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It was just a little after 2pm and everyone just had a hearty lunch after a visit to Zoo Negara. It was time to say goodbye and the committee and volunteers were contented to see the smiles on the faces of the schoolchildren and the teachers who accompanied them as they bade farewell to each other after a 3-day-2-night stay in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
Malakoff’s annual “Learning Beyond The Classroom” Programme brought joy to 118 deserving primary students from Malakoff’s ten adopted schools across Malaysia for a three-day educational trip to Kuala Lumpur.
During their short stay, the trip was packed with activities such as quizzes and games, and visits to Petrosains, Menara Kuala Lumpur, Zoo Negara, High 5 Bread Museum and KLCC. Although it rained for 2 days, it didn’t dampen their spirits and they were seen eager to explore what Kuala Lumpur has to offer.
Excitement was clearly seen on their faces as they explored the exhibitions at the various places of interests. Undoubtedly, the packed trip easily exhausted them as they only have a few hours of rest in the buses as they were taken from one place to the other. For the committee and volunteers, the enthusiastic chatters of the students were a relief for them as it was an indication that they enjoyed the trip and were full of energy amid the bad weather and the hectic schedule.
Organised by Malakoff for the eleventh consecutive year, the “Learning Beyond The Classroom” Programme was initiated to provide exposure to the children on life outside their hometown and for them to gain extra knowledge, exposure and broaden their horizon. Since the maiden event in 2000, Malakoff has allocated over RM70,000 every year towards hosting this event, which is an integral part of the Malakoff Community Partnerships – the Company’s flagship CSR platform.
During the trip, Yusop Abdul Rashid, Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications for Malakoff said, “We really want to help these students gain exposure outside of their own school and surroundings. So, we have specifically identified places to visit which are not only recreational but also help to impart knowledge. That way, while the children gain knowledge, they also enjoy the learning process. That’s the most important thing."
“Malakoff has always recognised that education equals to empowerment and we want to be able to do our part to help these students to acquire knowledge not just from their books, but also experientially through such visits,” he added. The students were selected from Malakoff’s adopted schools namely, SK Segari, SJK (C) Pei Min and SJK (T) Ladang Huntly at Lumut, alongside SK Khir Johari, SJK (C) Chung Hwa and SJK (T) Prai at Perai as well as SK Andek Mori, SK Sg Boh, SK Seri Sinaran Chokoh and SJK (C) Pei Chiao at Pontian. Each year, Malakoff also allocates RM200,000 to support these adopted schools to equip them with better infrastructure and learning aids. This fund is specifically allocated to develop educational facilities such as libraries, computer and science labs, depending on the request from the school authorities.
Headmistress of SJK (C) Pei Chiao from Pontian, Mrs Tin, was pleased that the students had learned many new things within a short period of time. “The Learning Beyond The Classroom Programme was very well organised and the students really enjoyed it. We are grateful to Malakoff for undertaking this Programme every year to provide an opportunity for these school children to experience and learn from the city,” she said.
Mrs Tin also hoped that Malakoff will continue this program as it inspired the rural school children and gave them opportunity to visit places they only knew through newspapers and television.
Despite the lashing downpour, the children remained enthusiastic and chirpy all through the tour. Chatter and laughter marked the three-day trip with students posing myriads of questions to their teachers and volunteers to soak in all the new things they were eagerly learning.
As they boarded the bus to travel back to their respective hometowns fifteen Malakoff employees, who had also helped through the three-day visit, gave each student a goodie bag comprising of a t-shirt, a pair of shoes and a school bag, to gear them up for their classes in the year ahead. As the students bid farewell, they left for their homes with the sound wisdom that for the eager mind there are no boundaries for continuous learning and acquiring new knowledge.