KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — Muhamad Khairul Anuar Hussin who teaches at SMK Taman Universiti 2 in Johor Baru is among 50 people around the world on the shortlist for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize (GTP) worth US$1 million (RM4.18 million) which will be awarded next year.
The special needs teacher is Malaysia’s sole candidate, picked from over 10,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries.
The Varkey Foundation commended Khairul Anuar for going the extra mile to help his special needs students who face diverse challenge, from those with sight and sound impairments to autism and Down’s Syndrome cope with daily lessons.
It noted his initiative to introduce Braille textbooks, and embossing diagrams for children with visual impairments at the different schools he has been assigned to in Johor.
But it noted Khairul Anuar’s zeal to teach his young physical and learning-impaired charges life lessons beyond the classroom, and that he had come up with an inclusive education model to help them develop their social integration skills that will allow them to enter mainstream schools.
“For Anuar bin Hussin this is the most effective way to equip them for work and independence,” it said in the nominations page of the 2019 Global Teacher Prize.
Khairul Anuar’s inclusive education model has been recognised by the Education Ministry, which has used it as the basis for its special educational needs teaching policy and guidance, the foundation noted.
Khairul Anuar also coordinated a Special Education Forum to prepare educators to use the model with their own students, and represented Malaysia at the JENESYS East Asia Future Leaders Program Social Welfare Group, 2011 in Japan.
Malaysia was represented by KA Razhiyah from Kota Baru, Kelantan who was among the 50 shortlisted for the 2018 edition of the GTP.
Malaysia was not represented in 2017 edition.
In the 2016 edition, Malaysians Noorjahan Sultan and Vanesri Kasi made it to the top 50 shortlist.
The first edition of GTP in 2015 saw two Malaysians in the top 50 list: Yasmin Amin and Madenjit Singh, and the latter even making the top 10 final list.
The annual award confers a US$1 million prize on “an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession,” according to the GTP website.
The top 50 shortlisted teachers are narrowed down to 10 finalist teachers by a prize committee, with that result announced in February 2019.
All 10 finalists will be invited to Dubai for the Award ceremony at the Global Education and Skills Forum on March 24 next year, where the winner will be announced live on stage.