Taylor’s University officially launched its ‘Projek BacaBaca’ at Taylor’s Lakeside Campus to address the education poverty gap among the B40 communities in Malaysia.
The project was also sponsored by Mah Sing Foundation, which aimed to ensure students aged from 6 to 9 years old from B40 communities have the opportunity to learn and read at grade level, helping them to perform better in academics and other classroom activities.
In 2019, a World Bank report stated that 13% of students at late primary age in Malaysia are not proficient in reading. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 10% more students will fall into learning poverty as reported by UNICEF, 2021. This inequity among students contributes to their inability to comprehend other subjects and increases their chances of dropping out of school.
Recognizing the education inequity, the Taylor’s University School of Education (SoEd) formed a project called ‘Projek BacaBaca’. This is a community-focused project where volunteers and reading coaches from various backgrounds conduct one-to-one reading sessions for both English and Bahasa Melayu with primary school students over the phone.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer of Taylor’s University, Dr. Pradeep Nair said:
We identified literacy gaps faced by 6-9 year-old students and then through Projek BacaBaca, incorporated effective approaches to pave the way for their literacy development. We saw an improvement of between 64% to 86% in their reading ability in Bahasa Melayu and English after 6 months.Dr. Pradeep Nair, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer of Taylor’s University
Along with the reading sessions, Projek BacaBaca has outlined several future initiatives in a bid to continue impacting the lives of students. To do this, the program intends to provide aid to students who are struggling with learning challenges by providing them with diagnosis and counseling.
Additionally, an extension of this initiative, Projek BacaBaca+, will guide students from Chinese and Tamil primary schools to attain Mastery Level (TP) 4 to TP6 in their Bahasa Melayu assessments before proceeding to Form 1, as mandated by recent government policy.
This initiative is currently being carried out face to face with 20 students in SJK(T) Seaport, as a form of intense coaching to help students gain better language proficiency that will allow them to successfully progress up the academic ladder.
This project is an example of the Taylor’sphere ecosystem whereby like-minded partners, academics and students come together to reach the country’s most vulnerable populations, to provide them with the help they need.
As the program is still running, Projek BacaBaca is looking for volunteers who can join as coaches to teach English and Bahasa Malaysia language skills to children from the B40 communities. If you are interested to volunteer for ‘Projek BacaBaca’, kindly fill up this form ‘Projek BacaBaca’. For any enquiries about the program, you may email [email protected].