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Encik Mohd Hanizzan bin Mohd Hanafiah, TFM’s desk officer at JPN Selangor (the Selangor State Education Department), is one of these champions. He first joined the Ministry of Education (MOE) as a teacher in 2004. He then had the opportunity to join PPD Hulu Langat (the Hulu Langat District Education Office) in 2006, and has been working in JPN Selangor since 2010. In his current role, he oversees the management and development of secondary schools. Prior to joining the MOE, he worked in the private sector for 3 years.

Choosing A Pathway into Education

He was inspired to be an educator by his own teacher, Puan Nurhafizah, who had taught him BM and English in primary school. He fondly remembers her as a “super teacher” who was committed and dedicated. She always encouraged her students to push their boundaries and exceed their own expectations of themselves. Inspired by her, Encik Hanizzan discovered he too shared similar qualities with his favourite teacher – growing up, he enjoyed teaching his friends so they could understand lesson more clearly. He even used to help his friends to finish their homework!

Throughout his years in the MOE, Encik Hanizzan has seen a lot of change and continuous efforts to improve the education system. He feels that the MOE’s approach of continuously experimenting and innovating new strategies in education is important so that the system does not stagnate and get left behind. He also believes in learning from other countries’ approaches to education, such as Finland and Japan, and adapting these best practices to suit the Malaysian context.

Fighting for the Marginalised

In his role, Encik Hanizzan fights for the rights of students to have the teachers that they deserve and need. He does his best especially to support students with special learning needs. He shared that some principals are initially reluctant to set up special needs classes due to the perceived stigma and issues that come with accommodating differently-abled students in their schools. To tackle this, he works closely with principals to support and ease the process of adapting school environments to meet the needs of special needs students, because he firmly believes that everyone deserves access to education, especially those from marginalised communities like the differently-abled.

We first had the opportunity to work with Encik Hanizzan when we placed our first cohort of Fellows in Selangor in 2012. “I’ve seen TFM Fellows introduce new and innovative practices into the classroom, such as Plickers (a low-tech learning tool to check for student understanding)! TFM Fellows and Alumni really want to be in school to impact students. They bring great passion and energy to their work as educators, and they are willing to go to where they are needed the most. The work of a teacher is not easy, but they all have a heart for our students.”

His Wishes for the Teachers of Malaysia

In the spirit of Teachers’ Day, Encik Hanizzan shared: “I would like to thank all teachers out there who dedicate their lives to teaching. Thank you for the work that you do. I pray that you will always be blessed so that you are able to give your best in the work that you do. Happy Teachers’ Day.”

In the month of Teachers’ Day, Teach For Malaysia (TFM) appreciates and celebrates the champions in the system, who work alongside us to give all children an excellent education.

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