‘Take pride in how far you’ve come. Have faith in how far you can go.’ – Michael Josephson
We never thought we would win such a competition until the Adrenaline Jonkies was announced as the winner of Policy-Making Competition, a two-day policy competition held by Sheffield Malaysian Students Association. The quote above perfectly describes how all of us felt at that moment. It was so surreal but we are all very grateful to have won the judges’ hearts through our presentation.
The Policy-Making competition aims to engage with youths to generate ideas and policies on public funding in this COVID-19 pandemic across different pillars which are education, finance, and healthcare. The policy competition that runs for 2 days with a few discussion sessions within the groups and moderators including a brief presentation in front of the esteemed judges which is an arduous but valuable experience for us all. It has also given us the platform to connect with 20 other participants from different nationalities such as Singapore, India and Qatar with most of them being Sheffield University students themselves.
It didn’t take me long to accept his request but due to the overwhelming work that we all have with assignments and also preparation for another competition for me, we rarely have time to discuss until a few days before the competition. I even signed up for the team just three days prior to the competition and immediately was assigned by the organiser to the education pillar.
As the team leader, I directed the team to focus on the crucial issues that arose in this pandemic especially in the education sectors such as digital gaps, limited accessibility to gadgets and poor education quality due to COVID-19 with the aim to ensure that quality and sustainable education is given to all despite the pandemic.
On the second day of the competition, we proposed three key solutions such as zero-rating policies for educational platforms, laptop vouchers of RM1500 for all students and also standardisation of learning platforms to complement the current policy introduced by the government and leveraged on that, with few implementations from other countries. Multiple questions were thrown to us by the floor to further clarify our policies but we managed to fare better than what we expected.
|The presentation was judged by three esteemed judges:|
|A/Prof Shafie Mohamed Zabri||Director of Education Malaysia London|
|Madam Hajah Mahuran Saro Dato’ Haji Sariki||Head of Research, Development and Policy TalentCorp|
|Madam Rashidah Othman||–|
In the beginning, we just thought of aiming for the top 4 especially when all of us were too caught up with other academic workloads that required more attention. However, due to the strong teamwork we have between us, it has somehow made the process much smoother and easier, eventually leading us to winning the competition.
Taking part in this policy making competition has certainly challenged the three of us in our understanding of the policy making process and challenged my mind to think critically in all aspects.