NATIONAL competitiveness starts with bridging the gap between students and their potential.
Investment holding company MNRB Holdings Bhd is providing a platform for schoolchildren in rural schools to maximise their innate talent by organising a two-year academic excellence programme which runs from April 2011 to March 2013.
The latest module of the initiative was a motivational camp, Kem Mutiara Kasih, for 40 students of SMK Slim in Perak as part of a corporate social responsibility effort to raise self-esteem and in turn boost confidence in the upcoming public examinations.
The camp is part of the Program Lestari Cemerlang with a sponsorship value of RM60,000.
At the event, participants dealt with challenges to become a successful student, learnt techniques such as speed reading as well as tips on effective revision.
The company had earlier introduced two education programmes -- Kelas Kecemerlangan Fizik and Program Cuti-cuti Belajar -- last year which succeeded in producing stellar results in the school's Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations. Six of the school's top 20 achievers (4As and above) were among those who took part in the courses.
Two of the participants were Best Student Anis Nuratikah Mohd Faizal, who scored 9As, and Orang Asli Rozeliana Harun, who clinched 6As.
MNRB Group has offered scholarships to the top five SPM students to pursue their studies at the matriculation, diploma and degree levels in local institutions. The study aid, which is part of MNRB Scholarship Fund, covers tuition fees and living expenses. Some 336 Malaysians have benefited from it so far.
To strike a balance between academic and sports performance, the company also sponsored SMK Slim's under-15 and under-18 netball teams' jerseys based on their encouraging performance at the district and national levels.
MNRB group also donated fiction and non-fiction books to the resource centre at the school to enhance students' knowledge and command of the English language. The books include The World Atlas, Science 101 and classical literature such as Moby Dick and Great Expectations.
The group lent a hand to set up an E-learning Corner at the resource centre to boost Information Communications Technology skills among students and to create an interactive learning environment.
Meanwhile, Program Gerak Gempur, which consists of additional classes where core subjects are taught, continues until next month.