of the biggest commitments for Barisan Nasional under the leadership of Najib.

"When it comes to education, he (Najib) is very committed, he spends a lot on education.

In fact, education is one of the biggest items in our national budget year in year out," he said.

The target is focused on school leavers from 2013 to 2017, with close to 60,000 students benefiting from the programme since its launching last month.

For Sepanggar, some 2,336 school leavers turned up for the roadshow which offered 1,963 prospects from participating public higher learning institutions.

A total of 558 offer letters were given out during the one-day event, with 1,049 application forms submitted.

Among the lucky hopefuls was Terrance Wong Kui Fah who was offered a Diploma in Accountancy course at Kolej Felcra.

"It's been over a year since I completed my SPM. Many times I thought of continuing my studies but I didn't think I could since my grades were not that good," said the 19-year-old who is currently a Form Six student in Manggatal.

"The offer to further my studies gives me hope for a better future and I thank the Government for initiating a programme which gives hope and a second chance for students like me to further our studies at public higher learning institutions," he said.

After Sepanggar, the Jelajah Pendidikan Bumiputera 2018 Borneo Zone will go to Keningau, Keningau, Kota Marudu and Kinabatangan before moving on to Sarawak.

The roadshow targets 200,000 visitors nationwide, with the aim of getting 160,000 prospects because 65,000 offers awaits eligible applicants across the country. - Sherell Jeffrey


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