LONDON: Malaysian English teacher Mohd Sirhajwan Idek could not contain his excitement after winning the prestigious International Innovation and Entrepreneurship Excellence in Teaching Award 2017.
The 29-year-old beat nine other finalists from the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, Canada, Denmark and Colombia.
The award ceremony was held at the Novancia Business School in Paris and was organised by the Academic Conference and Publishing International (ACPI), which was held on Thursday and Friday.
“This is a very precious award for my country because it shows that our system of education is on par with that of other developed countries and we are being recognised at the international level,” gushed Sirhajwan, his excitement bursting through in his WhatsApp messages.
The teacher from the Keningau Vocational College, Sabah, had previously won three other international teaching awards — the Macmillan Teachers at My Heart in 2016, Express Publishing IATEFL Scholarship in 2017 and the National Techer Icon Award this year.
He was also one of the Top 50 finalists for Global Teacher Prize 2017.
“I submitted my case history, using the concept of Project-Based Learning for students to develop and execute their project ideas that enables them to venture into innovation and entrepreneurship. I successfully made it to the first round, second round and Top 10 finalists and finally, the Top 3 before being declared the winner.
“I feel so thrilled since this is an international competition. It shows that no matter where you come from, or who you are, nothing can stop you from realising your dreams and conquering the world,” he added.
Dmitry Shaytan from Russia placed second while Cindy Gilbert of the US and David Gibson of the UK were announced in joint third place.