The Bakun Trust Fund (TAB) has given scholarship to 2,500 students from Belaga district to pursue studies either in primary education or tertiary education since 1996.
Its chief executive officer, Romio Ding said the establishment of TAB is part of ongoing efforts by the federal and state governments to improve access to education among rural students in Belaga.
TAB was officially launched by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former Sarawak chief minister Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud on Sept 1, 1996.
“We have aided 2,500 students from certificate to Master’s degree since 1996. This aid is given to students from Belaga who continue studies in public and private universities in Sarawak,” he told reporters after a ceremony to present TAB’s one-off aid offer at Kuching Politeknik on Monday.
Nine Belaga students studying at the Kuching Politeknik each received scholarship amounting to RM1,000.
Ding said TAB was processing 100 applications for scholarship this year.
“The students only need to get an offer from any school and we will disburse the scholarship,” he added.
Students pursuing certificate and diploma programmes in Sarawak will get RM1,000 with RM1,500 in peninsula, the degree programme in Sarawak will get RM2,000 with RM2,500 in peninsula.
Meanwhile, Diploma in Accounting student Stefanie Kain, 18, said the scholarship would be used to replace her damaged laptop computer.
“Thanks for the aid, after all I am saving money to buy a new laptop as the old one is broken,” said the student from Long Busang.
Daniel Mering Ibong, 18, from Rh Bawang Sg Asap said he would use the aid while studying at the polytechnic.
“I did not get PTPTN loan, so this aid will help me financially,” said the student in mechanical assistance engineering.
TAB was established to help the community in Belaga involved with the construction of the Bakun Dam, particularly in educational development.