RIGHTS recognises the rights of all individuals – regardless of race, religion, or socioeconomic class – to access to quality education.

Established in 2008, the Akademi Rakyat (‘The People’s Academy’) was our Founder’s way of extending access to key language skills and civic awareness to the critically underserved population of Balik Pulau, Penang. At RIGHTS, we believe that sound education is key in the creation of enlightened individuals and leaders, which ultimately paves the way towards the culmination of a progressive and critical-thinking society.

The academy offers a wide range of free programmes to cater to all segments of the local population, young and old. These free lessons include language classes (Japanese,Mandarin, English and Malay), Mathematics lessons, Quranic recitation and interpretation classes targeting the Senior population of Balik Pulau, and lastly classes in civic education led by Yusmadi Yusoff himself. Topics covered in the civic education classes include introductions to the Malaysian constitution and lessons on citizens’ basic rights. To date, the academy has provided language and civic education to over 500 students.

Akademi Rakyat also operates as a co-learning space for the people of Balik Pulau. Equipped with a library, classrooms, meeting spaces and air conditioning, the academy acts as an effective space for self-study, learning, meeting and mutual collaboration for the people in the constituency who need it most.

To further support the educational pursuits of Balik Pulau’s underprivileged, RIGHTS has also launched the ‘Biasiswa Rakyat’ (Balik Pulau Education Fund for the Poor). Through this scheme, over 100 students have been provided with financial support.

RIGHTS has completed the phase 1 (2008-2018) of Akademi Rakyat ie: to ensure the rights of quality education to the poor and disadvantage

For the second phase (2019-2023) of Akademi Rakyat, RIGHTS will focus more on leadership capacity building for future leaders from rural areas of developing countries (in particular future leaders from Southeast Asia).