Helping One Classroom At A Time

19 April 2016

100% Project aims to elevate Malaysian education—we find out how.

Education is the root to everyone’s growth, but not everyone has the privilege to have the same experience. Teachers are using money from their pockets to ensure a better learning experience for their students and schools often lack in proper facilities. Those are just two examples of the issues faced by teachers nationwide, and this is where 100% Project comes into the picture to help. Andrew Yong, Karthrik Karunanithy and Amelia Tan created this platform to help crowdsource funds to help schools and teachers, as well as to empower the country’s education system. We spoke to Amelia Tan to learn more about this amazing initiative.

How did 100% Project come about and what is it about?

I would go on school visits as part of my job in Teach For Malaysia and noticed that many passionate teachers were constraint by a lack of resources and funding to run extra classroom or school projects. These dedicated teachers would spend their own money to buy tools and materials to provide the best learning experience for their students. I recounted these visits to Andrew and he, being the problem-solver, suggested building a platform to have their story told. We also joined the MaGIC Accelerator Programme Social Enterprise Track which really helped drive us to launch the platform in four months.

In a nutshell, 100% Project aims to break the barriers that teachers face in providing the best learning experience for their students by allowing members of the public to discover and support impactful classroom projects. These projects range from providing basic tools and infrastructure for the classroom, innovative teaching projects like robotics workshops to educational field trips.

What do you hope to accomplish with 100% Project?

We hope to do a few things with 100% Project. The most obvious one is to help lift the financial burden off teachers when it comes to implementing classroom projects. We want these teachers to know that they are never alone in their quest to provide the best learning experience for their students and that they will always have our support.

We also hope to elevate the teaching profession by bringing to light the stories of the many inspiring teachers out there who are working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure our children have the best education. They are the unsung heroes of the country and we would like to raise awareness and restore a sense of pride and respect to the profession.

Lastly, we hope to build a community of education advocates to collectively empower our teachers and educators. We think that education is a collective responsibility and it takes all of us to contribute in our own capacity to move education forward.

How has the response been towards 100% Project so far?

The response has been really great. People have been extremely supportive of teacher projects. In our pilot phase, our projects got funded so quickly that we had to hold back marketing efforts as we were running out of projects to fund. Teachers absolutely love the platform and are so excited and touched that there are people out there who are willing to help them. We have recently launched our second fundraising cycle with 20 projects and more to come over the months.

Tell us more about the projects that are currently ongoing.

Currently we have teachers from all over Malaysia raising funds on our platform. We have teachers from an urban school in Selayang, Selangor raising funds for new projectors for his school, to a teacher from a rural village in Pulau Bum Bum, Semporna, hoping to equip his classroom with tables and chairs.

Under our platform, teachers can raise funds for projects that create a conducive learning environment for their students, spur innovative teaching in classrooms or promote exposure and exploration beyond the classrooms.

We have a teacher who is raising funds for model-making materials so that students can build civilisations using models to learn History, and another who is raising funds to launch his Genius Hour project that is inspired by Google's culture of letting employees take 20% of their time off to work on a project or cause they are passionate about to boost productivity.

What do you think the public can do to help create awareness on Malaysian education?

The public can help share the stories of our teachers to really help create awareness of the amazing things they are doing. By sharing these stories, they are also educating people about what needs to be done within Malaysian education. We think whatever that the teacher needs to conduct a good class is something we can act on and contribute to immediately. Aside from that, the public can also contribute to a project and share why they chose to contribute to bring about more awareness to these projects.

By Kevin Yeoh

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