Thursday, March 31, 2011

Resources Contributed by various Contributors

Thanks to Shu Wen, Chi Hung and loyal blog contributor for the following links.

1. List of all Scholarships in Malaysia

3. 40,000 Variations of MIT Media Lab Logo

4. More Foreign Borned Scholars lead US Universities

5. Scholarships for ASEAN Students 2011

6. University Scholars Leadership Symposium

7. Times Higher Education World Reputation Ranking

8. Article in MIT Admissions Blog 

9. How to Avoid Catastrophe

10. Nuts and Bolts of Applying to US Universities

11. How has reading Ayn Rand's Novels Affecting You (Essay Competition)

12. A is for Average

13. Ivy League does not necessarily increase one's lifetime income

14. Questions Abound as the College-Rankings Race Goes Global

15. What international students want to study

16. Countries vying to become education hubs

17. Boon The Scholar

Monday, March 21, 2011

30th Young Corporate Malaysians CEO Series of Talk - Azran Osman-Rani

Today is the 30th Young Corporate Malaysians CEO Series of Talk. And with us today is Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of Air Asia X, a graduate of Stanford University in Electrical Engineering and Management Science. He embodies the ethos of Air Asia X. His interest is snowboarding, ultimate frisbee and running. Below is the live blogging. 

Today is the biggest crowd for YCM CEO Series of Talk. We have 200+ people attending. Azran would be sharing on his message. He shared that all 1-year, 3-year, 5-year plan do not work and can throw them away. He has done 5 iterations of 2011 planning and it is still in March. We can't predict all the happenings. We just have to be nimble. If we make mistakes, then we just have to correct it and move on.

The challenges are that when Air Asia X wanted to be done, experts say that it cannot be done. Others have tried and failed. British, Hong Kong people, Canadians have tried it and cannot work. Azran said that he just have to do it. Tony Fernandes gave him 5 slides when he started. 

The easy part is that if we give discounts, people will fly. But the question is that how can we make money, if we continue to give discounts. If we strip out the brands, then everything is the same. There is nothing unique in this aviation business. So, when he is looking at the hiring, he looks for the uniqueness in people.

The entire global industry is built to serve the premium passengers. The entire industry is running on 50% capacity. Cathay Pacific average capacity of a day is 11.5-12 hours a day. As they are all very focused on premium customers, so they are not taking of the average people. The airlines are all very focused on the premium customers.

If go to KLIA and Changi, all the big flights are taking off at late nights, so that they would arrive in Europe, say London early in the morning. But in Europe, no one would be willing to wake up early in the morning, to get on 7am. So, the planes are parked at the airport and paying expensive airport charges. In the day time, at KLIA, the big planes are idle there, to wait for the premium time. 

However, Azran believed that a lot of people would be willing to travel at odd time, as long as they are willing to get discounts. Just by stripping out the idle time, Air Asia X is able to fly  17-18 hours a day. By doing this, Air Asia X is able to have the world's highest utilization rate of the flight.

For Air Asia X's customers, they are not those business people, so they would be fine if the planes fly off at different time each day. To them, they might only be going to London once a year or most of them, once in a lifetime. By doing this, Air Asia X was able to get the cost structure lower. 

The problem for those who tried long haul airlines before, they hired those who have had airline experience, so they might only be able to get 10%-20% improvement. For Air Asia X, they only have a few planes, so they had to think innovatively. They are flying at a cost of 2.9 cents per available unit kilometer. Cathay Pacific is at 8.9 cents per available unit km. Air Asia X uses 2.3 litres per seat per 100km flown, whereas Cathay Pacific uses 4.8 litres per seat per 100km flown.

Air Asia X is focusing on how to utilize every single drop of fuel. It is much better than focusing on fuel hedging. The bankers are making money whenever the price of fuel goes up or goes down. 

Irrespective of the cost structure, if can't fill up the plane, there is no way to make money. Airlines used to wait for customers to go to them. Previously, airlines wait for people to have their holidays planned. However, what Air Asia does is that it creates demand. People would decide where to go based on Air Asia's discount and depends on where is cheap. 

For example, someone wants to go to Bali, but if they find that flight to Vientiane is cheaper, they would book it, even though they might not know where it is. 

Once Azran was in a flight to Gold Coast, and it was July, and a passenger told Azran that it was snowing/cold and not blue sky. And Azran said that it is winter in July over there, but the customer didn't even know that. These are not the typical customers for airlines.

Air Asia X is able to increase passengers to Perth by 66%, Melbourne by 41%, London by 31%, Taipei by 87%. For the rest of Europe's, total passengers actually reduced. He pointed out that for those cities that Air Asia X did not fly to, MAS charges higher prices, compared to those flights that Air Asia X flies to. A case in point is Sydney.

Azran also said that for the first person who tweet him would get to go to Gold Coast at RM199 with no date restriction.

Air Asia X's revenue in 2007 was RM18 Million. For 2008, it was RM231 Million. For 2009, it was RM720 Million. For 2010, RM1.302 Billion. For 2011, they are expected to earn RM2 Billion.

Back then, when deposit has been paid for the planes, but due to the financial crisis, the banks ran away. Eventually, Air Asia X went to London to pitch for money. On that day, one of the low cost long-term airline went bust. Air Asia won't be giving guarantee to Air Asia X, but eventually Air Asia X managed to get the lifeline to get credits to borrow money. 

Basically, just have to go out there to grab the opportunities and grab it. Sometimes, just have to aim and hit it. Not everything that Air Asia X does may not work. Not everything is done perfectly correct. 

Air Asia X had an account with Lehman Brothers for fuel hedge, and was hedging at USD100. If Lehman Brothers didn't go to bust, it would have wiped out Air Asia X's capital four times over. Because of Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, Air Asia X lost USD12 Million of deposit, but that saved them from losing way more.

The design of the seats for Air Asia X was pitched to them as latest, where the seats would recline by gliding forward. However, what was not said is that they would have to glide themselves forward. And in the end, people ended up sitting straight for 8 hours and Air Asia X had bad reputation.

The in-flight entertainment was also a flop. While it was cool, it cost a lot of capital and it did not pay back on it. Air Asia X had to waste of RM55 Million on it. As 45%-50% of the flight was at late night, people won't be utilizing the in-flight entertainment, even though it was very cheap or free.

So, they bit the bullet and changed it. Luckily is that no one is blaming each other.

Air Asia X flew over to Abu Dhabi, but within 3 months, it had to back track. Emirates and Etihad really had bottomless cash and "killed off" that route for Air Asia X. What Azran stressed is that sometimes would make wrong move. What is important is that we just have to move on and go ahead.

It is the same for career. So, don't grumble and move on. We might make mistakes in career, but just have to bite the bullet and move on. There is no way for us to build a plan to go to CEO. If we plan, then we would expect things to come as planned, and if it doesn't, then we would miss out of opportunities that come along the way.

Even if things work well, need to be always restless and see how to innovate. A lot of things that Air Asia X do are very easy to be copied. One can see all the flight schedules online and how many seats they have. Ideas can be easily copied, execution is difficult.

Air Asia X became the first low cost airlines that would have flat bed. The legacy airlines are charging a bomb for the business class seats, like RM20,000 to go to London. Those prices include those expensive lounges, wine etc, besides the flat bed.

So, what Air Asia X does is that they focus on providing the flat bed seat, but minus the lounges and wine, so it provides the value. With just RM4,000-RM5,000 for a premium seat to London, that pretty much pays off.

For career, we need to focus on those things that count. We need to keep on thinking on what needs to be done.

Air Asia X became the first one to connect flights, instead of low cost airlines. Air Asia X offers this service, to help those from China to connect to Australia via LCCT, without having to go through immigration and getting their luggage and checking in again.

What matters is not the Excel sheet, but what matters is what gets done. It is about how to get it done.

Everything in the company shares the same KPI. Keeping things simple and make it happen. 

1. USD$1 Billion revenue in 5 years.
2. 2 US cents operating cost per available seat kilometer (world's lowest).
3. 3 out of 4 hours the plane is in the air.
4. 4 out of 5 seats are filled with happy guests.

If everyone focuses on getting this thing right, then it would get ahead. So, people just have to focus on simple things and get it done.

Everything is open and accessible. Azran gets exactly the same size of table and space as everyone else in Air Asia X. People can move around freely and share idea around. A lot of companies have barriers around and by doing this, it would allow Air Asia X to be nimble.

For Air Asia X, the Chief Pilot and Chief Engineer has two enjoining desk. No other airline does that. By doing this, it allows them to communicate well, and know each other. This would help to solve cross-functional issues. By doing this simple thing, it gets things moving and changes.

People go to Air Asia X because they have growth opportunities. People don't go to Air Asia X because they pay very well. If people who join Air Asia X and after 12 months, they are still doing the same thing, then Azran has failed. 

People always change role, for instance, try new routes, try new parts. There is someone who joined from PwC and she joined as financial analyst. And 3.5 years later, she managed the operations of where the planes are flying and contact all the departments, if the plane gets delayed.

Someone joined as call center operator and after 12-18 months, she went on to be flight attendant and now she is managing the flight schedule. 

That to Azran is what counts a lot, as people would learn and grow. People don't join because they want money. If people want a unique challenge and gets completely different challenge, then send Azran email.

It is important to build the tribal culture. Leaders should focus a lot of our time on the people. Keep on engaging the people and it is something that has to be built. The thing that Azran loses sleep over is not whether fuel prices would go higher and any crisis, because everyone in the industry would feel the same thing.

What makes Azran lose sleep is that Air Asia X is growing very fast, and it is more than 1,000 staff from 25 countries, and soon, it would be 2,000 staff from 50 countries. So, it would get tougher to get everyone to keep on engaged. Azran spent a lot of time on his blackberry too, to reply on emails, Facebook and Twitter.

Next on is Q&A.

One needs to have experience and marry that with people who are open minded. Moses Devanayagam, who is the Director of Operations for Air Asia X has 39 years of aviation industry. That's as old as Azran (or as young as him). 

Azran said that don't waste money on market research company. What is important to be in touch with the customers. The social media is so powerful. Today, Azran knew of flight problem, even before he heard from his team, as people would contact them directly.

Azran shared that one just have to be thick skin and be patiently persistent, when dealing with government.

Azran shared that an author that he respected a lot is Bill Watson, who wrote Calvin and Hobbes. He learned the ability to imagine from him. He asked what people look up on someone and often it is imagination. Being able to visualize is key. 

Azran shared on how he got called to go to Putrajaya to explain on writing "Liberating Sydney" on his plane. But what Azran paid attention is when the customers scolded them. Everyone else, government, suppliers and regulators do not matter so much.

Azran did not believe in any particular framework or process. He believed a lot in gut, and if one believes that it is the right thing to do, then they would do that. If one can get most things right, then you are doing well. If can get 80% happy customers, then you are doing well. If you go for 99% or 100%, then you would be taking on too much cost. So, need to manage it as a portfolio.

What inspires Azran is that we should not accept limitation. What drives Azran is that people prove themselves, when others tell them that they can't do it. He looked up to people who are taking on the world. 

Based on Airbus data, Air Asia X has better operational reliability than even Singapore Airlines. For a lot of airlines, flow of information may not spread to everyone. If we have open flow of information, then we can deal with problem. Problems are often systemic in nature. So, as leaders, we have to get information to flow and if one has a regimented culture, the engineers or the pilots would not bring on. So, as a culture, how to instill that culture to have open information. So, anyone can go straight up to Azran. So, information flow is what that would bring information around.

Talent management eventually comes back to can do culture, clear sense of purpose, open and borderless and have growth opportunities. Aim to look for people who fit the culture. That's how Air Asia X managed talent.

Often problems happen is when first officer does not dare to tell the captain. People might not have processed all the information available. So, it all comes down on how to flow the information. The gap usually is how the information flows from the first officer to captain and the engineers to the pilot.

Azran didn't have it easy when he grew up to be accepted and sold his idea. He chose to do engineering, because he can't stand the sight of blood, and thought that numbers are boring, as well as he can't do writing. And his Mathematics teachers were handsome.

In 1997, the opportunities came, and he knew nothing of banking, so he jumped in and learned a lot and it was crazy time. He was in Bangkok during the 2nd July 1997, when Baht was devalued. He learned how to do M&A and valuation, and he did his time over at nuclear power plant, oil & gas etc. He spent 8 months in Korea at nuclear power plant.

He thought that nothing much was happening in South East Asia in 2001, and he spent good time there. The clients were very good. He wanted to stay on permanent in Korea, but he got chance to have client in KLSE. So, he had great time there. Datuk Azlan Hashim was a great person and he spent 6-9 months there. Azran was then offered to join KLSE, to move over and get things done. He sold his car and got a 2nd-hand Proton and counted money for groceries. It was a very valuable experience to turn it over to Bursa Malaysia.

At that time, Astro brought him over to help them to spend money. It was great experience for him, and it went on until the crazy idea of long haul airline came to him. So, one doesn't need to have a grand plan.
Azran shared that when all else failed, trust the wife.

42%-45% of customers base for Air Asia X is family with young children. 9%-10% of Air Asia X customers are from youths, but the price point for Air Asia X is higher, so may not be as affordable for youths.

Air Asia X is a corporate brand and it is the single brand of Air Asia. With long haul, a lot of Australian tourists are taking an onward flight on Air Asia. If only do a point-to-point for Air Asia X, it would only be able to get 25%-30% seats filled.

When Air Asia X goes to London to sell, then Azran would sell Langkawi, Bali, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, Siam Reap etc. Azran is not interested to have a brand for the sake of having a brand. The Air Asia's network is what matters. The name of Air Asia X is just for the shareholders organization structure.

Azran is setting his organization to be nimble, so that whatever crisis that happens, they can react immediately. 

Azran hates emails. People don't communicate effectively in emails, but the best way is to meet face-to-face or via phone. Main thing is spend time and get things done. Azran flies a lot worldwide, so best way is to get to the point and get things done.

Azran sums up that what is most important is information flow and openness. As an organization, there is no way to have the best idea in the world, but best way is to get the information across. And be nimble, as summed up by the MC.

Above is the live blogging of Azran's talk.

Personally, I have a wish list for Air Asia X and Air Asia, would be that they can collect loose changes from passengers in each flight, as often, after people visit a country, they would have small amount of loose change that they might not do a currency exchange back into their local currency. That would be a lot of wastage. What if Air Asia or Air Asia X could collect those loose currencies and donate to the local charitable needs. That could be huge leverage in it and benefit each of the community. Every few Ringgit, thousands of Rupiahs or Dongs etc, would add up to a big figure.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Congrats to Jasper Koid

Congratulations to Jasper Koid for getting admitted to Caltech, as well as waiting list for MIT

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

MIT Admission Decision for Malaysia

Congratulations to Jiunn Wen for getting admitted to MIT and Azman Abdulaziz, Leong Jian Wei and Samantha Siow for getting waitlisted.

Thanks to Coyin for Suhaimi Ramly's link, who announced these results. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

MIT Club of Malaysia Undergrad Admissions Talk

    MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT) CLUB OF MALAYSIA will give a free undergraduate admissions talk for students (parents also welcomed) who wish to apply to MIT this year or in 1-2 years.  

    The talk is in the Royal Selangor Golf Club, Jln Kelab Golf (off Jln Tun Razak), 55000 Kuala Lumpur at 1030am-12 pm, Sat 9 April 2011. Strict Dress code: Smart casual.  

    MIT Educational Counselors and Alumni in Malaysia will share with the audience about MIT campus life, what MIT offers, what to prepare for applications to MIT, Financial Aid.  

    In conjunction with 150th anniversary of MIT, a short video on the founding of MIT will also be shown.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Red Cross Emergency Disaster Relief Fund via Groupon Malaysia

For those of you who would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Disaster Relief Fund to aid Japan, after the earthquake and tsunami, you could do so via Groupon Malaysia (formerly known as GroupsMore).

Groupon Malaysia would be doing a dollar-to-dollar matching (up to RM25,000). 

You could assess the link here at .You can donate in a multiple of RM3.

Do spread the words to your friends.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Young Corporate Malaysians Special Session - Teach for Malaysia

This is the posting of live blogging of the Young Corporate Malaysians Special Session. Today, we have Teach for Malaysia with us. 

Keeran Sivarajah, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Teach for Malaysia would be speaking tonight. He met Dzameer at PricewaterhouseCoopers and they worked together to start up TFM. He would be speaking today with Yong Su En.

The statistics shown was 1 out of 4 people do not have required level of numerical skills. 4 out of 5 working Malaysians only have education up to SPM. 3 out of 5 head of poor households only have education up to primary schools or less. 

There are 9 Million people between age 7 and 17 and there are 400,000 who never go to school. For those from Orang Asli, only 6% finished high school. (Hope that I got the stats correct.)

Keeran shared on his experience visiting a school in Klang. It is March and one parent just brought the kid to school, and the kid missed two months of school, because he didn't have money to buy school uniform.

Keeran shared on another experience yesterday in Gemas, where a parent wanted to take the 16-year-old kid out of school, because he has lost faith in the schooling system. He felt that even though the kid goes to university, the kid might still be unemployed. So, the kid might as well started working now and helped to earn a living.

These kids breathe the same air as all of us. They eat the same food as us. A lot of these kids do not believe that they can achieve big things.

Keeran shared on his experience attending the 4th Young Corporate Malaysians CEO Series of Talk and the speaker was Seelan Singham, Managing Partner of McKinsey & Co for Malaysia. Seelan said that everyone should have a scary dream, and that scary dream of him makes him to dream big. Seelan stressed that being idealistic is good and once we lost that idealism, especially after we worked for 18 hours a day and busy to go on dating/marriage, as well as paying for mortgage, we might look back and see "what the hell has happened to my dream/idealism". Seelan shared that it is important to have a sense of purpose.

Keeran shared this dream of Seelan and he sees the dream of getting there for Teach for Malaysia. TFM was incubated by a company called Khazanah Nasional Berhad. They wanted to find 50 most eligible Malaysian youths, who want to make a difference in Malaysia. They want to build a movement of people, where people can make a difference to the community.

TFM is recruiting heavily in universities and young professionals. They are looking for people who want to make transformations in high needs schools. These people would be having the mandate to transform the outcomes of the kids, after going through the training.

TFM get their fellows to lead in classroom and community. These two years would be most exciting and rewarding tothese people's lives.

Keeran shared on the exciting bit of him quiting his job. This program started with Teach for America 20 years ago, and by now, Teach for American has 18,000 alumni who are now in various sectors to solve this huge challenge of providing opportunities to attainan excellent educationfor all children.

Teach First is now the 5th most popular recruiter in UK, even ahead of KPMG. They are the top recruiter in Oxford and Cambridge. They also reject a lot of people from Oxford and Cambridge. 

Malaysia is the number 3 in Asia, after India and China. Pakistan just joined the network recently. Malaysia is the first in South East Asia to join the network. There are another 20 countries that would join this network within the next 2 years.

54 years after independence, not every Malaysian kids have the access to quality education. Teach for Malaysia hopes to build the next layer of leaders, who could one day be a minister, Prime Minister or any other leaders, who would have a mission to solve this education issue.

Teach for Malaysia hopes to look for the best 50 in the country to join this year. The first deadline would be in two weeks' time. This group would be the founding cohort for Teach for Malaysia.

Su En just took over the rostrum. Su En studied Economics at LSE and her favourite class was developmental economics. She did a lot of case studies on how initiatives that can transform the world. While those are fascinating, those were just theory. She went into management consulting in UK for 3 years, and decided to come back to Malaysia to serve the mission of developing the nation.

She initially found that there wasn't a lot of initiatives from grassroot in Malaysia, especially compared to developed nations. She also spent time in China to help with migrant kids. She was then introduced to Dzameer and Keeran through a mutual program. She had known about Teach First back when she was in UK.

She came on board to join Teach for Malaysia in October 2010. She hoped to recruit the best and brightest among Malaysians to join this movement.

This is going to be the most challenging experience for TFM joiner. They would have to engage with 40 disenchanted teenagers and having to engage their attention. TFM required its fellow to go into the school and change the mindset of the students. The fellows would need to have huge confidence and solid teaching skills.

The Teach for Malaysia Leadership Academy would have an 8-week experiential, residential training in end-October 2011. These trainings are developed in collaboration with Teach for All, corporate partners and Minister ofEducation. They would practically be applying teaching, learning and leadership theories, based on the Teaching as Leadership framework. The trainers would be from Teach for All. This would adopt the methodof Teaching as Leadership, by Steven Farr from Teach for America. The TFM fellow would have the opportunityto practice teaching, live in a real classroom.

There would be ongoing support and training. There would be Leadership Development Officer, providing personal coaching, resources and guidance. There would be mentor, who would be senior teacher in the same school. There would be Business Coach, who would be senior manager from one of TFM's corporate partners. There would be workshoips by training partners to share innovative teaching methods and best practices. There would be seminars by corporate partners on a wide rangeof transferable skills. They would also be getting Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching after first year of teaching, as well as earning credits towards Master's degree.

The role of TFM Fellow is to make a difference in the classroom. They are expected tolead students towards academic achievements that defies traditional expectations, and they would be engaging, teaching and challenging students inside and outside the classroom. They would also work collaboratively with other teachers and school staff to build skills, share knowledge and obtain resources for the classroom. The fellow would lead by example and be inspirational role model to give the students  the courage to dream big.

Scott Thomas, Teach for America Corp member shared on his proudest accomplishment was starting an after-school tutoring program. They had 8th graders tutoring 6th graders, who were struggling in Mathematics. It was a fantastic experience watching the older students play this mature role, not only being academic stars, but also developing patience and empathy.

Su En shared on the kids that she had mentored back in UK, where a lot of kids might not have the perspective beyond their backyard. They hoped to do something that is better than their parents, but they might not have the visibility to know of any potential beyond that.

TFM Fellow is expected to impact the wider community. The role would provide unique opportunity to design, implement and manage a sustainable, transformational project in the school or community in which you serve, with the help of your Business Coach and community leaders. They are expected to develop a deep understanding of the many barriers to achievement and complex problems associated with achieving equity in education.

Zeenia Anwar, Teach First Ambassador shared on "If you want to stretch yourself and become a person you never thought you could in your wildest dreams, do it, apply for it. You'll have the two best years of your life."

TFM would also provide professional development opportunities. In Malaysia, TFM aimed to help on internship and employment opportunities with top-tier organizations in Malaysia. BCG, McKinsey & Co, PwC have helped tremendously in this early stage of TFM. There would be professional development workshops run by corporate leaders. There would be exclusive networking events with senior figures in private and public sector firms. There would be Business Coach as well.

TFM has gotten approval from the following programmes to do deferral, including Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Management, Harvard Law School etc.

There are five stages of admission process. It would start with online application, and then phone interview, and then a 30-minute long online assessment, with a full-day assessment including a group case study, a mock classroom activity and a one-to-one interview and then would be final offers.

The first round of deadline would be 21st March, and the second round of deadline would be 27th June. TFM practices rolling admission. So, do start apply now at . Please help to spread the words to others too.

The starting pay for teachers would be between RM2,300-RM2,700, which is similar to the starting pay that Keeran had when he was with PwC.

TFM Fellow would also engage the community and keep abreast with the parents. There are a lot of opportunities for TFM Fellow to reach out to the parents and community, but it would be up to the creativity of TFM Fellow and the TFM would be supporting the Fellow.

Keeran related on a case from Teach for America, where a parent wanted to take the kid out of school, as the kid doesn't seem to learn anything. The Teach for America Fellow asked the parent to give him/her a month to transform the kid. The Fellow put in efforts to educate the kids and keep the parents updated from time to time, and after a month, the kid can read a full page.

After the stint in Teach for Malaysia, the Fellow is flexible to do whichever route that they would want to explore. This TFM program aims to develop leaders and it would be up to the Fellow to chart their pathway. During the two years, there would be a lot of developmental support to help shape the leader. What is needed from this Fellow is that after the two years, they would be asked to support this TFM mission whereever they are. They would be alumni network too, that would support their mission.

One of the Teach for America Fellows said that if he is still not convinced that his children can get quality education in any school in America, then his job is not over. There is still a lot of work to be done.

TFM Fellow would be assuming full-time teaching positions in secondary schools, where they would be teaching English or Mathematics/Science-related subjects. What is important is not to change the curriculum, but the TFM Fellow would go in and set high academic and non-academic goals, to mould and guide the students. TFM is looking into Educational Impact Evaluation and they are looking at partnering universities or Teach for All on this area. TFM is working hard on this, to be able to quantify more objectively on the performance of the TFM Fellows.

One of the attendees highlighted that there might be possibility of putting the students at risk, if the Fellow is not able to perform up to expectation. Keeran and Su En reiterated that the Fellows would be getting continuous training beyond the 8 weeks, and there would be full-time staff who would meet with the Fellows continuously to guide them. There would be mentor within the school too, to guide the TFM Fellow.

For the first year, the 50 TFM Fellows would be placed in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan, so that more monitoring can be done. TFM would be investing a lot in training and building a leadership movement. TFM would be investing to develop the leaders.

TFM selection process would be very rigorous to select new joiners who have strong competencies in leadership, as well as their capacity to handle situations.

TFM Fellows would be fully responsible for their class and they would be expected to teach the normal school syllabus. For TFM, they are also interviewing the schools and the school heads, so that they would get the support needed.

Ministry of Education and Management Consulting firm ranked all the schools in the country, and they are looking into those 70 schools within KL, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan which fell into the grading of Band 6 and 7. TFM would be visiting most of these 70 schools and eventually select 17 schools, where they would be putting 3-4 TFM Fellows in each school. It is very important that those schools selected would have supportive leaders there. 

TFM applicants would also be subjected to Subject Audit Test during the application process, so that those TFM Fellows selected would have working knowledge in the subject and they would be getting help from more senior teachers on subject matter issues.

There is a suggestion from the audience where those who are not selected for TFM, could be put into a mailing list, and they could be put to good use by helping others in the community, for example teaching at orphanage etc.

Another audience shared on the practical training of being in real classroom would shape the teachers, no matter how much training is provided. He also shared on teaching students how to fish, instead of giving them the fish. He suggested on potential opportunities to partner with other organizations, to help the students and Fellows.

One of the big responsibilities for TFM Fellows would be to ensure that all students in the class are taken care of. There would be collaborations with various parties on this.

Finally, don't forget to apply for Teach for Malaysia ( Please help to spread the words too. Lets make a difference, by providing every kid in Malaysia with the opportunity to attain an excellent education.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Thanks to Shu Wen and my loyal blog contributor for sharing the following articles.

1. Make a Difference 

2. Do you teach or do you educate?

3. Revisiting the value of elite colleges

4. College Essay Contest

5. The Reputation Economy is Coming

6. British Educators Telling Students to go abroad

7. Study Abroad's New Focus is Job Skills

8. Why International Internships are key to University Global Engagement

9. HackNY expands its internship program

10. What can the US approach to fees teach the world?

11. Taiwan Scholarships

12. BNM Graduate Programme

Pertandingan Menulis Esei Bertemakan Liberalisasi Ekonomi

Got this email from IDEAS mailing list.

Sukacita dimaklumkan bahawa dengan kerjasama Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) mempelawa penyertaan untuk pertandingan menulis esei sepeti yang dinyatakan di bawah.

Maklumat juga boleh diperolehi dari laman ini:

Topik utama

"Jika dibandingkan dengan sistem ekonomi terancang berteraskan sosialisme, adakah sistem ekonomi liberal berteraskan pasaran bebas lebih serasi dengan nilai-nilai moral atau agama?"

Malaysia kini sedang menjalani satu proses transformasi ekonomi. Melalui Model Baru Ekonomi (New Economic Model – NEM) dan Program Transformasi Ekonomi (Economic Transformation Programme – ETP), pelbagai usaha sedang dijalankan untuk membuka ekonomi negara agar menjadi sebuah pasaran yang lebih liberal. Semua ini dilakukan untuk membolehkan Malaysia menjadi sebuah negara berpendapatan tinggi.

Usaha transformasi ini dilihat mempunyai sekurang-kurangnya sedikit perbezaan berbanding semangat pentadbiran ekonomi yang diamalkan di negara kita sebelum ini. Ada yang mengatakan bahawa Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB) merupakan satu usaha untuk merancang ekonomi negara secara berpusat. Perancangan secara berpusat (central planning) merupakan antara ciri utama sistem ekonomi sosialis.

Sejauh manakah usaha meliberalisasikan pasaran selaras dengan nilai-nilai moral dan etika, atau nilai-nilai agama? Perbincangan boleh memfokuskan kepada hanya konteks moral dan etika yang tidak terikat kepada mana-mana agama, atau memilih mana-mana agama (tidak semestinya satu sahaja) sebagai topik perbincangan, atau kedua-duanya sekali.

Para peserta dinasihatkan untuk merujuk kepada esei-esei Templeton yang telah diterjemahkan di sini atau esei-esei asal dalam Bahasa Inggeris di sini . Bagaimanapun, para peserta tidak semestinya menjadikan esei-esei ini sebagai rujukan.


Tempat pertama: RM2000
Tempat kedua: RM1500
Tempat ketiga: RM1000
Penghargaan khas: Pemenang tempat pertama, kedua dan ketiga, serta tiga lagi esei terbaik akan turut mendapat hadiah buku dan tempat percuma untuk menghadiri Akademi Merdeka anjuran IDEAS.

Tarikh tutup

Semua esei mestilah diterima sebelum jam 3 petang, 15 Mei 2011.

Cara menghantar esei

Sila nyatakan di muka hadapan

  • nama penuh
  • alamat perhubungan
  • nombor telefon
  • alamat email
  • tarikh lahir
  • tempat belajar atau bekerja

dan hantarkan esei anda dalam bentuk Microsoft Word melalui email kepada

Syarat penyertaan

  1. Penyertaan terbuka kepada semua yang berumur di bawah 26 tahun pada 31 Disember 2011.
  2. Penyertaan mestilah dalam Bahasa Melayu.
  3. Esei yang dihantar mestilah tidak lebih daripada 2000 perkataan, tidak termasuk senarai rujukan dan nota kaki.
  4. Pertandingan ini dibuka kepada semua tanpa had kewarganegaraan atau permastautinan.
  5. Semua penyertaan mestilah karya asal penulis.
  6. Semua esei yang diterima oleh penganjur dianggap menjadi hakmilik penganjur dan penganjur boleh menggunakan esei-esei tersebut untuk apa-apa tujuan.
  7. Peserta boleh menggunakan gambar rajah atau ilustrasi / lukisan dalam esei yang disertakan jika sesuai.
  8. Semua penyertaan mestilah dihantar dalam format Microsoft Word.
  9. Kakitangan IDEAS tidak dibenarkan menyertai pertandingan ini.
  10. Bukti penghantaran bukan bukti penerimaan. Penganjur akan menghantar pengesahan bagi setiap esei yang diterima. Sekiranya peserta tidak menerima pengesahan dalam masa tiga hari daripada tarikh penghantaran, sila hubungi penganjur untuk maklumat lanjut.
  11. Semua peserta menerima bahawa keputusan penganjur adalah muktamad.

Kriteria penghakiman

Semua esei akan dihakimi berdasarkan tiga kriteria:

  1. kualiti kajian dan bahan rujukan (1/3 daripada markah penuh)
  2. kualiti analisa (1/3 daripada markah penuh)
  3. tatabahasa, kreativiti dan reka corak persembahan esei (1/3 daripada markah penuh)

Maklumat lanjut

Untuk mendapatkan maklumat lanjut, sila hubungi Munirah Hayati Muhtar melalui emel

Pertandingan menulis esei ini dianjurkan secara bersama oleh dan Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS)

Thursday, March 03, 2011

American Education Expo

Thanks to Teck Eng for sharing this.

There's an upcoming American education fair taking place on March 9th, Wednesday by the International Student Network Inc at Crowne Plaza Mutiara Hotel, 5-8pm. 

Malaysia Forum 2011

Thanks to Lenard for sharing.

Malaysia Forum 2011 would be held from 8th to 10th April at Boston University. Do check it out!