ON Feb 18, Malaysian English language teachers and generations of students mourned the passing of Prof Dr Ganakumaran Subra-maniam (pic), a leading figure in Malaysia’s English language teaching landscape.
As past president of the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (Melta), Prof Gana, as he was known, was dedicated to providing continuing professional development opportunities for English language teachers in Malaysia. For more than a decade, he chaired an annual international conference on English language education. He was determined that Melta conferences centre-staged teachers, and he organised them in different parts of the country, including Sabah and Sarawak, just to ensure that no teacher was deprived of the opportunity to be part of an international gathering of English language teaching professionals.
At these conferences, he ensured that special events such as the Creative Teacher Showcase were included to champion English language teachers, and under his strong leadership, Melta, Malaysia’s only national English language teaching association, has grown from strength to strength with over 1,000 members.
He also led an annual donation drive which saw the collection of English language story books which were then distributed to schools in rural parts of Malaysia.
Prof Gana began his career as an English language teacher before joining Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and later, the University of Nottingham Malaysia.
Since his passing, the countless messages of condolences from colleagues as well as past and present students on social media sites serve as testimony of the impact he has had in their lives as a teacher and mentor.
His contributions to the nation must not be forgotten.
RAMESH NAIR , President, Malaysian English Language Teaching Association