Educators worry for students


  • Metro News
  • Tuesday, 07 Apr 2020

(From left) Siblings Mohd Khaleef Azeem, seven, Arisa Yasmin, nine and Mohd Khalish Aqeel Azizi, 13, spending time during the restriction order learning at home via TV Pendidikan. — Bernama

JOHOR BARU: Teachers are hoping that schools can arrange for students to have replacement classes after the movement control order (MCO) is lifted.

Johor English Language Teaching Association (Jelta) president Vincent D’Silva urged schools to have the classes after the MCO period to recover the learning hours lost since the order was implemented on March 18.

“Although technology helped us continue monitoring students’ progress from home, this is still not enough.

“It does not replace the interaction in normal classrooms and we are afraid that students may be left behind, ” he said when contacted here.

D’Silva, who teaches at SMK Infant Jesus Convent Johor Baru, said students from rural areas with limited Internet service or without a computer or laptop would be affected the most.

“Not all have access to the Internet and those left out will face problems catching up on lessons missed.

“It is still early on in the year and teachers have a lot to cover. We are afraid that we may not be able to complete the syllabus due to time limitations, ” he said, adding that the primary concern was for students sitting for major examination this year.

“They need more time to learn with their teachers, ” he said.

Another teacher, Rosleen Salleh, 52, of Kluang High School, said she feared her Form Six students would lose touch with their studies during the restriction order.

“I have prepared students who were supposed to sit for the first Malaysian University English Test (MUET) in March.

“However, the test has been postponed to September and students may have to be given refresher classes, ” she said.

Rosleen said she had formed an online group chat with students to guide and monitor their progress, including giving exercises for them to prepare for the test.

“I find this has limitations and I cannot wait for classes to resume. Face-to-face interaction is vital.

“If the MCO is extended further, I may need to have extra classes for them to catch up, ” she said.

When contacted, Johor Education Department director Azman Adnan said the Education Ministry would decide on the need for replacement classes later as it involved students nationwide.

“This includes looking into the best way to prepare students sitting for major examinations such as Form Three assessment (PT3), Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) this year, ” he said.

The MCO will continue until April 14, forcing all schools in Johor to be closed during this period.

State health and environment committee chairman R. Vidyananthan had said this affected 1,187 primary and secondary schools involving 580,000 students and 59,000 teachers and support staff.

“This closure extends to 71 private schools and 1,473 private kindergartens involving 90,000 students, teachers as well as staff, ” he said.

Vidyananthan said the state Education Department was adopting the alternative learning method during the MCO as an initiative to ensure students would not fall too far behind.

He added that the initiatives included carrying out e-learning involving various platforms such as Google Classroom and other mediums including WhatsApp, Telegram and Zoom.

Vidyananthan said notes and homework were also being channelled by the teachers to students

“Learning using broadcasting medium with cooperation from RTM Johor, through its Johor FM radio, is on daily while TV Pendidikan is managed by the Education Ministry, ” he added.

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