A TEACHER’S dedication knows no limits.Even when conditions are less than ideal for teaching – a situation most educators faced when the movement control order (MCO) began in March last year — they soldier on.
Though schools had to close, education could not come to a halt.
In a bid to keep learning going, the Education Ministry’s first order of the day was to transition frontal teaching in classrooms to online teaching on various video conference platforms, thus setting the stage for our nation’s 450,000 teachers to embrace teaching and learning (PdP) in an online and virtual environment. Many who were unfamiliar with video calls and online learning platforms had to adapt to this new style of teaching.
The steep learning curve was tough as teachers also had to deal with challenges faced by their students like absenteesim, and technical issues like lagging Internet services and the lack of digital devices in students’ homes.
This became a feat like no other because like most parents who had to work from home, teachers too, had to manage their own children’s PdP at home while being productive with other people’s children.
It was only after an ministry survey revealed that 36.93% (329,918) of students did not have any devices to join online lessons, did the ministry come up with a manual for home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) so that lessons could continue.
Even before the release of the survey results, teachers – especially those who taught in rural schools without Internet services – had travelled to their students’ homes to deliver homework and modules in hopes that these children would not get left behind.
Pointing to the need for teachers to be well-equipped if the PdPR is to be successfully conducted, Universiti Utara Malaysia School of Education senior lecturer Dr Muhammad Noor Abdul Aziz said technological issues must be ironed out so that teachers can guide their students effectively.
“Teachers who prepare interesting and engaging content should be acknowledged, ” he said, adding that since television access is available in most homes, the ministry should collaborate with more broadcasting stations to provide daily content on free channels for learners to access.
Despite the ever-changing policies and on-again, off-again schooling schedules, these teachers persevered, never once giving up on their students.
They have left a long lasting impression on their charges who will forever be indebted to their teachers. — By REBECCA RAJAENDRAM
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