SMC Graduates Pay It Forward

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April 15, 2013 | New Straits Times | Farezza Hanum Rashid |

ROLE MODELS: Yayasan 1MDB scholarship recipients return to Sri Murugan Centre to serve as teachers and mentors

In line with the government's efforts to give better education opportunities to all Malaysians, Yayasan 1Malaysia Development Bhd (Yayasan 1MDB) provides financial aid to students who have excelled in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) examinations to pursue tertiary education.

To date, about 1.5 million Malaysians have benefited from the initiative.

Yayasan 1MDB's partners that have received grants include the Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim), Dong Jiao Zhong and Huaren Education Foundation (Huaren), Rumah Arau and Sri Murugan Centre (SMC).

Streets recently met three of the 175 SMC students who have received the 1MDB grant.

S. Navineah, 23, from Johor Baru received the grant for her excellent STPM results. She is currently pursuing a law degree at Brickfields Asia College.

Today she is SMC's SPM coordinator in charge of modules for 1,772 students nationwide.

"I have to also step up and excel in college because if I am going to motivate the students, I have to be an example to them," she said.

M. Kathiresan, 20, received his 1MDB grant last year. He is now a second-year mechanical engineering student at Uniten.

"With the grant, my tertiary education fees are covered. I don't need a part-time job to pay the fees.

Kathiresan and friends also visit the weaker students who need individual attention at home.

"By visiting them, we not only make sure that they keep on track with their studies, we are also letting them know that there are people who care about their future," said the undergraduate who has designed a 3D video for the students to learn Mathematics differently.

A. Linggeswaran, 20, is SMC's UPSR coordinator for 850 students nationwide.

With his 1MDB grant Linggeswaran's parents did not have to worry about his tuition fees and he could focus on studying as well as community service.

"People my age usually spend their weekends with entertainment so it is great to see so many students, especially from the Indian community, coming to the school instead to help change lives," he said.

  • Excerpt reproduced with the permission of The New Straits Times, Malaysia