A teacher from Sabah has became the first Malaysian educator to win an annual prize awarded by Cambridge University Press after beating about 7,000 other applicants.
On the website, the body congratulated Khalifa Affnan as the winner of the 2022 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards out of the 7,000 nominations from 112 countries, 60 shortlisted entries, and 6 regional winners.
The website also talks about Khalifa’s accomplishments in STEM education. “Although the school is located in the rural area of the island state, he managed to offer the students international experience by setting up a cultural exchange programme between the school with South Korean educational institutions.”
“The ongoing program that started in 2017 has allowed his students to host students from South Korean schools and visit the country on a field trip,” the body said on the awards website.
“His effort has resulted in the increase of active participation of female students as well as special needs learners in STEM activities.” it added.
The website also mentioned that many of his students have earned “international recognition” including one winning third place at a 2018 Korean robotics tournament, and another becoming a keynote speaker at a British STEM summit in 2020.
Khalifa’s passion for tech education
Khalifa says that he became passionate about STEM education after he participated in a previous teacher exchange program.
“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,” he was quoted as saying by The Borneo Post.
“This fueled my passion in teaching ICT-based subjects, on top of the language-based subjects I already teach.”
“I am most grateful to the Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards for giving me this recognition and motivating me to drive forward.”
The awards were established in 2018, where students, teachers and members of the public are encouraged to nominate teachers who have played a positive part in educating students, whether it be by introducing innovative ideas in the classroom, promoting charitable causes, inspiring learners to continue performing well after school, or providing excellent care.
Upon nomination, teachers will then be judged on the impact that they’ve had, and are then shortlisted into regional finalists, where the winner is determined by a panel of judges alongside votes from the public.
To select the global winner, members of the public are encouraged to vote for their teacher of choice. Khalifa Affnan managed to get 26% of the total votes and was, therefore, announced the winner.
“It gives me great pride to see a teacher from Malaysia winning the Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards on both global and regional levels,” said Cambridge University Press director for Asean Kanjna Paranthaman.
“This is a momentous milestone for teachers in Malaysia and speaks volumes on the quality of teachers we have in the country.”
Congratulations and thank you for your contributions towards education in the country, Cikgu Khalifa!