Parents in rural Sarawak town travel hours to nominate teacher for award

IN appreciation of a teacher’s dedication, parents from rural Sarawak travelled several hours to a nearby town to nominate an English teacher for the Rise Educator Award 2021.

As a result, Muhammad Nazmi Rosli, 28, who taught at SK Long Sukang, Lawas for four years, is among the 10 finalists of educators nominated in an award organised by Taylor’s College, recently.

When contacted by Malaysiakini, Nazmi said he did not know about the nomination until his friends informed him.

“I cried because they live in rural areas in Sarawak and troubled themselves to go to the nearest town for three to four hours to get an internet connection to nominate me,” Nazmi said on Twitter.

The Rise Educator Award is to recognise inspiring educators in Malaysia.

The winner is nominations with the most Facebook ‘likes’. The winning educator receives RM2,000 while the nominator receives RM500.

Leading Nazmi’s nomination was villager Jenny Bulan Gelawat.

In her submission, Jenny shared how the teacher’s innovative methods had helped the students and the community.

“Our children have never been to a swimming pool, so Teacher Nazmi made one for them from 200 pieces of garbage plastic bags,” she said.

He also helped transform the classroom to provide the students’ experiences beyond their rural environments.

“Our children have never used the laundry service, so Teacher Nazmi changed the classroom into one.

“Our children have never experienced boarding on the train, so Teacher Nazmi created one from a used bed frame,” she said.

“Since the movement control order, Nazmi travelled on a four-wheel drive to our village to send learning materials and food aid to the pupils and villagers.”

‘Bringing the outside world into the classroom’

Nazmi said teaching in a rural school is challenging because basic amenities like electricity and internet connectivity is lacking. Electricity is only available at night, he said.

To overcome this, he uses creative ways to “bring the outside world into the classroom”.

This includes recycling discarded items such as old car cushions, plastic bottles, boxes and plastics to form learning aids.

Recently transferred to another school, Nazmi said he is thankful to Kampung Long Sukang parents who supported him and trusted him to teach their children.

“I pray for the best for the Kampung Long Sukang community – the children, parents and also other villagers,” said Nazmi. – Malaysiakini