Labour Day: Cikgu Siti Faridah makes Chemistry come alive


  • Malaysia
  • Friday, 01 May 2020

Siti says there are many teachers who are innovating to make lessons come alive for their students.

To mark Labour Day, StarLifestyle is highlighting the stories of workers from various sectors who have found ways to cope with the challenges of the pandemic and share their hopes and fears in these difficult times.

Siti Faridah Matt is probably the most famous Chemistry teacher in the country at the moment. The SMK Derma Perlis school teacher uploaded a video of a Chemistry lesson using green screen technology that she’d recorded at home on her twitter account.

Almost overnight, her post went viral on social media: 10,000 views on the first day itself and over 360,000 views to date.

Using the green screen, she transforms the hall in her house into a studio and her background becomes dynamic with superimposed images to make her lessons come alive even though it’s just shot using a DSLR camera in her living room.

Netizens, including fellow teachers from across the country, applauded Siti for her innovative teaching methods. Some asked her for tips on how she created a “green screen” at home. (She used a green cloth which she tied with string to some bookshelves in the hall of her home).

“I never meant for it to go viral. In fact, that video was just a test and it is full of imperfections but I decided to upload it on my feed just to show my followers what I was working on. I didn’t expect the video to get the response that it did, ” shares the 34-year-old General Science and Chemistry teacher.

Siti, or Cikgu Siti Faridah as she is known on her social media channels, has been a teacher for 10 years and she has always been driven to learn new methods of delivering lessons to her students.

“I am eager to learn new ways to deliver lessons. It excites me. I also think it’s my duty to expose my students to new ways through which they can learn.

“Students deserve the best and should have access to these new platforms of learning, ” says Siti.

Learning and trying out these new teaching methods take up a lot of her time, and Siti has had to balance her work with raising her two young daughters who are six and three years old.

“I’ve had to learn to plan my time well. Thankfully, my husband helps out with the kids a lot. When I ‘go live’ with my lessons, he will play with the girls or when I’m busy finishing my content, he will cook lunch or dinner. We take turns but I make sure that I don’t neglect them either, ” she says.

Siti’s husband Hafizuddin Dahalan takes over the household chores when she has to go live.Siti’s husband Hafizuddin Dahalan takes over the household chores when she has to go live.

Although she has been producing video tutorials for her students for some time, the MCO has prompted her to push herself further.

“In the beginning, I used Zoom to teach. Then I tried streaming lessons through YouTube but not all students would sign in. It’s hard to monitor them because we’re doing this remotely. But when the Government announced the third phase of the MCO, I decided to do something more.

“That’s when I experimented with the green screen and the response from students is better, ” she says.

Although appreciative of all the support she has received since her video went viral, Siti is quick to point out that there are many teachers who are innovating to make lessons come alive for their students.

CikgooTUBE, an initiative of the Education Ministry to help teachers create their own YouTube content to make lessons in school more creative and interesting for students, was where she learnt a lot about content creation and script-writing for her video tutorials.

“I learnt a lot from the team behind CikgooTUBE but I never had the time to put what I learnt into practice until the MCO.

Siti has always been driven to learn new skills so that she can inspire her students to love science.Siti has always been driven to learn new skills so that she can inspire her students to love science.

“Now, I want to share what I know with other teachers too. Not everyone is fluent with technology but we can learn, ” she says.

About 500 teachers contribute their content to CikgooTUBE and these teachers also help teachers like Siti hone their skills in education technology.

When the Education Ministry announced recently that it would start airing educational programmes on RTM via a special channel called TV Okey during the movement control order (MCO) period, Siti volunteered to help create content for the channel.

“These days I’m busy producing scripts for the educational programmes which will benefit not just my students but students all over the country.

“I am also involved in the state education department’s online tuition programme for students in Perlis and uploading videos for my own students, ” says Siti.

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