By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, July 5: The state government will continue its partnership with Petronas to empower education opportunities for Sarawak students.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari said the state and the national oil corporation must put aside their political differences to help students gain better accessibility to quality education.
“This is the spirit of Sarawak and Petronas. Although we got some differences, but in the common spirit of education, we are one. Petronas has helped us a lot in the past and I’m sure this will continue in the future.
“With this sort of partnership I’m sure we will be able to prepare ourselves and our students for the challenging times ahead,” he said at the Petronas Education Sponsorship Programme (PESP) presentation here today.
A total of 149 students and 44 outstanding SPM achievers received the sponsorship to pursue their degree in Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP), as well as in universities overseas.
Petronas allocated RM156 million this year to fund the studies of 400 Malaysians who will pursue tertiary studies in various fields including chemical, petroleum and mechanical engineering, law and other industry-related courses at UTP and universities in Australia, Canada, China, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States.
Petronas chairman Datuk Ahmad Nizam Salleh said the organisation aims to unlock true potential of students by providing the sponsorship to continue its legacy and bring the industry and country to greater heights.
He added that PESP, as well as the Vocational Institutions Sponsorship and Training Assistance (VISTA) and BUDI (which nurtures interest in science-related subjects) sponsorship, are part of a strategic initiative by Petronas to help the state and nation to meet their human capital requirements in the oil and gas industry, as well as in other disciplines.
A total of 54 Sarawakian students received sponsorship under the VISTA programme to pursue technical training at selected vocational institutions in the country.
In addition, 51 under privileged students were awarded scholarships under the Budi-PETRONAS programme to study at MARA Junior Science College (MRSM) in the state and to assist in their academic performance and nurture their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
“The students would receive yearly allowances to pay for their school uniforms, textbooks, learning aids and other necessities.”
The PESP is part of Petronas’ ongoing corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitment towards education and supporting human capital development.
Since its inception in 1975, PESP has benefited more than 36,800 students with an estimated investment value of more than RM3.3 billion. — DayakDaily