I'll be back: Beloved teacher promises to return to Orang Asli students after US master’s degree

Melanie Chalil
The passionate educator says he is furthering his studies to contribute continuous change for his Orang Asli kids. — Picture from Twitter/Samuel Isaiah

PETALING JAYA, Aug 16 — It’s not easy when your favourite teacher leaves your school.

Pahang teacher Samuel Isaiah, who made headlines for his touching stories about teaching Orang Asli children, has left SK Runchang in Muadzam Shah, Pahang.

His last day was last Wednesday.

The 32-year-old Kuantan resident will be going to the US to pursue a Master of Science in Educational Policy & Leadership at the State University of New York at Albany, New York.

Samuel told Malay Mail yesterday that he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship.

The good news is, the separation is only temporary as Samuel told Malay Mail: “I am coming back for them.”

He added that the children, whom he considers his own, are his biggest motivation and inspiration.

“Even my intention to go and study is fuelled by the desire to contribute continuous change for them,” he said.

As expected, his last day was a sad one for his students who affectionately call their beloved teacher Mr Sam.

He also took to Twitter to capture some of the hilarious tactics his students employed as an attempt to make him stay.



According to a Harian Metro report last week, Samuel’s Standard Four class was filled with the sounds of sobbing and a sombre mood of the students saddened by the news.

Known for his interactive and fun teaching methods that would sometimes take place outdoors instead of the confines of a classroom, the passionate educator was one of 16 recipients of the Ministry of Education’s Superhero Teachers award in conjunction with Teachers’ Day this year.

Samuel also made waves on Twitter earlier this year for introducing his ‘Sekolah Pokok’ (Tree School) initiative and for teaching English using the ukulele.

Previously, the teacher spoke about wanting to change negative perceptions about Malaysia’s Orang Asli community.

His throwback series of tweets on transporting 100 of his school kids to his Indian wedding ceremony two years ago turned Samuel and his indigenous students into Internet sensations.

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