Citizens Journal
Tue May 21 2024

Arus Academy empowers students to change their world

Youth & Children
This article features :

Originally published on Citizen’s Journal Published: May 20, 2024

Arus Academy, a Malaysian social enterprise, is revolutionising education by empowering students to tackle real-world problems through practical learning adventures.

Forget rows of desks and rote memorisation. At Arus Academy, a Malaysian social enterprise on a mission to revolutionise education, classrooms buzz with a different kind of energy.

Here, students aren’t passively absorbing facts; they’re actively using their knowledge to tackle real-world challenges.

Founded in 2012 by four passionate alumni of Teach For Malaysia, Arus Academy emerged from a shared frustration with the limitations of traditional education.

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Alina Amir, David Chak, Daniel Russell, and Felicia Yoon envisioned something different: a learning environment that ignited a lifelong love of learning and equipped students with the skills to solve the problems they’d face in their communities.

Felicia Yoon, who graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science, emphasises that Arus Academy empowers students to transform knowledge into action.

Their innovative approach equips students with the skills and mindset to become not just problem-solvers, but lifelong learners, ready to tackle any challenge the future holds.

Arus Academy: Learning through action


Gone are the days of rote learning at Arus Academy.

Instead, students embark on multidisciplinary adventures that combine digital literacy, financial literacy, and media literacy with critical thinking and creativity.

This practical approach fosters a deeper understanding and a sense of purpose in students.

“We concentrate on our students using skills to do something with what they know,” explains Felicia.

A prime example is the project undertaken by students at the Chowkit Learning Center, which provides full-time education for underprivileged students.


Recognising the local food security challenge, they leveraged design thinking to create a vertical farming model using readily available materials.

This not only addressed a community need but also equipped them with valuable problem-solving skills.

Another inspiring project involved designing a discreet emergency button disguised as a worry box.

This ingenious invention, created by students who recognised the safety concerns faced by women in their community, could send an alert for help when pressed.

These projects are impactful,” says Felicia, “because students see that the knowledge and skills they acquire can actually help their community.”

Beyond the classroom walls of Arus Academy

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Arus Academy’s impact extends far beyond the classroom.

Their after-school programs equip students with the digital skills they need to thrive in the ever-evolving job market.

Additionally, they prioritise financial literacy, ensuring students understand how to manage their finances effectively.

“Financial literacy is a way for students to learn how the knowledge they gain in school is applicable to their lives,” explains Felicia.


“By understanding financial planning, they are better equipped to navigate their financial future.”

The digital age has also brought new challenges, and Arus Academy recognises the importance of media literacy.

Their programs equip students with the tools to discern truth from fiction and navigate the online world safely and responsibly.

“The pandemic highlighted the need for media literacy,” says Felicia.

“We saw a rise in children and teenagers using social media, and there wasn’t much education on how to use it responsibly.”

A commitment to continuous learning


Arus Academy’s success hinges on their unwavering commitment to continuous learning and adaptation.

They constantly refine their programs based on student needs and feedback, ensuring their methods remain relevant and impactful.

However, securing funding for their vital work can be challenging.

While Arus has established successful partnerships with organisations like MDEC (Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation) and UNICEF, their focus on delivering exceptional programs often leaves less time for outreach.


“Our main focus is on the students’ needs,” says Felicia.

“We go beyond simply fulfilling a client’s program expectations. We ensure the program truly benefits the students.”

This dedication to student well-being resonates with their partners.

“They see the effort we put in and that we truly care about our beneficiaries,” says Felicia.

“This transparency and commitment are why they support us.”

By supporting Arus Academy, we invest not just in education, but in the future.


This is where initiatives like Sokong, a platform by Malaysiakini, play a crucial role.

Rooted in a commitment to creating positive change, Sokong bridges the gap between NGOs like Arus Academy and potential donors.

By donating through Sokong, you can directly support Arus Academy’s transformative work.

Your contribution fosters a culture of giving, compassion, and collaboration. Sokong envisions driving lasting social change by connecting people with impactful organisations like Arus Academy.

Their innovative approach equips students with the skills and mindset to become problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and lifelong learners, shaping a brighter future for themselves, their communities, and the world at large.

Visit our website for more information on Arus Academy.

Citizen’s Journal proudly joins hands with as the official media partner. is the platform connecting individuals with diverse organizations supporting various causes. Together, we foster collective action to create impactful change. Interested in supporting non-profit organizations and making a difference? Click this link for more information on how you can participate and contribute to meaningful initiatives.

by malaysiakini

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