MRSM Kepala Batas Koperasi
"When we are in the cooperative, we are really taking care of each other. So basically, the cooperative is where we start to learn about helping each other and enjoy the life with the community"
Nurin Aina Binti Mohd Asri - Cooperative member and student
MRSM Kepala Batas Koperasi
Location: Kepala Batas, Penang
Year of Foundation: 2007
Number of Members: 889
Sector: School cooperative
Key themes: Youth’s education and training, community development, decent work
- 4 Quality education
- 8 Decent work and economic growth
- 10 Reduced Inequalities
MRSM Kepala Batas Kooperasi is a school cooperative established within a school of excellence, to which only the best students, in terms of academic merits, can access.
School cooperatives are a key instrument for the proper functioning of the school, and MRSM Kepala Batas Kooperasi is not an exception. It provides important services to the school, such as cafeterias, laundry facilities and also a nursery for the children of teachers and staff. The cooperative has also purchased a van that is rented out to the school. The income generated from these services is entirely reinvested in activities for the students. This is an important aspect as it guarantees a certain autonomy to the students, who thus should not be reliant on government and school funds.
MRSM Kepala Batas Kooperasi is also highly concerned about the sustainability and development of the local community and so food products sold in the cafeteria and small shops come from local producers
In addition to the important economic effects, participation also strengthens the skills of students. The active participation in the cooperative is empowering for students: cooperative members acquire greater technical and managerial skills, learn how to manage time more effectively and can improve their communication skills. The cooperative provides students, who are in the midst of their cognitive and personal development, with the adequate tools to be active agents in decision-making processes.
Collaboration among students, as well as between students and professors, contributes to building a sense of community and mutuality, which are fundamental aspects for human development.
This cooperative story highlights the importance of integrating social dimensions: education, mutualism, local communities, and economic sustainability; demonstrating how fundamental it is to learn cooperative principles from the very beginning of schooling.
Key Learning Points
- School cooperatives are an innovative model capable of integrating the provision of services to schools with the construction of mutualism and a sense of community, while promoting local and sustainable development.
- Participation in a cooperative from an early age provides useful tools for individual empowerment, as well offering opportunities for personal and professional growth.
- The existence of an enabling environment is fundamental for the development of a good cooperative movement. Malaysia promotes cooperatives through public policies and considers school coops as a key institution to provide services to schools and allow students to develop skills.