Inspirational teacher Samuel Isaiah took on the Queen’s Baton Relay in Malaysia.
After completing his bachelor’s degree in 2011, Samuel began working at SK Runchang (Sekolah Kebangsaan Runchang), a rural school for indigenous children from the Orang Asli population. He found the students were demotivated with low attendance rates. The children had been overlooked and disregarded by other teachers due to their ethnicity and culture.
Driven by a desire to help the students, Samuel adopted new teaching methods. He travelled 125 miles (200 kilometres) each way to the Orang Asli’s settlement, seeking to prove his dedication to the children and to engage with them in an environment where they’re comfortable.
After learning from the children about the Orang Asli population, Samuel introduced their culture and music into his lesson plans and teaching methods. He also started a crowdfunding campaign to equip the students with tablets and computers to ensure his students were getting the same opportunities as urban schools. Following a successful campaign, technology is now a fully integrated part of the Orang Asli children’s learning experience and Samuel even set up a pen-pal scheme so they can communicate with volunteers from other countries.
In just a few years, the students’ pass rate increased from 30% to 80%, which is a real testament to not only Samuel’s dedication, but the children’s as well.