PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s award-winning teacher has done the country proud again.
Mohd Sirhajwan Idek, an English teacher from Keningau Vocational College, has fended off eight other finalists’ bid to win the International Innovation and Entrepreneurship Excellence in Teaching Award 2017.
The competition, which ended on Friday at the Novancia Business School in Paris, was part of this year’s European Conference of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ECIE).
The 29-year-old, who presented case studies alongside fellow finalists from the United States, Britain, Russia, Germany, Canada, Denmark and Colombia, was the only Asian and the only teacher in the group. Others were lecturers.
“I was thrilled to win because this is an international competition. It goes to show that no matter where you come from or who you are, nothing can stop you from realising your dream and conquering the world,” the Sabahan from Kota Belud told Sunday Star yesterday.
His winning entry was about adopting project-based learning to encourage students to venture into innovation and entrepreneurship.
Mohd Sirhajwan, who arrives home tomorrow, said he was “quite confident” of doing well as he had been successful in implementing the system in his school.
“During the competition, I felt a positive vibe and energy. The excitement of learning from others and wanting to give my best made me optimistic,” he said.
Mohd Sirhajwan said he never gets nervous taking on native English speakers.
“What we achieve isn’t defined by where we come from or by who we are. There’s nothing we cannot do.
“Although I may have some disadvantages, I choose to focus on my goals and give it my all,” he said.
This is Mohd Sirhajwan’s third win in international competitions.
He was among the recipients of the Macmillan Education Scholarship 2016, which saw him attending a two-week training course in Britain. He will also be attending next year’s International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) conference in Brighton, England, as an Express Publishing Scholarship 2017 recipient.
The teacher, who can be credited for Keningau Vocational College’s dominance in English competitions, has also received other awards for his achievements, including the National Teacher Icon Award this year.