In late 2018, in collaboration with Maktab National, a Catholic school complex at Kingfisher Park, your Parish of St. Michael’s Penampang set up a bursary program for bright students but from low income families. Maktab National pays for all school fees, school related activities and most of their living expenses. St. Michael’s Penampang provides the hostel facilities and care for the boarders including training in living skills and faith formation / enhancement. The Mission also bears some of the costs (part of warden and cook salaries, part of transportation expenses, part of meals and maintenance of the hostel). Last year, the first group of 10 students, coming from Buayan, Terian, Limbanak, Sugud and Kibabaig were selected for the programme and 8 of them are currently boarding in the hostel. The 2 not in the hostel are from nearby Limbanak. The per capita income of their families at the time of the bursary award ranged between RM35.00 and RM475.00.
In 2019, the students performed well in school. The semester exams saw them placed at the top half of their classes with many in the top 10. The 2020 assessments saw mixed results with acceptable performances from some but with dramatic decline for some.
The MCO played a significant role in their relatively poor academic performance in 2020 compared to 2019. In the early days of the MCO, when they were at home, many had limited or poor internet access. Lack of laptop to use during their eLearning (internet classrooms) sessions exacerbated their problems. Later, during the first CMCO, they returned to the hostel for more stable internet access but were still severely handicapped with no laptop to use.
The current CMCO has again placed the boarders in a challenging / difficult situation in terms of eLearning. They have to again resort to using their mobile phones (which are very basic and slow) to connect to their eClassrooms. There is therefore an urgent need to provide them access to laptops. Maktab National cannot provide these learning tools as these are not in their bursary policy and the students’ parents cannot afford to buy the computers for their children.
HOSTEL OPERATING COSTS
Maktab National picks up costs associated with school fees, school related activities and part of the hostel expenses. The mission picks up additional tuition costs (English and Math) as well as some of of the living expenses (part of meals & maintenance costs) and miscellaneous transportation expenses totaling approximately RM1800.00 per month.
APPEAL FOR DONATION / SPONSOR ASSISTANCE
It is a struggle for the parish to support the hostel especially at this time of the pandemic due to loss of donations from parishioners as a result of the regulated MCO/CMCO/RMCO. Suspension of mass significantly curtailed donations.
The Parish of St. Michael’s Penampang is therefore humbly appealing for donations from sponsors / donors to enable us to procure 8 student laptops (basic configuration) for use by the students not only for eLearning purposes but also for developing their skills in computer applications. The total cost of 8 laptops is estimated at RM8000.00. These laptops will be loaned to the students but remain in the custody of the Mission Office. Your support can be in monetary form of any amount or physical donation of a laptop / notebook (new or used but still functioning well).
Your support will make a difference to these deserving but less fortunate children in the Parish of St. Michael’s Penampang. You will be contributing to give them a chance of a good education for a brighter future, not only for themselves, but also for their families and community. We expect more boarders at the hostel in the next few years and the computers will continue to be a resource of learning for all the students.
Should you be able to contribute in monetary form, please bank in your donation to Alliance Bank for credit to RTDKK – St. Michael’s Parish Council Penampang, Account number 10123-001-001493-2. Please clearly indicate in the transfer slip “Hostel Laptop” and extend by whatsapp a copy of the transfer slip to 013-859-6106.
Should you wish to donate a laptop or notebook, please deliver to the Mission Office during office hours.
The Parish of St. Michael’s Penampang and the Boarders thank you in advance. God bless.
Chairman, Parish Education Committee.