PETALING JAYA: The primary school teacher in the spotlight over her poor English pronunciation while teaching science online has won a legion of fans, even as she admitted her shortcoming.
“I admit my weakness, and I’m prepared to learn and improve myself. I am proud to be a teacher, ” said Rafidah Rahmat on her Facebook page on Thursday after the 88-second clip of her maiden appearance on DidikTV went viral on Wednesday.
In the video, Rafidah was seen explaining the human reproductive system in an enthusiastic manner, although the presentation was filled with mispronunciations.
Some social media users mocked her, while others expressed concern over the quality of education pupils are getting.
Following Rafidah’s confession and explanation, social media users have flooded her Facebook page with messages of kindness, support and asking her not to give up.
Her post garnered more than 4,300 comments from social media users as of 7pm yesterday, as well as more than 14,000 expressions of “like”, “love” or “care” from all over.
Facebook user CT Hamisah Ahmad II said: “We support you teacher. May all your difficulties be overcome.”
Akhmal Mohd Noor said what was important was her pupils understood her lesson.
“I salute you teacher. Not all teachers are as brave as you. I support you and may you keep up the good work, ” said another user by the name of Umi Tini.
Education experts, too, have come to her defence.
National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Harry Tan said the teacher was not at fault as she was teaching content related to her subject, which is not English.
He said the Education Ministry should look into hiring professionals to produce better quality programmes.
“Check what she is teaching. We must be fair as teachers are only human.
“The role of the teacher was to talk about her content for Year Two pupils.
“Going by the criticisms she received, does it also mean that a mathematics teacher who mispronounces the word ruler is a bad maths teacher?” said Tan, who also defended the teacher’s method of teaching, saying the aim was to get the message across.
“The important fact here is that DidikTV is for those who can’t get access to online learning, ” he added.
Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said teachers were asked to volunteer to run the programmes on DidikTV, write their own script, and make their own slides.
“This is on top of what is already expected of them on a daily basis. Some took it as a challenge while some saw it as a platform to practise.
“The selection (for these presenters) should be from excellent teachers (guru cemerlang) who are already the best in their field.
“Pay them accordingly for their professionalism, ” said Noor Azimah, adding that the Education Ministry, as the producer of DidikTV, should also be responsible.