By Patrick Beech
Children in Kampung Orang Asli Serigala, which is about 30km from Kuala Kubu Bharu can look forward to a sound pre-school education following the setting up of a new kindergarten in the village.
The kindergarten is a joint effort between Brickfields Asia College (BAC) and the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Wilayah.
According to Dr. Selvamalar Ayadurai, secretary of Pertubuhan Bangkit (Uplift) said, the kindergarten project was in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to ensure quality education for everyone.
Dr. Malar as she is fondly known, is also a Senior Lecturer and Strategy Executor with BAC Education.
“This kindergarten for children aged between 4 to 6-years-old is our pilot project and we set it up in collaboration with SUKA Society. BAC and MMA Wilayah funded the entire project based on a matching grant,” she said.
She continued to explain that the kindergarten was set up with RM5,000, while RM1,400 is needed every month for its operations which adds up to RM21,800 a year.
A total of 48 families from the Semai and Temuan tribes live in the village, including 20 children between the ages of 4-6.
“Ten of these children are already attending kindergarten elsewhere, while 10 others have started classes with us. We will leave it to the parents to decide if they want their children to join our classes in future,” said Dr Malar.
Most of the women in the village were rubber tappers, while the men worked as grass-cutters, odd-job workers and security guards.
“We do not just want to stop with the kindergarten project, but also want to look further. As many of the children in the village perform poorly in school, we are looking to help students from Standards 1-6 also with their studies,” she said.
Dr. Malar also said that BAC was looking into forming four volunteer groups of lecturers, who would go to the village every first Saturday of the month to help the children.
“The team can help them with their homework and also guide them with their studies,” she said.
Dr Malar said they were also looking into identifying what the women in the village could do to uplift their economic status.
“We will do some baseline research to identify what we can do to assist them before we embark on any such project,” she added.