NZ graduate brings English to Song


IN the heart of the jungle in Song, three hours by boat to the closest town, you can find a New Zealand graduate who is teaching English and making a difference.

After graduating from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand with a Bachelor of Education (Tesol) in 2009, Jarod Yong asked to be placed where he was needed most when looking for a graduate teaching position in Malaysia, and was excited by the prospect of teaching in a rural area.

“I thought if I can teach in these conditions, I can teach anywhere in the world,” he said.

Yong’s school in Song is surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful jungle.

“It’s green as far as the eye can see. I think that this is how the world is supposed to be – peaceful, clean and green.”

The density of the jungle makes most mornings cold and misty.

“You need a cardigan – it’s very much like a Wellington summer,” he said.

He teaches children who have grown up not speaking English in their daily lives.

“Some cannot speak a word of English or write a sentence after six years of schooling. Many of these children come from broken families, extreme poverty, and have very little to look forward to. They are too young to realise that where they come from does not determine their future.

“I integrate lessons on discipline, reasoning, leadership, proactivity, critical thinking and hope into every aspect of my work here. I want to build leaders and watch them become successful and then return and build more leaders in their community,” he said.

The Bachelor of Education (Tesol) is an undergraduate education and professional teaching qualification offered in New Zealand for teachers on government scholarships to specialise in teaching English in Malaysia.

To apply for the Bachelor of Education (Tesol) programme at Victoria University in New Zealand, go to or to find out more about your education opportunities.