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ASTRO KASIH Presents RM40,000 to SK Magandai for Education
Published on: Saturday, November 19, 2022
By: Ricardo Unto
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SK Magandai is muse and inspiration to Astro’s ESG efforts in the community
SK Magandai is muse and inspiration to Astro’s ESG efforts in the community
Kota Kinabalu: SINCE establishing Astro Hostels in 2010, Astro Kasih, the sustainability arm of Astro has supported students residing in remote interiors of East Malaysia as they walk to school, some up to two kilometres and some even more.

According to Astro, the dropout rates have reduced significantly since these hostels were built.

Many of the students had a low attendance rate, as low as 30 to 40 per cent, before moving into these hostels.

One such hostel was built in SK Magandai, located about 70 kilometres from Kota Marudu township.

The hostel was officiated in 2011 and currently houses about 50 pupils, said SK Magandai headmaster Jairun Maiba.

Building friendship in the course of championing education for 138 students in SK Magandai

“We truly appreciate the contributions from Astro, especially the hostel – if not, some of them cannot continue their studies.

“The Astro Kasih hostel has helped many pupils and we are truly grateful for that.

“Not a year goes by without Astro providing a contribution to the school, and to date, Astro has been the biggest aid contributor to the school,” he said during a visit by an Astro team led by Astro’s Group Chief Executive Officer – Designate, Euan Smith, on Nov 15.

SK Magandai has 13 teachers and five non-teaching staff with 136 pupils.

SK Magandai chalked a new record in 2011 by achieving the highest passing rate of 87.5%, making them the top in the Kota Marudu district since the hostel was built

“However, there is only 100 active attendances among pupils while the rest have been attending school on-off due to several factors – difficulties to go to school and family’s socio-economic status.

“All of the families in the area are self-subsistent farmers with a monthly per capita income of RM1,000 and below, which is below the poverty line.

“The pupils here came from seven villages, located between one kilometre and 40 kilometres from the school.

“Some of the villages still do not have road access and this caused some of the pupils to walk through the woods and some reached the school after a seven to eight-hour walk.

“These are some of the challenges faced by the pupils,” he said.

Teacher and students of SK Magandai sharing stories of their daily school life.

Annually, Astro Kasih has helped students nationwide save over 190,000 hours on the daily school commute as well as providing them with hostel facilities, laptops, revision books, shoes, uniforms and other educational supplies.

Astro Kasih champions education for all by supporting students residing in remote interiors in East Malaysia by creating a conducive living and learning environment.

The pupils’ UPSR pass rates improved by an average of 39.4 per cent across the three schools that received aid from Astro Kasih – SK Malinsau, Ranau, SK Magandai, Kota Marudu, and SK Sungai Paku, Kapit (Sarawak), from 2010 to 2019.

SK Magandai maintained a 100 per cent passing rate for three years in English (Comprehension) from 2016-2018, and for five years in Science from 2015-2019.

The school also chalked a new record in 2011 by achieving the highest passing rate of 87.5 per cent, making them the “Best School with the Highest Passing Rate” in Kota Marudu.

During the visit, Smith also handed over a mock cheque and educational items worth RM40,000 to SK Magandai.

The items included tables and chairs, LCD (liquid crystal display) projector, PA (public address) system, learning books and other educational items.

Smith also announced a RM500 education grant to be given to the Top 3 Year 6 students to support their education.

There are 27 Year 6 pupils in SK Magandai, this year.

Championing education for all students.

Smith said programmes such as the visit to SK Magandai are the best part of his job.

“I have lived in nine countries and doing this, good things for education and conservation is the best part of the day.

“It is a privilege to be able to spend time and come to see you (staff and pupils of SK Magandai).”

As for the education grant, he hopes it would be an extra push for the school children to do better in school.

“I am looking forward to hearing about you, and seeing all your great work and progress,” he said.



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