Project Spotlight – Project ID: Impianku Destinasiku

In their second year, Fellows work on initiatives that address issues within their communities that affect education inequity. In this series, we spotlight a few of our Fellows’ projects – and the impact they’ve had on the students and the community. Today, learn about Project ID: Impianku Destinasiku, initiated by 2012 Fellows Kelvin Tan, Joyce Ching and Cheah Kok Hin.


What is your project about? What is the problem it hopes to solve? How does that problem affect your students’ ability to achieve?
The problem: Students from low socio-economic backgrounds cannot see the connection between academic pursuit and a better future. They do not have the access to information and opportunities that can help them set meaningful, achievable goals in life, and that subsequently impairs their motivation to achieve academic success.

 

Project ID : Impianku Destinasiku helps 40 students from SMK Pendamaran Jaya achieve their ambitions in life by completing 20 Milestones through 8 Activities. The Milestones and Activities are tailored to very specific goals of helping the students identifyplan for and work towards their ambitions and include visits to Kidzania, various universities and workplaces.

 

 

What kind of challenges did you run into when implementing it?
As all 40 students that were chosen for Project ID are from Form 1, our biggest challenge is to connect such a faraway goal (their ambition) to their efforts right now. We had to come up with a module of Milestones and Activities that deliver the maximum value for our students.
Another challenge is to engage and convince our stakeholders, activity partners and sponsors. We needed to convince our school administration that this was a project worth pursuing; and to our stakeholders and sponsors that this is a project worth backing.
The final challenge is the commitment needed to run Project ID. We needed to juggle our normal teaching duties, Project ID tasks and personal life to avoid burnout.

 

How did you manage to get your community involved, if the project involves them?
For the school, we presented our idea to the administrators before the project, and made sure we kept them updated with whatever we are doing. We also work closely with our school counsellor and PK Petang.
For the students’ parents, we organised a Parents’ Open Day and invited them to a gallery walk of the activities we have done so far in July. We encouraged the students to explain to the parents their experience in Project ID.

 

What kind of impact have you seen since the project began?
In terms of impact, we constantly collect reflections from students after the Activities. These help give us a qualitative idea of their growth – especially important if we are looking at their attitudes towards ambition and success.
Also, through surveys, we are happy to share that right now 85% of the students know their post-SPM options, and 95% of them know how which scholarship opportunities are available to fund these options (from 0% at the start of the year!).

 

Do you think this project will continue beyond this year?
We are in the midst of finalising our sustainability plan for Project ID. There are many ways we are thinking of sustaining Project ID – from using university volunteers or streamlining the Activities and Milestones. That being said, we are quite confident that the project will continue in one way or another in the coming years.