KUALA LUMPUR, 21 August 2019 – Microsoft in collaboration with Yayasan Generasi Gemilang and several local NGOs hosted over 100 underserved youths for a DigiTeenz event, aimed at democratizing digital skills among secondary school students to help prepare them for entrepreneurship, employment, and further education in STEM fields. The event saw a variety of interactive sessions conducted by trainers and spokespersons from Microsoft and Yayasan Generasi Gemilang such as Hour of Code, Micro:bit training and a session on digital safety.
Held in conjunction with International Youth Day and in line with the nationwide STEM4ALL initiative launched in March 2019 with the Education Performance and Delivery Unit (PADU) and the Ministry of Education, the DigiTeenz event is part of a series of initiatives spearheaded by Microsoft and its partners across Malaysia to advance STEM literacy. Recent examples of these initiatives include the launch of the Future Ready ASEAN platform, a free online digital skills learning platform, as well as a partnership with University Malaya to launch the Microsoft-UM STEM Learning Space, a unique space designed to encourage innovative and interactive STEM learning and training of trainers.
Commenting on the DigiTeenz event was Nick Foong, Director of Services for Yayasan Generasi Gemilang, “Our primary mission at Yayasan Generasi Gemilang is to improve the lives of under-served children and families by increasing access to quality education. As new technologies continue to transform the jobs of the future, it is of paramount importance that we equip our youth with the skills, knowledge and values needed to thrive in a digital future. As such, we are proud to work with partners such as Microsoft to help under-served youth pick up digital skills in order to break out of the cycle of poverty and give them hope for a better, brighter future.”
Other participating NGOs at the DigiTeenz event include the Myskills Foundation, Zomi Education Center and the Rohingya Project. The youths participating in the sessions also come from various backgrounds, consisting of underserved and urban poor youths, and refugees from countries including Afghanistan and Myanmar who currently reside in Malaysia. These NGOs not only provide shelter and guidance for the youths, but also have in place education courses designed to empower youths with the skills needed to survive in the digital age.
Sharing Microsoft’s vision and motivations for the DigiTeenz event was Dr. Jasmine Begum, Director of Legal, Corporate & Government Affairs for Microsoft ASEAN and New Markets, “The United Nations’ Department of Economic and
Social Affairs stated that the world is currently facing a ‘learning crisis’, with only 10% of people in low income countries completing secondary education. As a company that believes in empowering every person and organisation to achieve more, Microsoft is committed to developing digital skills among youths in Malaysia and around the globe. We firmly believe that by working together with governments and NGOs, we will be able to jointly bridge the opportunity divide, and ultimately put an end to this learning crisis.”
In 2018, Microsoft pledged at the World Economic Forum to provide 15,000 university students with internship opportunities, deliver digital skills training to 2.2 million SME employees, and to hire 8,500 digital workers by 2020 across the ASEAN region under the ASEAN Digital Skills Vision 2020. Since making the pledge, the company has doubled down on its efforts to democratize digital skills by spearheading a variety of initiatives alongside governments and organisations, to achieve the goals laid down in the ASEAN Digital Skills Vision 2020.
About Yayasan Generasi Gemilang
YAYASAN GENERASI GEMILANG (GG) is a foundation whose vision is inspired by Love to raise an exemplary next generation and empower families. Our mission is to improve the lives of under-served children and families by increasing access to quality education. These are children and families from urban low-income and rural communities, under-served institutions and schools. Governed by a Board of Trustees, GG is based in the Klang Valley and conducts services throughout Malaysia.