KUALA LUMPUR, 20 October 2021 – Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organisation, is bringing its popular Sustainathon competition to Malaysia, in the TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2021 challenge. Themed ‘Reimagining Education’, the competition for tertiary students focuses on tackling issues related to digital learning through the implementation of solutions based on technology and innovation.
“COVID-19 has forced transformation on society in many ways, including in education, and has created challenges for many people. Millions of Malaysian children, families and teachers have been impacted – from facing connectivity issues to struggling with teaching and learning in an unfamiliar online format. For us at TCS, the Sustainathon is our effort to aggregate ideas, technology and innovation to address pressing real-world issues. This year, we are focusing on education, to help bridge the gap in education by addressing inclusivity and limitations. Here, we need to reimagine, rethink and reinvent learning for a more sustainable future, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that call for ensuring inclusive and equitable education and reducing inequality,” said Jeevan Rajoo, Country Head, TCS Malaysia.
In the TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2021, the Challenge areas focus on helping students derive equal and equitable benefits from digital-based learning, closing the gap in digital skills and overcoming the limitations of a virtual classroom. “Many of the issues we are addressing through the TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2021 are not new. From recent policies like the MyDigital Blueprint that seeks to ensure equitable access to quality education online via sufficient connectivity and equipment as well as optimisation of digital platforms, tools and skill sets for students and teachers, to older policies like the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 which recommended virtual platforms for self-paced learning and overcoming geographical limitations, they have been addressed. To accelerate meaningful change, we aspire to achieve 1,000 entry submissions across Malaysia from teams as well as individuals. We want to create a movement to reimagine education for our children and youth!” Jeevan added.
Raymond Siva, Senior Vice President of Investment and Brand and Chief Marketing Officer, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), added: “MDEC is proud to be a supporting partner of TCS Sustainathon MY 2021. I hope that this initiative will ignite the spark for young Malaysians and empower them with the passion and purpose to discover how they can make a difference. The COVID-19 pandemic has put sustainability into strong focus, and MDEC is committed to helping Malaysia become a leader in line with the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP), to drive a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable Malaysia.”
Joining the Challenge
The TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2021 is open to tertiary level students in Malaysia from pre-university to university cohorts from any discipline, including students in public and private institutes of higher education as well as technical education institutes. Participants can submit ideas as individuals or in teams of up to five members. Students under the age of 18 as on 20 September 2021 must obtain consent from their respective parent or guardian to participate in the Challenge.
Idea submissions should be based on four challenge areas, as follows:
- Challenge #1: The Digital Divide and Disconnection, where ideas should explore ways to enhance community engagement and provide access to high quality higher education in a more inclusive way during and after the pandemic, employing technology to create blended learning experiences that include the B40 group and people with disabilities.
- Challenge #2: Absenteeism in Remote Learning, where ideas should offer solutions to drive behavioural change in students and motivate them to be actively present in their online learning journey.
- Challenge #3: Integrated Digital Learning Platform, where ideas should offer a one-stop digital solution for monitoring and managing online teaching and learning, to improve the quality of online teaching and facilitate communication among parents, teachers and educational institutions in an integrated manner.
- Challenge #4: Accessible Education for the Blind, where ideas should offer digital solutions to enable inclusive education for visually-impaired students and re-visualise traditional teaching practices.
Up to six shortlisted teams or individuals will have the opportunity to present to a panel of judges in December 2021. The Top 3 winners will be announced in the Malaysian Finale to be held in January 2022. The Top 3 entries will win RM10,000, RM7,000 and RM5,000 respectively, while the entry with the Highest Online Votes and the winner of the Special Recognition Award will each receive RM2,000 each. The top two entries will also represent Malaysia during the ASEAN Finale in March 2022, which will involve two teams each from Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. The ASEAN Finale will offer a cash prize of USD10,000 for the winning idea. During the TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2021, participants will have access to experts to help refine their ideas, besides having the opportunity to develop their winning idea for real world implementation if suitable.
Submissions for the TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2021 will close on 30 November 2021. Webinar sessions to help interested participants refine their ideas and improve their entries will also be held, with recordings made available after the webinars. More information on participating in TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2021, including the submission guidelines and judging criteria, can be found here. The organisers can also be contacted via email.
The TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2021 is supported by Strategic and Supporting partners comprising the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), PETRONAS, Celcom Axiata Berhad, Astro, UN Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei (UNGCMYB), Teach For Malaysia and Social Enterprise Education Lab (SEEd.Lab), as well as Challenge and Outreach partners comprising the Malaysian Association for the Blind, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, University of Nottingham Malaysia, Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Universiti Malaya, Multimedia University, International Islamic University Malaysia, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Manipal International University and UNITAR International University.