Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Education relief and aid granted to 18 teachers and 3 institutions

KOTA KINABALU, October 29, 2012: The Progressive Education Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, founded by Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has granted education relief and aid for this year amounting to RM86,000 to 18 students of teachers training colleges and three institutions.

The 18 are from the Kent Teachers Training College in Tuaran and Gaya Teachers Training College here.

The three institutions namely the United Association of Private Chinese Seondary School Committees Sabah (Sabah Dong Zong) received RM25,000 while the Monfort Training Centre received RM21,000 and the Kadazan Dusun Language Foundation received RM20,000 while the 18 received RM1,000 each.

The Progressive Education Foundation Management Council Member Puan Melanie Chia represented its Chairman Tan Sri Thomas Jayasuria to present the cheque of RM20,000 to the Kadazan Dusun Language Foundation to its Chairman Tan Sri Simon Sipaun.

The Principal of Monfort Boys Training Centre received the cheque of RM21,000 and Datuk Jimmy Yong received the cheque on behalf of the United Association of Private Chinese Seondary School Committees Sabah (Sabah Dong Zong).

The cheque presentation ceremony was held here recently and witnessed by Datuk Wong Yit Ming and Datuk William Chu, members of the Joint Consultative Council of the Progressive Education Foundation. Also present in the ceremony were, Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, Datuk Jimmy Yong, Datuk Chau Tet On, Datuk Safari Manan, Rita Lasimbang of the Kadazan Dusun Language Foundation, Brother Stephen Hee from Monfort Boys Training Centre, representations from C.H.I.L.D., schools Board of Directors and schools principals.

Melanie said in 1994, a philanthropist who is an enthusiastic in education donated RM1 million to assist in the development of education, especially Chinese education in Sabah. He entrusted this money to Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President, Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee who then mooted the idea of setting up an education foundation with the main objective of assisting educational development in Sabah. The Progressive Education Foundation was thus instituted and came into operation in 1996.

The Progressive Education Foundation has since then been headed by Tan Sri Thomas Jayasuriya as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and the Chairman of the Management Council. The Board also has under its helm a Joint Consultative Committee chaired by Datuk Wong Yit Ming.
In the early days, the Foundation paid attention to the shortages of teachers in the Chinese vernacular schools in Sabah and provided incentives in the form of monthly allowance to students intending to take up teaching in these schools. It had also encouraged teachers to uplift their qualification by giving out grants to on the job teachers to enable them to pursue off campus degree courses.

In subsequent years especially after the government increased the monthly allowances of trainee teachers, this monthly allowance provided by the Foundation was then changed to education relief to the trainee teachers.

Melanie said that the Foundation had since then also provided financial assistance to other organisations that are doing training such as the Sekolah Seri Mengasih, Monfort Boys Training Centre, the Kadazan Dusun Language Foundation, C.H.I.L.D., the United Association of Private Chinese Seondary School Committees Sabah (Sabah Dong Zong) and the Sabah Chinese Primary School Working Committee. It had even sponsored tuition fees for the poor and deserving students at the Sabah Institute of Arts.

Melanie said the initial seed fund of RM1 million is still very much intact and the Foundation now has a core capital of more than RM2 million.
From a humble beginning, the Foundation remains very stable after 16 years in existence. She said that this is attributed to the prudent management of the trust fund by the Foundation.
According to her, the Progressive Education Foundation is in the position to continue to give grants for education purposes in Sabah and will continue to use the money entrusted to it wisely for the betterment of all in line with its objective.

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