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Project [email protected]³, a programme that aims to help Malay/Muslim families living in public rental flats in Singapore, will be enhanced this year.
This was announced by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Maliki Osman during the Muslim Affairs Committee of Supply debate on Monday (Mar. 6).
Over 500 more public rental households to be engaged
In 2021, Project [email protected]³ was piloted at one block each in Bedok, Geylang Serai and Jalan Besar.
Since then, volunteers from the three M³@Towns have engaged over 70 per cent of the total Malay households in its pilot phase. These families have also been assisted through some form of assistance or referrals for those in need.
Maliki announced that Project [email protected]³ will be expanded to three more towns -- Chua Chu Kang, Jurong and Tampines.
According to a press release from People's Association, there will be one public rental block in each of the three additional towns — Chua Chu Kang, Jurong and Tampines.
There will also be an additional public rental block in the existing three pilot towns, which comes to six extra blocks. This makes a total of nine public rental blocks under Project [email protected]³.
Over 500 more Malay/Muslim public rental households will be engaged, up from approximately 250 households presently.
The expansion will take place later this year for more volunteers to be recruited and trained to effectively engage the vulnerable families living in public rental flats, said Maliki.
M³ is a collaborative effort between the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), Mendaki, and the People's Association (PA) Malay Activity Executive Committees Council (Mesra).
In 2021, the M³ Engagement Coordination Office (M³ ECO) under PA was set up to enhance coordination among the agencies and other community partners.
It also serves to strengthen community outreach and engagement efforts across the 11 M³@Towns through various ground-up initiatives.
Developing future religious leaders and thinkers
Besides the enhancements to Project [email protected]³, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli announced Muis' plans to strengthen the Research Programme in the Study of Muslim Communities of Success (RPCS).
Launched in 2021, the RPCS aims to advance religious thought leadership for the future. The programme will explore issues like:
- Science and Technology
The programme will also enable asatizah (Muslim religious teachers) to develop contextualised guidance rooted in the rich, multi-faceted and complex traditions of Islam for Muslim minority communities.
Masagos said that Muis is strengthening its support and research infrastructure for RPCS.
Research fellows will be given training opportunities in areas such as research methodologies and data visualisation, along with mentorship with esteemed local and international academics.
Muis will also establish a digital repository of resources on Islamic and social sciences to enable better access to important research resources, allowing the asatizah to provide religious guidance with confidence and conviction.
Providing strong educational foundation for children
During the debate, Senior Minister of State for Manpower and Defence Zaqy Mohamad also announced Mendaki's mission to provide a strong educational foundation for young children.
Mendaki launched KelasMateMatika (KMM) in 2018 to empower parents with children aged four to six years so that they can confidently engage with their children in the learning of basic numeracy concepts.
Parents are guided by qualified facilitators in applying appropriate techniques to aid their child’s learning. KMM has supported close to 4,000 children aged four to six since 2018, said Zaqy.
About eight in 10 KMM graduates were assessed to have a good foundation for Primary 1 Math and were not placed in the Learning Support Programme.
This year, Mendaki aims to engage more families and is targeting to enrol 2,500 children aged four to six years old into KMM.
Classes will also be conducted both physically and online to make it more accessible for families.
Dedicated runs of the programme will also be organised in some preschool centres, including all 15 mosque-based kindergartens.
Nurturing youths through mentoring programmes
Besides academic achievements, Zaqy said that Mendaki will also continue to empower youths in the community through mentoring.
This year, Mendaki aims to set up at least one youth mentoring programme in the remaining six M³@Towns, making it easier for our youths to sign up for one, no matter where they reside in.
Zaqy said in Parliament last year that Mendaki's #amPowered mentoring programme would be introduced progressively in all Institute of Technical Educations (ITEs) and M³@Towns.
Presently, the #amPowered programme has been set up at all three ITE Colleges and across three M³@Towns in Jurong, Chua Chu Kang and Marsiling-Yew Tee.
"Through our education and mentoring programmes, we hope our youth will excel in school and build strong foundations and network to set themselves for greater achievements in the future," said Zaqy.
Top images from [email protected] & [email protected] Serai on Facebook.
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