Saturday, May 9

Featured in Oh! Media - 7 May 2015

There is a factual error in one of the images in this article.
The image is of an article in the alumni magazine of my alma mater. I have addressed the error here.
In the image, it says that my school is 3 hours from the nearest town which is wrong. We are 1 hour from the nearest town, Song, & 3 hours from the nearest city, Sibu.
On Thursday, 7 May 2015, I was featured in an article on Oh! Media. I never knew what Oh! Media was until their post about me went viral. I thought that they were just a small internet periodical which wanted to help share the plight of my school. I never knew they had such a large following.

From the beginning, they said that they wanted to highlight the point that there is a Chinese guy teaching in the jungle which is unimaginable to their Malay majority audience. I told them that I wasn't the only guy teaching at my school but they could only write about me if they mentioned my Malay, Chinese & Iban colleagues who are struggling together with me if not more.

I admit the title & the article is mostly centred on me with a mention of my colleagues & the situation at my school. I could not advise them to revise the article because I was at school during that time & I had extremely limited access to internet. I was dependent on an erratic GPRS connection which had trouble even downloading Whatsapp text. Also, I had to be my own mobile tower at certain hotspots at the school. By the time I got to reading the article in my hotel room in Sibu last night, it had already gone unbelievably viral.

I want to stress here that I AM NO HERO. I'm just a glorified typist sitting on my bum while my colleagues are outside running the mini generators & water pumps as well as carrying buckets of water up several flights of stairs up to their quarters. My blog post & the Oh! Media article went viral NOT BECAUSE OF ME. It went viral because people were concerned & they cared enough to spread the word about the situation. PEOPLE CARED!

I can proudly say that it is the MALAY teachers in my school from PENINSULA Malaysia who are working the hardest to make the situation better for ALL. I will highlight these TRUE heroes on my blog soon. But, I only have Friday & Saturday in Sibu to use broadband internet before I return so you might have to wait. Also, I have to ask their permission to use their names.

Once again, let me emphasise that I AM NOT THE ONLY TEACHER at my school. There are many more of various ethnicities. I AM NOT THE BEST TEACHER at my school. There are many who are better than me in many ways. Finally, MY SCHOOL IS NOT THE DEEPEST IN THE JUNGLE. There are plenty more which are far deeper & more challenging to get to.

I believe that ALL teachers should be celebrated REGARDLESS of where they teach whether it be in the cities, jungles or anywhere in between. It is a fallacy to believe that a school less deep in the interior is less challenging or a school in the city is less challenging. Each teacher has his/her own set of challenges. We need to encourage & support ALL of them.

Now, I want you to think of a teacher that you know. Take out your phone. Write a short encouraging message to him/her. Send it. I know many teachers who work day & night for years without an ounce of recognition or appreciation. Your message might be the only encouraging message that the teacher has received in YEARS even when he/she has been giving his/her best! So, what are you waiting for? DO IT NOW!


p/s: They have kept the article pegged at the top of their Facebook page since 7 May 2015. Thanks, guys!
Tugas guru bukan sesuatu yang mudah. Walaupun terpaksa tinggal jauh dipedalaman, namun semangat mendidik anak bangsa...
Posted by Oh! Media on Wednesday, 6 May 2015

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