OUR PURPOSE

Develop children’s life skills by inspiring them to create with technology

Just like how sports build character, we use technology as a platform to develop life skills.

When we use the navigation app on our phones, we stop asking for direction. We no longer learn how to interact with people. When we play computer games, we let the game developers do the thinking.

Using technology to a certain extent deprives our children opportunities to think deeply, interact with people, and become creative.

Our children need to learn to create with technology instead—develop games, design toys, build solutions. They will develop life skills—communication, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration—or human skills that machines are not capable of.

By creating, they also learn technology and hence able to utilize it to produce solutions in their future work, regardless of their choice of career.

OUR VISION

All children will have the right skillsets and values to navigate the changing future

The formal education, for the past hundreds of years, focuses on areas which machines are going to be really good at – accumulating knowledge and memorising facts.

We need to focus on areas machines are NOT GOOD at, which are human values and life skills. We also need to apply an educational pedagogy that aligns with how our kids learn outside the classroom — discovery with open-source resources versus teaching with book, project-based learning versus chalk and talk.

The progressives are beginning to re-invent education but the rest are left with the illusion of hope that the current education is preparing our kids for the future! It’s ironic but education may just help widen the gap in our society.

In Chumbaka, we are guided by our vision statement in designing our solution: “All children will have the right skillsets and values to navigate the changing future”. We start with what the future needs. For example, we require children to work on real problems in order to develop the right skillsets and values. They document this experience as their personal portfolio of knowledge, skills, and values. This is the new CV for their further education and future career.

In order to benefit ALL children, we are guided by the ancient wisdom – it takes a village to raise a child. We complement traditional and alternative schools in helping children develop life skills, integrate open source hardware and software developed by the global community, and curate available resources to re-ignite children’s inborn passion for learning. In this way, cost is optimized and the whole village whom we engaged with learns as well. We believe this is a sustainable way to re-invent education for all.

Chumbaka is a Social Enterprise certified by the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED) Malaysia.

OUR TEAM

Educators who believe in creating life-long impact

to their students by imparting life lessons, and delivering learning that is rooted in curiosity and joy.

Dr. Chew Yen Seng

PhD, UMIST
Principal Consultant

Chong Zhi Xiong

MEng, Imperial College
Chief Learning Officer

Nigel Sim

MEng, Imperial College
Education Engineer

Jadyn Chua

BEng, UMS
Partner, Kuching

Tan Cheng Yian

BEng (1st Class Hons), NUS
Partner, Singapore

Rachel Khoo

BSc, Lancaster University
Partner, Georgetown

Haslina Abdul Malek

BA, Murdoch University
Partner, Miri

Jimmy Pang

BSc, Campbell University US
Partner, Tawau

Pauline Yong

MBA, Univ of Leicester
Partner, Johor Bahru

Dr Xavier Chee

PhD, Univ of Cambridge
Partner, Sibu

Teo Li Tien

BSc (Hons), UM
Partner, Melaka

Khaw Yuen Yuen

BA (Hons), Nottingham
Partner, Cyberjaya

OUR ADVISORS

Our curriculum and pedagogy advisors reimagine education

as one where children are empowered to self-learn, driven by their own sense of purpose.

Choo Wai Heng

BEng, UMIST
MD, DreamCatcher

Dr Teoh Chin Soon

PhD, UMIST
Director, DreamCore

Dr Hor Poh Jin

PhD, University of Sheffield
Director, DreamCatcher

Prof Fabian Kung

PhD, Multimedia University
Professor, MMU

Christina Lind-Hunter

MA, University of Warwick
Consultant, GreenSmiths

HOW WE STARTED

When engineers met educators

The seed of Chumbaka was planted when two founding partners of DreamCatcher, Choo and Chin Soon, discovered that some engineering graduates had poor grasp of basic science concepts despite having high grades, and were not motivated to learn.

They realized this is largely because the younger generation spend a lot of time studying, instead of experiencing hands-on science. The many hours Choo and Chin Soon spent as children building projects from components scavenged from broken toys had given them a feel of scientific phenomena which formal blackboard-approach schooling could not, and also instilled in them the joy of learning.

They started running hands-on science workshops for children. As both coincidentally grew up playing with motors, their first outreach program was for kids to build motors.

Separately, Teach for Malaysia fellows Nigel and Zhi saw the exact problem in the schools they were teaching in. They decided to adopt project-based learning in their classrooms. Through that they experienced how hands-on tech projects continuously motivated their students to learn inside and outside of the classrooms. This informal learning approach inspired the students to realize their own potentials and many went on to achieve their aspirations in STEM-related fields.

With a similar dream of inspiring all children to become life-long learners and realize their full potential, Chumbaka was founded with Zhi and Nigel in the pioneering team. They are today joined by like-minded partners throughout the country.