Joyce Tagal worked on Education NKRA at PEMANDU for 3 years before joining Teach For Malaysia as Associate Alumni Director. She grew up in Kuching, Sarawak where she attended two great public schools: St Columba’s and St Teresa’s. With full financial aid from Yale University, she studied Political Science and returned home to work in the public sector to make an impact through improved policy implementation. As the lead for Teach For Malaysia’s Alumni function, she hopes to create a community of future leaders who are all connected by a desire to see Malaysia’s education system become the best in the world.
1. What are the goals and purpose of the Alumni Function? How does it tie in with TFM’s goals and purpose?
The Alumni Function in Teach For Malaysia aims to build a community of Teach For Malaysia alumni who are contributing knowledge and building solutions towards the goal of ending education inequity. TFM Alumni will personify “Do More Than Dream”, as they build towards their dreams for the children of Malaysia.
We see the Teach For Malaysia Fellowship as a great opportunity to expose young leaders to challenges faced by high-need schools, and to develop their leadership and problem-solving skills through this process. Ultimately the 2-year Fellowship prepares TFM Fellows to go out into multiple industries and sectors to affect innovative and systemic improvement in education.
The Alumni team works closely with the Training team in TFM to prepare Fellows for a life-long mission of ending education inequity as Alumni, and with Partnership Development to ensure that Alumni are given access to high-impact pathways in the public, corporate and enterprise sectors.
2. Based on what we have seen from the other networks, what can we expect from our Alumni who will be graduating from the Fellowship in a year?
In a year’s time, we can expect our alumni to start businesses, programs, projects and policies that are crucial for improving education in Malaysia. We can expect them to be collaborating with important stakeholders throughout the country, to collectively build on their dreams for the children of Malaysia. In the long term, we can expect our Alumni to be in leadership positions throughout the country, all working towards the goal of ending education inequity.
3. What are your own hopes and dreams for Malaysian education system and the children of Malaysia?
I believe that Malaysia, with its great diversity, talent and strategic location, can become a knowledge hub for education throughout the world. We have hard-working and smart people working within and without the system, putting their passion into education improvement for all children in Malaysia. If all these amazing people collaborate towards the same goals, I believe we can become a global thought leader for education innovation.
My dream for the children of Malaysia is for each child to have more opportunities than their parents had before them. My dream is derived from the concept of social mobility – if a society practices greater fairness, each generation should have more opportunity to work, play and live a happy and full life than the generation before them. I believe a fair and excellent education system in Malaysia is crucial if we are to achieve this dream.