BETONG: Two retired teachers were honoured with awards for their contribution to education at the Sarawak-level Teachers Day celebration at Tan Sri Datuk Amar Kalong Ningkan hall here yesterday.
Dr Chong Pek Lin was named Tokoh Guru Sarawak 2018 while Datu Abdillah Adam was named Tokoh Kepimpinan Pendidikan Negeri Sarawak.
They received their awards from Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg who officiated at the function.
Chong, former senior lecturer, taught 17 years and 10 months at Institute of Teacher Education Batu Lintang Campus before she retired in 2015.
Born in Singapore in 1955, Chong had her early education at SK St Teresa, Kuching before continuing at St Joseph’s Kuching. She earned her degree in Bachelor of Chemistry from Universiti Malaya in 1976.
She went on to study in Trinity College of Music, London and took her Master of Arts (MA), Musicology and Ethnomusicology at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak before doing her Doctorate at University of Pretoria/Universiteit van Pretoria in Music, Musicology and Ethnomusicology.
She was the senior music lecturer since 2011, head of Department of Social Studies (2005-2008), choir director, did research in ethnic music and dance, and conducted research project for Sarawak Development Institute funded by United States Ambassadors fund for cultural preservation from upriver longhouses to the modern classroom (2004-2006).
Among her prestigious achievements are winning ISME – Gibson International Award for outstanding music educator 2006 and leading the project ‘Introducing folk songs and instruments of East Malaysia to school children’ (2007-2009).
Dr Chong authored three books namely – Folk Songs from Sarawak (1998), Songs from the Baram (2006) and Introduction to Selected Ensembles and Folk Songs of East Malaysia (2011).
Abdillah was born in Simunjan district on August 17, 1954. He got his early education at SK Kampung Iboi/Pelandok, Simunjan.
He pursued his secondary education at SMK Green Road and SMB St Joseph before doing his first degree at University of Malaya. He obtained his Master’s degree from Bristol University, United Kingdom in 1988.
Among those present were the Chief Minister’s wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, former deputy chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu and state Education Department director Rakayah Madon.