On Friday, 27 October 2023, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia (HWUM) had the privilege to host Teach For Malaysia’s (TFM) Dragons’ Den event. After a three-year absence, TFM graced the HWUM campus to revitalise its auspicious event.
Inspired by the British reality television show of the same name, the Dragons’ Den places a group of young and hopeful innovators to pitch their ideas in front of a panel of judges, affectionately known as Dragons, in hopes of receiving feedback and potential funding or partnerships.
This event brought together 80 participants, including students, TFM Fellows, staff & trustees, Ministry of Education (MOE) representatives, and private sector stakeholders.
In their second year of fellowship, TFM Fellows look beyond the four walls of their classroom to the broader issues impacting equity in their school and its community. These dedicated Fellows will then design & implement a social innovation project to facilitate equitable outcomes in their community. These projects address specific problems, such as literacy and numeracy, within the TFM Fellows’ schools or communities.
The panel of judges that were present included Sara Yasmine Mohamed, Citi Group Head of Corporate Affairs; She Ai Li, Citi Group Vice President of Corporate Affairs; Tien Soon Ong, Baker Hughes Senior Resource manager; and Deschamps Anaïs, Embassy of France in Malaysia Head of Education Department.
Professor Mushtak Al-Atabi, Provost and Chief Executive Officer of HWUM, who delivered the opening speech at the TFM Dragons’ Den Opening Ceremony, expressed some of his thoughts, “We are always supportive of people who are dedicated in their craft, especially the visionaries that constantly seek to improve the quality of tomorrow’s education.”
“As a Teach For Malaysia Fellow, I am expected to be a changemaker at school, not just a regular school teacher,” Mohamed Syakir Mohamed Hisham stated after the event.
He pitched his project called MaxMath, a mathematical programme designed to address the low numeracy skills among primary school students. He has implemented this comprehensive system since September this year and is hopeful that it will become more widely recognised moving ahead into the future.
HWUM is very honoured to support TFM’s event as it serves as a platform for people who desire change and better-quality education. Any initiative that serves to future-proof education and the people who work in the sector is an initiative worth supporting. HWUM wishes TFM great success and hopes that they will continue this annual event moving forward.