Creative teachers committed to helping Orang Asli students in PdPR


KUALA LUMPUR – The COVID-19 pandemic that hit the country since the beginning of last year has forced school closures and left students and teachers switching to the home-based teaching and learning (PdPR).

When talking about PdPR, people still think it is just about online learning. The fact is that it can also be implemented offline for areas that lack access to devices and networks, and the method can be implemented successfully as well as train a teacher to be more creative in aspects of teaching.

The perseverance of the teachers in overcoming all challenges in teaching, especially when the threat of COVID-19 still exists, can be seen in their commitment to implement PdPR for students in rural areas. For example, teachers at a school in an Orang Asli village in Slim River, Perak, who took the approach of distributing learning materials manually to the students.

One of the teachers, Fathin Nabila Mohamed Nor Hashim, 30, said her school used several offline PdPR methods including distributing training modules to students on weekly basis and their progress would be monitored from time to time.

The Sekolah Kebangsaan Pos Bersih teacher admitted that students still lack devices and internet access, therefore other methods need to be considered to ensure students are not disadvantaged by online teaching and learning.

The English teacher said teachers at the school are preparing simple modules to make it easier for the students to understand the instructions and exercises given, as well as using project-based methods such as dioramas and scrapbooks.

“This way, the students will know the objectives that need to be achieved and they will not be confused.

“In activities or exercises, students can draw any picture that they like. They will have fun because it involves drawing activities and teachers encourage students to draw pictures of objects around them.

“Teachers do not have to give long or many instructions. Too many instructions will cause students to be confused,” she told Bernama.

For students with internet access, Fathin Nabila said teachers will share short videos including via TikTok application on certain subjects.

Fathin Nabila said teachers would also insert pictures or videos of the students to attract their interest in watching the video.

She said the project-based PdPR method involved hands-on and materials that were easily available at home such as making dioramas, replicas or greeting cards where students would be given a theme for the project and they could use their own creativity.

Students will send pictures of the project-making process through the WhatsApp application while those without internet access will be assessed when they return to school, she said.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Fadzli Najmi, 30, who is a teacher at the same school said several things can be taken into account to ensure the effectiveness of PdPR so that no Orang Asli student is left behind in education.

Among others, schools or relevant parties can work with the Orang Asli Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK) or Tok Batin to appoint villagers who have a good educational background to be personal tutors for small groups of students.

Muhammad Fadzli, who teaches Bahasa Malaysia, said the personal tutor’s task was not specific to teaching but more to guide students to carry out the teacher’s instructions and monitor their work.

“When given materials or modules for them to study, some students are not confident in their ability to carry out the instructions or work.

“Another suggestion is that the Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA) or JKKK can provide devices to students in villages so that teachers can conduct PdPR using Google Meet and so on. This means that a group of students will use only one device,” he said.