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Sabahan innovation mentor wins yet another award
Published on: Tuesday, April 16, 2019
By: Iffah Dilaney

LABUAN: Dr Hyginus Lester Junior Lee added another feather to his cap by becoming the sole Labuan recipient of the innovation icon award (Innovation Mentor category) in the World Invention Intellectual Property Associations (WIIPA) event held in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. 

Dr Hyginus, from Kota Kinabalu, is a Grade 44 English Language Teacher and the Head of Creativity and Innovation at SMK Mutiara here in Labuan.

He started being active in research and innovation in 2010 after his former principal, Zamzam Abdul Rashid, encouraged him to participate in the annual state innovative teacher competition. His first innovation was SMARTies, an acronym for Simple, Meaningful and Rewarding Test: I am an English Specialist. 

SMARTies won him the Mutiara Innovative Teacher Award in 2010 and a bronze medal at the 20th Melta International Conference Creative Teacher Showcase in Terengganu. 

The research on the effectiveness of SMARTies in learning English was presented at the 9th Asia TEFL International Conference in Seoul, South Korea and the 1st Indonesia International Conference on Linguistics, Language Teaching and Culture at Universitas Pamulang, Indonesia. 

His second innovation was the I SPY 5 Stars, which was focused on facilitating the mastery of subject-verb agreement (SVA). 

Dr Hyginus won the state-level Innovative Teacher Award, Special Award for Innovation and Creativity, Best Innovation in Program Jejak Inovasi Negara 2012, 21st Melta International Conference Creative Teacher Showcase Silver Award and Asia TEFL (Korea) Travel Grant Award 2013. 

Action research on the use of I SPY 5 Stars was presented at the 11th Asia TEFL International Conference in Ateneo de Manila University, Konvensyen Kebangsaan Pendidikan Guru and the 4th Melta International Research Conference in English Language Education. 

The improved version of I SPY 5 Stars named I SPY 5 Stars Version 2.0 was later presented at the 2015 Applied Linguistics Association of Korea (Alak) International Conference di Chung-Ang University in South Korea, 1st Creative and Innovative English Language Teaching Seminar 2016, 2nd Creativity and Innovation Exhibition & Language Teaching Seminar 2017 and Labuan International Conference on Educational Research 2017. 

In 2015, Dr Hyginus led his innovative team from SMK Mutiara together with Noor Hasimah Mohd Ayub and Nor Adliana Ahmad Basaruddin in the production of a subject panel management kit. 

The kit helped heads of subject panels to manage and record details of teachers, panel and curriculum matters systematically and accordingly.

In 2016, Dr Hyginus helped non-English option teachers to teach less able students to identify subjects, verbs, objects and adverbs using board and cards. 

SuVA Game and SuVA Grammar Cards eased the construction of simple sentences for lower secondary students. The project was a collaborative effort with Norzuliana Abd Hamid.

His effort was recognised by the state education department with Anugerah Warga Pendidikan Kreatif dan Inovatif, Anugerah Khas Guru Pembimbing Inovasi, Anugerah Galakan Inovasi Pemimpin di Sekolah and Anugerah Khas Sokongan Inovasi in 2017.

A new creation named I SPY 5 Starflowers was developed by Dr Hyginus in 2018 to facilitate the teaching and learning of subject-verb agreement (SVA) and plural nouns using flower petals.

It received full cooperation by the Head of English Language Panel, Debbie Lawrence and Head of Oral Assessment, Onnia Ahngol. Their best practices were presented at the 3rd International Creativity and Innovation Exhibition & Language Teaching Seminar 2018. 

Dr Hyginus received the Research and Innovation Award and Commendation for Research and Innovation. I SPY 5 Starflowers was recently presented at SMK Mutiara Panel Action Research Seminar 2019. 

Dr Hyginus mentored his school Creative and Innovative Team and competed in the state level competition for the first time, winning top three for their Sistem e-Merit Mutiara (SeMMut), an online system for awarding points to students who excel at school, state and national level. 

SeMMut also won the Judge’s Choice Award at the 3rd International CAIELTS 2018 and earned the Organisational Innovation Award 2019. 

He has also assisted the Malay Language Panel of SMK Mutiara, producing “Rogaba”, a learning innovation for literature component. It won the Judge’s Choice Award. 

His greatest achievement as Head of Creativity and Innovation in SMK Mutiara was being able to exceed his target of producing innovative tools for teaching and learning. 

Last year, ten educational innovations were introduced by subject panels under his mentorship. All entered a state creativity and innovation competition and presented in Mutiara Subject Panel Action Research Seminar 2019.

He extended his appreciation to the State Education director Raisin Saidin, Head of Quality Assurance, Khaziyati Osman and former principal, Louren Abon for their support and encouragement. 

Dr Hyginus is also the recipient of Labuan Teacher Icon 2014, Ministry of Education National Teacher Icon 2015 and Bett Asia 2016 Global Citizen Award. 

Last but not least, his most-recent achievement would be when he capped the prestigious innovation icon award the International Innovation, Creativity and Technology Exhibition 2019 (i2CreaTE) on Sunday.

i2Create 2019 Kuala Lumpur organised collaboratively by WIIPA, the Malaysia Research and Innovation Society (MyRIS), Ministry of Education and Department of Student Affairs and Alumni, Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) saw 12 countries participating.   

In conjunction with the international event, MyRIS for the first time introduced innovation awards for primary, secondary, higher educational institutions and primary and secondary school teachers nationwide. Candidates are to submit evidence of active participation in research and innovation programmes between year 2015 and 2019. 

Selection and screening for four categories of award recipients were conducted by a panel of specialists for the conferment of Ikon Cilik (primary school), Ikon Remaja (secondary school), Ikon Varsiti (higher educational institution), and Mentor Inovasi (primary and secondary teacher). 

The awards presentation during the closing ceremony was graced by His Royal Highness Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Ibni Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Jamalullail dan Her Royal Highness Tuanku Raja Muda Perlis.

WIIPA members are from foreign inventors’ associations, schools and related organisations and currently has 26 member countries, including Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States and Vietnam.

Dr Hyginus graduated from Victoria University of Wellington (Bachelor of Education - TESOL), Universiti Utara Malaysia (Master of Education) and University Malaysia Sabah (PhD in Educational Management). He is currently working as a School Improvement Specialist Coach (SISC) starting in April, this year. 

He uses his Facebook page Hyginovasi and blog hyginovasi.blogspot.com to share his thoughts and ideas on innovation. 



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