Teaching is very challenging in rural Malaysia. Mohd’s students come from families of low socioeconomic status that have little exposure to the outside world; this means their English proficiency tends to be lower, and they lack self-confidence. Mohd’s patience, positivity and perseverance paid off, transforming his school into one that dominated English competitions and subsequently also innovation and entrepreneurship contests. A great deal of his students’ progress has come about through Mohd encouraging them to use English in daily conversation and extra-curricular activities. He encourages them to debate and speak in various settings such as a Model United Nations and moot court. Mohd also contributes to his colleagues’ professional development with research, conference contributions, and courses on English language practice. In addition, he has consistently and creatively raised money to assist with travel in order to improve his students’ awareness of peninsular Malaysia.
Mohd has been recognized for his achievement and has been invited to present his methods at a number of international conferences. He was one of five global winners of the Teacher at My Heart contest (sponsored by Macmillan) in 2016, and was in the top three finalists of the international TESOL Teacher of the Year award. With the Global Teacher Prize funds, he would like to equip his local schools with technologically enhanced classrooms, smartboards and adequate computers, and fund travel for his students to peninsular Malaysia for competitions and conferences.