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Cikgu Sirhajwan Idek: There Is No Limit In What You Can Do

Last update: 02/10/2017
News Pic
Photo credit: Sirhajwan Idek
By Murni Nasri

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 (Bernama) -- A teacher from Keningau, Sabah has made the country proud when he won the International Innovation and Entrepreneur-ship Excellence in Teaching Award 2017 in Paris, France, beating eight other contestants.

According to Star Online, the 29 years-old English teacher at Kolej Vokasional Keningau managed to rise above the competitions posed by other finalists from the United States, Britain, Russia, Germany, Canada, Denmark and Colombia.

Sirhajwan was the only one from Asia and the only teacher in the group as other finalists were lecturers, it added.

"The idea (for the innovation) was conceived early this year when I realised that I could tailor several techniques to help my students develop their project ideas and I continue to provide them the platform to demonstrate their true capabilities," Sirhajwan told Bernama Plus via WhatsApp messages.

Sirhajwan was born and raised in Kota Belud, Sabah along with six of his siblings. He received his bachelor degree in TESL from UiTM Shah Alam before earning a master's degree in research from the same university.

Below is the rest of the interview;

Bernama Plus: When did you start teaching and where?

Cikgu Sirhajwan: I started teaching in 2012 at Kolej Vokasional Keningau.

BP: Why did you choose to teach?

CS: It is a profession that allows me to pursue my passion while helping others pursue theirs.

BP: The chronology of your journey to France: How and when the idea for the innovation was conceived?

CS:The idea was conceived early this year when I realised that I could tailor several techniques to help my students develop their project ideas and I continue to provide them the platform to demonstrate their true capabilities.

I submitted the abstract of my case study for the first round, I made it to the second round where I had to submit a full paper of a case study.

I made it to the next round of being in the Top 10 finalists where we were required to present our case studies at the conference.

We presented our project during the first day of the conference and the top three finalists were requested to present their projects on the second day of the conference.

I was one of the four finalists who were in the top three (the judges had difficulties selecting three so they went with four.

When the results were announced, I was so excited when I was declared as the winner.

BP: What or who motivate you in this journey?

CS: I also want to inspire others that there is no limit in what they can do and they should believe in their own potential.

So I hope that doing this could set an outstanding example for others.

BP: Your biggest supporters?

CS: My parents, colleagues and students.

BP: How do you encourage innovative ideas among your students?

CS: I try to help them discover their passion and offer them my support to develop their potential.

BP: How and where do you find inspirations?

CS: I find inspiration in everyone that I know or have met, my family, my students, my colleagues and the community.

BP: What values are you committed to in life and in teaching?

CS: Positivity, Patience and Perseverance

BP: What do you do to keep yourself interested and motivated in your work?

CS: Always try new ways to teach, new things to do and constantly venture into endless possibilities.

BP: What was the biggest opposing force that you encountered in this journey?

CS: Negative feelings and thoughts.

BP: What do you think your students think of you now that you have been internationally recognised?

CS: I am still the same person no matter what.

BP: What do you think you are teaching your students by winning this recognition?

CS: Be relentless in pursuing your dream and desire.

BP: If you had to start over, would you choose a different career path? Why?

CS: I wouldn't, I want to learn from my past mistakes so I can be much better in doing what I do.

BP: What are your future plans?

CS: The future is full with possibilities for us to explore and discover and I plan to try new things and do more.