Cikgu Hazeem’s moving story earned him a cash prize of RM5,000 and Taylor’s College will be sponsoring RM10,000 to SMK Kuala Krau, Pahang to enhance their OKU Multimedia Studio
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Taylor’s College and its student engagement arm, The Risers, announced the winners for its RISE Educator Award campaign at Taylor’s Lakeside Campus. In conjunction with Teacher’s Day celebration, the institution looks to celebrate and honour outstanding teachers who go above and beyond their teaching duties to inspire educational excellence and social distinction for their students.
Finalists and their nominators from various states in Malaysia including Perak, Pahang, Kelantan, and Pulau Pinang joined the ceremony alongside Malaysian Director-General of Education, Ybhg. Datuk Hajah Nor Zamani, Taylor’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, Professor Dr Pradeep Nair, and Taylor’s College Campus Director, Josephine Tan Lian Lei.
Mohammad Hazeem bin Azemi from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Kuala Krau was crowned RISE Educator of the Year during the ceremony. The extraordinary teacher’s moving tale of sparking inspiration within and beyond his classroom moved the hearts of the campaign’s panel of judges which included last year’s winner, Cikgu Muhammad Nazmi from SK Luagan, Lawas.
“It is a proud moment to win the RISE Educator of the Year. It’s an earnest recognition for the efforts that educators have done for their students, and it’s truly humbling to know that my story of inspiring excellence for my special needs and Orang Asli students won the hearts of the RISE Educator Award judges. I have always been passionate about special education. Special education holds a special place in my heart, as I grew up with a slow learner cousin. I saw how the education system was posing a challenge for him in his studies. His struggles compelled me to earn a degree in special education – I wanted to understand how I could make education easier, accessible and more inclusive for him and this section of society,” said Cikgu Hazeem.
In his winning story, nominator Puan Haspura Abu Hanipah pens about how Cikgu Hazeem took it upon himself to conceptualise the school’s OKU Multimedia Studio, a first-of-its-kind-in-Malaysia OKU-friendly IT lab for his specially-abled and Orang Asli students.
“The studio which is built with a ‘gaming’ concept is equipped with gaming chairs and tables as well as computers and its complimentary accessories to motivate students to commit to their studies. Through the lab, the school and I worked to designed learning modules that teach students complimentary IT competencies such as video and photo editing, gaming-based learning, broadcasting skills and more,” elaborated Cikgu Hazeem.
According to SMK Kuala Krau headmaster, Tuan Hj Mat Jusoh bin Che Ngah, the sponsorship of RM10,000 from Taylor’s College will help to enhance the multimedia studio and equip it with more facilities and accessories such as greenscreens, digital cameras and sound systems amongst other things.
“As a school in a rural area, we observed how the digital knowledge divide are affecting the experiences and opportunities between urban and rural students. To this, we fully support Cikgu Hazeem in his ambition to build this multimedia studio so that we are able to bridge the gap to allow our students equal opportunities to acquire skills that are on par with their more privileged peers. We believe that the OKU Multimedia Studio can help teach our students competencies to lead a thriving and independent life upon finishing secondary school.
“So if in any circumstance our students are unable to further their education by personal reasons such as financial constraints, responsibility to the family or otherwise, they still have the essential skills to chart their own career path without the need for a professional certificate. Beyond just academic knowledge, the studio would help equip students with essential skills for jobs in multimedia. To this end, we are very grateful to Taylor’s College for choosing Cikgu Hazeem’s story for the RISE Educator of the Year award and awarding the school with an RM10,000 sponsorship,” he continued.
“We were deeply moved by Cikgu Hazeem’s exceptional efforts to help his students thrive in their education and in their lives. When we think of the teaching profession, a majority of people agree that it’s a noble career with many challenges ahead of the educators as we are entrusted to educate, mould and inspire our students to be productive members of society. It’s not enough to only ensure they do well in their studies, but beyond the classroom environment, it’s important that educators also look to build other areas of their students’ lives such as their self-esteem, digital competencies, and also their mental and emotional endurance. Cikgu Hazeem’s story epitomises the meaning of a passionate educator who goes above and beyond to inspire excellence for students in their education and their social development. Beyond today’s win, we look forward to further supporting Cikgu Hazeem and SMK Kuala Krau Pahang in their ambition to build their OKU Multimedia Studio,” said Josephine Tan, Taylor’s College Campus Director.
What’s even more meaningful is that students who complete Cikgu Hazeem’s course would be given a ‘Sijil Kemahiran Tahap 3’ which the students can use to apply for jobs.
The award also featured the RISE Educator Award; where the winner is chosen through popular voting on the institution’s website, as well as the RISE Educator Award: Taylorian Edition, which allowed Taylor’s students and community to vote for their favourite lecturer story.
Saifulnizan Che Ismail from Sekolah Kebangsaan Raja Bahar, Kelantan brought home the title of this year’s RISE Educator Award; while Dr Choo Hui Leng from the School of Engineering, Taylor’s University won the RISE Educator Award: Taylorian Edition. Both the winners won RM2,000 in cash, while their nominators took home RM500 respectively. For more information on the RISE Educator Award, please visit here.