THERE will be a Teacher Icon award specifically for Tamil language teachers in the country to recognise their hard work and dedication.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk P Kamalanathan said the award would be presented to teachers under eight categories to reward teachers from Tamil schools and Tamil language teachers in national primary and secondary schools.
“These teachers are the driving force and have uplifted Tamil language education for the past 200 years (in Malaysia),” he told reporters when announcing the award on Wednesday.
He said the award is part of the 200th year celebration of Tamil language education in Malaysia.
The Tamil language was classified as a classical language in 2004 and is one of the longest-surviving languages in the world.
Kamalanathan hoped that through these awards, more teachers will be motivated to teach their mother tongue to students.
He said that all 12,000 teachers who teach in Tamil are eligible for the Excellent Teacher award under the following categories – Tamil schools, national primary schools, national secondary schools, Tamil pre-schools and co-curricular activities.
He said there will be three winners chosen for each of these five categories.
In addition, there will be three more special categories for exemplary teachers, school heads and retired teachers. The prizes, Kamalanathan added, will include a certificate, a trophy and cash prizes ranging from RM1,000 for each winner of the five categories and RM,3000 for each of the special categories.
Kamalanathan said that school heads are supposed to nominate teachers of their respecive schools for the awards.
Selangor Education and Social Volunteers Club Society chairman Prevrnavan Amirtham said the finalists will be identified by a committee comprising representatives from the ministry, state education departments, Tamil schools, the School Heads Council and Tamil Language Union.
The award presentation or Thesiya Tamilasiriyar Thilagam ceremony will be held in October.