KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — Khalifa Affnan, a vocational teacher from the Keningau Vocational College in Sabah was today announced the winner of the 2022 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards.
He is the first ever Malaysian teacher to be picked as a winner for the awards at both the global and regional levels.
Khalifa was recognised for his initiative in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) project that saw him training students in robotics, drones, coding, and other technology-based disciplines.
His effort had increased the active participation of female students and special needs learners in STEM activities, Cambridge University Press said in a statement.
"My passion in STEM came about when I participated in a teacher exchange programme organised by the Teacher Professionalism Division,” Khalifa said in an accompanying statement.
"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. This fuelled my passion in teaching ICT-based subjects, on top of the language-based subjects that I already teach," he added.
Kanjna Paranthaman, Cambridge University Press Director for Asean, said Khalifa’s win was a momentous milestone for Malaysian teachers.
"It gives me great pride to see a teacher from Malaysia winning the Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards on both global and regional levels,” she said in a statement.
"This is a momentous milestone for teachers in Malaysia and speaks volumes on the quality of teachers we have in the country. Khalifa’s STEM programmes have had a great impact on ensuring everyone in his community has access to a quality education,” she added.
Run by the Cambridge University Press, the Dedicated Teacher Awards is a global competition that recognises and celebrates the efforts of educators around the world.
This year, the competition received over 7,000 nominations from 113 countries, in which Khalifa was shortlisted as one of the regional winners from the Australia, New Zealand and the South-East Asian region.
The awards were established in 2018, in which students, teachers and other members of the public are encouraged to nominate a current teacher who has impacted them either by demonstrating innovative lesson ideas, promoting charity work, fantastic pastoral care, or inspiring students beyond school.
Upon nomination, the teachers are measured based on their impact, resulting in the shortlist of six regional winners by expert judges. To select the global winner, members of the public are encouraged to vote for their teacher of choice.
Khalifa received 26 per cent of the votes to be announced winner.
"I am most grateful to the Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards for giving me this recognition and motivating me to drive forward,” the Malaysian said.
As winner of the 2022 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards, Khalifa will receive class sets of books and digital resources of choice by Cambridge University Press, as well as a professional development package, the university said.
He is also to be featured on the front of every new Cambridge University Press Education textbook from February 2023 onwards.