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KUCHING, July 8: Some 2,996 underprivileged students from 16 secondary schools in Sarawak were each given an iPad with data connectivity by Yayasan Petronas, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of national oil corporation Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), as part of a nationwide initiative to facilitate better access to online learning.
Yayasan Petronas in a statement said the recipients were from SMK Sematan, SMK Bau, SMK Penrissen, SMK Gedong, SMK Engkilili, SMK St Anthony, SMK Bandar Sarikei, SMK Julau, SMK Julau No 2, SMK Bandar Bintangor, SMK Agama Igan, SMK Three Rivers, SMK Baru Bintulu, SMK Sebauh, SMK Pujut and SMK Trusan.
The devices were distributed to them through the district education offices in Lundu, Bau, Padawan, Simunjan, Lubok Antu, Sarikei, Julau, Meradong, Dalat, Mukah, Bintulu, Tatau/Sebauh, Miri and Lawas from June 28 to July 6.
Yayasan Petronas added the contribution was part of its commitment to Cerdik, a pioneering CSR initiative by government-linked companies (GLCs) and government-linked investment companies (GLIs).
Petronas Sarawak general manager Zulaihi M Mantali said: “We want to provide equitable access to quality education for students so that no one will be left behind in the pursuit of academic excellence.
“With these contributions, we hope that more students, especially those from underprivileged and rural communities will have better access to online lessons, especially when the country is under lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.
Meanwhile, Yayasan Petronas has distributed 12,000 iPads and supporting devices worth RM30 million to 81 schools in 69 districts nationwide since May 2021.
The devices were equipped with free data services, maintenance, technical support and warranty while designed to support students’ learning requirements for three academic years.
Yayasan Petronas added it prioritises schools with a high percentage of students from underprivileged households for its CSR programme working in partnership with the Education Ministry, Finance Ministry and Yayasan Hasanah as well as other GLC and GLIC partners.
On the other hand, Cerdik is aimed at supporting lower-income families to better adjust to the new normal of online lessons, e-learning and other forms of remote teaching. — DayakDaily