We give it all we got

The nation’s top teachers of 2022 reflect on their passion and best practices

Being a teacher does not end by conveying knowledge to the children. It is more than that. We need to educate the students holistically and prepare them for challenges in the real world. Teachers nowadays are required to be highly digitally competent in this digital-driven world. As a Chemistry teacher, I have implemented technologically integrated chemistry lessons using applications and platforms like Kahoot!, Gamilab and Minecraft. During the Covid-19 pandemic, I had to find ways to conduct practical lessons online. I engaged the students by implementing Project-Based Learning online. To do that, I innovated chemistry experiments so that students could carry them out using basic household things to overcome the constraint of being unable to carry out experiments in the laboratory. On top of that, I prepared chemistry lesson videos on my YouTube channel to aid other teachers and students. I had shared them to all schools via the district education department and state education office. I actively encouraged my students to do chemistry projects such as creating video presentations on the concepts learnt. I also got them to produce animations on chemical bonding, create infographic posters and so on.

Komathy Veerasinghan, SMK Ave Maria Convent, Perak


  • Teacher Icon - Innovative PdPR Award 2022
  • Indian Women’s Achievement Award 2021
  • Young Scientist Competition 2021: Stem Tic Toe (Ysc Genius Creative Award and Ysc Best Video Award )

In today’s digital-driven world, the role of teachers, for me, remains irreplaceable. Though students can be good at handling gadgets and accessing online materials by themselves, education is impossible without teachers. It can only become better with the aid of technology. It is still a teacher that teaches you how to use technology to learn. As a teacher, I look at digitalisation as tools in assisting teachers during lessons, making teaching easier and flexible. I speak less during lessons with the help of technology. Students find me less annoying as they rarely hear me nagging now. The interactive virtual elements help engage the students more during lessons. I realised that YouTube is an effective learning platform, especially during the pandemic. All we need is a reliable online connection and access to gadgets such as smartphones, laptops and desktops. Most of my students own at least a smartphone. Therefore, I came up with my own channel, English Made Possible with Teacher Em. My students were able to see me even if they were not attending physical lessons during the pandemic. It is truly amazing to be getting learners all over the world through my YouTube channel. The pandemic is not an obstacle for teachers to continue teaching. I consider it an opportunity for my students and me to explore a new learning experience.

Emily Syafirah Zamrod, SMK Alor Janggus, Kedah


  • Teacher Icon - Virtual Education Award 2022
  • Excellent Service Award 2022
  • Digital Utilisation Award 2021

Being a teacher, for me, is being able to contribute to the well-being of students both in academics and the co-curriculum. The most important aspect of student development is being able to be a member of society who contributes to nation-building. I am an Orang Asli and my students are also Orang Asli. Their lives are not that different from mine when I was young. I use the hardships I experienced as an example to them that having an education can change everything. My school days were challenging. I had to use a boat to get to school and swim if the boat broke. I had to store my clothes and books in a bag so they would not get wet. I would use one hand to hold the bag up as high as possible while the other to swim. To me, that bag was more important than my life. I want my students to understand that if I can succeed, they can too. I want the Orang Asli to achieve great heights on their own land. Among other things, I give them free tuition so they can catch up and take them for competitions so they can shine. I visit the homes of students who did not show up in school and give books, groceries and pocket money to those who could not afford it. These children are very special in my eyes.

Julita Joseph, SMK Syeikh Abdul Ghani, Perak


  • Excellent Teacher - Orang Asli/ Native Award 2022
  • KSSM head trainer
  • SPM examiner

Being a teacher means a lot of things for me. It means a lot of sacrifices in terms of time, energy and resources to give the best for students. It means tagging along on an exciting journey from the day each student enrols at the school to the day they graduate. But more importantly, it means opening their minds and senses to the possibilities of the future, and showing them the prospects that await them if they work to acquire knowledge and skills. I think the most essential prerequisite to be a teacher in today’s fast-evolving world is adaptability. Teachers must be willing to take risks, try new approaches to education, and look for opportunities to enrich their students with creative and innovative learning experiences. In this digital era, this means searching for and participating in educational activities both locally and internationally, and in areas of interest that may have seemed out of reach previously, such as innovation, robotics, multimedia, and technology in general.

Roslan Yatim, Former headmaster, SK Sena, Perlis (2008-2016)


  • Anugerah Tokoh Guru Kebangsaan 2022
  • Tokoh Guru Negeri Perlis 2021
  • Teacher Icon Perlis 2014

I may be a person with disabilities (OKU) because of my visual impairment that began in 2008 (I became a registered OKU in 2017) but I did not let it stop me from teaching. In fact, my pupils did not realise I had this impairment because I did not change my teaching methods in class. Other teachers helped a lot in terms of obtaining teaching materials for me, and sharing teaching guidance tools with me. There are a lot of challenges that come with having visual impairment. Every time I have to attend meetings, briefings, workshops and performance dialogues in schools, the district education office, and the state education department, I have to do extra preparation in terms of reference materials. All of that requires careful preparation, especially when there is a presentation session.

Puzil Othman, SK Toh Puan Sharifah Hanifah, Kedah


  • Excellent Teacher - OKU Award 2022
  • Excellent Service Award 1998, 2006, 2016
  • Represented Malaysia at the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation – Regional Centre for Educational Innovation and Technology 2017

I do not have any background in special education and I did not study it at the Teacher Education Institute - Penang Campus. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Primary Education (Music Education). At the beginning of my placement in a special education school, I felt sad and disappointed because I did not have the skills and knowledge to teach students with special needs. However, as the years passed, I began to fall in love with special education. It was the students who made me continue to fall in love with the job. They taught me a lot and inspired me to be an even better teacher. If they can do something even with their disabilities, why should I give up on learning how to teach them? I am grateful to have colleagues who have taught me to be an even better special education teacher.

Stefanus Lucas, SK Pendidikan Khas, Sabah


  • Excellent Teacher - Special Education Award 2022
  • International Society for Music Education member
  • Sabah Society for the Blind member
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