While the number of Malaysian graduates overseas is on the rise, the country is losing more of its talents who play an important role in inspiring the next generation. Dzameer Dzulkifli co-established the NGO Teach for Malaysia in 2011, championing the education cause through recruiting and training promising Malaysian individuals near and far to counteract the lack of quality educators for needy, local children in both urban and rural areas.
What are the issues that Teach for Malaysia is addressing?
A lot of Malaysians are going into industries such as banking, accounting, engineering, etc. No one sees teaching as a noble profession. It’s such a high honour to pass on the knowledge of a civilisation to the next generation, and we wanted to get that spirit back. We always focus on three big factors. Firstly, you’re making a difference in a child’s life. Secondly, the benefits you will gain while teaching the kids – communication and leadership skills, how to break down large concepts into simple ideas. And lastly, if you find that it’s not the right fit, you will still take away a lot of key skills that you can use in any aspect of your life.
What have you personally taken away from this?
For me, it’s the human potential that any child has. It’s up to adults or people who’re responsible of nurturing and harnessing that potential. You just have to make them believe that they can do it and you’ll see them succeed. This is applicable not only to a teacher but to a leader in a corporate setting as well, like how you inspire your team.