KUALA LUMPUR: The success of English teacher Samuel Isaiah selected as one of the 10 finalists of the 2020 Global Teacher Prize, has captured the attention of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
His Majesty expressed his congratulations, joy and pride on the dedication and noble efforts of the young teacher from Kuantan, Pahang on being selected as a candidate to receive the prize, thus making the country famous on the international stage.
Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said Al-Sultan Abdullah also expressed hope that Samuel’s great achievements and commitment would be a source of inspiration and example to all Malaysians, especially teachers to give their best and strive for success in their respective fields in the country or on the world stage.
“His Majesty also wished him good luck and prayed that he would win the prize and be blessed with continuous success in the field of education,” he said in a statement from Istana Negara Thursday.
According to a statement from the organisers of the Varkey Foundation based in London, Samuel fondly called Cikgu Sam was selected from among 12,000 nominations from more than 140 countries.
The award, which offers US$1 million (RM4.16 million), is a programme recognising teachers for their efforts in education organised in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).
Samuel, 33, who had a eight-year stint at Sekolah Kebangsaan Runchang, Muadzam Shah, Pahang, had introduced various innovations to inspire his Orang Asli students there to dream big and crucially connect them to the outside world.
Among the programmes Samuel introduced was an e-mail exchange project known as ‘Asli E-Pal’, where the students could communicate in English with adult volunteers from all over Malaysia and abroad.
He also introduced the ‘Speak Up With Poetry’ programme where he worked with amateur poets to write poems related to Orang Asli culture which his students would then watch in the form of guided videos to learn English.
The school’s average pass rate in English had increased from 30 per cent in 2012 to between 80 per cent and 85 per cent in 2015-2018, said the Varkey Foundation.
Samuel was also the recipient of the 2019 Superhero Teachers Award. — Bernama