Yasmin Sarwar: An Innovator Who Transforms Ideas Into Action
Yasmin Sarwar| Cardiff Sixth

Education has been transforming at a rapid face. In this era, teachers and students are constantly on a conflict. Teachers struggle to create an improved learning environment. Students are on a clash with themselves to learn in an environment where the ways of teaching are still traditional in roots. Thus, an institution needs a figure, who in these contemporary times can withstand the challenges in the educational sphere. A leader who can help an institution to build values and create an environment where teachers can have better ideas to craft a better educational framework. A person in charge who continuously strives to create a nurturing environment for its pupils. Yasmin Sarwar, Chief Education Officer of Cardiff Sixth Form College is one such personality who understands the needs of her pupils in modern times. Yasmin’s love for teaching and her innovative ways of coaching has today made her one of Malaysia’s influential educational leaders.

Let’s have a look at her journey that made her today an important international figure:

Where it all Began

Yasmin has always been an academically great student. Her love for learning and endeavor towards excellence has opened many doors for her to pursue the career of her dreams. Her excellent academics and passion brought her to the UK from Malaysia as an international student to study A-levels. After completing her education, Yasmin realized that she can transform the learning experience of students. Hence, she set out on her first educational venture – Cardiff Center of Excellence – now known as Cardiff sixth form college. Under her exemplary vision, the college swiftly rose to become one of the largest sixth form colleges in Wales and a major A-level destination for international students.

Even after being Chief Education Officer today, she still considers herself to be a teacher of her pupils. As both being a teacher and mentor, she has spent hours tutoring, coaching, and counseling. She was able to engage and motivate her students while helping them to develop their knowledge and skills. Turning average students into academic achievers soon became the college’s specialty. Her optimistic attitude and finding motivation in challenges has been one of the reasons for the institutions’ accomplishment.

Contribution to Educational Society

Yasmin’s contribution has earned herself a respectable position in the educational sector. She called herself an edupreneur and see her role as an innovator in this sphere. She has brought two schools Cardiff Sixth form college and Oxford International college to the top in UK A-Level ranking.

In 2011, she received recognition as the UK Best Tutor of the Year in the Science category. Yasmin has continued to hold sole responsibility for ensuring the quality of academic provision at the college, supporting every student with their university applications up until October 2016. In January 2017, she was invited to join Oxford International College as Chief Education Officer and has since then brought it up to the top of the UK A-Level league table. Her success echoes in the quality of education her institutions deliver. She is eager to share the formula of her triumph with the world by working closely with international schools overseas, including China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, and South Korea.

Institution Under her Remarkable Supervision

Oxford international college is a prominent institution in the UK. Here learning is tailored to ensure students are prepared for the world as well as universities of their choice. A-level subjects provide initial building blocks for education. Students are also given an opportunity to complete an Extended Project Qualification. It helps them to gain independent research skills, learning how to analyze, use and communicate the information. Work experience, placements, and industry competition are organized for every student. Academic mentors from Oxford University supports and encourage students to reflect on their ongoing activities, whilst also providing help with admissions tests, interview preparation, and EPQ. Specialist career courses are available within any field of study. Its students have a stellar record to get admitted to the top-ranking universities in UK and around the world thereby resulting in joining more competent students making it a thriving place in the educational globe.

Facing Adversity Head On

Being an innovator Yasmin has always put a great emphasis on skills such as critical thinking, effective communication, problem-solving, creativity, etc. Some educators disagree on her views. They believe the above skills would diminish the teaching of important content, such as mathematical and scientific knowledge. Yasmin fought against the conventional thinking that education should be completely based on mastering the content. She knows that it is hard for students to recall facts or terms from a textbook. It places a low cognitive demand on students. She zealously worked on expanding/broadening the sphere of education. Yasmin has instilled a curriculum that combines core academic subjects and 21st-century skills. This combination allow students to apply and transform their knowledge creatively and continue learning and collaborating effectively even when the content and circumstances change.

Views on Current Educational Scenario

With 21st century skills, students will be prepared to think, learn, work, solve problems, communicate, collaborate, and contribute effectively throughout their lives. Competency in 21st-century skills gives students the ability to keep learning and adjusting to change. Technology is increasingly replacing workers who perform routine tasks, while it complements workers with higher-level skills and empowers them to be more productive and creative. With these realities, students who do not master modern skills will have a hard time to fulfill their potentials. Yasmin is grateful and thrilled by the prospect of being able to be part of and lead this process across the world. 

Message for Building Blocks of Nation

Yasmin believes that the forces instigating the inevitable changes on the horizon in education have been building for some time. The world is changing, the global economy, with its emerging industries and occupations, offers tremendous opportunities for everyone who has the skills to take advantage of it. She puts a great emphasis that catering to the students’ future needs is not simply trying to be fashionable; it is a necessity.   

“Reminding yourself of your goals and keep pushing yourself out of the comfort zone. Doing extraordinary things takes extra effort and nothing worthwhile comes easy but by being strategic in your approach you can achieve more than you thought you were capable of.” -Yasmin Sarwar

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