Most of the students in SJKT Kalaivaani, in the state of Kedah, Malaysia come from poverty-stricken families. For most parents, they struggle to keep their children in school, as they cannot afford to provide the essentials items required at school. Realising this, RYTHM Foundation stepped in to assist the students by providing 25 sets of Total Learning Concept (TLC) Workbook. According to Mr Ravee, the school principal, most of the parents hardly completed the compulsory education level in Malaysia and work as labourers in nearby factories to support their families. “From the 100 students enrolled here, 97 of them are from poor families. That’s a staggering 95% of the total student population in the school.”
“We do receive some funds from the government for food and other necessities for the students, but this is not enough. Parents still find it a struggle to provide their kids with even the bare minimum, and purchasing workbooks is definitely out of their reach.” According to the teachers in the school, the workbooks provided by RYTHM Foundation have enabled the 25 pre-school students to effectively develop their reading and writing skills. Ms Anusia, the pre-school teacher in SJKT Kalaivaani believes the workbooks are the best gifts for the school.
“Because of their parents’ lack of education, most of these kids don’t even know the alphabets, let alone how to read and write. We have no other option but to start with teaching them simple skills, like how to hold a pencil, and in some extreme cases, how to turn the page without ruining the book.”
She added that the kids have tremendously benefited from the TLC workbooks. “After consistently using these workbooks, students have progressed from only knowing just a few letters in the alphabet, to now being able to read words and phrases.” Mr Ragu Munisamy, the school’s Student Affairs Senior Assistant teacher said the students find the workbook very engaging. “The best thing is that the book perfectly adheres to the syllabus provided by the Ministry of Education, which is sometimes not the case for a lot of workbooks available in the market.”
He added that although there are other educational resources, the TLC workbooks provided are especially helpful as the exercises provided are very holistic. It eliminates the workload that teachers would otherwise face in meticulously designing these types of modules themselves.
The challenges that the pre-school kids of SJKT Kalaivaani face are still great, but the TLC workbooks provided by RYTHM Foundation have enabled both the teachers and students to have a more engaging and effective educational experience.