Passionate Teachers are Game Changers in Education

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27 May 2024

5 Min Read

By Josephine Tan (Taylor’s College Campus Director)


The nation’s education system has long been a subject of discussion and debate. While significant strides have been taken to enhance the quality and accessibility of education in the country, there remains much work to be done to address the challenges and improve the overall state of education.

Substantial Budget Increases for Education in 2024

The proposed Budget 2024 marks a significant step forward for Malaysia's education sector, with the Ministry receiving a substantial allocation of RM58.7 billion, up from RM55.2 billion in 2023 (an increase of 6.1%). Out of this, RM1.9 billion will be allocated for school upgrading and maintenance, including RM930 million for upgrading school buildings and infrastructure at 450 schools, with a focus on 185 schools in Sarawak and 155 in Sabah.


Additionally, RM100 million will be dedicated to maintaining and upgrading school computer labs, procuring new equipment for STEM learning, and involving industry representatives as instructors. RM180 million will be used to build new special needs blocks at specific schools in Kedah, Penang, and Perlis, while another RM30 million will be allocated for special needs support equipment.


However, pundits, parents and educationists remain cautious. While these allocations indicate a dedication to enhancing education infrastructure and accessibility for all students, what else can be done to improve the education landscape?

Elevating Teaching Standards and Celebrating Exemplary Educators

The primary focus of discussion revolves around the teaching community, particularly the importance of having well-trained and qualified teachers. With the government considering hiring teachers on a contract basis to address the teacher shortage, there is a growing demand for only qualified and highly skilled teachers to be employed. This demand is reasonable, as teachers are at the forefront of driving change. If teachers are not qualified or, at the very least, passionate about their work, the education of our children is compromised. With this in mind, we are then compelled to ask: What standards should we employ to assess a teacher's qualification? How do we define passion and exceptional skill in the teaching profession?


Through the RISE Educator Award project, I have had the privilege of meeting and learning from exceptional teachers across Malaysia. Teachers like Cikgu Kumaresan Muniandy and Cikgu Dr. Velerie Wheelervon Primus, special needs educators in Kedah and Sabah, embody the essence of purpose-driven teachers, inspiring impactful learning. Their exceptional stories of perseverance and dedication to providing quality education for their students are truly commendable.


Cikgu Kumaresan initiated “Projek School Enterprise Kedai Dobi OKU and Mock House Training Centre”, a vocational training project for special needs children to ease their transition to the workforce, teaching entrepreneurial skills and building confidence. Inspired by a mother's concerns for her child's future, he aimed to ensure their self-sufficiency as they grow older.


Meanwhile, Cikgu Velerie noticed the limited special education facilities in Keningau, especially for students with autism and ADHD sharing classes. Recognising that 65% of SK Bingkor’s special needs students fell into this category, he emphasised the need for play-based learning integration. His "Integrated Sensory Therapy Room and Snoezelen Project" seeks to go beyond standard practices, empowering these children to thrive in their learning journey.


Meet our RISE Educator Award winners and hear their inspiring stories here.

Shared Responsibility for Educational Advancement

Nevertheless, it is crucial to acknowledge that while the government plays a significant role in societal progress and development, particularly in education, the responsibility should not fall solely on its shoulders. As stakeholders in the education sector, we believe that we also bear a responsibility in advancing the nation towards a sustainable and inclusive future for all.


By supporting teachers and students at the primary and secondary levels, we aim to empower them with the skills, knowledge, and purpose that will not only prepare them for successful transitions to tertiary education but also equip them for prosperous careers.

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