EXCITEMENT is heating up for the Top 10 finalists for the Malaysia Teacher Prize 2023.
Having made the shortlist recently, they are now within grasp of the top honour – an RM50,000 cash prize for the winner and RM5,000 each for the other Top 4 finalists – which will be presented at the Malaysia Teacher Prize Summit and Award Ceremony on Nov 4 and 5.
All the Top 10 finalists, who were shortlisted from a pool of over 2,000 applicants from all 13 states and three federal territories nationwide, will also receive professional development workshops that will support them in amplifying their reach and impact beyond their local communities.
Among those in the running are SK Pendidikan Khas Tuaran, Sabah, music education (special needs) teacher Stefanus Lucas and SK Long Sebangang, Sarawak, English language teacher Muhammad Nazmi.
Stefanus pioneered the “Suara Kami @ Our Voices” project, focusing on empowering his pupils to express themselves confidently through communication and performance.
He also creates teaching aids from recycled materials, such as egg cartons, to make the experience of learning musical notes more engaging and accessible for his visually impaired pupils. Muhammad Nazmi, on the other hand, provides his pupils in the rural area with firsthand experience of real-world situations, such as entering a laundrette and getting into a plane, through a classroom simulation known as the “Danger Room”.
He also pioneered the Filpen Club, which gives pupils space to express themselves through filmmaking.
Also making the cut are Zul Afida Abdullah (SMK Dato’ Ahmad Maher, Kelantan), Sadheeshkumar @ Kuang Leong Yee (SJKT Bestari Jaya, Selangor), Kathiresan Moorthy (SK Mahmud, Pahang), Khou Jerome (SJKC Union, Penang), Dr Zuridah Hanim Md Akhir (SMK Sultanah Bahiyah, Kedah), Ahmad Shahrul Azhan Ibrahim (SMK Long Ghafar 2, Kelantan), Jumisara Chamili (SK Bandar, Johor), and Mohamad Safuan Rozak (SK Jengka Pusat 2, Pahang).
Held for the second year, the Malaysia Teacher Prize is organised by Pemimpin GSL, with this year’s edition being sponsored by YTL Foundation, Yayasan Hasanah and ECM Libra Foundation.
Pemimpin GSL chief executive officer Cheryl Ann Fernando said the finalists represent some of the most inspiring work that the organisation has seen in the Malaysian education sector.
“It is our deepest hope that the recognition afforded by the prize will spur ever more educators to go above and beyond in serving their students and the communities in which they live and work,” she said in a press release dated Sept 20.
The Malaysia Teacher Prize Summit and Award Ceremony will be held at Sime Darby Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
The two-day summit will showcase the teachers’ works and feature speakers, who include Malaysia Teacher Prize co-founder Samuel Isaiah and Malaysia Teacher Prize 2022 winner Anuthra Sirisena.
The prize, which celebrates the teaching profession and recognises the power that teachers have in moulding young Malaysians into lifelong learners and potential leaders, is the Malaysian edition of the Varkey Foundation’s renowned Global Teacher Prize.