Teacher in Daro creates cafe culture to make learning fun

Muhamad Tarmizi and his pupils standing next to ‘Bumblebee’.

A teacher in Sarawak has gone the extra mile by making education fun for his charges.

Muhamad Tarmizi Awang @ Yaacob, 39, who teaches at SK Kampung Kut in Pulau Bruit, Daro, forked out his own money and leaned on his creativity to decorate his classroom.

Robot hero Bumblebee from the movie Transformers is among props in his cafe-culture decor.

The efforts paid off as pupils now enjoyed going to school, said Muhamad Tarmizi who hails from Kampung Pasir Era in Kuala Krai, Kelantan.

He posted on his “Cikgu Al Tarmizi” Facebook page about his creative work, which attracted netizen’s attention.

The posting was shared thousands of times by users, with Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek among them.

Breakfast makes for a great start to the day.Breakfast makes for a great start to the day.

Muhamad Tarmizi said he got the idea for a cafe classroom from the pupils, who had little opportunity to enjoy a visit to the nearby town.

Kampung Kut is on a little island across from the town of Daro in the Mukah division.

“I was inspired to let them have new experiences. They rarely get to go to town.

“That’s what sparked the idea to modify this classroom.

“Someone once said to me, ‘teachers should eat at beautiful restaurants’.

“So I created ‘The Cafe Class’ for pupils to feel as if they were in a ‘hipster cafe’,” he said when contacted.

Muhamad Tarmizi added that the classroom modifications had seen improved attendance.

“I have a ‘Food 4U’ counter for pupils who don’t have time for breakfast, to get some food.

“Students who want to donate food are encouraged to do so too.

“There is also a gift shop in the class. Anyone who completes their homework will be given ‘points’ that can be exchanged for gifts.

“This encourages them to come to school,” he said.

Muhamad Tarmizi said he started decorating the classroom five months ago with items he bought from Peninsular Malaysia.

“It was a long process because I had to use a motorcycle to transport goods from town.

“I had a small allowance but I don’t recall how much I spent on everything.

“This effort is not only for the pupils here but I hope to inspire rural communities as well as encourage fellow teachers to come up with creative ideas for their pupils,” he said.

When asked about how he felt teaching in the interior of Sarawak, Muhamad Tarmizi described it as fun since it was a new experience for him.

“One example is the way they catch fish, which is new to me.

“I am also able to learn the Melanau language,” he said.

“This is not an obstacle to my chosen path as an educator.

“I am enjoying this great experience of teaching in a rural school in Sarawak.”

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Teacher , Daro , classroom , decoration , cafe


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