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Seri Bintang Utara teacher Lee Saw Im with her husband.

KUALA LUMPUR: Three teachers have been honoured with the 2019 Global Teacher Award for their contributions to the country’s education sector.

The Global Teacher Award is an annual award ceremony organised by AKS Education, an India-based education research company aimed at recognising efforts by teachers from around the globe. It was held in New Delhi on Sept 15.

The three teachers received a trophy and a certificate each. They were among 100 teachers from 72 countries shortlisted for their contributions to the education sector.

One of the recipients is chemistry teacher Lee Saw Im from SMK Seri Bintang Utara in Kuala Lumpur.

Lee, who has been the school’s chemistry teacher since 1999, said she nominated herself and was approved by her school when she found out about the award on Facebook.

Lee said she had forgotten about her application for the Global Teacher Award when her son asked for an update.

“I was surprised when I checked my email and was informed that I won the award,” she said.

“My family and the school principal supported me throughout the process and they were very happy when they learnt about it,”

The mother of four was accompanied by her husband, Ong Ghim Hong, 56, to the ceremony.

This was not the first time that Lee received an award.

She was named the Best Science Teacher at the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation Award in Bandung, Indonesia, in 2016.

She won the Iconic Teacher for Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur Award for 2017/2018 and got first place for Excellent Teacher in Curriculum award from 2013 to 2017.

Lee said Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects must be taught creatively by teachers to attract students’ interest.

“I used what is easily applicable to our daily lives so that students understand the subject matter better. This way, they will become more interested in the subject.”

As the Innovation subject coordinator and her school’s Robotics Club teacher, Lee was also tasked with organising national-level STEM events at the school to encourage learning and competitiveness among students

“I believe in taking part in competitions, especially for STEM subjects, to allow the students to connect with others.

“Communication is vital in making students understand the subject better,” she said.


MK Perempuan Methodist teacher Mohana Ram Murugiah.

Parthiban Govindasamy from SJK(T) Ladang Shum Yip Leong in Cameron Highlands said he was honoured to receive the award.

“I didn’t know who nominated me. I received an email to submit my resume in March,” he said.

“Then, last month, I received an email stating that I was shortlisted. I was surprised because I knew there were many other high-performing teachers who were nominated as well.”

Parthiban, an English and Mathematics teacher, was part of the Korea-Malaysia Teacher Exchange Programme last year.

He hoped to spread awareness in “global citizenship education” to national schools.

With seven years of teaching experience, he has also won Best Presenter Award during the Sharing Stories of Asia-Pacific Education Movement International Conference in South Korea.

Parthiban hoped to develop Kolam art as a teaching tool for English, Science, Mathematics and Information and Communications Technology.

“Through Kolam art, so many aspects of teaching can be covered. At the same time, we can promote Indian culture.”

He also set up parthibangovindasamy.blogspot.com to help his students learn Mathematics better.


SJK(T) Ladang Shum Yip Leong teacher Parthiban Govindasamy.

For Mohana Ram Murugiah, an English teacher from SMK Perempuan Methodist in Ipoh, the nomination came from a teacher from a school in India, Navarachana School Sama in Gujerat, where he took part in a teacher exchange programme.

“I participated in the International Leaders in Education programme from the United States and the nomination came after it was over,” he said.

Mohana said he would continue to work on developing innovative approaches in the classroom so that the learning process would be smoother.

“I will also continue with creative programmes at the school so that my students can explore their hidden talents. We have done a few programmes in the past,” he said.

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