On 18th June 2022, Taylor’s University officially launched its ‘Projek BacaBaca’ to address the learning poverty among children from B40 communities at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus. The evidence-based reading programme, sponsored by Mah Sing Foundation, is designed to ensure students aged 6 to 9 years from underserved communities are able to read at grade level, helping them to perform better in academics and other classroom activities. The launch ceremony was attended by Prof. Dr. Pradeep Nair, Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Chief Academic Officer, Taylor’s University; Mah Sing Foundation Chairman, Datuk Indera Syed Norulzaman Syed Kamarulzaman; Taylor’s University Lecturers & Students; Residents of Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) Seri Alam; Teachers and parents from Banting, Klang and Petaling Jaya.
During the launch, over 300 books were donated to the programme’s beneficiaries. In 2018, a United Nations Children’s Fund study reported that in Kuala Lumpur, 13% of students at the lower end of their secondary school are not proficient in reading. It is expected that due to COVID-19, 10% more students will fall into learning poverty (UNICEF, 2021). This inequity among students contributes to them being unable to comprehend other subjects and also increases the possibility of them dropping out of school. Recognizing the education divide, Taylor’s University School of Education (SoEd) conceptualized Projek BacaBaca, a community-focused project where volunteers and reading coaches from all walks of life conduct one-on-one English and Bahasa Melayu reading sessions with primary school students over the phone, helping them to improve their reading and learning skills.
Prior to the official launch, phase one of Projek BacaBaca was conducted for 30 students from PPR Seri Alam, who were coached by 30 volunteers, known as reading coaches, from June to December 2021. Funded by Mah Sing Foundation and Taylor’s University, the reading programme saw an 86% improvement rate in the students’ reading performance in English and an improvement rate of 64% for their Bahasa Melayu reading performance. To ensure more students are given the opportunity to broaden their horizons, phase two will allow 100 students from Cheras, Klang, Banting, Petaling Jaya and Kota Belud, Sabah to be assigned to a volunteer each to increase their reading interests and skills. Reading materials for Projek BacaBaca were provided by Twinkl and National Library Malaysia, with reading coaches' support from the Rotaract Society at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus.
Coverage of Projek BacaBaca Launch in the Media:-
19 Jun 2022, China Press Print: Taylor‘s University officially launched “reading plan” to assist elevation the Malay and English of primary students
19 Jun 2022, Astro Awani Online: Taylor’s University | Lancar Projek BacaBaca, sasar bantu B40
19 Jun 2022, Astro Awani Broadcast (TV): Lancar Projek BacaBaca, Sasar Bantu B40
20 Jun 2022, Astro Awani Online: Taylor's University lancer Projek BacaBaca, sasar bantu komuniti B40
20 Jun 22, Business Today Online: Taylor's And Mah Sing Foundation Launches 'Projek BacaBaca' To Tackle Learning Poverty
20 Jun 2022, ZulYusmar.com Online: Taylor’s and Mah Sing Foundation join forces to tackle learning poverty
20 Jun 2022, TwentyTwo13 Online: ‘Projek BacaBaca’ builds confidence in children through reading
20 Jun 2022, RamaRama Online: Taylor’s and Mah Sing Foundation join forces to tackle learning poverty
21 Jun 2022, The Sun Online: Tackling learning poverty
22 Jun 2022, The Star Online: Tackling low reading proficiency among school-going children
22 Jun 2022, China Press Online: 帮助B40群体阅读障碍孩子重见曙光
22 Jun 2022, Borneo Sensasi Online: Tackling low reading proficiency among school-going children
22 Jun 2022, Sabah Report Online: Tackling low reading proficiency among school-going children
22 Jun 2022, The Sabah Post Online: Tackling low reading proficiency among school-going children
23 Jun 2022, Sin Chew Daily Print: Mah Sing Foundation sponsors to support Taylor's "Projek BacaBaca" in order to create welfare for B40 children
23 Jun 2022, Nanyang Siang Pau Print: Mah Sing Foundation sponsors Taylor's University to community reading programme for primary school students launched