This situation was particularly difficult for children from the lower income families, who could not afford online devices and consequently, resulted to many reportedly being left out in their studies.
Recognizing the call to act, two Social Impact project teams from Victoria University(VU) Business Program focused efforts to address the problem for B40 students
The first team, calling their Project, ‘Knowledge Changes ones kids’, started a crowd funding page to raise funds towards online devices for CLC Learning centre. Tan Soon Jian, a Supply Chain and Logistics Management specialization student in the VU program, spearheaded his project team with the fundraising campaign after evaluating the students’ need from the CLC learning center Co-coordinator. With their air-funding page set-up for the public and promotional poster posted on the VU Facebook, the team managed to secure RM1117.53, and also RM226 from sponsorship to support online learning for school and tuition classes.
It was heartwarming that the support came pouring in from three different states, Penang, Perak and the Klang Valley. With these funds, they managed to purchase refurbished computers: five laptops, one desktop and one monitor, three mouse, one keyboard and a speaker for the kids at the learning center. With remaining balances, they also bought five sets of school uniforms and school shoes for the students. Due to the MCO, these items were delivered via a 3rd party transport vendor. What was commendable was that all these were being accomplished by local and international students who were working remotely from their respective countries.
The second team, addressing the same SDG goal for Quality education (SD4G 4) and reducing inequalities(SDG 10), also from the VU Social Issues and Community Engagement service-learning course created a social impact project benefitting the B40 students in a small learning center at Desa Mentari. Although this center had already received donated laptops and desktops for online learning needs but the children and volunteer tutors were not fully aware of the utilization of these devices to support their learning. Ivan Low, Project Manager of ‘Equipped. Engaged’ led his team to research extensively on various online platforms, including the ones used by schools and free online resources for teaching and learning. They created a coaching program for the volunteer teachers which included step-by-step guides and provided free links of the educational resources. They also made pre-recorded tutorials for the tutors to refer. Ivan and his assistant, Shamira, who is majoring in Financial Risk Management and Banking and Finance in the VU program,conducted the coaching session with strict SOPs during the RMCO . They received positive feedback from their participants who said they found the session to be informative, useful and engaging. As the learning center is looking for more volunteer tutors, they created an online poster and awareness video for this purpose as well.
From these two team, the business students from the Victoria University (VU) Business program in Sunway College have evidently put their knowledge and skills gained from their course program to good use to benefit the community.