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Malaysian Teacher Samuel Isaiah Makes Final 10 For US$1 Mln Global Teacher Prize 2020

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English language teacher Samuel Isaiah from Sekolah Kebangsaan Runchang school, Muadzam Shah, Pahang, has been named as one of the top 10 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize 2020, in partnership with UNESCO.

The Malaysian teacher was selected from over 12,000 nominations and applications from over 140 countries around the world, said a statement issued by the Varkey Foundation which the Global Teacher Prize is part of its long-standing commitment to improving the status of teachers.

Samuel introduced many innovations to inspire his Orang Asli students to dream big and crucially connect them to the outside world, including an e-mail exchange project called ‘Asli E-Pal’, where they communicate in English with adult volunteers all over Malaysia and overseas.

Samuel also introduced the “Speak Up With Poetry” programme where he worked with amateur poets to write poems relatable to Orang Asli culture which his students would then watch in the form of guided videos to learn English.

The school’s average pass rate in English had increased from 30 per cent in 2012 to between 80 per cent and 85 per cent in 2015-2018, said the London-based Varkey Foundation.

Other finalists are Ranjitsinh Disale from India, Olasunkanmi Opeifa (Nigeria), Jamie Frost (United Kingdom), Carlo Mazzone (Italy), Mokhudu Cynthia Machaba (South Africa), Leah Juelke (United States) and Yun Jeong-hyun (South Korea).

“Congratulations to Samuel Isaiah for being selected as a top ten finalist from such a huge number of talented and dedicated teachers. I hope his story will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also highlight the incredible work teachers do all over Malaysia and throughout the world every day,” said Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO, Stefania Giannini.

“The Global Teacher Prize helps put the teachers’ voice at the heart of our mission to champion inclusive learning opportunities for children and young people all over the world, especially the most marginalised and disadvantaged, during this sudden and unprecedented disruption to global education.

“Since the coronavirus pandemic first emerged, we have seen 1.5 billion learners across the world impacted by school and university closures. But not all learners are being impacted equally. Governments must learn lessons and act decisively to ensure all children receive a quality education in the age of COVID and beyond.”

The remaining two top 10 finalists will be announced one each week in the run-up to the Global Teacher Prize ceremony, which will be virtual for the very first time in its history due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s Global Teacher Prize ceremony will be done virtually and is expected to take place on Dec 3, 2020, where the overall winner will be announced.

It will be hosted by English comedian, actor, writer and presenter Stephen Fry from the Natural History Museum in London.

“The Global Teacher Prize was set up to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society. By unearthing thousands of stories of heroes that have transformed young people’s lives, the prize hopes to bring to life the exceptional work of teachers all over the world,” founder of the Global Teacher Prize, Sunny Varkey, meanwhile said.

“This year, more than ever, we have seen teachers go above and beyond to keep young people learning throughout the world. Teachers everywhere should be applauded for their creativity, compassion and resolve to fulfil every child’s right to a good education.”

The Global Teacher Prize winner will be paid the prize money in equal instalments over 10 years.

— BERNAMA

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Lifestyle

Kelantan Kite-Makers Continue To Receive Orders Despite Pandemic

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KOTA BHARU, July 30 — The COVID-19 pandemic did not stop a group of youths in Kampung Sireh here from pursuing their interest in making wau, a traditional kite widely found in Kelantan.

A check by Bernama at Kampung Sireh Flats found that  about seven to 10 youths were producing ‘wau puyuh’ (quail kite) or Wau Kelantan ordered by their customers.

According the group’s head, Muhd Nasru Aiman Mohd Zu, 31, they would continue producing wau puyuh even during the pandemic due to steady orders, and they did not want the traditional art to die out.

Even though it is seen as an old-fashioned craft compared to the modern gadgets, it still has its own fans, he told reporters when met here today.

“Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), there are still young people in this area who are keen to learn how to make these traditional kites.

“Previously, we only made kites for competitions, but now the demand for giant-sized kites as decorative pieces is increasing,” he said, adding that they learned the kite-making skills from his 61-year-old father, Mohd Zu Man.

Muhd Nasru Aiman said despite the economic slowdown, they continued to receive four to five orders a month for a kite and each piece of giant-sized kite could be sold at the price of RM350.

He said the giant-sized kite needs more than five adult men to fly it.

Sources: BERNAMA

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Health

USM Hospital Requires Patients’ Companions To Get Tested For COVID-19

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KOTA BHARU, July 30 — Companions for patients at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Hospital are required to be screened for COVID-19 to prevent community-based infection due to the surge of new cases in Kelantan.

USM Hospital director Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad Sukari Halim said it was also based on the assessment of the current situation of COVID-19 infection in the state especially in Kota Bharu, including the threat of the Delta variant which is spreading rapidly.

“The latest positive case involved a patient’s companion at USM Hospital, causing the management to tighten the permission policy for companions effective July 20.

“Companions will only be allowed for bedbound cases based on certain criteria decided either by the staff at the Emergency Department or in the wards,” he said today.

Dr Ahmad Sukari said companions were not allowed for patients in the Maternity Ward, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) Ward and COVID-19 Ward.

Dr Ahmad Sukari said only one companion is allowed for one patient at a time and only those who passed the risk assessment and their RTK-Ag or RT-PCR COVID-19 test results came back negative (within 72 hours) would be allowed to accompany the patient.

“The companion must be in the USM Hospital area at all times and if they went out of the hospital area, they will only be given permission to re-enter after repeating the RTK-Ag or RT-PCR test with a negative result.

“For critically ill cases or death in the ward, only two next-of-kins are allowed to enter at one time and their RTK-Ag or RT-PCR test results came back negative,” he said.

Sources: BERNAMA

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Health

Saudi Arabia’s COVID-19 Aid Has Arrived In Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 30  — The aid promised by the Saudi government through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) to help Malaysia fight the COVID-19 pandemic had arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported the aid was airlifted using two aircraft that took off from King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on Thursday morning and arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport later that day,

The aid includes 100 ventilators, 150 portable ventilators, 319 oxygen concentrators, 30 respiratory support devices, 100 portable ventilators consumables, 150 electric medical beds, 15 vital signs monitors, 10 central vital signs monitors and 27 portable vital signs monitors.

The other items are three million surgical masks, one million N95 masks, 500,000 medical gloves, 180 pulse oximeters, 50 intravenous infusions pumps, 50 intravenous solutions pumps, seven defibrillators, five video laryngoscopes, five electrocardiographs (ECGs), and 10,000 protective gowns to Malaysia.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Foreign Ministry in  a statement on Thursday night said the aid will be officially handed over to the Malaysian government by Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Malaysia on Friday afternoon. Malaysia’s Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein is expected to attend the handing over event.

SPA’s report added the one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine promised by Saudi will be provided through coordination with the Malaysian Foreign Minister’s office whereby one of the approved international vaccine makers will supply the required quantities of vaccines directly from their factories to Malaysia.

Saudi’s aid to Malaysia comes following a request by Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein to Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz during a phone call recently.

“This aid is an affirmation of deep-rooted relations between the two countries and Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian roles towards the most affected countries by COVID-19,” SPA said.

Sources: BERNAMA

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