Malaysian DroneTech company Meraque Services Sdn Bhd is sponsoring educational drones and basic drone awareness modules to be implemented in three schools across Johor, kicking off its nationwide effort to nurture young tech talent, equipping them with skills to future-proof their careers.
This corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme by Meraque is in line with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) DroneTech initiative to generate 100,000 job opportunities in the drone industry by 2030.
Fly with Meraque is a partnership effort with the ‘School Drone Squad’ initiative by the Malaysian Air Youth Club (KRUM), a curricular club with an aim to create awareness around drone technology amongst secondary Malaysian school students. The programme is supported by the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI).
As part of Meraque’s ongoing drone talent push, the programme will help inculcate in the students an interest in drone technology and its applications. The syllabus, which will be delivered by KRUM through extracurricular drone club activities, will equip, support and enhance the capabilities of the students through innovative drone courses and new-age skills, priming them for future employment opportunities.
Fly with Meraque was officiated by Dr Adham Baba, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) on 24 April 2022 at the Dewan Majlis Daerah Kota Tinggi in Bandar Tenggara, Kulai.
Declaring his ministry’s support for the Ministry of Education’s STEM push, Idham said, “we (MOSTI) will suggest that drone technologies and Artificial Intelligence are included in STEM...as early as in the school curriculum and for co-curriculum.”
Aside from the drones, Meraque’s contributions include drone training modules, career opportunities, study tours and club activities. More than 600 students from SMK Sultan Alauddin in Felda Bukit Besar, Kulai, SMK Seri Pinang in Bandar Tenggara, Kulai and SMK Taman Scientex, Pasir Gudang are expected to benefit from Meraque’s initiative. The over 7,000 students registered for Kelab Rakan Udara Malaysia and Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM) will benefit from the modules as well
Chief Executive Officer of Meraque, Md Razalee Ismail said: “Meraque has always been committed to community betterment activities through drone educational programmes. We believe in investing in students to inculcate a passion for drones as they will eventually be the future of this industry, and even our company. This CSR programme will enhance the level of instruction we can offer these students.”
Pointing to a recent study by MRANTI on the Malaysian drone sector’s RM50 billion contribution to the GDP by 2030, Razalee urged for urgency to increase the skilled talent pool in the drone sector.
“By providing students with early exposure to drone technology through a safe and guided curriculum, we hope to equip them with the necessary skills sets to become industry-ready and eventually, expose them to career opportunities in the field,” he added.
Azhar Selamat, President of KRUM said: “This initiative by Meraque will have a positive impact on the nation’s journey to develop a new generation with a passion for drones and an aptitude for its technologies. This is merely the tip of the iceberg of a long term strategic plan that KRUM and Meraque have tailored specifically for the Youth School Drone Squad. The sharing of expertise and hands-on guided syllabus will generate exposure for the participants, significantly enhancing their drone knowledge.”