One Step at a Time

MALAYSIA INITIATIVES - Develop and implemented by SASTRA

Malaysian Schools Human and Career Development Center (HCDC), a social initiative pilot project launched in 2014 with an intention to enhance  Malaysian Schools Counselling Departments to Human and Career Development Center. The Malaysian Schools Human and Career Development Center (HCDC) and its Programmes were established with one ultimate clear aim, to take responsibility to contribute towards the Malaysia Education Blue Print 2013-2025 under Shift 9 (Partner with Parents, Community and Private Sector at Scale). The HCDC was aimed to optimize schools counselling departments to focus as Human and Career Development Centers by integrating relevant pedagogy and strategies that suits to close the gap at Malaysian national school.www.malaysianschools.com

SMK Lubok Buntar, Serdang Kedah have been the second school SASTRA Education Development adopted under Ministry of Education Malaysia School Adoption Programs after SMK Taman Ehsan, Selangor. The primary objective to adopt one school in each state is to optimize the counseling unit at the school under the concept of Human and Career Development Center (HCDC) as a role model and transfer the concepts to other schools by stages.

SMK Lubok Buntar have been very supportive towards the HCDC project. SASTRA manage to launch our Fellowship programs and also involved in  various collective programs and upgrading some of the schools infrastructure. In addition, the next generation of champions begun to see the counseling department is not for problematic students and it’s for every students at the school who seek for guidance. SMK Lubok Buntar proactive attitude also resulted in lauching Performance Arts Programmes  for 5 schools in District of Kulim. We are pleased to see how the Performance Arts Programmes have developed and lead to have launch Leadspire Academy that is focusing towards programs in Art and Leadership. Furthermore, SMK Lubok Buntar will be guide  and transfer other schoolsls in the district coming 2018 onwards.

SASTRA is  providing HCDC Implementation Grant for schools that are keen to be part of the HCDC transformation. We will be rolling out the concept to other schools from different states alongside scaling in Selangor and Kedah. Interested to be part of this change? Contact us today. 


SASTRA adopts SMK Lubok Buntar, Kedah under MOE School Adoption Program and prepares to transfer the HCDC Model to 30 schools in district of Kulim in 2018.

SASTRA primary objective is to strengthen the schools department and bridging high school students and industry with a platform for the students to avoid any indecisiveness and they are able to gain the necessary experience and knowledge to make the choices about their tertiary education and career pathways. Furthermore, with an aim of removing the stigma as Counselling Departments are only for “Problematic Students" and anyone who comes for help towards this center are labelled as Bad Students. SASTRA also discovered that high school children are not having enough support from these departments due to various challenges the school faces such as limited funding to carry out programs, field trips and short of competent counsellors. Therefore, many labelled student’s feels they do not have help and are neglected. Thus, they find them self within an environment that only their friends or other people can understand them better. It is totally acceptable if the support they received are from ethical people however, many slowly get distracted and recruited towards unethical social activities by various organise crime bodies to be gangsters, drug dealers, prostitute and also been targeted toward as terrorism agents. It is undeniable that many Malaysian realise this is happening within our reach and not many have come forward to help towards our future generation.


SASTRA believes that it’s every stakeholder’s responsibility and proposed to Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) that SASTRA will commit to support MOE to mitigate the social issues by engaging towards MEBP Shift 9 mainly focusing at HCDC establishment to help schools administration to relook at how they can operate their departments by working with various partners towards a shared vision. It is time that every Malaysian takes their responsibility to help our national schools in any possible way they are able to. Ministry of Education Malaysia acknowledged our findings and approved SASTRA to carry out the pilot project at any selected schools which it feels suitable and meets the criteria to implement Shift 9 in any of the 14 States in Malaysia by stages.


SMK Taman Ehsan a secondary school located at  Kepong (Selangor) in 2013 was selected and the leadership of the school welcomed the new concept and came forward to Pilot the “ Shift 9 ” as the first school in Malaysia even before the incorporation of SASTRA. After various discussions, revising strategies, time and combination of expertise from Private and Public sector have further strengthened the project as a team. SMK Taman Ehsan took the lead in State of Selangor and as the first school in Malaysia who collaborated and ready to pilot with SASTRA, Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE), Jabatan Pendidikan Negeri (JPN) and Pejabat Pelajaran Daerah (PPD).

Although other schools are keen and have approached SASTRA, SASTRA remain to focus in working with one school in each state who will lead as “Role Model” for other schools in further stages. This is also due to the limited funding SASTRA has at present moment and to ensure this project is sustainable.  Therefore, SASTRA narrowed to 2 methodologies towards building human capital.

  • 1. To invest in Fresh graduates or interns who can support to our mission.
  • 2.  To invest at students at school directly who can support to lead the mission in their schools.


SASTRA pursued to implement step 1 (To invest at Fresh graduates or interns who can support to impact the children) and begin to identify graduates who are unemployed and have genuine passion to be at schools. SASTRA, findings indicated that more than 500,000 graduates are not been employed. To make worse, teachers are not getting employed due to limited funding and some have no interest to work at schools and prefers to be located at corporate towers even they have to repay their education loan which also have created various bad debt and effected talent economy. Therefore, to validate further, SASTRA identified graduates who are keen to be  at schools and resulted 2 full time team members was employed and .placed at SMK Taman Ehsan to carry out the project as planned. Further internship opportunities were provided and the total expenditure of the team members were funded 100% by SASTRA and our Social Responsibility Innovators (SRI). SASTRA also identified that not all graduates have the passion to be at school although they completed their studies related to education or teaching. SASTRA clearly understands that this outcome can be related to the "Advantage and Disadvantage" of hiring millennial generation mainly at schools as many researchers, journals and publication have stated about Generation Y and Z characteristic mainly as educators. 

As we say, five fingers are not same, SASTRA has to admit there were extraordinary Y generation who were very sincere, discipline, hardworking, innovative, and flexible and know clearly that it’s their responsibility to make the difference towards the future generation in Malaysian Schools and take their employment seriously.  A Gen Y falls between Year (1981 - 1995), Gen Z (1995 onwards), Gen X (1961 -1980), Baby Boomers (1945-1960), and Maturist (Pre 1945). Today, SMK Taman Ehsan as the Central Satellite School is continuing to take the initiative with all stakeholders to support all surrounding school in the District of Gombak, Selangor by overcoming its challenges one step at a time. SASTRA continues to work with the school administrations, leadership in various areas to ensure a collective effort is achieved. Furthermore, SMK Taman Ehsan is ready to share its knowledge to other school who is piloting with SASTRA no matter they come from the same State or other state.

In 2015 beginning, SASTRA was preparing to identify another school in another state and visited various schools in Malaysia. During our visit to Kedah, SASTRA was invited with the support of a Fellow from Teach for Malaysia who was keen to see if SASTRA was able to support SMK Lubok Buntar. Our visit indicated that SMK Lubok Buntar has all the potential of being the next Role Model school for state of Kedah under “Shift 9”. This is due to the school leadership clearly understands the Malaysian Education Blue Print 2013-2025 and welcomed SASTRA to pilot and collaborate under “Shift 9” as a team. Furthermore, the commitment from school leadership, administration, teachers and students lead to SASTRA to begin the process to work with SMK Lubok Buntar. However, the school had to go through a leadership change unexpectedly and delayed some plan activities. Nevertheless, the new leadership granted approvals to continue to work with SMK Lubok Buntar.

In 2016, SASTRA begin Stage 1 Process by piloting SASTRA Bright Champs Fellowship Programs with the support from English Society, Counselling Unit and other departments for 100 students of SMK Lubok Buntar where similar process we carried out at SMK Taman Ehsan. Though, there are demographic different and SMK Lubok Buntar which is located at a suburban location. All expenses were 100% fully supported by SASTRA and our Social Responsibility Innovators (SRI).  As Stage 2, SASTRA, UBK unit, English Society continued to explore possibility of working towards positioning SMK Lubok Buntar as Role Model School for State of Kedah and also as a Northern Satellite School. It has to be noted that there is a different approach towards SMK Lubok Buntar as the HCDC project is a collective effort from various clubs who invited SASTRA. However, SMK Taman Ehsan was an effort from the School Leadership, Governors, and administration integrating all departments and clubs.

Although the approach was different the consistence and commitment provided to SASTRA has able to SASTRA to provide 1 Full Time Team member to focus on the project and support the school in various areas to ensure a collective effort is achieved. Conversely, SASTRA once again faced challenges to identify the right talent who falls under Generation Y and Z characteristic that are passionate to be at schools to support the children from this rural platform. It was a surprise to see that there are more than 100,000 graduates does not have employment and did not feed into any industry. These challenges did not stop SASTRA to carry out the project at SMK Lubok Buntar and with the support from Board of Trustees and Management team, SASTRA continued SASTRA Bright Champs programs and completed the Fellowship with 51 Alumni. Since 2013 to 2016, a total of 4 years was invested to study the pilot project related to (To invest at Fresh graduates or interns who can support to impact the children). The findings also ensured that the Human and Career Development Centers Project will continue to make its journey and impact towards Malaysian School and having best choices out of the best practises are implemented at each HCDC in future. SASTRA is confident and understands that if the efforts from all stakeholders are aligned as a team, we can achieve the implementation of “Shift 9” (Partner with Parents, Community and Private Sector at Scale) will bring an impactful different and save valuable time.

In 2017 SASTRA will be implementing methodology 2 (To invest at students directly with support from partners) while also carrying out methodology 1 (To invest at Genuine Fresh graduates or interns who can support to impact the children). Our SRI Partners are keen to support the project further with direct investment on the alumni. Therefore, SASTRA will be focusing to uplift 141 SASTRA Bright Champ Alumni as leaders/mentors to reach out and transfer their knowledge to other students to avoid any indecisiveness and they are able to gain the necessary experience and knowledge before making their choices about their tertiary education and career pathways. Furthermore, removing the stigma as Counselling Departments are only for “Problematic Students" and anyone who comes for help towards this center are labelled as Bad Students will be further highlighted. Moreover, SASTRA is committed to create genuine social entrepreneurs in their passionate field and introduce them to our Social Impact Investors Network. In 2018, SASTRA have reduced its involvement in operation in school and have handed over to students to lead their own HCDC. This is to allow them to take responsibility to bring the change they are seeking for and not depending on SASTRA. We are position in 2019 to be a guide for the schools and student to take the lead.