Malaysian teacher, Samuel Isaiah has brought pride to the nation by being named top ten finalists for the Global Teacher Prize 2020, in partnership with UNESCO. The Global Teacher Prize offers US$1 million (RM4million) for outstanding teachers and Samuel was shortlisted for the Global Teacher Prize 2020, after being selected from over 12,000 nominations and applications from over 140 countries around the world.
“Samuel’s crowdfunded tech-enabled classroom has boosted exam passes for his Orang Asli students, the indigenous people of Malaysia who live in the rainforests, at the fringes of society.”
An English teacher working in Sekolah Kebangsaan Runchang in Pahang, Samuel took up the challenge of teaching English to Orang Asli children and proved that great things can be achieved when you combine strong passion and dedication.
Speaking to World of Buzz last year, Samuel said he realized that he needed to transform more than his classroom practices. What he needed to improve the environment was the physical infrastructure, an environment that promotes the use of English Language, self-made modules and books that catered to their specific needs, assessed them for learning and not the exams, and lastly projects that enabled them to love and embrace meaningful learning.
“Why? They’re my children, and I’m just a father figure who’s willing to go great lengths for them.”
Samuel was shocked at first as when he first started teaching at the school as he was told to not pay much attention to the Orang Asli kids as most of them are not interested in learning. Undeterred, Samuel created a fun classroom using musical instruments and made sure all his students got an instrument of their own!
Samuel’s achievement even caught the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s attention who said he hopes Samuel would be a source of inspiration and example to all Malaysians, especially teachers, to give the best and strive to achieve success in their respective fields in the country or in the world.
According to Astro Awani, this year’s Global Teacher Prize ceremony will be done virtually and is expected to take place on Dec 3, 2020, where the overall winner will be announced. It will be hosted by English comedian, actor, writer and presenter Stephen Fry from the Natural History Museum in London.
We can’t emphasize how proud we are of Samuel who started this noble mission with no award in mind. His selflessness and passion are what got him this far and for that, we salute him!