Pusat Pendidikan Komuniti Pos Gob
Pos Gob is one of the indigenous settlements located in Gua Musang District, Kelantan, inhabited by the Temiar Tribe. Based on the census data in 2016, 626 villagers inhabited 10 villages around Pos Gob which are Kampung Gob, Kampung Kacheng, Kampung Berog, Kampung Berchap, Kampung Tembaga, Kampung Kajang (Pichong), Kampung Tenau, Kampung Guvainch, Kampung Gaweng and Kampung Chaler. Kampung Gob, which is 95 kilometres from Gua Musang City, is made as the administrative centre at Pos Gob.
The National University of Malaysia (UKM) together with Commerce International Merchant Bankers (CIMB) Islamic had identified the education dropout problems among indigenous children at Pos Gob in June 2016 which is a prime challenge to our national education. It was found that 70% – 90% of the school-aged children did not go to school. Through the interviews conducted, among the reasons stated were the far distance to the nearest school (the distance of Sekolah Kebangsaan Tohoi to Kampung Gob – 47 kilometres) and no suitable transportation as a shuttle. To make it even worse, the road connecting Pos Gob to Pos Tohoi was often damaged due to lodging activities.
Although parents have the option to enrol their children at Sekolah Kebangsaan Tohoi which provides school dormitory for students, they are yet to be ready to let their children live alone at a very young age. Like most parents out there, they do not want to be separated from their 7-year-olds. That is what the average parents felt at Pos Gob, Gua Musang. The ‘Tohoi Tragedy’ which had shaken the country in 2015 added to the parents’ concern. Hence, with the mission of bringing schools to indigenous children at Pos Gob, a holistic project between UKM and CIMB Islamic was proposed to the community. Besides education, the project also emphasizes on health and socioeconomic aspects as so to give benefit to the whole indigenous community. As a result of the residents’ determination and commitment, they built a wooden building using materials from the forest and it was officially opened on May 20, 2017 supported by the grants provided by UKM & CIMB Islamic. It was named as the UKM-CIMB Islamic Community Learning Centre. The initial emphasis is to attract children to go to school. At this Community Learning Centre, they are introduced to the concept and model of the learning system, besides the normal schooling system, according to the context and needs of the indigenous communities. UKM researchers through a special learning module known as the Mobile-Literation & Digital Transformation of indigenous (M-LITORA) has successfully reignited the children’s excitement and desire towards education.
To ensure the sustainability of this effort, a total of 8 youths where 6 of them were female was selected and appointed as learning instructors with 6 of them are female instructors. Meanwhile, a trustee committee was also established to oversee the journey of UKM-CIMB Islamic Community Learning Centre. On the day of its establishment, a total of 24 students had begun their learning sessions. The number had later increased to 38 students in 2018 and slightly dropped to 26 students in 2019 before climbing up to 31 students in early 2020. In total, 75 children studied at the Community Learning Centre with 28 of them were girls where full basic education provided since 2017. In line with the objective of this project in addressing the problem of education dropout of indigenous children, the UKM-CIMB Islamic Community Learning Centre is focusing on teaching and learning on 3 main segments; literacy, syllables and reading. The results from this continuous effort can finally be clearly seen in 2018 when 13 students managed to recognize all 26 letters seamlessly while 11 students were reported to have mastered syllables and 1 student can now read smoothly. It was a double joy for the whole committee as the initiative finally paid off. On February 25, 2019, 14 Pos Gob students were enrolled at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kuala Betis while two other students were enrolled at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tengku Indra Petra I after almost three years of dropping out from school. To date, a total of 48 students enrolled in different public schools across the country, which makes 59% of those who went to the Community Learning Centre and successfully took up our normal schooling system. In January 2020 when the school started, all the children continue to go back to the schools and there is no dropout. This indicates that the children enjoyed going to school and the program at the community is able to prepare the children to cope with mainstream school atmosphere.
UKM and CIMB Islamic are confident the Community Learning Centre has succeeded in translating the zero to hero concept, thus, changing the perspective and living standards of the indigenous community at Pos Gob, Gua Musang. The continuity of the program has also injected their spirit to improve their living standards to be better. Today, the project has reached its second phase of the sustainability of economic growth of the Pos Gob community. In addition to creating an eduhub in the community that not only serves as a learning centre for all, it is also to empower young females and women to acquire knowledge and skills for life and work. Along with the development of the Community Learning Centre, a wooden canteen was soon built nearby for women to involve and employ their cooking skill as a way of generating income. Besides, they are also encouraged to make their own traditional chain beading and weaving which is included as one of the packages of the Homestay@Gob program. Prior to that, UKM has pre-ordered 50 units of various handicrafts which later set as a corporate gift. Homestay@Gob is an initiative for the indigenous women to grow a sustainable economic state by doing traditional indigenous performance called ‘sewang’, weaving class, cooking, upland rice processing and the homestay management itself. Through this project, all initiatives taken are made sure to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals of SDG1: No Poverty, SDG3: Good Health and Well Being, SDG4: Quality Education and SDG5: Gender Equality.