YB DATIN PADUKA CHEW MEI FUN
DEPUTY MINISTER FOR WOMEN, FAMILY AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
First and foremost, allow me to take this opportunity to thank Smart Reader® Worldwide Sdn. Bhd. for inviting me to launch this National One Child One Hope Education Scholarship Programme. I am very happy to be here today as this scholarship programme will enable underprivileged children equal opportunity to obtain quality education. In a way, this programme offers a golden opportunity, even a chance of a lifetime. Therefore, I would like to commend the initiative taken by Smart Reader® Worldwide by way of extending their helping hand to the underprivileged children in fulfilling their corporate social responsibility (CSR).
It is gratifying to note that today’s programme also has invited 80 children from various homes to celebrate Chinese New Year. I am sure the children will enjoy and remember this celebration.
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is undeniable that early childhood education has profound impact on the development of children. Numerous studies have shown that children’s success and achievements are determined by how well we have prepared them from childhood. Indeed, the World Bank Report 2006 has showed that programme which promotes growth and development of young children from the age of 0 to 6 years are the best investments for developing the human capital necessary for the economic growth of a nation. More importantly, every child has the right to education especially a quality education regardless of their background and economic status.
Recognising the role and importance of early childhood education, the government plans to increase the number of children in pre-school education from the current 76% to 87% by 2013 under the National Key Results Areas (NKRA). Further, the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) roadmap has promised to improve student outcomes across the school system and to enhance access to quality education for all students. In the Budget 2010, the government has pledged RM100 million to the Permata programme as a recognition of the importance of early childhood education for children under the age of 4 in Malaysia.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Money spent in education is not consumption, but rather a worthy investment. In this regard, I would like to encourage individuals and organisations to find out more about this scholarship programme and see in what way you can contribute to this noble cause. It is my fervent hope that other corporations and organisations will emulate the example set by Smart Reader® Worldwide. And I especially think credit is due to Dr. K. H. Wang, who selflessly gave back her prize money of RM11,000 to start the ball rolling for the funds of the National One Child One Hope Education Scholarship Programme. I understand that this amount was part cash and prizes awarded by SME Corp when Dr. Wang was declared the National Women Entrepreneur 2009. In view of this, I would like to encourage more women to explore entrepreneurship as entrepreneurship provides an opportunity for women to generate income and improve their financial status. Thus, the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development under the National Key Result Areas (NKRA) aims to train 4,000 women entrepreneurs by 2012.
On that note, I hereby officially launch the National One Child, One Hope Education Scholarship Programme.
Thank you and Gong Xi Fa Cai to everyone.