Monday, May 25

Generasi Gemilang Leadership Camp at SMK Katibas

One weekend in April,  a team of 8 volunteers from Generasi Gemilang
conducted a Leadership Camp for my Form 5 & 4 students!
Thank you, Generasi Gemilang, HuayPhing, DerekHuiPing, WaiPeng, KwokSarah, Joy & Charlene!
How did this happen?
Back in January, I got a call out of the blue from Derek who was my team mate in our secondary school national-level winning choir team. He was touched by what he had seen circulating on Facebook about my efforts in my remote school. He is a volunteer with Generasi Gemilang & wanted to explore the possibility of running a programme at my school this year. I checked GG out & was really impressed by what they've done.

Then, I was connected with HuayPhing who is the head of school programmes &, together, we planned for a camp designed to address the needs of my students in order to quip them to not only excel in whatever they choose to do but also to overcome specific social issues their community has been mired in for generations. I.e. poor financial skills, lack of self-efficacy/purpose/role models/leaders, etc. GG usually charges for their camps but they decided to go pro bono especially for us! Thanks, Generasi Gemilang! Also, this trip was made possible through a grant from The Edge Education Foundation.

Read on to see the pictures & videos of the activities! It might be useful for when you want to run a camp yourself!

Saturday, May 23

Lessons from the ♥ of Borneo - TFM Sarawak Regional Event

Last weekend, I conducted a workshop titled "Lessons from the ♥ of Borneo" at Curtin University Sarawak
for Teach For Malaysia fellows placed in Miri & Subis.
Due to the power outage at my school, I was only able to prepare the PowerPoint presentation for this workshop the night before. Which was also why I wasn't able to write an update on the situation at school last weekend. I was totally exhausted! I will write an update this weekend. I've got some good news.

Despite preparing the slides the night before, I planned for the workshop earlier & we had lots of fun. I shared about the teaching conditions at my school, my experiences teaching at a remote school, as well as techniques, activities & pedagogies which worked in my situation.
You can download the PowerPoint slides & view pictures of the workshop below.

It is always a privilege to share with the fellows of Teach For Malaysia. I always leave with a sense of confidence that they will actually make use of what I have shared instead of treating my session as just another in-house training. I conducted a workshop for them last year & I was a keynote for their first conference in 2013.

Saturday, May 9

Update On The Power Outage

Candlelight dinners every night.
I've also become very good at Xiang Qi (Chinese Chess) & Dou Shou Qi (Jungle Chess).
Dear supporters of my school, thank you so much for sharing the call for help so fervently that it went viral on social media. Each & every one of you have demonstrated that Malaysians of all walks of life really do care. I am thankful to have so many angels out there looking out for my school & sharing our situation with the influential people they know. Now, there is both attention on our situation from the ground & from "above".

Thankfully, we have now got the full attention of the relevant authorities & they are working extra hard to swiftly materialise their promises to our school. Improvements are happening every day due to the combined efforts of people of all levels. With so much public interest, I am confident that the school will be up & running like it's supposed to be very very soon. If I am allowed to, I will write about the good work done at my school.

Featured in Oh! Media - 7 May 2015

There is a factual error in one of the images in this article.
The image is of an article in the alumni magazine of my alma mater. I have addressed the error here.
In the image, it says that my school is 3 hours from the nearest town which is wrong. We are 1 hour from the nearest town, Song, & 3 hours from the nearest city, Sibu.
On Thursday, 7 May 2015, I was featured in an article on Oh! Media. I never knew what Oh! Media was until their post about me went viral. I thought that they were just a small internet periodical which wanted to help share the plight of my school. I never knew they had such a large following.

From the beginning, they said that they wanted to highlight the point that there is a Chinese guy teaching in the jungle which is unimaginable to their Malay majority audience. I told them that I wasn't the only guy teaching at my school but they could only write about me if they mentioned my Malay, Chinese & Iban colleagues who are struggling together with me if not more.

Friday, May 8

Featured in The Sun Daily - 5 May 2015

There is a factual error here. We do not take the boats every day. We take 2 boats to the school & stay in the quarters on site.
Can't imagine? Perhaps these photos of my school will help.
On Tuesday, 5 May 2015, I was featured in The Sun Daily in the "Next Gen" column for notable youth in an article titled "The Jungle Teacher" written by Alicia Nicholle Ng who paid her own way to my school to be a volunteer for a week-long camp for my students. She is truly a gem & someone whose heart is in the right place. You can read the article by clicking on the image above & zooming. Or, you can read part of the article online: http://www.thesundaily.my/node/307834

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