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Ipoh Teacher Wins Global Teacher Award 2021 For Her Innovations In Teaching Chemistry

She was one of 500 winners who received international recognition for her inspiring work.

Cover image via Bernama/New Straits Times & Flickr

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Chemistry teacher Komathy Veerasinghan from Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan (SMJK) Ave Maria Convent in Ipoh has won a Global Teacher Award 2021

According to Bernama, the 38-year-old teacher, who has been teaching for over 14 years, received international recognition by Indian-based award organisers, AKS Education, for her innovations that aim to make Chemistry more interesting.

The awards ceremony was held virtually on Facebook and YouTube on Sunday, 24 October, where Komathy and 500 other winners worldwide were presented the award.

However, the mother-of-three told reporters at her home after the ceremony yesterday that she already knew about her win through an email notification last month.

"I still can't believe [I was] selected as a winner out of 321 candidates from Malaysia and about 26,000 entries from other countries!" she said.

Komathy was shortlisted for the awards for her teaching innovations and projects that aim to pique students' interest in Chemistry

The teacher holds a master's degree in chemistry education from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) and is currently pursuing a doctorate in the same field.

Besides producing scholarly works, Komathy often looks for ways to help her students understand the subject better.

This year, she created an e-learning module and game called the 'Chem-Ester Kit', which helps students master the writing of molecular formulas and structures, and the naming for alkenes, alkanes, alcohols, carboxylic acids, and esters.

Komathy also introduced the 'Biomass Activated Carbon for Toxic Dyes Removal: Towards a Sustainable Environment' project to the school, which aims to help students apply their Chemistry knowledge to solve real world problems like developing biofuel from agricultural wastes, such as sugarcane fibre, coconut husk, and banana peels.

"Chemistry is a less popular subject because it is full of formulas and involves a lot of calculations, so we need to educate in an entertaining way so as to grab students' interest in this subject and avoid them giving up easily," Komathy said.

SMJK Ave Maria Convent students won a Gold Award in a competition organised by the Malaysia International Young Scientists Conference and Exhibition (MYSCE) in April 2021, under the guidance of Komathy (most left).

Image via SMJK Ave Maria Convent, Ipoh (Facebook)

Komathy has also guided students to win awards at several national and international-level competitions

According to the school's Facebook page, among many other achievements, Komathy and her students recently came in semifinalists in the 'I Can School Challenge 2021' for their mental health awareness campaigns and also won gold in various events at the Research and Innovation in Education Seminar 2021 for their submissions.

The teacher said the awards she has received thus far are motivation for her to continue creating innovations in teaching, as well as to continue educating students to produce a more advanced nation.

"When people say I am one of the inspirations to other teachers, I feel my inspiration comes from the students because it is towards their needs that I strive for excellence," she said.

Here are more dedicated teachers in Malaysia who have gone above and beyond for their students: