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KUALA LUMPUR: THE introduction of the 1Malaysia People's Tuition (i-TR1M) programme in Selangor and Perak has so far benefited some 38,384 primary and 20,000 secondary students respectively in both states.
The programme, implemented by Malaysia Teachers Foundation Bhd (YGBM), was initiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in June last year.
In Selangor, i-TR1M has shown favourable results, as the academic performance of the students had improved.
"The i-TR1M programme made a significant impact on the academic development of the students. Almost 95 per cent of students involved have achieved good grades in their final examinations," said YGBM chairman Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom.
The pilot project in Selangor benefited poor students who could not afford private tuition classes in preparation for the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR), Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations.
Alimuddin said the programme, which began on June 18 and ended in October last year, was carried out in 101 schools in Selangor.
"The aim of the i-TR1M programme is to give free guidance outside school hours for children from low-income families. It also helps them to optimise on the use of the 'Netbook 1Malaysia' and other information and communication technology facilities provided by the government."
Under the programme, UPSR candidates would utilise the learning and self-evaluation method online from their homes, schools and community centres (rural libraries, community broadband centres and rural information hubs).
He said for PMR and SPM candidates, conventional guidance was held from 3pm to 5pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in selected secondary schools.
He added that SPM candidates sitting for pure sciences subjects would use the learning and self-evaluation method online from home.
"The i-TR1M programme will help boost the academic performance of students from low-income families to achieve excellence in the examinations."
The four core subjects are Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mathematics and Science.
In Selangor, about 12,342 students used the conventional method while 27,042 used the online method.
Alimuddin said the prime minister chose Perak as the second state after Selangor to implement the programme last year.
The i-TR1M in Perak will use the 100 per cent online method. Selangor used both conventional and online methods.
"It will involve 10,000 primary students (UPSR) and more than 10,000 secondary students (SPM) across the state," he said.
He added that four facilitators in every district will be helping out with the programmes. There are 10 districts in the state.
Since the introduction of the programme, there has been an increase in students' usage of its online learning portal. Schools involved in the programme have seen a significant increase in their Internet usage as students log into the portal to experience interactive learning first-hand.
He said the programme also aimed to build a culture of "enjoy studying" among students and expose them to the concept of self-learning.
The federal government had approved an allocation of RM2 million from a special fund to implement the programme to provide free tuition to 10,000 students in Selangor, and another RM2 million for 20,000 students in Perak, who will be sitting their public examinations this year.
Alimuddin said the i-TR1M should be implemented nationwide since it would benefit the public greatly, specifically students from low income families.
"The results are encouraging and have proven effective since the launch in Selangor last year. This has prompted YGMB to expand this programme in Perak. God willing, the implementation of i-TR1M here (Perak) will run smoothly as planned," he added.
"We already have the foundation to introduce this programme in all states. With the government allocation of RM2 million for each state, I don't see why we can't be bring this programme to other schools around the country as well," he added.
More details on i-TR1M can be found at www.i-tr1m.com.my and www.facebook.com/iTr1mPerak.
One of the selected schools is SJK (C) Ave Maria Convent in Ipoh, Perak. Headmistress Tan Lee Ei believes the programme will benefit 75 of her students and help them achieve good results in their UPSR this year.
"I am happy for my students. Basically, they come from poor families and this tuition scheme has helped ease the financial burden of their parents," she said.
Tan said her students will do most of the online exercises at the school's computer laboratory.
She hopes to see good results among the students undergoing the i-TR1M programme when they sit for their school's mid-year examination soon.