KUCHING, April 11: School children of Kampung Pulau Salak got to learn about the digital economy and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education recently, courtesy of Sacofa Sdn Bhd.
As part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), the state’s leading telecommunications infrastructure company extended its `Sacofa4U Community Outreach Programme’ to the island community for the second year running.
Collaborating with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s (Unimas) Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology (FCSIT), 33 Year 5 and Year 6 students of SK Salak participated in the programme’s Scratch 2.0 training and cybersecurity workshop at the university’s campus in Kota Samarahan.
Ten entrepreneurs participated in a Service Learning module, which is a three-module programme to provide a teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study.
The purpose of the programme was to learn, identify and address real needs in the communities while proposing technological solutions and explore the potential of turning these solutions into technopreneurship opportunities, Sacofa said in a statement today.
“Sacofa remains committed to doing its part to contribute to the socioeconomic development of the rural communities in Sarawak, such as Kampung Pulau Salak.
“We are deeply committed to ensuring that the digital divide is bridged in the rural communities,” Sacofa managing director Zaid Zaini commented on the outreach programme.
He added that Kampung Pulau Salak, an adopted community of Sacofa, was equipped with telecommunications infrastructure and technology that puts it on par with other connected areas in Malaysia.
“Naturally, the next step after implementation is to educate the community on how to positively leverage on the provision of internet connectivity with education, entrepreneurship and other facets of a digital lifestyle,” he added.
Dr Sze San Nah, FCSIT deputy dean (Commercialisation, Industry and Community Collaboration), said the digital STEM Education Programme provided a holistic experience for the students of SK Salak.
“They have explored the life in a university environment, learned programming skills through Scratch 2.0 and other digital devices.
“Service Learning, on the other hand, is a platform to establish the relationship between university and community through ICT projects that can benefit Pulau Salak.”
SK Salak headmistress Masni Bujang expressed content that the programme had received a positive response from students, parents and the local community.
“All students involved have given positive feedback to the digital education programme and enthusiastically requested that the activity be sustained to prepare them for further studies in the ICT field at Unimas,” she said.
To date, Sacofa4U has provided free high-speed Wi-Fi services to 10 locations and continues to expand its reach to more communities for a better-connected Sarawak.
Kampung Pulau Salak, which is accessible by a 20-minute boat ride from Pasir Pandak, Santubong, is home to a small fishing community.
The SACOFA4U community outreach programme’s primary goal is to bridge the digital divide and develop an e-knowledge society, promote human capital development in Sarawak, stimulate innovation and creativity in the telecommunications technology industry and to reinforce government, community and industry efforts towards an ICT-literate society. — DayakDaily