Malaysia Teacher Prize Judging Methodology

Malaysia Teacher Prize Judging Process

  • The multi-stage judging process involves filtering, screening and interviewing to narrow down the Malaysia Teacher Prize Finalists and Winner.
  • This multi-stage judging process is carried out by two groups of judges:
    • The Prize Committee
    • The Judging Panel
  • The Prize Committee and the Judging Panel consists of expert judges which includes individuals who are:
    • Experienced officials from the Ministry of Education
    • Notable academicians
    • Outstanding individuals from educational organisations 
    • Exceptional individuals from non-educational organisations 
    • Noteworthy individuals from Malaysia Teacher Prize partner organisations

Malaysia Teacher Prize Evaluation Process

  • All submitted applications go through the first filtering stage to determine eligible applicants.
  • All eligible applicants are then evaluated by the Prize Committee based on a rubric to shortlist candidates who will move on to the interview stage.
  • The interviews conducted by the Judging Panel amongst the shortlisted applicants shall determine the Top 10 Finalists, Top 5 Finalists and the Winner of the Malaysia Teacher Prize.

Abdul Basith Muhammad bin A. Wahid

Assistant Director | Curriculum Development Division, Ministry of Education

As an officer in Unit Projek Khas dan Inovasi, he is responsible in aiding the development and implementation of the special needs curriculum and special projects for all levels of schooling in accordance to the principles, cycles and procedures of curriculum development. Before joining the ministry, he was an English teacher for many years and was one of the master trainers for CEFR.

Alina Amir

Co-Founder | Arus Academy

Alina is the co-founder of Arus Education, a social enterprise that empowers others through relevant & meaningful education. She has close to 10 years of experience in teaching, innovative content development, and teacher coaching with a focus on high-need schools and marginalized communities. Alina has represented Arus & Malaysia at various national and international events to share on innovation in education. Before starting Arus, Alina was in management consulting. She has a degree in Actuarial Science from the University of Illinois and a post-graduate diploma in Education from Universiti Utara Malaysia.

Anne Viknes Rajasaikaran

CEO of Edumaax Education Group & Principal Officer of The Budimas Charitable Foundation | Imperium International College

Ms Anne Viknes Rajasaikaran is the CEO of Edumaax Education Group and the Principal Officer of The Budimas Charitable Foundation. She is also known as The Chief in Heels to peers and the industry.

Wearing multiple hats as a CEO, philanthropist, wife, and mother, she has bagged several awards for her ground-breaking work in charity, especially in the holistic development of underprivileged children across the nation.

Her work in the tertiary education sector focuses mainly on providing quality education to students from all walks of life.

Recently, Imperium International College received the Brand Laureate Awards for Most Valuable Brand – Education – Tertiary, Professional and Vocational under her leadership.


Azzatullina binti Pawanchik

Executive Director | PADU, Ministry of Education

My field of specialty is communications in which I have more than 25 years of working experience starting from my stint in the financial services sector right up to currently working in PADU which is an education performance delivery unit of the MOE. Along the way, I picked up and honed my skills in my other love which is Change Management which I believe is a crucial component in any transformation agenda.

In PADU, I am part of a small team responsible to facilitate the transformation process of our national education system by helping our stakeholders move forward in the transformation journey be it the employees of the Ministry which includes close to 500,000 teachers or those who are indirectly involved in the education field. I am also tasked to manage communications internally and externally to keep stakeholders and the public aware, informed and supportive of this massive project to shape our children into future-proof citizens.

Chan Soon Seng

Chief Executive Officer | Teach For Malaysia

Soon Seng is the CEO of Teach For Malaysia. He joined the inaugural Teach For Malaysia Cohort in 2012, and like many other Fellows and Alumni, the experience had a profound impact on his worldview. As a teacher in a low-income community, he was deeply moved by the challenges his students faced, and how it was the lack of opportunities, rather than the lack of ability, that typically prevented students from realising their potential.

He holds a degree in Management and Marketing (Murdoch University) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (Universiti Utara Malaysia). In 2020 he was appointed a member of the Teacher Professionalism Special Taskforce under the National Education Advisory Council 2018-2020.

He envisions a holistic education system that not only develops students’ academics, but also their social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and leadership skills, in order to thrive in the 21st century.

Chong Zhi Xiong

Chief Learning Officer | Chumbaka

Eradication of education inequity is my vision.
Curiosity is my drive.
Technology and pedagogical design are my fights.

I am a Teach For Malaysia Alumnus who co-founded Chumbaka Cyberjaya – a social enterprise that runs technology enrichment programs based on open-sourced technology (Arduino, Python, Visual Programming, C++, Raspberry Pi, 3D printing, and electronics), to instill life skills among the primary and secondary school students.

I believe that, for education transformation to happen, it takes more than just focusing on the shortcomings of public schooling. A quality education requires the attention, dedication, investment and engagement from various community stakeholders, through various forms of public-private partnerships.

Daniel Russel A/L Mohanraj

Co-Founder | Arus Academy

Daniel is a co-founder of Arus Academy. He leads the flagship program, Arus Maker Academy where students acquire digital, financial & media literacies in solving world problems. He is also involved in designing Arus student’s learning experience whether it is a physical or virtual setting.

Farah Jasmine Hui binti Abdullah

School Improvement Specialist Coach (SISC+) | Pejabat Pendidikan Daerah Pekan

I am an SISC+ in the Pekan District Education Office (PPD Pekan) and my job is to assist teachers in developing their full potential through coaching and mentoring. I also provide reflective feedback on their instructional practices to further enhance their teaching. I conduct workshops for teachers on 21st century learning, classroom-based assessment and differentiated instructions. Prior to joining PPD, I taught English for more than twenty years in both rural and urban settings. I have been a trainer in the English Language programmes supported by the US Embassy of Kuala Lumpur. As a Malaysian OPEN alumna, I have also presented webinars to provide professional support for teachers during the pandemic. I have attended ELT conferences as both a presenter and a participant.

Dr. Husaina Banu Kenayathulla

Deputy Dean of Research | Universiti Malaya

Associate Professor Dr. Husaina Banu Kenayathulla is Deputy Dean of Research, in the Faculty of Education of Universiti Malaya. She obtained her PhD in Economics & Finance in Education from Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. Her research interests include economics of education, educational finance, policy analysis and comparative & international education. In addition, she has been invited as speaker for panel sessions in various international conferences. She has been invited as a panel expert by UNESCO for developing subject specific quality standards in the Asia Pacific region. She has been the Principal Investigator for grants at the national and international level on School Finance, Financial literacy, Comparative & Higher Education projects. Additionally, she is also involved as a Consultant for the Ministry of Human Resource on Employability for TVET Graduates. She is also a reviewer of several ISI journals and an Editorial Board Member of the International Journal of Educational Development.

Hwa Yue-Yi

Research Fellow, RISE Programme | Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

Hwa Yue-Yi is a Research Fellow at the Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) Programme at the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government. Her research focuses on teachers and management in education systems. She holds a PhD in education from the University of Cambridge and a master’s degree in comparative government from the University of Oxford. Previously, Yue-Yi was a secondary school English teacher through Teach For Malaysia, and a Research Fellow at the Penang Institute in Kuala Lumpur.

Jason Wee Chong Wai

Co-Founder | Architects of Diversity Malaysia

Jason Wee is the co-founder of Architects of Diversity Malaysia, a non-profit that aims to bridge communities and identity groups among youth for justice, peace and a sustainable future by building spaces that facilitate interpersonal understanding and intergroup relationships through empathy, vulnerability and non-violent communication. AOD is an affiliate of the United World Colleges movement as a UWCx initiative.

Since 2018, AOD has partnered with various local and international organisations, including the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, to design and execute opportunities for intergroup contact. Additionally, AOD spearheads diversity, equity and inclusion education and anti-discrimination advocacy.

Leila binti Nasser

School Improvement Specialist Coach (SISC+) | Pejabat Pendidikan Kuala Muda Yan

I am workaholic.Teaching is my passion.I never accept ‘the child cannot do it’ or ‘my pupils are weak’ as a reason for pupils at schools or students at tertiary level to not perform.Everything does not come easy in life.Even eating is a challenging task. Nothing is impossible is what I always hold on to. Anything given to me will be taken seriously. I am ever ready to be challenged and challenges will make me learn more. Sharing knowledge with others especially those who are non-educators help to give me more ideas.

Liew Suet Li

Education Consultant | The World Bank

“Suet Li works as an Education Consultant for the World Bank. She has over 10 years of experience in education, both in the classroom and in policymaking. She worked as a Policy Special Officer to the Education Minister in 2018, drafting a 5-year strategy for the country’s education system and driving its implementation by working with the Ministry’s senior management team. Prior to that, she worked as a teacher in the Teach for Malaysia fellowship’s first cohort and as the Head of Alumni in the organization, before completing her MA in Comparative Education at the IOE, UCL under the Chevening scholarship.”

Malek bin Baseri

Head of Department (E-Learning) | Institut Aminuddin Baki

I have 16 years of combined teaching experience in rural areas in Sarawak and urban areas in Kuala Lumpur. During those 16 years, I spent 3 years working with Astro as one of the talents in their education programme and 3 years as a columnist in Berita Harian in the MUET section. While working in PADU, I spent 2 years working with Orang Asli education initiative.

Currently a head of department for eLearning, I am responsible for the administration of the learning portal in IAB.

Dr. Mariah binti Ibrahim

Head of Department for Languages | Institut Pendidikan Guru, Kampus Pulau Pinang

Dr Mar is a Penang-born English teacher. She started her career in Sekolah Tuanku Abd Rahman, Ipoh before returning to Penang where she taught in SMKA(P) Almashoor. She is currently a teacher trainer at the Teacher Education Institute, Penang campus. She has always been a keen observer of teachers’ behaviour; as a student and as a teacher herself. She holds a strong belief that the core of a successful classroom practitioner comes from a conscious sense of teacher professional identity which grows from a continued process of empowerment, supported by ongoing reflections of experiences and practices.

Dr. Mohammad Tazli bin Azizan

Co-Founder | Skolar Malaysia

Mohammad Tazli Azizan is currently the co-founder of Skolar Malaysia and he is very passionate in delivering trainings and facilitation related to teaching and learning. He was a former associate professor at Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UNIMAP) in 2021 and at Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP), for which he had served the institution for the past 17 years. He graduated his PhD in chemical engineering from Imperial College funded by Commonwealth Scholarships in 2014. He was then appointed as the Director for Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETaL) at UTP, championing the student-centered learning (SCL) pedagogy initiatives at the institution from 2014-2019.

He was also appointed as one of the National Education Policy Reform Taskforce members from October 2018 until April 2019, serving the former education minister. In 2019, he was seconded to Perak ICT & Multimedia GLC, Digital Perak as the Chief Executive Officer. To date, he has delivered more than 100 training sessions and served as plenary speakers for various teaching and learning events and conferences. In 2021 alone, he has delivered 25 online webinars & workshops related to online learning, promoting cognitive engagement, hybrid learning and HOTS assessments. Additionally, he is also passionate in facilitating team building activities among colleagues or clients and empowering educators with 21st century skills, since he honestly believes that collaborative educators will produce collaborative students.

Mohd Fazeli bin Bakar

School Improvement Specialist Coach (SISC+) | Pejabat Pendidikan Daerah Lipis

I’m a skateboard and rugby enthusiast who coaches and trains school middle leaders in the Lipis district. I am part of the Pahang school transformation (TS25) task force committee and am currently appointed as Deputy Head of Guru Pewaris Negara for the state of Pahang.

I am now furthering my studies in a master’s degree on Educational Leadership and I have attended numerous leadership trainings under the Public Service Department. I represented Malaysia in the Trilateral (Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei) Leadership Development Programme for Civil Service and was nominated as one of the Emerging Promising Young Leaders under Talent X Programme by SUPREME JPA, both in 2021.

Dr. Mohd Nazri Abdul Rahman

Deputy Dean of Student Affairs | Universiti Malaya

Dr. Mohd Nazri Abdul Rahman holds the title as an Deputy Dean (Student Affair), Faculty of Education, Universiti Malaya. Started service as a teacher (Guru Cemerlang) at SM St Mary, Sandakan (1998-2007) before serving as an Pensyarah Cemerlang at the Teacher Education Institute, Kent Campus, Sabah (2008-2014) and Teacher Education Institute, Tuanku Bainun Campus, Penang (2015). In November 2015, he started working at the Faculty of Education, Universiti Malaya. He holds a Ph.D in Curriculum Design and Development from the University of Malaya. He is especially known for his homeschooling model for Orang Asli children which has reframed current ways of teaching Orang Asli children by tapping into the advantages of alternative education in Malaysia. He has received several recognitions for his teaching and research including awards such as Anugerah Guru Inovatif Kebangsaan 2003, 2004 and 2006: Excellent Thesis 2014; Anugerah Cemerlang Universiti Malaya (Penyelidik Muda) 2018 and Anugerah Jalinan Masyarakat UMCares 2017.

Muzdalifah binti Mohd Nasir

Head, Projects | Yayasan Sime Darby

Muzdalifah (Muja) Nasir is the Head, Projects of Yayasan Sime Darby, the philanthropy arm of Sime Darby Companies. She is responsible for the strategies, implementation and impact of education, community and health initiatives. Throughout her 18 years of experience with Sime Darby, she has held various HR and CSR roles, and led diverse teams across various projects within and outside of Malaysia. Born and raised in ‘setinggan’ and PPR areas, life lessons have inspired her to promote resilience of girls and female colleagues via career coaching. She strives to foster meaningful collaborations and advocate for volunteerism and inclusivity.

Dr. Norwaliza Abdul Wahab

Senior Lecturer | Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris

Assoc. Professor Dr. Norwaliza Abdul Wahab is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Human Development, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI). She is the Coordinator for Sociology Education Post Graduate Study and Coordinator for Teaching Practicum in the Department of Educational Studies. Her research interests lie in indigenous pedagogy, indigenous learning of minority groups, classroom management, education and social change, social issues, multiculturalism and ethnicity, and sustainability development goals. She has done extensive research on Orang Asli which led her to publish books on the subject matter. In addition to that, she has presented various journals and papers locally and internationally.

Norzalina binti Masom

General Manager | PINTAR Foundation

Norzalina or “Zal” for a short, is a dynamic, highly motivated, and proactive person who utilizes creativity, analytical skills and teamwork to identify opportunities and create strategies to improve indicators and results. Her background with years in project management and business planning enable her to build effective teams. With experience in handling high pressure situations, she is humble, goal oriented and a team player.

Dr. Othman bin Talib

Senior Lecturer | Universiti Putra Malaysia

“Othman Talib was born on July 8th, 1963 in Negeri Sembilan. He has been in service at University Putra Malaysia (UPM) since 1987, starting as a Science teacher at the UPM Matriculation Centre upon graduation in Bachelor of Science from University Kebangsaan Malaysia. In 1999, he was conferred Masters of Science (Pedagogy) degree and appointed as a lecturer at Faculty of Educational Studies, UPM in the following year. In 2007, he obtained Doctor of Education (Ed.D) degree from University of Adelaide, Australia.

Based on his more than 30 years’ experiences of teaching and conducting research in UPM, he has acquired expertise in multidisciplinary fields which comprise Instructional Methods in Chemistry, Laboratory Management, Development of Animation and Multimedia Content in Science Education, and Research Methodology.

Pamela Devadason

Start-up Principal | Ardence International School

Pamela Esther Devadason is currently the start-up Principal Ardence International School Setia Alam. She has been involved in a number of MoE initiatives related to curriculum, digital learning, textbook evaluation and assessment. Having majored in Mathematics and English Language with a second degree in Curriculum and Instruction, as well as being a certified Principal; her strengths and interests are pedagogy and assessment. She also served as the Director of Technologies Bureau MELTA 2020-2022 and is a Person-of-Reference for the CEFR-aligned English Language Curriculum. Being a mindful practitioner, her heart is always for the teachers and the kids in schools.

Puvana Sinnasamy

Lecturer | IPG Batu Lintang

I am a lecturer currently working in IPGK Batu Lintang, Sarawak. I worked as a primary school English teacher for 9 years before moving to Kuching.

Dr. Rabindra Dev Prasad A/L Prasad V.P.N.

Head of Department | English Language Teaching Centre, Ministry of Education

Rabindra started his career as a primary school teacher in 1992. Upon graduating from UPSI in 2002, Rabindra was posted to a secondary school. In 2006, after completing his M.Ed. from UPSI, he joined the curriculum development division. he moved on to complete his PhD. in pedagogy and curriculum from UKM in 2016. in 2021, he joined the English Language Teaching Centre, an in service training institute for english language teachers. Rabindra strongly believes besides content knowledge, passion and dedication, the highest level of integrity and inspiration mould the best teachers.

Rachael Shalini A/P Francis

Chief Executive Officer | MYReaders

I am a former English and Mathematics teacher who taught at a rural secondary school in Jengka, Pahang early in my career. I have 9 years of experience in the education field and have worked with over 100 schools across Malaysia in various school transformation programmes. Ultimately, I aspire to contribute towards improving the lives of marginalised communities. In order to do this, I work alongside school leaders and community leaders to champion social justice causes like accessible quality education for all.

Datin Rosliza binti Rosli

Deputy District Education Officer | Pejabat Pendidikan Daerah Bangsar Pudu

Datin Rosliza Rosli is the Deputy District Education Officer for PPD Bangsar & Pudu. She has almost 30 years of experience in the teaching profession, twenty of which are with the Ministry. Her experience includes having the opportunities to teach in both rural and urban schools, she also served at various departments in the MoE namely the Curriculum Development Division, Policy and International Relations Division, School Inspectorate Division, Johor Education Department as well as the latest being the District Education Office of Bangsar & Pudu. In 2014, Datin Rosliza was selected to join PADU Corporation on secondment, a project management and delivery unit set up to assist in the education transformation journey. Her experience in PADU has certainly added value to her career and the experience she had there had definitely shaped the way she looks at things and in many ways it trained her to always think many steps ahead and to go beyond the realm of expectation. Today, one of her projects for schools in Bangsar and Pudu that she is really proud of is the development of the School Happiness Index, the first of its kind in the region, if not in the world.

Saw Yu Shen

Head of Operations (Education) | Yayasan PETRONAS

Yu Shen leads Yayasan PETRONAS’ education pillar, overseeing the foundation’s education programmes and grants that directly support education leaders, teachers, and students; especially in the field of STEM education.

Prior to Yayasan PETRONAS, Yu Shen was a strategy consultant with Dalberg Advisors where he supported private and public sector clients on strategy and monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL); with a focus on education, child rights, and financial inclusion. Yu Shen has also served as a Manager at PADU, the performance delivery unit of Malaysia’s Ministry of Education, where he led the design and delivery of national education transformation programs and facilitated national policy labs.

He holds an MPA from the National University of Singapore and a Bachelors in Economics from Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Siti Rahayu Baharin

Co-Founder | Buku Jalanan Chow Kit

Siti Rahayu Baharin is a mother and a teacher who believes that education is a fundamental right of every human being, and it needs be provided for everyone. Passionate about everything education and societal empowerment, Rahayu and her group of friends co-founded Buku Jalanan Chow Kit- an organization which upholds the idea that knowledge through education is the most vital food for humans if they are to thrive. The questions and issues as to whether humans need to eat to live, or to live to eat, are what the Buku Jalanan Chow Kit (BJCK) team works with. They. mindfully and critically unpack as they engage with the urban poor of the area in Kuala Lumpur known as Chow Kit, through education, specifically educating the young minds of the children from poor urban families.

Szarmilaa Dewie Krishnan

Lecturer | English Language Teaching Centre, Ministry of Education

Szarmilaa Dewie Krishnan is a lecturer at the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC), Ministry of Education Malaysia. She completed her PhD in Educational Technology under a government full scholarship. She holds an M.Ed (TESL) from the University of Malaya. She has conducted several studies on reading habits, language games, and the use of English in Malaysia. Her current interests are in educational research programs, gamification, language games, blended learning, and online gamified learning. She has designed and developed a gamified online learning course in Classcraft to enhance the proficiency of English language teachers in Malaysia. Armed with a motto of “Duty is God”, she is a live wire who strives to excel in whatever she undertakes. She has been part of many major initiatives, namely Pro-ELT,PPKBIS,DLP, PITO, and is also a Master Trainer for CEFR. Szarmilaa has served as Assistant Secretary for the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (MELTA), Director of Training and currently is the Honorary Secretary of MELTA Malaysia.

Thong Yuet Sheng

Chairman | Malaysian Book Industry Chamber

Keith Thong is the Managing Director of University Book Store Malaysia (UBSM since 1958). UBSM is the current market leader in the K-12 segment for all Print and Digital products distribution in Malaysia and the SEA region; with specific focus on the UK IGCSE curriculum.

NGO affliations:
• Board Trustee: Methodist Boys School Alumni
• Board Member: Malaysian National Book Council (MBKM, MOE)
• Chairman: Malaysian Book Industry Chamber (MBIC)
• President: Malaysian Book Sellers Association
• Academic Advisor: Rotary Club KL Dynamics
• Member: Internet Alliance Network

Professional affiliations:
• HRDF Certified Trainer and speaker
• Publishing and Education Projects: Education, Libraries, Textbooks & Rural Development (Print and Digital)
• Agent and Distributor for Education Technology companies: Asia and SEA.
• Industry Adviser for University Malaya and University Negeri Medan.

Zahirah Zulkifly

Director, Education Ecosystem Engagement & Head of TFM Fellowship Programme | Teach For Malaysia

Zahirah has been in education her entire career. She is TFM’s Director of Education Ecosystem Engagement where she has worked for the past 10 years. She oversees TFM’s entire Fellowship Programme covering recruitment & selection, placement, training of Fellows and their post programme impact. She also leads TFM’s engagements with the government of Malaysia and other public sector entities.

Zahirah is passionate about solving social issues and over the years has been involved in various capacity building projects in communities across Malaysia. Besides working in education, she spends her time being a mother to a young and energetic toddler whom she adores.

Pushparani a/p Subramaniam

Principal Assistant Director | Educational Resources and Technology DIvision, Ministry of Education

I started my career as a teacher in a primary school in the Pekan DIstrict in Pahang and then moved to teach in Kuala Lumpur. Later I was with the Curriculum Development Division before joining the Educational Technology Division. Now, I head the Language Unit of the e-Learning Sector at the Educational Resources and Technology Division of the Ministry of Education.