Showing posts from July, 2015

A Lecturer from Japan Speaks At SMK Katibas

In July, Dr Kumiko Date from Tokyo, a lecturer of the Japanese language at the University of Malaya, visited SMK Katibas to meet & deliver a talk for the wonderful children at my beloved jungle school. She had only been in Malaysia for 3 months when she embarked on this adventure to the hinterland of Borneo. All because a colleague showed her this which moved her.

She wanted to meet me & my students. I found a perfect speaker to inspire my students. We exchanged emails & she agreed to visit my school & deliver a talk to all the students. In turn, we provided her with food, lodging & a once in a lifetime experience.

She came at little to NO COST to the school. Not only did she pay for her own return flights from KL to Sibu (during the peak-priced Raya season), she actually bought Pilot pens, super cute erasers & origami paper from Japan & had it shipped to Malaysia for each of my 350+ students! What an unbelievably generous soul!

She also left us books abou…

Pictures Of My House In The Jungle

If you want to be a teacher in Malaysia, you can expect to be placed in a rural or remote school for your first posting just like I was. But it doesn't have to be a complete torture. It's actually a wonderful opportunity to experience the best part of being a teacher = changing lives & making a real difference. Believe me, there is no greater sense of satisfaction than when you see a child you've worked with so hard & so long excel in their examinations. There are no tuition centres here so you can go to bed with a smile knowing that the achievement has it's roots in you. Let's not forget the beauty of nature & the fresh smog-less air.

When I arrived here many years ago, I knew that I had to root myself at the school for at least 4 years in order to see the change that I can make in the school. That's exactly what I did. I didn't run off home every weekend like some of my colleagues did. I stayed back some weekends to spend time with the childr…

New 150KVA Generator At Jungle School = 24 hour Electricity

With great pleasure, I would like to announce that there is currently 24 hours of electricity at SMK Katibas!

A brief timeline of events: On 24 April, the sole-functioning generator at my school broke down causing the school to lose both electricity & water supply. 4 weeks later, on 20 May, that generator was overhauled & running again at school supplying 13 hours of electricity. 4 weeks later, on 23 June, the water pump was functioning again supplying river water to the buildings at school twice daily. 3 weeks later, on 15 July, a new 150KVA generator was brought to school & fully functional. Rotating with the current generator, there is now 24 hours of electricity!!!

I would like to express my appreciation to everyone involved in materialising this new generator so quickly. Thank you to the local district education officers, the state education officers, the federal education ministry officers, the assemblymen, & the ministers who made this happen. I may not know who…

How To Reward The Brightest PT3 Students & (Hopefully) Uplift A Community

Last weekend, I brought 5 top-performing PT3 students from my remote school on a trip to Sibu as a reward for their diligence in the exam. At the same time, my hidden agenda is to influence them to think bigger for themselves & also for their rural Iban community. A trip to Sibu might not be much to many of you reading this but to my students from extremely humble backgrounds in ulu Song, it is likely the equivalent of a trip to Singapore for someone from KL.

When I first started running this programme in 2011, it seemed to me like just a simple reward for students who achieved As for English PMR. But, it inspired them & the subsequent cohorts to work hard for an A in PMR English so much so that I decided to do it again in 2012, 2013, & 2014. The As just kept coming! Also, we were soon getting our first PMR 8A students so I decided to up the ante with a trip to Kuching for them in 2013 & 2014.

Soon, I recognised the potential of this programme to influence the future …

How Your Students Can Study At Oxford University @ Leaps Of Knowledge

Disclaimer: To keep the blog running, I have received monetary compensation for writing this blog post. Nonetheless, this is still my honest opinion & I will only write about products or events which are beneficial to you, my readers.
I was pretty excited when I first heard of this conference. Since it would cost too much to bring even one of my students to this event, I wanted to attend myself so that I could coach my students & share with the teachers I'm mentoring. Alas, I've got a super fun programme planned at school which will take up that entire weekend.

Therefore, I'm sharing about it here so that you have a chance of getting your students there! They'll get a nice certificate too. Lucky accompanying teachers might be able to sneak in, soak in the intellectual atmosphere & return speaking like Arry Potter. If you do attend, do share what you've learned with little ol' me!

Isn't it super tough to get into Oxford? Why should I even try? Th…

How I Proposed To My Wife

On 7 May 2015, I proposed to my girlfriend, Michelle "Noelle" Ng. This is the story of how it happened & how I came to the decision. It's full of ups & downs, mystery, romance & drama: a story worth telling.

I'm sure that when you look at the date, you'll remember that it was during the power outage at my school. You see, I was at the lowest point in my career. At that time, I had just written a viral blog post &, after the ensuing media frenzy, I was deeply disturbed at the possible consequences. Having worked so hard & given so much for so many years in the jungle, I was distraught at the thought that it could be dismantled & discredited in an instant by the powers that be. It was so bad that I had sleepless nights & emotional breakdowns.

Want A Beautiful Website That Designs Itself?

**Update** DO NOT PURCHASE THIS COMPANY'S SERVICES They have over-promised & under-delivered. I will not be renewing my subscription with the company. When I have time, I'll show you what their horribly amateurish website builder functions.

I first learned about The Grid from a video interview of Startups To Watch during the 2015 Social Media Week in New York. I was immediately attracted to it because, for a long time, I have been wanting to modify the design of my blog &, until that point, I was still willing to pay for someone to do it for me. Thank God I didn't because I might not have the know-how to modify my blog post-designer! At the pre-launch price of $8/month for life (after launch: $25/month), it was a good bargain compared to the hundreds I had to pay for one-off work by a website designer.

Still, it sounded too good to be true so I looked it up first. Firstly, I looked for any information on whether it was a scam. So far so good. Then, I checked the re…