To comply with social distancing measures during the Movement Control Order (MCO), schools had been ordered to close and students are expected to do home-based learning. However, not everyone is privileged to have internet access at home and some students would be left out during times of inconvenience like this.
Muhammad Nazmi bin Rosli, a selfless teacher from Lawas in northern Sarawak had gone the extra mile to make sure that his rural students have access to learning materials. As reported on The Star, his students live in a village about three hours by timber road from Lawas, yet he did not hesitate to help them even if it meant travelling three hours on the road.
The 27-year-old teacher teaches English and Art at SK Long Sukang and the students who come from Long Sukang and surrounding villages do not have internet access as well as mobile phone coverage.
Under such circumstances, the teachers were unable to carry out online classes, thus, they decided to distribute the learning materials to the students.
Being the only teacher who lives the closest to the students, he cooperated with teachers of other subjects to make this operation a success.
“I’m the only teacher who lives in Lawas; the other teachers have gone back to the Peninsula, Sabah or their home villages. They will forward their learning materials to me and I will print them out,” he said.
Muhammad Nazmi explained that the district education office helped him to get permission to enter the villages amid MCO. There were also one or two teachers who stay in the villages who could help Nazmi to carry out the task.
“The district education office helped me get permission to visit the villages. One or two teachers stayed in the villages and helped me to distribute the materials,” explained Muhammad Nazmi.
Understanding that this is not the best time to travel around, Muhammad Nazmi added that this operation was “strictly supervised” by a health clinic representative.
“We are strictly supervised by a health clinic representative. The kids need to wash their hands before and after receiving the materials. We don’t gather them in one place to distribute the materials but go house to house. We also try to minimise the number of people involved.”
The kids were taught to wash hands by the health clinic representative:
Washing hands session and demonstration by the Klinik Kesihatan Miss Kelin Bawang before receiving the homework. 🧼🧴👋We…
Since 1 April, Muhammad Nazmi made three trips to distribute materials to all SK Long Sukang students in 13 villages. It had been reported that a total of 111 students were aided in this project.
Apart from distributing the materials from house to house, Muhammad Nazmi also took up the responsibility to collect the work from the students to allow other teachers to assess their progress.
“Every week, we give them two subjects. One week was English and Maths and the following week was Bahasa Malaysia and Science. I also collect the work they have done so their teachers can assess their progress.”
“We want them to be able to compete like their urban counterparts, who have so many platforms to do online classes. Here in the rural area, we don’t have many options, so we do what we can. No children left behind — that’s our school’s motivation.”
The determination could be seen not only in the teachers of SK Long Sukang but the students as well. Muhammad Nazmi commented that the students were happy to receive the materials and they’re eager to return to school.
“They love going to school because it offers them many activities. I gave my students a project to complete and I just received a message that one of them can’t wait to show his work.”
Aww! We’re glad to hear how the less-privileged students were supported by their thoughtful teachers! We hope that all of them will be able to stay safe and healthy amid such a difficult time.
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