Sabah teacher first Malaysian to win 2022 Cambridge Dedicated Teachers Awards


KUALA LUMPUR – A vocational teacher from the Keningau Vocational College, Sabah made history by becoming the first Malaysian to win the 2022 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards.

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In a statement by Cambridge University Press, Khalifa Affnan was named the winner thanks to his initiative in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) project which saw him train students in robotics, drones, coding, and other technology-based disciplines.

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He was also recognised for increasing the active participation of female students and special needs learners in STEM activities.

Photo via The Star

Khalifa attributed his passion in STEM during a teacher exchange programme organised by the Teacher Professionalism Division.

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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 fueled my passion in teaching ICT-based subjects, on top of the language-based subjects that I already teach.

“I am most grateful to the Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards for giving me this recognition and motivating me to drive forward,” he said in an accompanying statement.

As the winner, Khalifa, who received 26% of the votes, will receive a set of books and digital resources of his choosing by Cambridge University Press along with a professional development package.

He will also be featured is on the front page of every new Cambridge University Press Education textbook from February 2023 onwards.

Photo via Cambridge

Triumphant moment for Malaysian teachers

Cambridge University Press Director for Asean Kanjna Paranthaman hailed Khalifa’s win as a “momentous milestone for Malaysian teachers”.

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“It gives me great pride to see a teacher from Malaysia winning the Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards on both global and regional levels.

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.

The Dedicated Teacher Awards is a global competition under the purview of the Cambridge University Press that recognises and celebrates the efforts of teachers around the world.

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This year saw a total of 7,000 nominations submitted from 113 countries, where Khalifa was shortlisted as one of the regional winners from the Australia, New Zealand and the South-East Asian region.

Photo via Instagram

Established in 2018, the awards aims to encourage students, teachers and the public to nominate a current teacher who has left a lasting impact on them either by demonstrating innovative lesson ideas, promoting charity work, exemplary pastoral care, or inspiring students beyond school.

Upon nomination, the teachers are judged based on their level of impact, leading to six regional winners being shortlisted. They then go through another round of public voting where the global winner will be selected.

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Cover image: The Star and Instagram

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