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WhatsApp Image 2022 09 21 at 8.32.19 AMUUM ONLINE: More than 4,500 forms four to six students from 16 rural schools will participate in a programme jointly organized by Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), Parent and Private Involvement (PIBKS) and the Kedah State Education Department (JPN).

The Minister of Rural Development, Dato' Seri Mahdzir Khalid, officially launched the JPN-selected UUM-PIBKS Building People's Well-being (MEKAR) initiative at the Mu'adzam Shah Hall, UUM, recently.

Mahdzir in his speech said that students from these selected schools will participate in programmes related to academics, character building, extra-curricular activities, and so on.

"We are convinced that through this MEKAR, the school students involved will not only receive guidance from the lecturers and students on this campus, but they will also be able to experience the atmosphere of living on campus," he said again.

He also hopes that such commitment and efforts will raise the quality of education of rural students in this state.

Meanwhile, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Haim Hilman Abdullah said, the main emphasis of this programme is on bringing lecturers and students together during the semester holidays.

"This programme will be carried out throughout the year either at the chosen schools or  by bringing these students in to experience life as students on campus," he said.

In addition, lecturers and students will also tour 34 communities in the state to assist the locals by understanding their concerns, including social, economic, and other issues. This will be done in cooperation with a number of other strategic partners.

"This economic and educational two-pronged strategy has been developed to increase community engagement with this university," he said.

In conjunction with the inauguration of this event, Mahdzir also presented letters of appointment to the deans and principals of UUM schools and residential halls that have been appointed for each district chosen by the JPN to spearhead the advancement of education in the state.