Muhamad Khairul Anuar Hussin, a special needs teacher at SMK Taman Universiti 2 in Johor Bahru, is on the shortlist for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize (GTP) worth USD1 million (RM4.18 million)
The teacher, who is Malaysia's sole candidate for the 2019 edition, is among 50 people from around the world chosen to be on the shortlist after 10,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries.
According to the GTP website, the annual award confers a USD1 million prize on "an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession" by being a "champion for change" for students and communities around them.
Khairul Anuar is being considered for his dedication to teach his students with physical and learning-impairments - such as deafness, autism, and Down's Syndrome - life lessons within and beyond the classroom
According to the nominations page, Khairul Anuar has strived to help his students by providing specialist resources and developing their social integration skills in school.
After realising that his students were lacking support in addition to resources, he took measures to identify special needs children before they were even of schooling age and ensure that their families receive early intervention support.
The foundation noted that Khairul Anuar's Inclusive Education Model, which prioritises social inclusion and co-teaching with mainstream students, is currently being used as the basis for the Education Ministry's special educational needs teaching policy and guidance.
He also coordinated a Special Education Forum to prepare educators to use the model with their own students, and represented Malaysia at the 2011 JENESYS East Asia Future Leaders Program Social Welfare Group in Japan.
The names of the 10 finalist teachers, which will be determined by a prize committee, will be announced in February 2019
The 10 finalists will then be invited to Dubai for the Award ceremony at the Global Education and Skills Forum on 24 March, where the winner will be announced live on stage.
The 2018 winner of the Global Teaching Prize was Andria Zafirakou, an art and textiles teacher from the United Kingdom.
"There is no other job like being a teacher. In what other profession are you selfless and completely devoted to creating the right opportunities for another person to achieve?" she said, according to the GTP website.
We're rooting for you, Khairul Anuar! Thank you for your dedication in being a champion of change <3