Orang Asli school teacher rises to the occasion

Proud moment: RISE Educator Award 2024 winner Shawn Stanly (third from right) posing for a photo with a mock cheque of the sponsorship for his school, accompanied by (left to right) Taylor’s University Vice-Chancellor and President Prof Barry Winn, the ministry’s Education Resources and Educational Technology Division deputy director Fadzliaton Zainudin, Tan, Wong, Mohd Zamarol and Sawittri.

“In my classroom, inclusion is key.

“My teaching methods have boosted student motivation and participation, leading to improved attendance and confidence. And, this has nurtured resilience and grit, encouraging students to embrace learning,” shared Shawn Stanly Anthony Dass.

For his innovative pedagogical approaches and success in enriching student learning and engagement at the all-Orang Asli school plagued by illiteracy and high dropout rates, the SK RPS Banun teacher was named this year’s RISE Educator Award winner by Taylor’s College and its student engagement arm, The Risers.

Through the integration of simulations and real-world experiences, the dedicated educator who teaches in a remote village in Gerik, Perak, has created an enjoyable and impactful learning environment.

One of his notable projects includes the development of a flight simulator and a beach-themed marine conservation class, both of which have been instrumental in helping students grasp complex concepts through experiential learning.

“While illiteracy isn’t completely solved, there’s been progress since June 2022.

“By providing learning opportunities and empowering students, academic performance and extracurricular involvement have soared.

“As my students continue to excel, it showcases their potential and underscores the importance of providing opportunities and believing in their abilities.

“Winning this award underscores the immense potential of our students. I am deeply committed to providing them with the best learning experiences and opportunities to realise their full potential,” Shawn Stanly, who was awarded RM5,000 for his achievement and RM20,000 for his school, said.

SK RPS Banun headmaster Mohd Zamarol Ahmad said he was proud of Shawn Stanly’s outstanding achievement in winning RM20,000 for the school.“The grant will be instrumental in establishing a dedicated learning hub for our students.

“We are committed to supporting Shawn in his future endeavours and will always champion his efforts to provide exceptional education for our students.”

This year, 10 exceptional teachers were shortlisted for their inspiring stories and these teachers were featured on Taylor’s College social media platforms for public voting.

Five inspiring teachers with the most votes were Shawn, along with Anne Margarette Kho from SK Belipat, Sarawak; Muhammad Anas Murugan Abdullah from SK Seri Intan, Perak; Siti Ainulmursyida Shamsudin from SMK Orkid Desa, Kuala Lumpur; and Siti Intan Farahana Mhd Fauzy from SK Bandar Laguna Merbok, Kedah.

Each finalist of the RISE Educator Award 2024 received RM1,000, with an additional RM10,000 allocated to their schools to enhance facilities or infrastructure, supporting a conducive environment for quality education.

During the award ceremony on June 8, its campus director Josephine Tan said Taylor’s College was committed to equitable education for all.

“We believe in ensuring every child has equal opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive.

“We aim to foster lifelong learning, inspire innovation, and nurture every student’s potential.

“Being able to collaborate with past RISE Educator Award winners and finalists has shown me the profound impact of these funds, inspiring us to increase the grant this year.

“Beyond the RM20,000 awarded to the winning school, we remain committed to supporting their educational aspirations,” she said in a press release.Also present at the event in Subang Jaya were Education Deputy Minister Wong Kah Woh, and Teach For Malaysia (TFM) Fellowship interim head Sawittri Charun.

“It is a privilege to partner with Taylor’s College in honouring educators who go above and beyond to inspire and empower. We were deeply moved by their stories, as they reflect the transformative efforts of educators across Malaysia. Shawn’s inspiring commitment in enriching Orang Asli students’ learning, reminds us of our mission at TFM in combating education inequity,” remarked Sawittri.

This year’s winner and finalists were selected based on public votes (25% weightage) and by a panel (75% weightage) comprising Tan, TFM chief executive officer Chan Soon Seng and RISE Educator of the Year 2023 Cikgu Kumaresan Muniandy.

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