June 2, 2022
Keningau teacher owes his win to involvement in APTE programmes



Mohd Al Khalifa showing the award he has won.-Bernama photo

KOTA KINABALU (May 31): After being part of the Asia Pacific Teacher Exchange (APTE) programme in Sept 2017, Mohd Al Khalifa Mohd Affnan, 36, was encouraged to be active in international programmes especially those related to his career as a teacher at Keningau Vocational College (KVK).

Mohd Al Khalifa who was recipient of the 2022 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Award on May 24, said the APTE at Seoul Technical High School (STHS) South Korea broadened his mind to become more interested in robotics.

“Since I am teaching in a vocational school in Malaysia, to get posted to STHS was a step closer in apprehending Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) on a global scale.

“Once I was back in Malaysia, I felt refreshed and was more enthusiastic in doing things that I used to do before the programme,” he told Bernama here on Monday.

Last Friday, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, as well as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob congratulated Mohd Al Khalifa on winning the 2022 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Award.

KVK, located in the Keningau district in the interior of Sabah is about 128 kilometres south of Kota Kinabalu.

Mohd Al Khalifa said he and his group participated in the World of Robotic National Championship for the first time back in July 2018 and won the third price which enabled them to represent Malaysia at the International Robot Contest in Kintex Exhibition Hall, South Korea in Oct 2018.

“The group also won third place in the 2018 World Robotics Championship in Kuala Lumpur,” said the father of one.

Born in Shah Alam, Selangor, the English teacher said since then, the students started to show more interest in robotics and he also established an extra-curricular club that gathers like-minded students to play, explore, and educate themselves with drones and robots.

“Since 2018 I have also organised three international exchange programmes involving South Korea educational institutions,” said Mohd Al Khalifa who was also announced by APTE as 2017 Best Practice Teacher.

On the 2022 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Award, Mohd Al Khalifa said he never expected it at all because, to win, the six regional winners had to get the highest votes and he never thought he could do it.

Mohd Al Khalifa won because he managed to provide his students the opportunity to gain international experience by setting up a cultural exchange programme between KVK with South Korea educational institutions.

In his effort to elevate the image of vocational education among students, he also initiated a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) project where he trains students in robotics, drones, coding and other technology-based discipline. – Bernama

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