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Orang Asli School Teacher crowned as RISE Educator Award winner
Published on: Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Orang Asli School Teacher crowned as RISE Educator Award winner
Shawn Stanly (third from right) from SK RPS Banun was crowned the recipient of RISE Educator Award 2024 and received RM20,000 sponsorship for his school, accompanied by [L-R] Professor Barry Winn, Vice-Chancellor and President, Taylor’s University, Yang Berusaha Puan Fadzliaton Zainudin, Deputy Director of the Education Resources and Educational Technology Division, Ministry of Education, Josephine Tan, Campus Director, Taylor’s College, YB Wong Kah Woh, Deputy Minister of Education, Encik Mohd Zamarol Ahmad, Guru Besar SK RPS Banun and Sawittri Charun, Interim Head of Fellowship, Teach for Malaysia.
SUBANG JAYA: Taylor’s College and its student engagement arm, The Risers, has crowned Shawn Stanly Anthony Dass as this year’s RISE Educator Award winner. The dedicated educator who teaches in a remote village in Gerik, Perak, was awarded RM5,000 for his achievement and RM20,000 for his school, Sekolah Kebangsaan RPS Banun.

This year, 10 exceptional teachers were shortlisted for their inspiring stories and these teachers were featured on Taylor’s College social media platforms for public voting. Five inspiring teachers with the most votes were Shawn, along with Anne Margarette Kho from SK Belipat, Sarawak; Muhammad Anas Murugan Abdullah from SK Seri Intan, Perak; Siti Ainulmursyida Shamsudin from SMK Orkid Desa, Kuala Lumpur; and Siti Intan Farahana Mhd Fauzy from SK Bandar Laguna Merbok, Kedah.

RISE Educator Award finalists with the school’s headmasters and principal, together with YB Wong Kah Woh, Deputy Minister of Education (eighth from left) and Yang Berusaha Puan Fadzliaton Zainudin, Deputy Director of the Education Resources and Educational Technology Division, Ministry of Education (fifth from left), Professor Barry Winn, Vice-Chancellor and President, Taylor’s University, (sixth from left) Josephine Tan, Campus Director, Taylor’s College (seventh from left) and Sawittri Charun, Interim Head of Fellowship, Teach for Malaysia (sixth from right).

At the award ceremony, Josephine Tan, Campus Director of Taylor's College, emphasised the college's commitment to equitable education for all children. “At Taylor’s College, we believe in ensuring every child has equal opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive. We aim to foster lifelong learning, inspire innovation, and nurture every student's potential. Being able to collaborate with past RISE Educator Award winners and finalists has shown me the profound impact of these funds, inspiring us to increase the grant this year. Beyond the RM20,000 awarded to the winning school, we remain committed to supporting their educational aspirations.”

The award ceremony was also attended by Deputy Minister of Education, Yang Berhormat Wong Kah Woh, and Teach For Malaysia’s Interim Head of Fellowship, Sawittri Charun.

 Shawn Stanly from SK RPS Banun, recipient of RISE Educator Award 2024 sharing his speech after being crowned the winner.

"It is a privilege to partner with Taylor's College in honouring educators who go above and beyond to inspire and empower. We were deeply moved by their stories, as they reflect the transformative efforts of educators across Malaysia. Shawn's inspiring commitment in enriching Orang Asli students' learning, reminds us of our mission at Teach for Malaysia in combating education inequity," remarked Sawittri.

Shawn's innovative pedagogical approaches have profoundly enriched student learning and engagement at SK RPS Banun, an all-Orang Asli school, where illiteracy and high dropout are issues plaguing the school. Through the integration of simulations and real-world experiences, he has created an enjoyable and impactful learning environment. One of his notable projects includes the development of a flight simulator and a beach-themed marine conservation class, both of which have been instrumental in helping students grasp complex concepts through experiential learning.

"In my classroom, inclusion is key. My teaching methods have boosted student motivation and participation, leading to improved attendance and confidence. This has nurtured resilience and grit, encouraging students to embrace learning. While illiteracy isn't completely solved, there's been progress since June 2022. By providing learning opportunities and empowering students, academic performance and extracurricular involvement have soared. As my students continue to excel, it showcases their potential and underscores the importance of providing opportunities and believing in their abilities. Winning this award underscores the immense potential of our students. I am deeply committed to providing them with the best learning experiences and opportunities to realise their full potential," remarked Shawn.

Headmaster Mohd Zamarol Ahmad of SK RPS Banun expressed profound pride in Shawn's outstanding achievement, winning RM20,000 for the school. “The grant will be instrumental in establishing a dedicated learning hub for our students. We are committed to supporting Shawn in his future endeavours and will always champion his efforts to provide exceptional education for our students."

 [L-R] Sawittri Charun, Interim Head of Fellowship, Teach for Malaysia, Josephine Tan, Campus Director, Taylor’s College, YB Wong Kah Woh, Deputy Minister of Education, and Professor Barry Winn, Vice-Chancellor and President, Taylor’s University.

Each finalist of the RISE Educator Award 2024 also received RM1,000, with an additional RM10,000 allocated to their schools to enhance facilities or infrastructure, supporting a conducive environment for quality education. The selection process for the winner and finalists was crafted to blend the voice of the public (25% weightage) with the evaluation of a distinguished panel. This panel includes Tan, Chan Soon Seng, Chief Executive Officer of Teach For Malaysia, and Cikgu Kumaresan Muniandy, RISE Educator of the Year 2023, assessed the nominees' efforts and impacts (75% weightage) to determine the recipient of this award.

Finalists of RISE Educator Award and the audience in attendance watching a congratulatory message from Cikgu Kumaresan Muniandy, RISE Educator of the Year 2023.

For more information on RISE Educator Award, please visit Taylor’s College website here.

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