APU's ESG Initiative Fosters Patriotism and Develops Digital Skills Among Orphanage Children | Asia Pacific University (APU)

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APU's ESG Initiative Fosters Patriotism and Develops Digital Skills Among Orphanage Children

In exhibiting APU’s commitment to technology-driven education, and ESG, a special initiative focusing on digital skills development with a Merdeka theme was organised by the School of Marketing and Management (SoMM) at Rumah Shalom Orphanage Centre in Bandar Puchong Jaya, Selangor on 30th August 2023.

APU senior lecturers and students with the children at Rumah Shalom.

Guided by Dr.Song Bee Lian, a Senior Lecturer at SoMM, alongside her colleagues Dr.Tee Poh Kiong, Mr. David Ng Kok Meng and Ms.Harjinder Kaur, the digital skills development programme aimed to introduce the children to Microsoft software skills and gamified learning, all while instilling a sense of patriotism as the National and Malaysia Day celebrations approached. 

Recognising the essential role of digital skills in the modern era, especially for the younger generation’s educational and career success, this programme was designed to ensure that orphanage children are not left behind in this digital age, making them ready for the future workforce with relevant skills. 

Dr. Song Bee Lian (Back row, from left) and student Bryan Chin guided the children on Microsoft Word skills. 

The programme began with a pre-assessment of the children’s Microsoft skills, revealing that nine of the ten children had no prior exposure, while one had basic knowledge. Based on their skill levels, the children were placed into different learning groups. After the programme concluded, their digital skills were reassessed to measure their progress.

APU student Siow Jay Yang briefed the children on Microsoft programmes. 

APU students Siow Jay Yang and Brian Chin introduced the children to the tasks ahead, which included creating patriotic-themed presentations using Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, followed by presenting their completed work to the audience. The next task involved Microsoft Excel, where the children worked with data sets and various formulas for calculations. Lastly, gamification in learning featured ten quizzes related to the history of Merdeka and Malaysia, inspiring the children to compete and provide accurate answers.

Upon completing the training programme, the APU trainers were delighted to witness the overall improvement in the children’s digital skills. Each child received completion certificates and gifts in recognition of their active and excellent participation.

APU student Lim Sy Hao (from right) and Senior Lecturer Dr.Tee Poh Kiong guided the children who were excited about learning Microsoft Excel.

The positive outcomes extended beyond the children, benefiting APU’s students who gained valuable experiences in empathy and compassion. Lim Sy Hao, a second-year digital marketing specialised student, described the programme as “incredibly rewarding” and emphasised the children’s eagerness to learn and adapt to new technologies.

Yap Wai Yan, another second-year digital marketing specialised student, noted the heartening progress the children made in gaining a solid foundation in digital applications. She also highlighted how the Merdeka-themed activities enriched their learning experience and connected them with our nation’s history and values.

In a spontaneous interview, the youngest child at five years old expressed excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to learn digital skills from APU lecturers and students. The eldest teenage girl at the home was equally delighted with her transition from basic to intermediate-level digital skills in Microsoft programmes.

Associate Professor Dr. Devinder Kaur, Head of SoMM, praised the ESG initiative, acknowledging its multiple achievements. The programme not only imparted digital skills and patriotism to the orphanage children but also enhanced the soft skills of APU students while fostering a sense of unity among all involved in the spirit of Merdeka celebration.