Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei


Photographer: Muhammad Ilham Ismail

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Kalpana Kishorekumar, 37, is head of humanities at Chung Hwa Middle School in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei, teaching social studies, geography, sociology and modern history to students aged 13-17. Since Kalpana joined the school in 2008, social media and other internet technologies have become crucial educational tools enabling a shift from teacher-centred learning to student-centred learning. For projects, her students work in groups, collaborating with each other using cloud-computing programs, exchanging information and ideas with mobile apps, and gathering data with online surveys. Kalpana uses the same software to follow and review their work. Free communications software allows her and her students to discuss issues ranging from gender equality to information technology problems with other educators and experts in countries ranging from Nigeria to the USA. “I want to make a difference,” says Kalpana. “My students have become more curious and adventurous in trying new things and absorbing as much knowledge as possible. I would love to see my students make a choice, grab a chance and change whatever they can.”