Moazzam Malik: the British Ambassador Who Wants to Make a Difference in Education

Singapore National Academy had the pleasure of hosting the British Ambassador to Indonesia for around 90 minutes during which we had a chance to show him our facilities and programmes as well as allowing our student body to interact with him on a multitude of levels.

The visit has acted as a springboard or learning and dialogue within our student community on a variety of topics which our teaching faculty will continue to facilitate. I am very grateful to His Excellency Moazzam Malik for taking the time to visit us at SNA.

Below is the unvarnished interview with the Ambassador that our Media Club conducted. Please enjoy! (Student comments in italics).

British Ambassador to Indonesia – His Excellency’s Visit

On Thursday September 8, 2017, His Excellency, Moazzam Malik, visited Singapore National Academy to fulfil his agenda, specifically, his personal interest in and passion for educational development, especially within Indonesia. He toured around the campus with the escort of the School’s Student Council while he was also interviewed by the SNA Media Club at the very end of the tour.

Who is Mr. Moazzam Malik?

His Excellency Moazzam Malik is the Ambassador of Britain for Indonesia and Timor-Leste. He is a passionate man wanting equality and better living standards for many countries in South, Southeast and Central Asia.

He has visited various top league universities and schools around the world while he has given his personal support and effort towards programs, such as the United Nations’ ‘He for She,’ which are aimed at the personal development of all. In summary, development and the betterment of all is certainly a serious cause for our visiting ambassador.

In what aspects should a nation improve in order to move towards being a developed nation?

According to His Excellency Moazzam Malik, a developing nation can improve its economic status and power with humanity’s strongest weapon – education. He went on to explain, “I am at a school, the answer is easy; Education is the answer.” In this, he also included morals and values, especially within our wonderful country.

That a nation with well educated citizens and governors has the ability to easily develop and make any nation prosper was his clear position, and he noted that several nations also need to prioritize education as opposed to other sectors.

This also includes giving more priority towards English due to its major presence in higher education and the world of business. It was nice to be praised for our own English standard.

Poverty is rampant in many parts of the world and the income gap is very evident. How can a nation close this income gap and lift the economic status of those in poverty?

His Excellency said that there are many ways to solve these common problems found in many developing nations. One way is to invest in infrastructure as well as add better public transport for better connectivity between those living in rural areas and those living in larger cities.

His Excellency has spoken out about how everyone, regardless of background or gender, has the same capabilities. Anyone can do the tasks others are able to with the use of great education and proper training. He specifically stressed the education of women as a very important factor: “Women are half of our population and resource,” he stressed.

In 2006, you wrote a white paper on International Development entitled “Making government work for people who need”. Do you think that the government’s is doing this effectively?

His Excellency Moazzam Malik expressed that he was very delighted for the Government’s efforts in increasing the current education standards of the nation.

However, he also spoke out on how several schools had given their students too much to handle.

This means that headmasters need to maintain the stability of both academic and non academic activities to make sure the students’ own welfare is of great importance. Also, in his reply he complimented our President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo for his work on changing the national curriculum and increasing the current standard of education into the current curriculum. Thus, he was of the opinion that at this pace of development, Indonesia could be a nation that can join different countries in the G20 and become a large prosperous nation.

One clear statement was made here,

“Whoever we are, we all have the same capabilities. We all have the same potential.” This made us feel so inspired to improve ourselves and to prove ourselves.

Overall, His Excellency, Moazzam Malik, gave us all an insight into how we can develop our own nation to become a more developed nation filled with prosperity and economic opportunities, to compete with other G20 nations; basically, a country we can feel pride in. One student at a time.

Therefore, all the students at Singapore National Academy, along with others, can certainly thank His Excellency, Moazzam Malik, for his enlightening answers and his valuable time for this interview. It is so pleasing to find that foreign diplomats have a unique perspective and undeniable passion and interest in our country, and most definitely, ourselves, the youngsters and ‘future’ of Indonesia.

 

This interview was conducted by the students of SNA Surabaya. Feel free to send your comments and feedback to peteraraman@piagetacademy.org.

 

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