‘Learning from home workable’

Telugu Thiyanam says if the MCO is extended, she will continue to find effective teaching and learning materials.

HOME-based learning sessions are doable as long as there is cooperation from all concerned parties, as some teachers in Perak have discovered.

Some primary school teachers in the state have found creative ways to teach their pupils who are now confined at home due to the movement control order (MCO).

They use group chats in various social messaging apps for the e-learning.

Nurul Ain Jamalludin Al Amini, 31, who teaches at SK Manjoi Satu in Ipoh, uses WhatsApp groups, Telegram, Kahoot, Quizziz and Google Classroom to conduct her online classes.

“My aim is to get as many pupils as I can to be involved, so I try to find the simplest method,” she said.

“I do not want to create something too bombastic as some pupils may have constraints in terms of time, Internet speed and phone memory storage.

“At the end of the day, it is all about them and I hope to get their full participation,” she added.

Nurul Ain has set up text groups in multiple mobile apps for her students.Nurul Ain has set up text groups in multiple mobile apps for her students.

Nurul Ain is thankful that all her pupils’ parents are cooperative with her teaching arrangement.

“My school required all class teachers to have a WhatsApp group with the parents to interact easily with them.

“I’ve not got any negative responses from parents,” she said, adding that she planned to create YouTube videos to teach her pupils if the MCO was extended further.

She also believed it was doable to conduct home-learning sessions.

“The Education Ministry even has initiatives to collaborate with RTM for educational television programmes to reach out to those who do not have access to the Internet.

“Due to the MCO, I hope parents will fully cooperate with an open heart and mind. We are all doing our very best to provide for the pupils,” she said.

Muhamed Jabar Ainal Yakkin Yusuf, 28, from SK Aminudin Baki in Slim River, said his toughest challenge was to find methods to keep the pupils occupied.

“I teach English and I believe learning a language requires practice, so I’ve given them some exercises as well as notes.

“I was initially worried about them but to my surprise, nearly all my pupils took the initiative to contact me for guidance,” he said.

He said he would send out instructions and materials for his pupils using WhatsApp.

“It is easier for my pupils to use that instead of any other social messaging app,” he said.

“I also have a teaching coach who advises me to set something easier, so students will be happy and willingly do the exercise without feeling forced,” he added.

Another challenge, Jabar said, was to approach pupils who did not have Internet access.

“Some pupils do not own smartphones while some don’t have Internet at home.

“I’ve given it thought and the best way is to mail it to them,” he said.

“During the MCO, teachers have to be creative. I do think it is doable to conduct home-based learning as we have many teaching videos and websites created for teaching,” he added.

Jabar’s toughest challenge is to find a method that will keep his pupils occupied.Jabar’s toughest challenge is to find a method that will keep his pupils occupied.

With 15 years of teaching experience, SK St George Satu Taiping teacher G. Telugu Thiyanam Mary said she used video and voice recordings to teach her pupils.

“I will also call my pupils up personally,” said the 45-year-old.

“If the MCO is extended further, I will think of more effective teaching and learning materials, or do more personalised lessons such as video calls for lessons.

“The most important is that I need to get involved in my students’ learning by gaining their confidence and ensuring that they are progressing and by the time school reopens, they will be well equipped to handle the lessons,” she added.
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