Duty calls for desperate measures


  • Nation
  • Monday, 13 Jul 2020

Where there’s a will: Rabdunieh is seen in the jungle with his phone and laptop.

PETALING JAYA: A picture of a school headmaster from a remote town in Sabah venturing deep into the jungle to find an Internet connection so he could join an online meeting has gone viral.

His daughter shared the picture on Twitter, with the caption: “Having an online meeting in the jungle this morning. Looking for line.”Anis Hanani Rabdunieh, 20, said her father had shared the photo on their family’s WhatsApp group.

Her father, Rabdunieh Jalil, 58, is the headmaster of SK Nukakatan in Ranau, where Internet access is severely limited.

“My dad rarely messages us because the connection is bad. If my father sends us a message, we will only receive it the next day.

“If we receive it on the same day, it is considered very lucky.

“When he shared the message in our family WhatsApp group, we were really shocked,” she told mStar.

Anis said Rabdunieh, who lives in the teachers’ quarters at school, would only go to Ranau town once a week.

“Normally, if he has a meeting outside, he will immediately return home or go to town.

“A one-way trip using a car will take between two and three hours,” she said.

She also noted that since the reopening of schools under the recovery movement control order, her father was required to go back to school and conduct online meetings with the district Education Department.

“Since there is no Internet connection at the school, he has to go deep inside the jungle to find higher ground so that he could participate in the online meeting,” Anis said, adding that the school depends on solar panels for electricity.

Anis has yet to visit the school, but she said the trip could be a challenging one.

“We need to use 4WD vehicles in many parts of rural Sabah. My dad told me that we need to cross a river in order to get to the school,” she said.

Sharing a previous incident, the Labuan Matriculation College graduate said her father was once stranded alone in heavy rain.“Huge rocks damaged his car tyres and he got stuck. My dad did not even have an umbrella with him.

“He was forced to walk for almost half an hour in heavy rain to get help from people nearby,” she said.

“I am truly impressed with his willingness to search for better Internet connection. I hope the relevant authorities will address the issue of Internet access faced by them.”

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