Nicol David Organisation, APU empower the unprivileged with digital skills

  • Both join to launch Creative Computing Workshops, using APU's skilled professionals
  • Workshops empower underprivileged students with vital skills, addresses digital disparities

Left to Right: Dr Teh Choon Jin, APU’s registrar and senior director of Administration; Nicol David; Mariana de Reyes, co-founder & CEO of NDO; Prof. Dr. Ho Chin Kuan, APU’s VC; and Prof. Dr. Murali Raman, APU’s deputy VC.

Nicol David Organisation (NDO), led by squash champion Nicol Ann David, has partnered with the Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) to drive philanthropic efforts. 

Through this collaboration, NDO aims to utilise APU's expertise, particularly from the Asia Pacific Centre for Analytics (APCA), to introduce Creative Computing Workshops. These workshops aim to empower underprivileged students with essential computational skills, addressing digital disparities prevalent in economically disadvantaged communities.

Beginning on May 10, 2024, this initiative arises from a Memorandum of Understanding signed between APU and NDO on February 6, 2024. Twenty-five students from marginalised backgrounds are currently undergoing a comprehensive 40-hour learning program at APU, scheduled for completion by October 2024.

During her presentation at APU to inaugurate the Creative Computing Workshops,  David emphasised the importance of Computer Science in nurturing problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity. She highlighted the digital divide faced by students from B40 and M40 backgrounds due to social and economic status, limiting their access to such opportunities.

Echoing her sentiments, Hema Latha Krishna Nair, senior lecturer at APU and head of APCA, explained the programme's objective to provide hands-on experiences for B40 and M40 students, transcending passive learning paradigms.

“We at APU have formed a training team composed of experienced lecturers from the School of Technology (SoT) led by Dr. Veerakumar Soundrapandian, senior lecturer of the SoT. The team will lead the children to participate in meaningful and personally relevant computing activities, to study and rethink the creative practices of computing,” she added.

The training curriculum encompasses diverse modules, ranging from basic computer operations to fundamental game mechanics, meticulously crafted to instill both technical acumen and critical thinking prowess among participants. In tandem with the Creative Computing Workshop, APU students, under Hema's guidance, have developed the NDO Students Performance Analytics dashboard. This four-month project underscores the symbiotic relationship between academia and philanthropy, driving impactful innovation in education.

While APU extends its infrastructure and pedagogical support, NDO enriches the learning experience by furnishing robotic kits and imparting supplementary skills in English proficiency and squash. 

The MoU outlines a strategic roadmap for collaborative ventures between APU and NDO, spanning domains like sports analytics, technology applications, and educational interventions. Both entities are poised to pioneer groundbreaking advancements, leveraging their collective expertise for the betterment of society.

Expressing enthusiasm for the partnership, David envisions a transformative impact on youth development and community welfare, underlining the convergence of sports and education as catalysts for societal change. Meanwhile, Professor Dr. Ho Chin Kuan, vice chancellor of APU, echoes this sentiment, affirming the institution's commitment to fostering innovation and industry partnership, adding that he envisages a dynamic collaboration, characterised by mutual growth and sustained impact.


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