Images via Fahmi Fadzil’s Facebook/Taylor’s College
Teachers have a great impact on everybody’s lives and years down the road, you’d still remember all the amazing ones who really left a significant mark in your lives. It’s not different for our leaders as well including Lembah Pantai’s Member of Parliament, Fahmi Fadzil.
Back when he was in Taylor’s College, Fahmi learned a lot from lecturers Vijaya Samarawickrama and Parvinder Singh. Although his degree was in Chemical Engineering and he first started his career as a writer, actor and theatre performer, he remained very passionate about social activism and joining politics thanks to his teachers’ guidance.
Image via Fahmi Fadzil’s Facebook
Fahmi said, “Mr Vijaya taught me two courses: World Religion and Theatre. In World Religion, Mr Vijaya’s wisdom and cool demeanour were what helped me see that this approach is necessary to try and understand others.”
The level-headedness portrayed by the lecturer who has been teaching for 60 years taught him an important lesson in overcoming challenges— to keep calm.
Fahmi said that as a young man in college during a turbulent time in Malaysian politics, he saw himself as a rebel. “I always felt that Mr Vijaya’s even-handed approach to things, which was practically Zen-like, subtly reinforced the idea in me that cool heads will always prevail. I hold on to this view until this day.”
Mr Vijaya (centre) celebrating 60 years of teaching with his students. (Image via Taylor’s College)
Besides Mr Vijaya, he was also inspired by Mrs Parvinder, who taught him Sociology and Psychology. “It was really Mrs Singh’s Sociology class that lead to my completing the American Degree Programme in Taylor’s and going to the US to finish my degree.”
“Sociology really opened my eyes to how societies worked. Issues around class, power, oppression and what one could do to first understand what was really going on before trying to figure out how to solve the problems—this really affected me”, he added.
“Teachers help lay the foundation for much of society. It’s not just about the formal curriculum, or the extra-curricular activities. It’s about being a real-life, practical role model that students can see before their very eyes. The things that teachers say and do, or don’t say or do, can have a truly lasting impact.”
“Terima kasih, cikgu!”
Do you have a favourite teacher that inspired you too?
If you’d like to show your love for your fave teachers, you can nominate them in the RISE Educator Awards where both of you can win cash prizes.
The winning teacher will receive RM2,000 and you, the nominator, can take home RM500!
Here’s how you can nominate the educators* who have impacted you:
#1 Fill in this form and make sure to describe in 100 words or less why your teacher deserves the award.
#2 If your nomination has been chosen as one of 10 finalists, Taylor's College will send you a link to the Facebook post with your nominee's story in it.
#3 Get as many votes as possible for teacher’s post because the one with the highest votes wins the award!
Image via Taylor’s College
The nomination period ends on 23 April and the voting period will be from 1 May to 14 May. The winner’s announcement will be made on 16 May.