Liew (2nd left) presenting the school fee sponsorship cheque to Velerie and Choo. Looking on from right are Goh, Eliza and Ong.
KOTA KINABALU : Even students on the outskirts of the State capital have difficulty in getting WiFi (Wireless Network Technology), let alone their counterparts in remote areas, said Api Api Assemblywoman Datuk Christina Liew.
The former Deputy Chief Minister attributed this phenomenon to various factors such as poor connection and students’ inability to subscribe to WiFi because they can’t afford to pay for the service every month.
“Students who belong to this category need help to facilitate their studies. They need Wifi to surf the internet without which they cannot gain access,” she said after visiting Kian Kok Middle School to present a cheque for school fee sponsorship for two deserving students on Saturday.
Liew (4th right) engaged in a conversation with the two students (left) at the Principal’s Office.
The duo are Velerie Francis, 14, a Junior Two Zhi student from Telipok, and Cherrol Choo She Lei, 15, a Senior 1 Gang student from Sepanggar, both from a poor family background.
The handing-over ceremony was witnessed by the Principal Goh Teck Seng, Senior Assistant Ong Kim Lun, School Board of Governors member Eliza Goh and Liew’s personal aide Vivien Lee.
“As an elected representative, I hope my humble contribution will ease the families’ financial burden. The two girls are bright students and deserve support to go far, given their financial difficulties,” Liew said while advising the students to work hard in view of the competitive job market out there.
During her conversation with Choo, the Form Four student, whose favourite subjects are Science and Art, said she is also interested in languages and aspires to be a Chinese-English translator.
Thanking the Api Api Assemblywoman for her gesture, Goh described her contribution as timely, considering that many parents are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “In fact, this is the third year that (Datuk) Liew has extended assistance to some of our needy students,” said the grateful Principal. According to him, many of the parents are involved in the tourism industry which has been crippled by the protracted pandemic.
Velerie, who stays at the school hostel, hails from a Dusun family. Her father is a farmer who is struggling to make ends meet while her mother works as an office general clerk. Since her primary school education at St Peter’s School, Telipok, she has consistently shown good academic performance by scoring high grades. She obtained 7As in the UPSR in 2019. Velerie, who enjoys learning Chinese, English and Art, also did well in the Junior One Examination at Kian Kok Middle School.
Choo, the eldest of five children, is a former pupil of SJKC St James, Likas, who was encouraged to continue her education at Kian Kok. Her Junior 3 results show that she has scored upper medium grade. The whole family depends on the father’s earnings for subsistence. Her mother is a housewife taking care of the children at home. Choo’s father lost his job following the imposition of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in March last year. Currently, he is a hawker selling drinks at a coffee shop.