Going above and beyond
SARAH RAHIM firstname.lastname@example.org
ANEW cohort of teachers is approaching teaching and learning with innovation. These teachers, also known as Guru Muda 1Malaysia (GM1M), are aged between 20 and 40 years old.
An English language teacher, Mohd Hapiz Nordin, 32, said they came up with creative teaching aids to help students have better understanding and grasp of subjects.
Hapiz teaches at SK Putrajaya Precint 9 (2).
“Teachers cannot employ chalk and talk anymore and need to use visual aid. Even in school, we have a special room for the purpose of teaching English language. We need to be creative to sustain their interest,” he said.
Hapiz, who has eight years of experience in teaching, said this was different from the conventional classroom setting with teachers addressing the pupils by writing on the blackboard.
“The teachers are being creative to attract pupils to school. There is no point if the pupils do not come to school.
“At the initial stage, GM1M was mooted with intention to give a continuous support to the aspiration of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013–2025,” he said.
“The involvement of teachers, especially young teachers, of all races is very much needed.”
He said there were changes in the education system in teaching and learning as there were elements like Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) and 21st Century learning, which were improvements to the previous systems.
“This comprises of holistic development from pupils up to administrative level.”
He said GM1M also needed to play a greater role in living up to the theme of “Teachers for Nation Building”.
“Teachers are the agent of unity. In the community, we are the first to interact with the children. It is a great responsibility for a teacher. Our job scope goes beyond teaching the subject in school,” he said, adding that it must also include inculcating good values in the younger generation.
Hapiz said the ministry emphasised on holistic development of pupils.
The National Education Philosophy (NEP) has identified intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects that must be given equal emphasis to strive for the desired balance.
“We want to generate pupils of high intellect, but with good emotional quotient as well.”
He said the element of moral values were included in lesson planning and were integrated during school times.
He added that there were also cultural activities, where pupils showcased their costumes and sang songs in their mother tongues.
As pupils were exposed to gadgets at a young age, he said, teachers faced challenges when each family has a different view.
“This is because early education begins at home and the pupils are influenced by what they are exposed to at home,” he said.
Hapiz, who is a father of three, said the exposure might be translated into behaviour, for example, the way a child spoke among peers and the usage of appropriate language.
“As a teacher, we need to guide them and provide good example in class.”
He said the pupils came from different backgrounds and, at times, it could have an impact on the way they carry themselves.
“I hope that the good rapport between teachers and parents would continue,” he said.
Hapiz expressed gratitude to the Parent-Teacher Association of his school for providing continuous support, especially in the move towards providing facilities for modern-age learning.
Meanwhile, in Selangor, Guru Aktif 1Selangor (GA1S) has been actively involved in spreading information about government policies to other teachers and also engaging with the nearby community.
Selangor Education Department deputy director Shashim Shah Harun said Selangor was ranked as the top state in the country to have teachers who are actively involved in the ‘Guru Aktif’ (Active Teacher) and ‘Guru Muda’ (Young Teacher) programmes.
“GA1S are teachers who are above 40 years old and volunteer to do jobs out of school hours,” he said.
Shashim said there were about 150 active teachers from 935 schools in Selangor.
“There are about 15 people in the main committee, 10 representing each district and five more from the state Education Department.
“We usually conduct meeting once every two months with the main committee members.
“They will tell us the problems that are happening at schools in their respective districts,” he said.
“For example, if the school is facing any wiring problems or an increasing number of students, they will tell the department about it.”
He added that the easiest way for them to communicate was through a WhatsApp group chat, and if the problem was urgent, it would be settled as soon as possible.
“Throughout last year, GA1S has conducted seven programmes with the community, which also involved Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar,” he said.
Shashim said among the programmes that were conducted included “Sepetang Bersama Pengarah” (An Evening with the Director) at SK Seksyen 6 in Shah Alam, “Kenduri Rakyat Guru Aktif 1 Selangor” (1Selangor Active Teacher Rakyat’s Feast) at SK Parit Serong in Tanjong Karang, and Dialogue with the Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar.
He said the main aim of this programme was for GA1S volunteers to be the Education Department’s mouthpiece to deliver information on policies and government agendas to their colleagues and the public.
Teacher Mohd Zamri Kahar, from Sek Men Keb Tiram Jaya, who is also part of GA1S, said he volunteered himself to join the programme when it was launched last year.
“I believe this is part of my social service, not just to the school, but also the community,” said the 49year-old Mathematics and discipline teacher.
He said the Tanjong Karang district GA1S would be organising a “GA1S Art Carnival” in August.
“All GA1S teachers can submit their artworks. The selected ones will be displayed to the public at Tesco Tanjong Karang,” he said, adding that there would be several other competitions on that day.
“We want to engage and connect with the community and teachers as well.
“Therefore, by hosting such programmes, we hope that more people will join us,” he said.
Mohd Hapiz Nordin, 32, engaging his pupils during a lesson at SK Precint 9 (2) Putrajaya.
Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (second from right) wit Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar (right) greeting teachers during the closing ceremony of Kenduri Rakyat Guru Aktif 1Selangor in Tanjong Karang last year.