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Stefanus among top 10 finalists 
Published on: Tuesday, September 26, 2023
By: Johan Aziz
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Stefanus (left) with former State Education Department Director, Datuk Dr Mistirine Radin in conjunction with the 8th Teknopen Kinabalu Conference, 2019 at the Institute of Teacher Education (IPG) Tawau Campus when presenting Egg Box Innovation.
Kota Kinabalu: A teacher, Stefanus Lucas, is one of the top 10 finalists of the prestigious Malaysia Teacher Prize competition offering a cash prize of RM50,000 for just one winner.

Stefanus, currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Special Education at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) until July 2024 with full sponsorship from the Ministry of Education, qualified for the finals based on his outstanding achievements and contributions to special education.

Stefanus was previously a music teacher at the National School for Special Education in Tuaran and Putatan.

“I firmly adhere to the principle of focusing on ability and not disability. That’s why I believe that all people can succeed if given the right opportunity and space, including the disabled (OKU).

“I started the Suara Kami @ Our Voices’ project in 2019 until now, which is a platform to help improve the level of confidence, presentation and communication skills of students with special needs.

“This project elevates the mission from the stage of ‘Cikgu Stef’ (Stef Teacher) class to the world stage. This project is carried out by establishing cooperation and collaboration with various related parties including teachers from Indonesia, Sarawak and several local universities,” he said, here, recently.

In addition, through this project, Stefanus also helps provide a platform for students with special needs to perform and participate in music competitions at various levels, including internationally.

He also guided students with special needs to create extraordinary success at the international level. Stefanus said, among other things, the Ensemble (Sabah Traditional Musical Instruments) National School of Special Education, ‘Tuaran Hebat’ won the runner-up of the Southeast Asia Disability’s Talent Challenge 2020 organised by the State University of Surabaya, Indonesia.

He said, the trio, who are members of Sabah traditional musical instrument, won the First Prize USA World Music International Competition and Silver Diploma for the VII World Cup of Folklore and Asia Folk in 2022 respectively.

“I am also active and often invited by various parties to share my teaching practices which are so interesting, creative and innovative, especially in special education, music education and also share the benefits of music for students with special needs.

“Among them, I have been invited by the Sensory Music & Kodaly Association in Vietnam, International Kodaly Society, SEAMEO Sen, the National Autism Society of Malaysia, Jesselton Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Therapy Center Indonesia, Malaysian Music Education Association (MAME Baru), Teacher Education Institute and local universities and many more.

“Among the educational innovations that I have produced are the innovation of egg boxes and plank boards to help blind students learn musical notes. In addition, I also actively use folklore and elements of Sabah cultural art as one of the teaching aids,” he said.

Stefanus was awarded the Outstanding Special Education Teacher at the national level in 2022 and the same award for the Sabah State level in 2021.

He was also awarded the Outstanding Service Award 2020 by the Malaysian Ministry of Education. Among the highest recognition Stefanus received is the SENIA World Changer Award 2020 from the Special Education Network & Inclusion Association.

The information list of the 10 finalists was officially announced on 16 September 2023 on the organiser’s website, Pemimpin GSL, which can be accessed through the following link: / =Nif5oz

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