Nelson Ng
Innovating Education Beyond Inequality

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Every child has a dream to achieve big ambitions. Nelson was pondering on becoming a pilot. Onto his journey of education, he finds himself more keen towards the physics and mechanics behind planes. Hence, he pursued a Master of Engineering in Aeronautics and Astronautics at University of Southampton. Upon finishing his studies in the aviation field, he stepped his feet into the economic world. He worked as an investment analyst for Khazanah Nasional which is the sovereign wealth fund of the Government of Malaysia. Throughout the years, he has witnessed how academics managed to propel a person’s life towards a brighter future. Nelson Ng managed to change his life through education.  

Education is supposedly deserved equally to every human. Nelson sees there are a lot of young, bright and talented students but they struggled to finance their education, Nelson had an eureka moment. He led a project called “Project ED”, an initiative with a noble intention which is to empower students in pursuing their dream to have a place in local tertiary education institutions. The project mainly seeks for highly potential students with an underprivileged background or to be precise those with total household income less than RM 5000. For Project ED to work, it requires RM 45 monthly commitment from their donors for the scholarship. Till date according to Nelson who is the founder himself, they managed to accumulate a fund amounting to RM 10,000 thanks to the generous contributions of the donors and the fund had benefited around 20 students in their pursuits of dreams.

 

Nonetheless, Project ED should not be understood as an initiative created merely to fund underprivileged students to pursue dreams of better life as the initiative goes beyond that. As explained by Nelson himself, they have conducted numerous workshops via Project ED. We as the readers must be asking ourselves why would they venture this far? Why did they not stop just giving scholarships to the students in need. To answer the question, we need to understand the core principle of social mobility. Merely giving financial support will not be sufficient to develop a well-rounded scholar. A right mindset is needed for the scholar to craft a right pathway. Therefore, realising the untapped potential hiding in each of the individual prospectus scholars, they initiated a workshop to give a proper induction for these students whilst at the same time tapping their hidden potential.

 

His effort on contributing back to society by founding “Project Ed '' has finally paid off. In 2020, Nelson Ng is one of three Malaysian students who have been nominated for The Diana Award and have received international recognition for their active social engagement and humanitarian initiatives in their local communities. On his final advice, he was star-struck with this particular quote by Rumi, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” He shared this piece of wisdom which has changed his view towards making an impact on society as he is fascinated to see more young people to prevail their talent and create impact in society on what they are really passionate about.

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The Covid-19 pandemic has hampered most schools and learnings, subsequently paving new ways for the shaping of the future of learning. The vulnerabilities that students faced provided a clearer vision of the existing inequalities that arise which is undoubtedly a hindrance to students whose learning has been much more difficult. Being someone that takes education seriously, Nelson definitely has his fair share of hopes and vision towards the future of learning. With the unprecedented disruption that also affected Malaysian students, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced an enormous shift away from the traditional setting of physical interaction, giving an opportunity to Re:Imagine education. 

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