Now What?

I started EducateDeviate three years ago because I was inspired by my recent Up with People trip and remembered that many of my friends and peers wanted to do the same but didn’t know how. It started with a musing about how the year will be – and has grown into a fledgling resource on self-education, youth programs, interesting people, gripes about education, all sorts of things.

In the three years I’ve moved to a different country, became a conference junkie, dived fully into volunteering, explored subcultures I’d barely heard of before. I received plenty of emails from other young people around the world who found a kindred voice in me, and I sought out other youths who served as my inspiration.

Education in Malaysia hasn’t necessarily changed much – the biggest change would be the Government’s plan to not announce the name of the top scorers and limit the number of SPM papers one can take, to halt the trend of “get as many As as possible”. Even with a drastically changed government, there doesn’t seem to be too many dramatic upheavals education-wise. The Malaysian public are becoming more autonomous, though, with new ventures and projects popping up by the minute.

In a couple of months I officially graduate, and I return to Malaysia possibly indefinitely. Since I’ve been in Brisbane I’ve been immersed in Australian culture and current events; to be frank, I probably know a lot more about Brisbane than I do about Johor Bahru. I’ve hardly been able to keep up with what’s going on in Malaysia, replying on the assistance of my friends. I got to hear different viewpoints about local education, see how young people have deep respect here – but at the same time I’m not totally sure I could contribute to their causes.

EducateDeviate has served its purpose quite well, though there is room for improvement. However, there’s only so much talking I can do. For EducateDeviate to stay relevant – and for me to be more useful – we need to move into action.

What should EducateDeviate do?

I’m at a crosswords. My interests are melding and changing. There’s a faint possibility of being less hands-on with EducateDeviate to pursue other goals. (I’m reluctant to do this, as the last time I let go of a project and handed it over to someone else ended in disaster and lost friendships.) We could transform EducateDeviate from being just a blog to being a working organisation for youth and social change in education. Or we could do something else.

What should we do?

Tell me: now what?

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4 Responses

  1. A group blog for young people with ideas on how to reform various education systems around the world?

  2. When you enter the unknown, always go armed with your strengths and instincts (I have a feeling that you have a good set of instincts).

  3. please don’t leave educatedeviate!!!! i think it’s a very unique website that has inspired and will continue to inspire many young Malaysians, particularly those studying in Malaysia, to look outside the box. I was going to propose other people getting more involved but as you said, it’s your baby :)

    Although you’re right in saying that we need to move into action instead of talking about these issues, I feel like many, many educators and Malaysian society in general are still struggling to even start this discussion on what it means to be “educated”. I’m not sure what your goals are, but if they involve the education system in Malaysia then connecting with organizations that are already established in alternative education (Raleigh, Cloudbreak in Msia etc) might be useful…

  4. Tiara,

    Really laud your efforts over the past few years, sharing resources with fellow Malaysians.

    Perhaps a good way would be for us to pool resources among many initiatives that have been started over the years, and find a way to get a sustainable action and development from it.

    EducateDeviate, EducationMalaysia, ReCom.org, TinKosong, Malaysia Scholarships, thecicak etc are just some of the initiatives that have been started, and we should find ways to work together for a better education for Malaysia for the future.

    I won’t say that what EducateDeviate has done is just talking. I am sure you have known of many people whose life might have been transformed due to certain conferences/initiatives/programs that they have participated, after getting to know about it from here.

    Lets not make all these go to waste! :)

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