The M³ platform, which combines the efforts of Mendaki, Muis and Mesra, will be enhanced to help support the Malay-Muslim community.
Senior Minister of State for Manpower and Defence Zaqy Mohamad announced that Mendaki will launch a new pilot programme to help pre-school children prepare for Primary 1.
Called the Kelas Siap Sekolah (KSS, or School Preparation Class), it aims to inculcate computational thinking, mathematical concepts, problem-solving skills and literacy skills.
Children enrolled in the existing [email protected] programme, which helps parents get involved in early childhood development, are eligible for KSS.
To help protect the community from Covid-19 infections, Mendaki's tuition courses will continue to be held online for the rest of the year.
Zaqy also reported of the progress of Mendaki's efforts to help job-seekers, especially in the face of the downturn caused by the pandemic.
It has been working with other government agencies, and since Jan. 2020, has assisted 4,000 Malay-Muslim jobseekers with 800 successfully placed in jobs, double the numbers in 2019.
Responding with resilience
Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli lauded the community for their response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and their adjustment to the measures made to safeguard public health.
Celebrations for Hari Raya were curbed and mosques were closed, along with the places of worship of other religions. This undoubtedly helped to limit the spread of Covid-19 infections.
Speaking in Malay and referring to the local Asatizah Recognition Scheme (ARS), which ensures that only home-grown religious leaders from Singaporean madrasahs can preach here, Masagos said that its members have provided the community with invaluable support during the pandemic.
They organised food drives for needy people, consulted with health experts and doctors to guide people on how to adapt their social and religious activities, and streamed their sermons online.
To help asatizahs in their careers, Muis announced the Asatizah Workforce Development Plan (AWDP) last year, which provides skills upgrading and a career competency framework.
More community engagement
And to further keep the community engaged, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Maliki Osaman announced a new M³@Toa Payoh town to be launched this year, making a total of 11.
The volunteers at these towns reach out to those who may need help. Maliki elaborated:
"For example, as part of M³@Jalan Besar, we will be reaching out to rental-flat families staying at Jalan Kukoh, where we will find out their living situation and needs, render assistance and inspire them to better their living standards.
We will also raise awareness and improve access to the various M³ programmes and Government schemes for these families so that their children can receive support and do well in life."
A new M³ Engagement Coordination Office, or ECO for short, will be set up later this year to coordinate outreach efforts.
Top image from MCI's YouTube channel.