Samuel Isaiah is best known for empowering the Orang Asli community through education, and his commitment to improving teacher quality. He was nominated as one of the top 10 finalists for the 2020 Global Teacher Prize - referred to as the Nobel Prize for teaching.
He has 12 years of experience in education, teaching students from the Orang Asli community, a teacher trainer, keynote speaker, and researcher. He has also conducted various grassroots and impactful national initiatives to help teachers transform their practice and cater to the needs of their students, school and community.
"I’ve realised just how important it was for me to inspire kids; to make meaning of what they’re doing, to understand that whatever they’re doing has a purpose, and to bring out the best of their own capabilities, whatever that may be."
- Samuel Isaiah -
While serving in the Orang Asli school, Samuel explored various innovative methods of teaching and learning to bridge the substantial education gap that plagues the community. This includes using nature and indigenous pedagogy, technology, music and arts, as well as experiential and meaningful learning approach. Samuel made sure to retain and preserve the identity and voices of the Orang Asli students when educating them. He also led localised community initiatives and qualitative research to help the indigenous students develop confidence, selfbelief in their abilities or a positive mindset shift. The combination of innovative classroom practices, school infrastructure development, community empowerment initiatives, and active collaboration, resulted in significantly improved test scores and academic achievement among his Orang Asli students.