In a world where educational opportunities are often determined by financial status, there are still those who strive to make a difference.
Meet Kevin Raj Pereira, a 35-year-old tutor and owner of Sapphire Education, who has been making waves in the education industry. His story of helping kids study despite their financial issues has recently caught the attention of many around him.
Recognizing the kindness of this tutor and with the aim of sharing his story, Varnam Malaysia has taken the lead to showcase him on our platform.
During an interview with Varnam Malaysia, Kevin shared his goals and what motivated him to start Sapphire Education. “It all started during the pandemic when a teacher confessed to me how she was struggling to get a tutoring job due to high commissions”, the 35-year-old said.
This inspired Kevin to break the commission monopoly and provide a free service to assist both teachers and tutors. To date, Sapphire Education has helped almost 7,000 teachers find jobs, and Kevin’s ultimate goal for the platform is to be commission-free for a lifetime and to help as many students as possible.
He also recognizes that students today face not only educational issues but also mental health issues like stress, and Sapphire Education has given free talks on handling stress and strategizing learning.
One particular challenging tutoring job that Kevin got involved in was helping a student who could not get past a D grade. The student’s mother was a single parent, and Kevin not only had to teach the student the syllabus but also provide motivation.
To boost the student’s confidence, Kevin went easy on the work at first to identify her strengths and then gradually moved on to improvising the techniques needed. Thanks to his efforts, the student ultimately achieved a 78, which was a significant improvement within a five-month time span.
When asked how he balances the needs of tutors and parents to ensure a successful outcome for both parties, Kevin explained that he does this by ensuring a transparent platform. Parents make requests for tutors, and Sapphire Education posts the requests on a group WhatsApp or sends them directly to tutors.
Once tutors agree to the job requirements, they negotiate the rates directly with the parents. This system ensures that both parties agree with each other’s terms, and if they have a fallout, Sapphire Education makes other arrangements.
Kevin finds the most rewarding aspect of his work to be seeing happy students and receiving gratitude from parents and teachers.
One particular standout moment for him was when a student with autism successfully made a career for himself despite being bullied and labeled as not fit to do IGCSE. Kevin told the student that he would prove those people wrong, and today, the student is a manager at Spades Burger.
When asked if he thinks it’s the responsibility of educators to go above and beyond to support students in need, Kevin responded that it is absolutely our responsibility. He explained that every educator takes an oath before graduating to ensure that not one kid is lost.
Kevin recalled a time when he and another teacher helped a single mother who couldn’t afford luxurious tutors. They told her to pay if she could, but it was okay if she couldn’t. Kevin believes that going above and beyond is what makes a difference in a student’s life, just like how his teacher sat with him and helped him become who he is today.
Kevin recognizes that students today face unique challenges, including deciding their career paths and facing social pressure from social media influencers. Parents also face challenges in understanding their children’s struggles, especially when it comes to studying.
To address these issues, Sapphire Education provides free consultations to parents on how to handle their children’s challenges and help them apply for scholarships. They also provide free talks and discussions for students to set their career paths and free training and guidance for teachers on teaching syllabi and techniques for handling online students.
Kevin’s story is an inspiration to many, as he has shown that education is not just a job, but a responsibility to ensure that every student receives the help and support they need to succeed.
His platform, Sapphire Education, is a shining example of how a simple idea can make a huge difference in the lives of students.
Keep inspiring Vaathi!