Teachers’ conducting 21st century learning activities due to MCO

Teachers’ conducting 21st century learning activities due to MCO

KUALA LUMPUR: The closure of schools with the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) which has been extended until April 14, has indeed caused anxiety among parents as their children are far behind in the education syllabus.

It is not just the parents, but also teachers who are worried about not being able to complete the 2020 syllabus, and the need for them to ‘catch up’ on the topics of education that they did not cover since the start of the first term school break on March 14, followed by the MOC, enforced since March 18.

A teacher at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tasek Damai, Ipoh, M Mageswary, who teaches special education is not using the school closure due to MCO as giving her a break from work, instead she conducts online teaching by applying the 21st Century Technology.

“IT really works for special education, especially for hearing-impaired students. I used WhatsApp as the medium, and my hearing-impaired students are very smart in using WhatsApp video calls.

“We need to communicate by using sign language since hearing-impaired students really need a teacher’s guidance in understanding each and every task given because the students have different capabilities.

“Some of them are also learners and some are autism,” she said, when contacted by Bernama.

Mageswary said she conducted her teaching based on projects which required her to produce teaching materials to support the learning of English as the English textbooks are difficult for her special students to understand.

“I ask them to download Colour Splash application from Play Store, and give them the images that I scanned and cropped from English sign language books.

“Per day I give them three images and they will send me back. Eventually they will learn how to splash colour on the images,” she added.

She said the aim was to help students to improve their skills of using English hand codes and understanding of grammar, as well as making it easier for her to reach out to the students.

Using telephone and technology applications made it easier to reach out to them, instead of using the book module, which is less effective, she added.

“Some of my students who use Color Splash application not only colour the characters, some of them make patterns,” she said.

She said this positive development showed that the students could think critically by creating their own patterns, hence the learning objective is achieved.

Mageswary said it is her primary responsibility to ensure the special students are not left out and able to improve their learning independently, as well as to take advantage of the long holiday by doing learning activities at home.

Meanwhile, the Education Ministry (MOE) has also provided guidelines on the implementation of Teaching and Learning (PdP) during MCO, which details the roles and responsibilities of administrators, teachers, parents and students in ensuring the effective delivery of PdP.

According to MOE, teachers are given the flexibility in terms of PdP, methods of mentoring students, reviewing and examining students’ work, assignments and homework during the MCO.

A teacher at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil Masai, Johor, E Pushpaavalli said, she is optimising the use of online teaching for her students during the MCO period.

Pushpaavalli, who teaches Level One students said, she uses the Google Classroom portal as a teaching medium for her students, who are assisted by their parents at home.

“Teachers can keep a record of the activities given to students. Students are required to attend the online class through a specific code, and our school has provided a list of subjects for students to follow every day,

“For example, Sunday is for Tamil, where the teacher involved will enter quizzes or activities related to the subject in the Google Classroom,” she added.

Pushpaavalli said the learning method is flexible and does not give specific learning time, and it could involve activities such as quizzes and mini projects.

“Google Classroom uses the internet completely, and almost 90% of my students have internet access.

“Parental support is also very encouraging, showing that they care about their children’s education, and indirectly involves positive interactions between teachers, students and parents even when they are unable to meet during this time,” she added.