“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
The Edge Education Foundation (TEEF) is the philanthropic arm of The Edge Media Group. It seeks to promote social and economic inclusion through its work and programmes. TEEF focuses on education because education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty.
Funds raised through The Edge Kuala Lumpur Rat Race go towards programmes run by NGOs and non-profits that also contribute towards social and economic inclusion. In 2014, the first year that The Edge decided to run the Rat Race on its own after a long partnership with Bursa Malaysia, TEEF disbursed half of the funds raised to 12 beneficiaries for projects or programmes related to education and skills development of disabled and disadvantaged children, youths and adults. The remaining portion was channelled to the foundation for programmes in the area of English proficiency and financial literacy.
Since 2014, about 70% of funds raised have gone to successful applicants who are chosen through a vetting and selection process that requires them to submit detailed project proposals, audited financial statements and other supporting documents. The balance went towards supporting the foundation's programmes.
TEEF itself promotes two main initiatives in the field of education - English proficiency and financial literacy. Our target audience is youths, particularly those in secondary school. Helping young people to improve their proficiency in English and equipping them to be financially literate will enable them to develop the capacity and confidence they need to improve their own situations and prospects.
Past programmes to improve English proficiency include after-school English classes in 2014 to help students from lower-income homes prepare for the Form 3 Assessment or Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3 (PT3) English examination.
TEEF's current programmes that seek to improve students' financial literacy and English proficiency are the "Money & Me: Youth Financial Empowerment Programme" and the "Newspapers-in-Education" programme.
Money & Me is the Foundation's flagship programme in the area of financial literacy. It is a free financial literacy programme designed by TEEF with the support of Citi Foundation. Its target audience is Form 4 students, especially those from B40 homes. Money & Me is approved as a co-curricular programme for schools by the Ministry of Education. The programme was rolled out in March 2016 at five schools in Kuala Lumpur in collaboration with partners from the private sector and academia. The programme is currently running in more than 10 schools in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.
Money & Me has two objectives: (1) To equip youths with financial literacy as a basic life skill; and (2) To equip low- and lower-middle income youths with basic entrepreneurship skills to help them improve their economic prospects, in particular through setting up small businesses. The programme addresses the growing concerns about debt, insolvency and unemployment among young Malaysians.
An out-of-school financial literacy programme based partly on Money & Me and developed in partnership with a local NGO in 2017 is being used for youths at the Puncak Alam Correctional Centre (formerly Sekolah Integriti Kajang at Kajang Prison). TEEF is working to expand the programme to more out-of-school and at-risk youths in the near future.
Under the Newspapers-in-Education programme, the foundation sponsors limited copies of The Edge for a few schools in the Klang Valley. Newspapers are an under-utilised resource that, if used consistently and creatively, can contribute to the development of 21st century learning and thinking skills. Schools in TEEF's NIE programme use The Edge to help students improve their English proficiency and also expose them to business and entrepreneurship. The newspapers also benefit the students by offering activities that develop research skills, encourage them to be creative and analytical and enable them to learn the language in an authentic setting through elements such as articles, pictures and even advertisements.
Rat Race funds also help to support a scholarship programme for disadvantaged and low-income students pursuing tertiary studies in universities in Malaysia and enable them to achieve their aspirations.
ALL CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE EDGE EDUCATION FOUNDATION ARE TAX-EXEMPT (LHDN.01/35/42/51/179-6.6346)
Since its inception in 1957, Montfort has equipped some 7,000 school dropouts from low-income families with life skills for a better future. Montfort opened its doors to girls in 2002. Rat Race 2014 funds enabled Montfort to upgrade its Graphic Design & Multimedia syllabus by introducing the Multimedia Artist – Animator Level 2 course and expand job opportunities for its students.