Nominees for Young Entrepreneur eBook are up!

Daniel and I have shortlisted the nominees of our Young Entrepreneur eBook project and they are now up for voting.

Click on this link to vote for your favourite young entrepreneur here now!

Malaysian can’t get Filipino stepson into school

From The Star:

I AM a Malaysian citizen who has taken a Filipino wife four years ago. Since then, I have also been raising her son from a previous liaison as my own. 

But my stepson, who is now seven-years-old, is unable to enrol in a government school to begin his Primary One education. The Education Ministry has denied him permission to study in a government school although the school in question had already accepted him in principle.  

The reason given for the rejection was because my wife was stated to be “single” in our marriage certificate and it is impossible, in the eyes of the ministry, that my wife could have kids before our marriage.

Ah, Government. You and your strange ways of determining citizenship and school eligibility. And you say you want to arrest parents who don’t send their children to school?

Gerald, I suggest homeschooling.

Edgeware’s Do Well Conference – 80% Discount – Two Spots Left!

If you’re a social entrepreneur, activist, thinker, idealist, young achiever, or anyone else in between, come by to Brisbane this weekend for Edgeware’s Do Well conference!

In Do Well, you will be able to:

  • Hear from other entrepreneurs on how they make their ventures work
  • Share your stories and ideas on your projects
  • Work together on practical hands-on workshops to boost creativity and energy
  • Share your expertise with eager learners
  • Network with people from varying industries
  • And much more!

Do Well will take place from Friday 22nd February to Sunday 24th February, at the Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre in New Farm.

Tickets usually go for $500, but as part of a special “Little Legends” offer (especially made for me!) you can gain entry for just $100 – an 80% discount! I have TWO spots left for this discount, so quickly drop me an email at tiara.shafiq@gmail.com for further instructions.

I’ll also be presenting on Saturday afternoon, so it’ll be great to see some of you there.

Thanks and be quick!

World Youth Congress 2008 – Need Help

I’ve been accepted as one of 600 delegates (out of 5000 applications) for the World Youth Congress 2008 in Quebec, Canada. Here’s my invitation letter (I edited out my address and passport number for privacy). I was selected in the Young Journalist category based on

To go to this congress, I need to get a plane ticket to Quebec, as well as CDN$300, which covers accommodation, living costs, the conference itself, etc. It’s actually a pretty good deal as far as conferences go – the UN Youth Assembly I went to last August cost me over $2000 just for the conference package (the airfare was about the same) and it wasn’t quite worth the money. I’ve also been in touch with some of the other delegates, and they’re pretty excited about going too. It would be a marvellous opportunity if I could go.

However, I am pretty busy trying to fundraise for the KaosPilots, and I don’t really want to spend more energy and time trying to add this into the mix. The KaosPilots are already a big load on my resources. My needs for the World Youth Congress are relatively smaller – a visa, CDN$300, a plane ticket. But they still cost more money than I have.

Can you help?

I’m not willing to collect donations this time – last time I tried this, I failed spectacularly. I did send what I collected to UNICEF Malaysia via Western Union, but I have no idea if they got it or not. However, if you can sponsor me a plane ticket to Quebec – whether through frequent flyer miles, actual purchase of the ticket, or some other means – I would be more than grateful. It’d also be great if you knew anyone working in the airline industry (or if you work in an airline!) that could help me.

Thanks!

Young Malaysian Entrepreneurs eBook – Where are the WOMEN?

Daniel and I are sorting through the nominations for the Young Malaysians Entrepreneurs eBook, and there’s a glaring omission:

Where are the WOMEN?

We have about a gazillion male nominations, but less than a handful of female nominations. We are sure that there are wonderful young Malaysian females out there being enterprising – we just want to know where you are.

Go and nominate some women now!

Expanding EducateDeviate – what would you like?

EducateDeviate has been up and running for over two years, and in this time it’s grown from being just a blog about my thoughts on education, to a resource for anything related to youth empowerment and non-traditional learning. With that, I’m planning to expand EducateDeviate to make it more self-sustainable, as well as being a better resource for everyone.

Here are some features I’d like to implement:

  • User-submitted content: So far I’m the only person that writes for this blog (aside for a guest post or two for Blogathon), but that means that posting schedules have to fit in with my (increasingly packed) real-life schedule. I would love to open the blog up to you, by allowing you to send in entries and see them published on EducateDeviate. Myself (and possibly a small team) would still moderate the entries for spam/clarity, but other than that, this is a great opportunity for you to get your opinions out and receive feedback from others.
  • Events listing: A lot of the posts I make on EducateDeviate are reminders for certain events or competitions – basically, anything with a certain deadline. It would be great to have a regularly-updated sidebar listing related events, which can be updated independently of the blog.
  • Resource directory: One of the main reasons I started EducateDeviate was to provide resources for alternative education opportunities. A directory of resources – programs, schools, people, links, books, etc – clearly organized and searchable by criteria would be amazing.
  • Forums: Some pretty interesting discussions can spring up here from time to time. Let’s encourage them!
  • Sponsorship: Currently, due to WordPress.com’s limitations, I am not allowed to put in any advertising. I’m not opposed to joining an ad banner service such as Nuffnag, Advertlets, or Adsense; however, I don’t want EducateDeviate to be a barrage of advertising. I’d rather advertise public services, non-profits, or youth ventures. So far I make nothing (no money) out of EducateDeviate, and while I don’t need to live off it, it would be good for EducateDeviate to sustain itself. Sponsorship from related organizations and companies would be a great way to connect EducateDeviate’s readers with other resources that could help them, and I would still have enough control to maintain editorial integrity. I could also introduce more commercial aspects such as an Amazon.com bookstore or T-shirts.

That’s just the beginning. In the future I’d like to develop the following:

  • The Educated Deviant scholarship fund to encourage young Malaysians to explore alternative education options
  • Special events such as roadshows, workshops, fairs, and so on
  • Books and other publications – the eBook I’m working on with Daniel is a great start, and I’d love to make more of these
  • Podcasts and vlogs – with enough resources, EducateDeviate could be even more interactive
  • Consulting and counselling services for companies that want to connect to young people, or for young people that want to explore alternative education but don’t know how.

As part of my goals for EducateDeviate is to develop a community of educated deviants, I would like to pose the next question to you:

What do you want to see in EducateDeviate?

Any idea, no matter how weird or silly, is fine. You may inspire something that shows up on the site! Also, if you want to help me develop EducateDeviate further (particularly if you have any experience with web development), please contact me.

A Vision of Students Today

An extremely thought-provoking video from the Digital Ethnography class at Kansas State University – does the current education system really work with the reality of student life? Or is it stuck in the past? (thanks ExperienceCurve):

I particularly liked the part towards the end where, after one student holds up a sign that says “After I graduate I would likely be hired for a job that doesn’t exist today”, one student holds up a filled-in exam answer sheet and responds “This won’t get me there”. Now this is a university class I’d love to take.