as told by ABIGAIL TOH, SK Temuno Teringai volunteer
Our first morning waking up in SK Temuno Teringai! As we got ready for the day, we realised how different our lives were going to be for the next two weeks. Squatting beside the longkang to brush our teeth, filling buckets and queuing up to use the washroom will soon become a norm for us. The day continues with breakfast and we got to know Kak Syazwani, our amazing chef. She is such a sweet lady, remembering our allergies and catering to our needs and wants.
Today was also our first day teaching in classes. Our first class was 6 Impian and as planned the day before, we divided the students into smaller groups so that we could give them personal attention and allow them to learn at their own pace. Later that morning, we entered classes of Year 4 and Year 5 and conducted our own classes with them. We were a little unprepared for that so reflection time at night came in handy as we could discuss our plans for the next few lessons with them.
Teaching these students made me realised the poor quality of education they were facing and that there was much work to do to help these children. However, the thing that struck me most was the children’s character. They might not know a lot about English and Mathematics but their kindness and willingness to learn make me wish I could do more for them. In just one day, they showed their sweet character twice, first by getting umbrellas for us volunteers so that we could get to extra classes not drenched in rain while they walked in the rain themselves and secondly by keeping the clothes we hanged for drying the previous day and even folding them.
As Tuesday was English day, we taught English in both afternoon and English extra classes. As I taught my kids, Faridcik, Johnley and Relovia, their eagerness to learn and understand things that I was teaching them touched me. While they were reading a storybook during break time, they asked me the meaning of almost every word and eagerly wrote the words down without me telling them to do so. When we read the second storybook, they made an effort to recall the words that they just learned and tried to explain the story to me.
I cannot wait to see how the next 10 days will unfold as we continue to teach these children and get to know them better.