PETALING JAYA: A Malaysian teacher has been named the global winner of the 2022 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards.
Khalifa Affnan, from Keningau Vocational College, Sabah, beat 7,000 nominations from 113 countries.
He was shortlisted as one of the regional winners from the Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia region, Cambridge University Press said in a statement on Thursday (May 26).
He will receive class sets of books and digital resources of choice by Cambridge University Press, a professional development package and will also be featured on the front of every new Cambridge University Press Education textbook from February 2023 onwards.
“This is the first time that a Malaysian teacher is chosen as a winner for the awards on both global and regional levels.
“Khalifa won the 2022 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards for his achievement in initiating a STEM project where he trains students in robotics, drones, coding, and other technology-based disciplines.
“His effort has increased the active participation of female students and special needs learners in STEM activities,” it added.
Asean Cambridge University Press director Kanjna Paranthaman described it as a momentous milestone for teachers in Malaysia and it speaks volumes about the quality of teachers in the country.
“Khalifa’s STEM programmes have had a great impact on ensuring everyone in his community has access to a quality education, which is a value that we hold dear at the Press.
“Hopefully, Khalifa’s achievement will inspire our teachers, equipping us with dedicated individuals to guide the younger generation to come,” Kanjna said.
Khalifa shared that he was inspired by his late grandfather who was a language teacher.
Speaking about the challenges he faces as a teacher, he said with resilience and creativity, he will continue his efforts.
“(This is) thanks to the satisfaction of seeing my students develop new skills and benefit from the STEM programmes.
“My passion for STEM came about when I participated in a teacher exchange programme organised by the Teacher Professionalism Division.
“The experience broadened my mind about the world of technology and opened up my eyes to the mechanics behind drones, robotics, coding and many more.
“This fuelled my passion in teaching ICT-based subjects, on top of the language-based subjects that I already teach,” he said in the statement.
The Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards are run by Cambridge University Press and is a global competition that recognises and celebrates the efforts of educators around the world.