​​​ One Step at a Time

​​​ One Step at a Time

 Methodology 1

Looi Ah


As we say, five fingers are not same, SASTRA has to admit that there were extraordinary students who were very sincere, discipline, hardworking, innovative, and flexible by leading the HCDC initiatives. In addition, 275 volunteers including teachers, board members, alumni and stakeholders are supporting this share vision approach. The HCDC project have established 2 out of 14 targeted Human and Career Development Center as of 2020 by overcoming various challenges and we will continue to find ways to achieve the remaining targets hopefully in coming years. Moreover, the Covid – 19 Pandemic had made the journey very challenging as our water sales by communities has reduced and very limited funding can be provided as HCDC Grant for schools. Furthermore, various activities have been on hold and we are repositioning our self to deliver all courses via a blended learning approach. We are committed to find new ways to operate and increase our revenues and hopefully it will continue to support on job creations and developing social entrepreneurs who can support collectively towards the Human and Career Development Center Project. Support us by purchasing our services : Support Now or Collaborate Now

Kasih Sofea


“Building the Human and Career Development Center at my school was a project that we must be thankful. As a counsellor, we got direct support from SASTRA by carrying out various activities and programs for our students and supporting the school in many ways.". Counsellor Looi Ah Chai , SMK Taman Ehsan, 

Two methodologies was applied towards operations 

  • 1. To invest in fresh graduates or interns who can support to SASTRA mission by reskilling and upskilling them. 
  • 2. To invest directly on students  who can support to lead the mission in their schools.

 HCDC Operations in 2020 to 2025

research findings pointed out that high school children are not having enough support from the department due to various challenges the school counselling faces such as limited funding to carry out programs, field trips and short of competent counsellors and many more. Therefore, many students’ feels they do not have the support 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. It is undeniable that many Malaysian realize this is happening within our reach and not many have come forward to help towards our future generation.​ In 2014, SASTRA Education Development was established with the support a Social Enterprise Start-Up Research Grant from an investment company to address the growing issues in Malaysian National Schools. Ministry of Education Malaysia acknowledged the 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. 

Soonufat Supramaniam

The 1st Piloted School in Malaysia - 2013, Central Satellite School

The 2nd Piloted School in Malaysia - 2015, Northern Satellite School

We were the first school in Malaysia to collectively pilot the implementation of HCDC concepts suggested by SASTRA. I believe the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013- 2025(MEB) allows any schools to collaborate with private sectors in the interest of our students. I am positive, with our shared vision we will continue to improve SMK Taman Ehsan students in line with the six aspirations as MEB. In addition, we are ready to transfer the knowledge to other schools. I am also very pleased to see SASTRA is supporting more rural schools with various partners. Keep it going SASTRA.” Madam.Patifah Shamsuddin, Past Principal SMK Taman Ehsan, Selangor.​

Human and Career Development Center  

The Malaysian Schools Human and Career Development Center (HCDC), a social initiative pilot project was launched in 2014 with an intention to enhance Malaysian Secondary 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 more on reskilling and upskilling the students in addition to the counselling services. A dedicate website was established to allow schools to register and participate in the HCDC project. : www.malaysianschools.com

Ananda Devan

I never realized what a need in understanding the future of career that is out there in the world. Moreover, learning values and the necessary skills that we need. My involvement with my schools HCDC opened my eyes and heart to a whole world of people I can support!" Nagamei, University Malaysia Sabah -Volunteer”​

Since 2017, SASTRA have been investing valuable time and funds directly on students who can support the HCDC project and past alumni. The focuses were further uplift 141 SASTRA Bright Champ Alumni as leaders/mentors to reach out and transfer their knowledge to other students within their capacity and using the HCDC as platform.  It was interesting to some were very committed in giving back to their schools and other were supporting when time permits them as they were continuing their higher education. In addition, few have involved becoming social entrepreneurs and been trained to become future school counsellors and glad SASTRA was able to support them thru the HCDC platform. By beginning of 2018, SASTRA have reduced its overall operation in school and have handed over to students to take the lead to further develop the Human and Career Development Center. This is to allow the school and alumni to take full responsibility to bring the change they are seeking for and not depending fully on SASTRA. SASTRA will only be an additional support from 2019 for the schools and student who are keen to take the lead on HCDC approach.


​​In 2012, various research studies were carried out on the growing issues related to poverty, underprivileged children and the rise of unemployment focusing in Malaysia. Therefore, the focus was to address the Malaysian schooling systems and research findings indicated that the school counselling department is highly in need of a new approach to overcome numerous challenges. A Practical Research Grant was secured to validate and implement the research findings and concept with an objective to strengthen the schools department and bridging high school students and industry. 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. The 

“Having access to learn new things beside formal education is a challenge.  I am glad the HCDC project came to my school at SMK Taman Ehsan. I am now doing what I am passionate about and have learn to help others.  Kum Lum Chung, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College - Volunteer​

Kum Lum Chung

Research Findings to Practical Operations as National Contribution

Beneficiaries and Volunteers Views



In 2015 beginning, SASTRA was preparing to identify another school in another state and visited various schools in Malaysia. During our visit to State of Kedah, SASTRA was invited with the support of a Fellow from Teach for Malaysia (TFM) who was keen to work with SASTRA 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 SASTRA to begin the process to work with SMK Lubok Buntar. However, the school had to go through a leadership change unexpectedly and delayed the plan activities. Nevertheless, the new leadership granted approvals to continue to work with SMK Lubok Buntar. Read more



"SASTRA has been a tremendous support for many students,particularly from rural schools in Kedah. The support provided has enabled these unfortunate students to work and go the extra mile to achieve competence in English and other activities. We fervently thank SASTRA from bottom of our hearts for being the backbone of the school project."  Cikgu V.Jessy Anne, SMK Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin, Kedah.​

 SASTRA HCDC Operations Model to Remove Stigma in School Counselling Department (2014)

SMK Taman Ehsan a secondary school located at Kepong (Selangor). In 2013 the school was selected with the support of school leadership Madam Patifah Shamduddin that 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), State Education Office (Jabatan Pendidikan Negeri, JPN) and District Education Office (Pejabat Pelajaran Daerah,PPD). Although other schools were keen and have approached SASTRA, we had to be focused in working with one school in each state that will lead as “Role Model” for other schools in further stages. This is also due to the limited funding SASTRA had and to ensure the project is sustainable. Read more

HCDC Alumni Leads

 Methodology 2

They came to us with open arms and big smiles, helping us to enhance and educating us about the importance of building the HCDC at our school. They have helped us so much!" I am confident to give it back. Kasih SofeA Helmi, Past Student SMK Taman Ehsan Selangor  

" SASTRA has played an important role in building self - confidence amongst student especially in practicing  the use of English in everybody life. I am thankful for the support they have provided for the rural students and also supporting in creating a platform for them to explore further their passion. Thank You Cikgu Mr. Anuar Sany - SMK Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin., Kedah

SASTRA pursued to implement Methodology 1 by identifying and hiring graduates who are unemployed and have genuine passion to be at schools. SASTRA, finding indicated that more than 500,000 graduates are not employed. In addition, teachers are not able to be employed due to limited funding and some have no interest to work at schools and prefers not to be in schools when they have to repay their education loan. To validate further, SASTRA identified graduates who were 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 with the research grant. 

Patifah Shamsuddin

The Research Methodologies and Model



 HCDC Project Advisors