What’s After SPM? – OMG AWESOME BOOK PROJECT

This project blows my mind. I was actually going to start a very similar project, but I’m glad some other young people are taking the initiative.

What’s After SPM? is a collection of real-life stories about the myriad of options open to people after SPM. From the typical foundation/pre-U/A-levels/STPM to more unusual choices like opening a restaurant. It just goes to show that you could do whatever you want after the exams (or nothing, if that’s your boat).

From Tara and the rest of the production crew:

For most of us, the end of secondary school education (or the lack of it) marked a turning point in our lives where we moved from studying together under an umbrella education system (SPM) to embarking upon vastly different pathways.

The transition process for the more fortunate among us would no doubt have been aided by the various resources made available to us: school counselors, advice from worried parents and knowledgeable seniors, counsel from helpful relatives, visits to campus open day sessions, mountainous stacks of college brochures, education sections in local newspapers, education resource websites etc.

The same, however, cannot be said of hundreds of thousands of kids all over Malaysia who, unlike us, have no regular access to the internet, are not blessed with well-informed family and friends, and who complete secondary school with little or almost no awareness of the opportunities that abound for them, as well as kids who are simply ignorant of the opportunities that surround them or just do not possess the faith and self-confidence to pursue their passions.

Therefore, we have decided to spearhead this project in hopes of reaching those kids and sending them this message: “Look, kids, now that you have completed secondary school, there are a million opportunities out there for you, a million pathways that you can undertake, a million places to visit, and you should explore those choices as much as you can. You can do anything you set your mind to. All it takes is keyakinan, a little bit of strategi, a little bit of tuah, and lots and lots of semangat dan usaha.”

We are now looking for a plethoric collection of stories of young Malaysians who have pursued different pathways after SPM. The stories will be published in a book to be distributed to as students and secondary schools as possible. And we would like to invite you to participate in this project by submitting your story, or persuading your friends to submit their stories.

It does not matter whether you are a scholar with stellar results and a 3-inch thick resume, a typical student who went to a local university after finishing Form 6, or a youth who has to work in the pasar malam at night to foot your technical college fees in the day. It does not matter whether you have chosen the oft-beaten path or the road less travelled. We believe that there every education background offers its own boons and banes. And we believe that there are merits in telling any story.

For more information on submission guidelines and how to help, check out their blog. Like NOW.

Youth Leadership Academy – Taking Applications

Just got this from the YLA team:

The Youth Leadership Academy is dedicated to nurturing and building capabilities of future young leaders. As a participant, you will have the opportunity to improve your leadership skills, and be inspired by Malaysia’s most successful corporate leaders and young professionals.

We are looking for a diverse group of 20-30 of the most talented and driven Malaysian undergraduate students in their first or second year of studies at a university in Malaysia. Candidates must demonstrate strong leadership potential, personal drive, and a passion and energy for making a difference in our community and country. The deadline for the application is 15 March.

For more information about the programme, and how you can sign up, visit our website at http://www.mckinsey.com.my/YLA or e-mail us your questions at YLA_Malaysia@mckinsey.com .

National Youth Entrepreneur Convention #2 – Tickets Available Now

The 2nd edition of YouthMalaysia’s National Youth Entrepreneur Convention, held in conjunction with YOUTH’09, is taking place at the Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur on the 10th of January 2009.

2nd National Youth Entrepreneur Convention 2009

Among this year’s speakers are:

There’s also an opportunity to present your business plan at the convention – sign up and you’ll be in the running for a slot. Registrations are RM80 for individual earlybirds (before 10th Dec) and groups of min 3 people, and RM120 for individuals after 10th Dec.

I won’t be around this time; however, the folks at the NYEC have appointed me as a supporter of the event. As a supporter, I’ve been given a co-branded link that pays EducateDeviate RM10 for each registrant that registers through my link. This would really help cover costs for EducateDeviate’s eventual move (to its own server space & domain), as well as software and design – which costs more than I anticipated! Just so you know.

Register & Support EducateDeviate!

Speaking of design costs: NYEC has asked for a logo to be put on their marketing material. I don’t actually have one. I’m looking around, but does anyone have any logo skills that they’ll like to contribute? Greatly appreciated!

Anyone who goes, please let me know how it went – you can write a guest post here if you wish 🙂

The March Forward: Workshop for final-year tertiary students

The Star’s college youth pull-out R.AGE is organising The March Forward, a workshop-packed day aimed at helping final year students transition into the working world.

The workshops will feature talks by various industry experts on what employers seek in the workforce, developing your resume, branding yourself, and managing interviews. There will also be plenty of opportunities for you to ask questions about careers and job-seeking.

The workshops will be held at Menara Star, 15 Jalan 16/11, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia on the 23rd of November 2008 from 8:30am to 5:30pm. Registration is RM20 and is on a first-come-first-serve basis. Goodies from Clinique and Parkson are provided.

Download their registration form and contact Nelsen at 03-7967 1388 ext. 1456 or Leong at 03-7967 1388 ext. 1432 for more information.

Opportunities: YouthSays Seeks Uncommon Youth, Nescafe KickStart Wants Entrepreneurs, BarCamp Sets Up at JB

1. YouthSays are hunting for more people to join them for future projects, including the YOUTH’09 Festival. They’re looking for a Stats Beast, an Online Community Leader, and a Blogger + Art Director. Get in touch with Joel or Khailee for more information.

2. Nescafe KickStart is up for another season, and this time they’re focused specially on entrepreneurs. Take their entrepreneur evaluation and you’ll be contacted if they find you suitable for the program.

3. Malaysian entrepreneurship advocate Daniel CerVentus Lim of Ideapreneur.net is bringing international unconference camp format BarCamp to Johor Bahru on the 6th and 7th of December 2008. The main idea of unconferences is that participants build the program collaboratively, either online or on the day, rather than the program being set by a committee in advance. For more information and for registration, visit the BarCampJB wiki.

“Schooled” – film on alternative schooling system

The Sudbury Valley School system, started in Massachusetts in 1968, is one of the more pre-eminent and well-known forms of alternative school systems in the world. In the core of the Sudbury Valley system is democracy in education: students and staff are all given the right to vote on issues in the school that affect them – from school lunches to changes in rules. There are also no compulsory sessions, classes, or subjects; instead, the students take their own initiative in deciding what they want to learn, when and how they want to learn it (much like unschooling, just with a structural base). Age groups are mixed and often the students also act as teachers to their peers.

The Sudbury Valley system is in place in North America, some parts of Europe, Israel, and Australia, though it hasn’t really taken off elsewhere. This could be due to different cultural and societal expectations on the purpose of schooling and education. Imagine if Malaysian students were allowed to decide what they wanted to learn, and didn’t have to do exams if they didn’t want to! I would personally love it, but the rest of the country may degenerate into confused chaos as it’s completely the opposite of what we’re used to.

Part of overcoming such barriers is to experience the Sudbury Valley system for ourselves. If we’re not lucky enough to get to visit a school, though, there is another way: watching the film Schooled.

Schooled showcases the journey of Fred, a school teacher facing plenty of problems both in his personal and professional life. To resolve his crisis, he goes out to discover alternatives, and stumbles upon a Sudbury Valley school. The sheer difference of systems shocks him into reevaluating his perspectives and goals.

The film has received positive feedback from the Alternative Education Resource Organisation, the key worldwide organisation for alternative and democratic schooling, as well as other educators and past Sudbury Valley students. Screenings have been held around the US, Australia, Sweden, and Canada.

To celebrate its launch, the people at Schooled are offering special discounts and free offers for every DVD sold on Wednesday, October 15 (Launch Day). The DVD normally costs $25, but for Launch Day there will be a 20% discount as well as a choice of goodies related to alternative education or to Hollywood.

I haven’t had the chance to see the movie yet, but if I do I’ll post a review. This should be interesting – there have been a lot of films about teachers and schools, but not many (if any) dealing with a real-world alternative system. Will this increase awareness and acceptance for alternative systems? Let’s see.

(thanks Erin!)

Now Hiring: Press & Partnerships Officer, YOUTH ’09

If you are good with people and connections, and would like to get involved in something for three months, take this opportunity to apply for the role of Press & Partnerships Officer for YOUTH ’09, the second in a series of annual youth festivals organised by YouthMalaysia.

According to Khailee, who is a main player in YouthMalaysia (and various other projects) alongside founder Joel Neoh, this role involves liasing with media partners to handle pre- and post-event publicity and coverage, as well as liasing with program partners that are presenting events at YOUTH ’09. To qualify:

  • You have excellent spoken and written skills in English.
  • You possess outgoing, social, positive, youthful energy.
  • You possess your own transportation
  • You must be available full-time from 15th October till 31st January
  • You are willing to learn, do whatever it takes to MASTER this role
  • Must be not older than 30 years old (this is a youth-for-youths event after all)

Experience in media and public relations is a bonus, but not necessary.

If you’re interested, send your CV to Khailee at khailee@youthmalaysia.com by the 18th of October 2008.

    EducateDeviate on the Staples Youth Social Entrepreneur Competition

    Check out EducateDeviate on Staples

    Check out EducateDeviate on Staples

    The Staples Youth Social Entrepreneur Competition, hosted by Ashoka and Youth Venture, provides young people and youth organisations the chance to showcase their project online around the world. Projects will be evaluated and voted on, and the best projects go on to win a variety of prizes.

    EducateDeviate is one of the projects listed for this competition – check out our application page and leave us some comments! You can see all the other projects (from 46 countries) here.

    If you have a project and want to give this a shot, you have until October 15, 2008 6:00 pm EST (21:00 GMT) – which isn’t long!

    Young Malaysians – how can we support you?

    Hey EducateDeviate readers – especially from Malaysia – I need your help.

    I’m planning to apply to the Sauve Scholars program, a one-year fellowship based in McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where you are given full support and resources to research, study, and work on a project of your choice.

    I would like to use the year to come up with a project plan for resources that help young people find support for their passions and interests – mainly from a Malaysian perspective, as there’s nothing there (as you probably know) but involving research into how young people are supported in other countries. To do that, I first need to know what Malaysian youths need in terms of support. So:

    Young Malaysians – how can we support you?

    Do you need a space for support and advice?
    Do you need more information about what’s out there in Malaysia and beyond?
    Do you need more money?
    Do you need changes in your school?
    Do you need a mentor or a support group?
    Do you need a club or society?

    Whatever it is you want or need, feel free to comment below or email me. Anything from “I would like a personal counsellor to tell me what options I have” to “I would like a million dollars and stuff for my rock band” works. Anything at all.

    If you’re not a young Malaysian but you still have ideas, feel free to contribute too. The more I know what to look for, the better I can be at making this project plan. And even if the Sauve Scholars thing doesn’t work out, I still have some concrete starting points to do something back home.

    Please also forward this post to your friends and peers – the more ideas the better!

    p.s. If you’ve done an undergrad degree, you’re under 30, and you have strong passions for any field of your choice, feel free to apply to Sauve Scholars too 🙂

    Be at the 2008 Global Youth Forum in Armenia – here’s how

    My sister alerted me to ASTRO’s competition to send a young Malaysian to the 2008 Global Youth Forum:

    We are banking on you, the country’s youth population, to generate fresh and innovative ideas to win a berth at this year’s United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) Global Youth Forum to be held from 21 – 24 October in Armenia! This competition, The Malaysian Chapter, is open to all Malaysian youths aged 18 – 25 years (individual or two members per team), who would have to select one or incorporate all of the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals in a written document, a 3 – 5 minute video, or an active electronic presentation demonstrating their strategies, plans and solutions in addressing and achieving these goals.

    The Eight UN Millennium Development Goals are:

    1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
    2. Achieve universal primary education
    3. Promote gender equality and empower women
    4. Reduce child mortality
    5. Improve maternal health
    6. Combat HIV / AIDS, malaria and other diseases
    7. Ensure environmental sustainability
    8. Develop a global partnership for development

    If your entry is selected, we will then award you and/or your team a paid trip to participate and showcase your work at the 2008 UN GAID Global Youth Forum in Armenia!

    So hurry, think of how you can save the world today. And together, we could make a difference!

    Let’s make Malaysia proud! Enter THE MALAYSIAN CHAPTER of the UN GAID Global Youth Forum 2008, TODAY!

    Entries* must be submitted together with the Registration Form via post to the following address or email to yd@astro.com.my and all Contest entries must reach Astro on or before 11.59pm on the 25th September 2008 to be eligible for the contest.

    *Maximum file size 10MB

    Astro Youth Dynamics Division
    Astro Entertainment Sdn Bhd
    Ground Floor Wisma Penyayang
    No 6 Jalan Equine
    Taman Equine Bandar Putra Permai
    43300 Seri Kembangan
    Selangor,
    Malaysia

    I’m glad that companies like ASTRO are completely on board in supporting young people. This is a great initiative (don’t get scared off from “Armenia”) and I truly encourage everyone to give this a go.

    Writers for Women’s Rights 2008 – Applications Open

    Thanks Dina:

    Are you a young woman between the ages of 18 to 32? Are you interested in what’s happening around you? Do you have a passion for writing? Do you want your voice heard in the mass media? Have you been thinking of getting involved in activism but not sure where to start?

    If you are, then the Writers for Women’s Rights Programme may be just what you have been looking for.

    Organised by the All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), the programme will help develop your understanding of gender and social justice issues, writing and analytical skills, and media relations.

    If selected, you will attend a live-in workshop from the 13–16 November 2008, where you will receive training from experienced AWAM writers and trainers on those areas. You can look forward to connecting with a motley crew of inquisitive young women who are passionate about social justice and social  transformation.

    Keen? Apply now!

    Write or email a short statement (500 words) explaining why you are interested in the programme and what you hope to gain from it. Include a brief biodata or CV, write ‘WWRP’ as your subject heading and send it before 30th September to:

    Snail mail: AWAM, 85 Jalan 21/1, 46300 Petaling Jaya (fax: 03-7874 3312)
    Email: advocacy-programs@awam.org.my

    Applicants may be asked to attend an interview. Selected applicants will be notified by 15 October 2008. Selected participants are required to pay a workshop registration fee:
    Students or unemployed: RM 50
    Others: RM 100

    If you need a waiver or a reduction of the fee, please write to us explaining your circumstances with your application. Waivers or reductions may be granted based on the discretion of the organizers.

    I did this program two years ago and it was fantastic. It introduced me to the idea of writing Letters to the Editor to create change, and the people that run it are passionate and knowledgable about feminism in Malaysia. Give this a go.

    Brightest Young Minds – Malaysia?

    I just came back from 5 days of the Brightest Young Minds summit in Sydney. The general idea of the summit is to get motivated and passionate young people together to learn about creating initiatives, while also developing actual workable projects to be pitched to potential sponsors.

    Brightest Young Minds

    It started in South Africa and it’s now that country’s most prestigious and well-known youth-based development initiative. It recently arrived in Australia and within the two years has created a lot of good.

    I love the idea and I think it should be more widely available. I was wondering if people were interested in doing a BYM in Malaysia.

    While there are people trying to encourage young people to form initiatives, such as BarCamp and Young Entrepreneur summits, there isn’t really any clear support and education system that’s comprehensive. Also, information on actually STARTING and getting legal/financial support for your project is pretty low. There are plenty of youngsters with ideas…just no idea how to get them off the ground.

    Having 100 other energetic young people, plus the support and knowledge of people in their field (we had Hugh Evans, who is pretty much THE MAN when it comes to youth development in Australia) would go very far in getting these ideas into reality. There would also be actual opportunities for delegates to create and develop those ideas before they leave – thereby avoiding the common youth conference problem where people are so motivated to crate change during the conference, but afterwards their energy drops and nothing gets done.

    To get BYM in Malaysia we need to know the following:

    • Legal aspects of using the BYM name and concept – is there some sort of “franchise kit”?
    • Finding and recruiting young people to be part of BYM(M) 1
    • Partnerships and sponsorships with companies and organizations
    • Convincing people that BYM as a structure can work in Malaysia
    • Getting BYM(M) off the ground and sustainable
    • Creating a team of people interested in getting involved with BYM(M) behind the scenes
    • Connecting BYM(M) to BYMs in SA and Australia
    • Timelines – when do we start work, and when do we have our first BYM(M)?

    If you’re interested, or know other people who are, leave me a comment or message.

    SOLS 24/7 – Education & Support for the Marginalized

    The SOLS (Science of Life) 24/7 organization, founded by the family of young Malaysian social entrepreneur Raj Ridhvan Singh (recently shortlisted as one of KLue’s Blue Chillies) builds boarding schools across Cambodia, Timor Leste, and Malaysia for marginalized young people. In these schools, students learn 2 years of English, maths, business, leadership, character, and volunteering skills, amongst others. This enables them to reintegrate with the rest of society, obtain jobs, and support themselves.

    Malaysiakini also has an interview and video profile with Raj about the SOLS 24/7 school in Malaysia.

    I’ve met Raj briefly and heard him speak about his project, and I find him really passionate and sincere towards his cause. I do have some questions about the Science of Life system itself (some of the students talk about it being an actual subject, but there’s no actual information on it specifically) but overall this initiative is doing a lot of good to those that really need the help.

    SOLS 24/7 is in great need of funding, support, and volunteers. If you can help, contact Raj at +6012 6398 442 or email him at raj@sols247.org.

    Indie Youth Fest – Celebrating youth creativity

    There’s a vibrant indie creative scene amongst Malaysian youths; however, it doesn’t often get much respect due to the conservative media and politicians’ insistence of painting indie youth culture as frivolous, dangerous, or rebellious.

    The Indie Youth Fest, sparked by Doppelganger Open Mic, is an opportunity for young Malaysians involved or interested in indie culture to showcase themselves and check out other budding talent. Held between 4-6th July 2008 at One Utama, the Indie Youth Fest includes:

    and much more to be announced.

    This is a refreshing change for a Malaysian youth festival. Most other “youth festivals” so far have been corporate-organized, which often means they’re usually there as subtle advertising for the company instead of actualy supporting youth initiatives (see my experience with Levi’s 501 Day). The Indie Youth Fest, on the other hand, is youth-run and youth-managed, which means that the core crew are more attuned to the needs and capabilities of young people. Instead of exploiting their talents, they are appreciating and showcasing them in a manner that respects everyone.

    I can’t make it to the Indie Youth Fest as I’m flying out to Australia on 4th evening, but good luck and have fun! Hopefully this will be the start to even more youth-organized events.

    EducateDeviate now part of 9rules

    9Rules

    I’m proud to announce that EducateDeviate has been accepted into the latest round of 9rules, a well-known and well-respected blog network that features content from all areas and aspects of life.

    I’m particularly stoked about being in 9rules as it’s highly sought after and it has strong community aspects. I’m interested in meeting up with other 9rules bloggers, particularly education bloggers, and see how we can work together to develop greater content. I’m also interested in getting assistance in developing EducateDeviate further, from just being a blog to being a full-fledged resource centre.

    Another homeschooling/alternative education blog, Just Enough, was also accepted into this round of 9rules. I found her through looking at the accepted websites list and it’s great to have more blogs like ours around – they’re hard to find as it is! The Education community on 9rules is rather sparse at the moment, but hopefully myself and Just Enough will be able to fill it out a bit.

    Huzzah! Thank you Scriv, Mike, and Tyme!