Liberating the Illiterate – Holiday Education for the Poor Children of Jinjang Utara

A HELP University student teaching the children, Jolly Phonics English curriculum
A HELP University student teaching the children, Jolly Phonics English curriculum

 

During this year-end school holiday, Acts Global Networking (AGN) launched a three-day English literacy programme from 7th to 9th of December for Jinjang Utara Rumah Panjang in collaboration with HELP University (HELP).

A total of 140 children of Jinjang Utara aged 6 to 17 learned how to read and write English from the Jolly Phonics English curriculum, some of them for the first time.  

Held at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Jinjang, YB Datuk Dr. Loga Bala Mohan, Deputy Minister of Federal Territories, officiated the closing ceremony of this programme.

Pastor Raymond Mooi, Director of AGN, gave a closing speech, followed by Dato’ Professor Dr. Zakaria Ahmad, HELP University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), and YB Datuk Dr. Loga Bala Mohan.

Souvenirs were presented to the sponsors for the event before the live demonstration of students completing the English literacy programme.

 

Presentation of appreciation plaque by YB Datuk Dr. Loga (middle) to HELP representative Dato’ Professor Dr. Zakaria Ahmad (right), accompanied by AGN Director Rev Raymond Mooi (left)
Presentation of appreciation plaque by YB Datuk Dr. Loga (middle) to HELP representative Dato’ Professor Dr. Zakaria Ahmad (right), accompanied by AGN Director Rev Raymond Mooi (left)
Pastor Raymond Mooi, AGN Director, giving a speech in the closing ceremony
Pastor Raymond Mooi, AGN Director, giving a speech in the closing ceremony

 

“Education is one of the few things that does not get wasted, lost or devalued. Not only a child can gain knowledge through education, learning also trains his or her mental discipline.

“A better educated child has a better chance in their future career, especially in a time where illiteracy is almost impossible to find,” said Pastor Raymond Mooi, Director of AGN.

 

Arrival of the poor children of Jinjang Utara at the school by a AGN-sponsored bus
Arrival of the poor children of Jinjang Utara at the school by a AGN-sponsored bus

 

Whilst many parents enroll their children for school holiday camps to acquire a new skill, hundreds of parents from Jinjang Utara could not even make ends meet.

Living in a hand-to-mouth existence, ten children are typically found cramped into a dilapidated 480-square-foot space, amidst increasing threats of gangs, drug pushers, prostitution, and violence.

Hence, in light of their plight, AGN decided to teach the poor children of Jinjang Utara English language, an international and global language.

Widely employed by schools in United Kingdom, they decided to employ the Jolly Phonics English curriculum to teach.

 

A student of HELP university teaching the poor children of Jinjang Utara how to read
A student of HELP university teaching the poor children of Jinjang Utara how to read

 

“We employ this curriculum to help the poor children of Jinjang Utara to read and write English. Most of them do not go to school – some even at the age of ten to eleven years old.

“Hence, through this programme, we hope to assist them to gain entry into schools and complete their education,” said Mary Ramamoothy, Event Coordinator of AGN, adding how they also provide them tuition assistance as well.

Under Datin Sarah Skadiang, certified trainer of the curriculum, 30 HELP college students were vigorously trained over two days to teach the poor children of Jinjang Utara synthetic phonics.

The result of programme was staggering as the children successfully mastered all 42 sounds. This shows us that the children have a high enthusiasm and capacity of learning a new language, which is undoubtedly the doorway to acquiring more knowledge in the English medium.

 

Enthusiastic faces of the children, having mastered all 42 sounds
Enthusiastic faces of the children, having mastered all 42 sounds

 

“I am so amazed with how the children could pick up English so quickly. When they first came, some of them could not even speak a word. But in only three days, all of them could speak English,” said Jonathan Ambalagan, another AGN Event Coordinator.

“Moving forward, we hope to get more well-educated and qualified individuals who would volunteer to teach the children on a regular and consistent basis.

“We have the burden for their future. But change can only happen when we put our hands together for a single cause,” added Chong Weng Lian, Chief Operating Officer of HELP Academy.

 

Revision of the lessons led by Jolly Phonics trainer, Datin Sarah Skadiang
Revision of the lessons led by Jolly Phonics trainer, Datin Sarah Skadiang

 

Growing up as an orphan, Pastor Raymond also echoed the same sentiment, “Compassion will always give you the passion to go the extra mile and make a sacrifice to serve the ones you love with joy.

“In fact, I believe that all of us can really be God’s answers to those who are sick, those without hope, and those who are suffering and hurting. We truly hope that more people can join us to help these children.”

 

Live Demo of the Jinjang Utara children of the Jolly Phonics programme
Live Demo of the Jinjang Utara children of the Jolly Phonics programme

 

The poor children of Jinjang Utara need our support! We know that only education holds the power to break poverty.

Support a child for one year now with only RM1000. This amount will cover a child’s uniforms, shoes, school fees, transportation fees, and curricular activities.

AGN is also currently raising funds to build a resource center for the poor community of Jinjang Utara.

 

 Group photo at the Closing Ceremony with the VIPS, Jinjang Utara children, teachers from HELP and volunteers from AGN

Group photo at the Closing Ceremony with the VIPS, Jinjang Utara children, teachers from HELP and volunteers from AGN

 

For this three-day launch, AGN sponsored the food, learning materials, stationery and transportation for all the students, while HELP covered the training cost for the teachers.

Please contact Mary Ramamoothy, Event Coordinator of AGN, if you would like to assist as a volunteer or assist financially. You can contact her at 016-367-2568 or email her at maryjonathan.acts@gmail.com.

ABOUT: ACTS Global Networking (AGN) is a non-profit organisation mainly focusing on education and social concern activities. One of the community activities that it has been involved in over the past fifteen years is its “street ministry” where the organisation reaches out and helps the hurting and neglected children and youth in Jinjang. Weekly outdoor activities with an average attendance of 100 are conducted to instill moral values in children. Volunteers even make weekly home visits to better respond to each family’s respective needs. AGN has many success stories of these children having progressed to secondary education and a few are even completing their university education through the sponsorship of kind benefactors like HELP Education Group. AGN has been extending support, counseling and meeting the material needs of this needful community for over 15 years.

 

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