Annual Back to School programme goes beyond basics
KUALA LUMPUR, 8 March 2021 – Yayasan PETRONAS will be providing 21,000 primary school students from low-income households with personal hygiene kits and school supplies in preparation for the 2021 academic year through its Back to School 2021 (BTS 2021) Programme.
The personal hygiene kits and school supplies are being distributed to schools across Johor, Kelantan, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Terengganu, from 8 to 24 March 2021.
Through the programme, a total of 21,000 students will each receive two 3-layer reusable face masks, a small towel, a box of paper soap, a school bag, a tumbler, a student activity notebook, a pencil case and stationery items, as well as two sets of school uniforms and a pair of socks and shoes. The student activity notebook includes several simple science experiments on personal hygiene, health infographics and stickers, designed to spark interest amongst the students and help them understand science and its application in real life.
In addition to helping students resume school with ease, Yayasan PETRONAS, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, is also providing teachers at beneficiary schools with lesson plans to cultivate an interest in the science of personal hygiene amongst primary students this year.
Yayasan PETRONAS Chief Executive Officer Shariah Nelly Francis said: “Our aim for Back To School has been consistent since PETRONAS started with the programme 18 years ago. We want to reduce one of the barriers that families from low-income households often experience, which is the cost of school supplies, a factor linked to dropout rates. However, we are taking additional steps this year by providing personal hygiene kits so that students can stay safe and acclimatise to the ‘new normal’ as they resume school.
“In addition to that, we also want to ensure we imbue two important factors – the pivotal role of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in preparing our children for the future, and the enduring role teachers play in inspiring their students. This is why we are going beyond the basics this year,” Nelly added.
Labuan-based teacher Angela Joseph, who designed the science lesson plans for this said: “I’m so glad that Yayasan PETRONAS gave me this opportunity to share information on the science behind COVID-19 in a fun way with underprivileged students who otherwise may not have access to information.” Angela, who is part of the first cohort of teachers in Yayasan PETRONAS’ Program Duta Guru, also prepared supplementary lesson plans and provided instruction sheets for teachers to record and share them online.
Yayasan PETRONAS also released a three-episode video on the science of personal hygiene featuring “STEM Man”. It reminds parents, children and their community of the importance and responsibility of practising safe habits so that schools will not be affected by an outbreak. The videos are available on Yayasan PETRONAS’ online and social media channels.
BTS 2021 will run until the end of the month nationwide with the support of PETRONAS staff who also took time to post notes of encouragement to students to motivate them in their studies via Yayasan PETRONAS’ social media channels.
The Back to School programme is part of Yayasan PETRONAS’ education focus area.