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Primary school teacher in Selangau becomes first Sarawakian to win Global Teacher Award

Publish date: Tue, 26 Oct 2021, 09:37 AM

KUCHING, Oct 26 ― A teacher’s innovative way of teaching English not only to her pupils, but also to the local community, has earned her the honour of being the first Sarawakian to win the Global Teacher Award 2021.

Tessy Rijem, 30, who currently teaches at SK Sungai Buloh in Selangau, is amongst the eight Malaysian teachers who have received the prestigious recognition this year.

“I’m just glad that my efforts got noticed.

“All I ever wanted to do was to improve the command in the English Language among my pupils and the community that they’re from. To do that, however, I knew that I had to go the extra mile,” she said when contacted yesterday.

Tessy stressed that it was important for her to come up with interesting ways to encourage her charges to master the English language.

“Apart from the regular classes, I have come up with ideas such as holding singing competitions in English, encouraging the children to speak English as often as possible when mingling with their communities ― all meant to plant the idea that learning English is actually fun,” said the Bau-born teacher.

Tessy said she dreamed of being stationed at her hometown one day, where she could introduce her programme to her own community.

She said there had not been many obstacles in conducting her programme, but she did face some Internet connectivity issues, which proved to be quite problematic during the movement control order (MCO) period.

Adding on, she also expressed hope of getting the necessary assistance from the government so that her programme could be developed even further.

“I have planned most of the things for this programme. Of course, I could do better with any help from the government, should they find my programme useful and able to help make more Malaysians have better proficiency in English,” she said.

The Global Teacher Award aims to actively reach out to, identifies and recognises exceptional teachers from all corners of the world who have made outstanding contributions to the profession.

It aims to honour the teachers who have demonstrated excellence in teaching different subjects, shown outstanding contributions to learners and served the community through teaching even outside the formal classroom setting.

Initiated by AKS Education Award, the awards are said to be the first that recognise excellent teachers from all regions and communities of the world, and highlight their contributions to community-building and in helping to make better societies through inspirational teaching. ― Borneo Post

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