Why I Teach For Malaysia: Ranjeetha’s Story

Every Fellow has their own motivation for leaving their comfort zones and taking a leap of faith into the unknown. Here is Ranjeetha Sivajanam’s story.


As far as I can remember, education was made to be the most important thing in my life. I led a full life and was groomed to be the best I could be. However, I was brought up in a safe bubble shielding me from the devastating nature some people have to live through. My bubble burst when I volunteered after my SPM at an orphanage that my parents often made contributions to. The children at this home were boys aged 5 to 15. I was under the impression that since they were all schooling and had extra lessons after school, I would just be assisting them with their school work. However, when I got there and realised the reality of their education, I was moved to tears.

For three months, I concentrated solely on developing their Mathematic skills and language competency. Most of them despite their age difference were put in the same class due to their similar needs. Even though I had signed up for two hour classes three times a week, I ended up teaching five hour classes six times a week. It’s been 7 years, but whenever I visit, they always ask me when I’ll be returning to teach them. That was a life altering event for me. Ever since, I had changed career paths from Medical to Education. I had looked into joining Unicef and other international organisations but charity starts at home. My nation also needs me and Teach for Malaysia definitely fits the bill. I want to specifically help underperformers who don’t have the access to the opportunities others might have. I believe that teaching is my vocation and deeply care for those who need the help. I am not an idealist and know this is a monumental task. I would like to improve not only students’ English language proficiency and competency, but look forward to building their confidence in using the language.

Besides academics, I want them to recognise that they matter. For those who are on the verge of giving up, I want them to dream and work towards achieving those dreams. I hope to create a learning experience that will leave them wanting more out of life as well as create independent and analytical learners. Everyone has a right to equal education. Everyone deserves a chance to reach for their dreams. Everyone deserves to know the possibilities education can offer them. Everyone is worth the time and effort. I can’t make an overnight change, however, I would like to start one class at a time.


Every Fellow has their own motivation for leaving their comfort zones and taking a leap of faith into the unknown. Here is Ranjeetha Sivajanam’s story.