Facing the Dragon: Redha Shukor, PwC

During connect_ed, Teach For Malaysia’s conference for educators, Fellows took part in Future Impact Day, where they explored the ways they could maximise their impact in the classroom, community, and beyond. One of the main activities for the day was Dragon’s Den, a challenge that allowed Fellows to present their second year projects to a panel of judges from various sectors. Here, Redha Shukor, Associate Director at PwC, shares some of his reflections from the day.

When you found out you were to be a judge for Dragon’s Den, what did you expect your role to be?
I was a fan of Dragon’s Den programme back in the UK, so it helped to give me an idea of what to expect.

Did our Fellows’ presentations meet your expectations? Why or why not?
In general, I was pleased with the level of detail but perhaps the presentations could’ve been positioned better and covered more areas from the strategic perspective. This would require more guidance and collaboration from third parties. I feel that some of these projects may be more impactful if it is coordinated and rolled-out to more ‘similar’ schools nationwide. Otherwise, measurement of impact is something that I felt could have improved for the presentations I attended, granted it was an area that the Fellows acknowledged and shared the challenges in collecting data in this area.

What was one key lesson you learnt from Future Impact Day?
It was very clear that the Fellows went through a great deal of effort to execute their projects and prepare for the presentations. Furthermore, everyone I met from TFM (past and current) demonstrated that they were all on the same page, passionate about achieving a single goal. Impressive.

Do you think there’s room for more collaboration between the private sector and the education space in Malaysia? Why or why not?
I think it is a necessity for now. Awareness is the key and if more can appreciate the impact (as I brought up in item #2), then more will realise that it doesn’t take too much to make a difference sometimes.

How do you think we can improve next year’s Future Impact Day?
In the show, the Dragons actually invest in the project or products that the contestants pitch. On top of the capital injection, the Dragons provide a lot of oversight and guidance to see return in their investment. For TFM, it may be challenging to get the Dragons to sponsor the initiative, but if it is something that is really impactful, then the Dragons may want to help beyond the presentations. This would require more work from the organising committee, to identify the appropriate Dragons and to ensure that presentations or projects are interesting and impactful enough for one to say, “Sign me up for that, I don’t mind spending some time over the weekend to make sure this project succeeds.”

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