KOTA KINABALU: ‘With courage and perseverance, nothing is impossible,’ said 30-year-old Sirhajwan Idek.
The teacher at Keningau Vocational College has been nominated in two categories for the International Global Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) Education Awards on Feb 28.
Sirhajwan said his nomination has helped colleagues build their own confidence to enhance their capabilities.
The awards will be held in Dubai.
"The first award is the Community Award for Citizenship which is referring to my contribution in education to the community via the ‘Wonder Zone’ programme.
"Under the programme, my students executed projects related to health, literacy, hygiene, technology and environment for primary school students,” he said when contacted, adding there are eight finalists from all over the world for the award.
As for the second award, Sirhajwan added, he was among 11 finalists nominated for Outstanding Contribution in Education for his performance as a teacher at his current vocational college.
"I managed to help the students to win English, Innovation and Entrepreneurship contests, which are very meaningful for those from rural areas.
“Besides that, I also helped in the career development of educators through courses, research and information sharing.”
Born in Kota Belud, Sirhajwan said he received an email notification about the two nominations on Jan 18.
"I was very happy as the selection criteria is really competitive.
“It is difficult to believe that I got two nominations instead of one,” he said.
He hopes other teachers will be inspired to be creative.
"I am into participating in national and international awards as I have been training and managing students for competitions and they have inspired me to contest at higher levels.
"It makes me more confident and optimistic in my career."
Sirhajwan is the only Malaysian teacher nominated.
Prior to this, Sirhajwan said he had won three international contests and other achievements.
"I had emerged champion in International Innovation and Entrepreneurship Excellence in Teaching Award in Paris on Sept 22 in 2017, won the Global Express Publishing IATEFL Scholarship 2017 for presenting project at Brighton, United Kingdom 2018 as well as Global Macmillan Teachers at my Heart for attending a two-week course at Norwich United Kingdom in 2016.
"Besides that, I had been listed as one of the 50 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize 2017 held at Dubai in March 2017 and got the 2017 Teacher Icon Award at national, state and district levels,” said the teacher who is furthering his studies at Doctor of Philosophy level at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Shah Alam.