The United States Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and EMS Language Centre launched the English Access Microscholarship Program at Wisma MCA in Kuala Lumpur on September 18, 2014, providing an opportunity for thirty-seven Form 3 students from SMK Taman Kosas Ampang to receive intensive English language training after school. More than 100 guests including teachers and parents of the Access students attended the opening ceremony that was officiated by the U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Edgard Kagan.
The English Access Microscholarship (Access) program provides after-school English language education to non-elite students ranging between ages 13-20. The Access program is funded by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and EMS Language Center (EMS) is currently the sole provider delivering the Access program in Kuala Lumpur. Each student will complete 360 hours of English study over the course of 60 weeks beginning August 2014 through November 2015. In addition to instruction in English, the students will learn about U.S. culture and values, and receive instruction from native English speakers, including guest speakers from the United States.
There are four other Access programs running concurrently in Kota Kinabalu, Subang Jaya, Penang and Johor Bahru that are operated by two providers, Inter Education Consult (IEC) and ELS Language Center. Since its inception in 2004, 439 Malaysian students have graduated from the Access program. Many of the students are now pursuing tertiary education while some have also participated in other U.S. exchange programs namely the South East Asia Youth Leadership (SEAYLP) program, the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program, Access Alumni and Students U.S. Workshops.
Also present at the opening ceremony were EMS Chairman Tuan Haji Kamaruzzaman Haji Abu Samah, SMK Taman Kosas Principal Jahani Kafi, SMK Taman Kosas PTA President Encik Azaddin Abd Aziz, Regional English Language Officer Dawn Rogier and Cultural Affairs Officer Arend Zwartjes.