By Maryam Nasir
IPOH, 25 October 2021: Chemistry teacher V. Komathy, from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Ave Maria Convent here, has won the Global Teacher Award 2021 – an annual award event organised by AKS Education.
The 38-year-old, who has been serving 14 years, received international recognition at a virtual ceremony via the official Facebook page and YouTube channel of the AKS Education Awards on Sunday (24 October).
The mother of three said she was shocked when she received a notification via email on 29 September from the organisers that she had won the award.
“I still can’t believe being selected as the winner out of 321 candidates from Malaysia and about 26,000 entries from other countries.
“Of that number, 500 had been shortlisted, including six Malaysian candidates,” she said when met by reporters at her residence here.
Komathy, who holds a master’s degree in chemistry education from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) and currently pursuing a doctorate in the same field at UPSI, has produced several innovative products that have been recognised internationally, in order to pique students’ interest in chemistry.
Among the innovative products are Chem-Ester Kit: Chem-Ester Kit 2.0, namely a PdPC Chemistry product, and Biomass Activated Carbon (BAC) for Toxic Dyes Removal: Towards a Sustainable Environment, which is a product of the application of chemistry knowledge in problem-solving.
Komathy said Chem-Ester Kit: Chem-Ester Kit 2.0 is a guidance module in the form of a game card and is designed to increase students’ mastery of writing molecular formulas, structures, naming for alkane compounds, alkenes, alkanes, alcohols, carboxylic acids, and ester.
According to her, BAC for Toxic Dyes Removal: Towards a Sustainable Environment is an innovation that aims to develop biomass-activated carbon from three agricultural wastes, namely sugarcane fibre, coconut husk, and banana peel to remove toxic dyes from contaminated water.
“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,” she said.
She said the awards received previously and this Global Teacher Award 2021 would be a motivation to educate and produce a more advanced nation and continue to make various innovations in the subject of chemistry.
Komathy started teaching at SMK Methodist Girls School, Ipoh, in 2007 for six years before moving to SMK Buntong and then being transferred to SMK Ave Maria Convent here in February.
She has also produced several scholarly works and has taken students from SMK Buntong to represent the country at both national and international levels in various academic events.
“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 added. ***
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