The Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) via the Education Performance and Delivery Unit (PADU) collaborated with the Axiata Young Talent Programme (AYTP) Alumni Association to organise an Education Case Study Competition called ‘Hope into Action’. This competition drew 97 participants from various professional backgrounds, and was facilitated by members of the top management from PADU, Axiata, and representatives from OpenLearning Global, IDEAS Autism Centre, The Rojak Project, and Leaderonomics.

The primary objective of this competition is to create an engaging platform for the youth to gain awareness and understanding on the efforts and challenges undertaken by MOE. As inheritors of the future, the voices of the youth are even more crucial in updating and supplementing efforts to drive the national education transformation and accelerate system improvement.

The competition was structured into four segments throughout the day: Awareness, Discovery, Experience, and Solutioning. Participants were divided equally into groups and assigned one of four case studies based on initiatives within the the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 (MEB). The four groups that entered the finals won RM1,000 per group in cash prizes, and the best group won RM3,000 in cash.

During the Awareness segment, participants were exposed to the 5 System Aspirations, 6 Student Aspirations, and 11 Shifts of Transformation within the MEB. The four initiatives chosen as the basis of the case studies were then introduced by the top management of PADU. These four initiatives included the 21st Century Learning (Pembelajaran Abad Ke-21, PAK21), Increasing Enrolment, Special Needs Education, and Unity initiatives.

After the Awareness segment, participants were moved to breakout rooms based on their initiatives for the Discovery segment, where leaders of the education field led discussions along the theme of their education initiatives. The participants then transitioned to the Experience segment, where they engaged in activities that helped them empathise with the issues and problems within their respective education initiatives.

For the 21st Century Learning initiative, Caroline Ong, the Director of Client Engagement at Leaderonomics highlighted the role of technology in education, and the participants worked thorugh several problem-solving exercises. For the Increasing Enrolment initiative, Danial Rahman, the Head of Growth from OpenLearning Global emphasized the importance of e-Learning as the future of accessible education, and held a workshop on how to design online modules. For the Special Needs Education initiative, Puan Sharifah Salleh, the Principal of IDEAS Autism Centre outlined the definitions of multiple types of disabilities, shared programs that have worked in the past, and current limitations of interventions. For the Unity initiative, Faye Lim, Joselyn Chong, Jagjeet Singh, Lim Chia Wei, and Amni Salma from the Rojak Project shared their vision for uniting Malaysians through various conduits like food and language and shared their documentary on what makes us Malaysian. The sessions ended with a brief introduction to public policy frameworks by Maryam Halim from DM Analytics Malaysia.

In the Solutioning segment, participants brainstormed to provide solutions for the case studies. The participants were given 5 minutes per group to present to the panel of judges, with 3 minutes of Q&A. The best groups for each initiative were selected as finalists, and moved on to the final round where they were judged by a panel consisting of PADU’s top management and presided by Dr Habibah binti Abdul Rahim, the Deputy Director General of Education, Malaysia (Policy & Development).