KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 – Yayasan PETRONAS has introduced a new programme under its education focus area to improve literacy skills among underprivileged students nationwide. The initiative, named the Sentuhan Ilmu Bridging the Online Learning Divide (BOLD) Programme, is a comprehensive intervention programme to address learning loss among high-need students.

The programme will provide Internet-enabled tablets, digital modules, and immediate learning support through volunteer tutors to 2,000 high-need children from B40 communities. The tablets will enable the students ranging from ages seven to nine, to participate in learning, peer engagement and address learning losses due to school closures brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Yayasan PETRONAS Chief Executive Officer, Shariah Nelly Francis said, “The eradication of poverty begins with education, while the very basis of education is literacy — the ability to read. The pandemic has made it even more difficult for underprivileged children to learn and this could mean missing out on reading their first book in class, with proper guidance in a structured manner.

Early literacy abilities are critical for school readiness and achieving long-term school success. The BOLD Programme is one of the ways that we can contribute to empower a child with the gift of literacy.”

A total of 1,600 volunteer tutors comprising PETRONAS staff and members of the public have been trained to deliver one-to-one remediation remotely via the WhatsApp app, using the MYReaders Literacy Toolkit that contains practical tools to provide effective literacy intervention. MYReaders is the implementation partner for Yayasan PETRONAS’ BOLD Programme.