Why I Teach For Malaysia: Angeline’s Story

It took a heartrending journey into another country to make Angeline Oh Abai realise how much her own needed her. Read more for her take on why she teaches for Malaysia.

I felt driven to join Teach For Malaysia because of a personal encounter that inspired me to serve communities deprived of a good education. This occurred during my community work in Timor-Leste, where I was awestruck by the poverty-stricken children in the local village whose families did not even have proper housing. The country is still suffering from unrest and the after-effects of its civil war.

The moment that stuck with me until now, was when a mother came to me and pleaded, “Please do something for the future of my children. Help save my country.” That moment captured my heart as I caught a glimpse of the grief and hardship these people encounter on a daily basis.

I am much blessed to have been educated and to have received my bachelor’s degree in the United States. As I look back on my years, all along I have been provided a great education without financial difficulties. In comparing my life to that of the people in Timor-Leste, it became clear to me that a child’s origin and upbringing plays a significant role in determining the outcome of his or her life. Thus, the passion inside of me was fuelled to fight for educational equality. Teach For Malaysia will provide me the opportunity to answer this calling as improving educational outcomes are crucial to building our nation.

People need knowledge, help and hope. Nation building requires a leader who is willing to take on the role of meeting the demands for a quality education. I see the importance and significance of education in generating positive outcomes and a better future for students. To reach this lofty goal, steps in teaching must be taken beyond the conventional thinking and away from set school systems, socio-economic influences and restraining ideologies.

I want to teach for Malaysia because this opportunity will help prepare me to carry the baton of leadership and be a great example to the younger generation. Our commitment to their educational success will ensure they are one day able to invest their talents in this nation we are working to build together.

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