Studying and teaching online during the pandemic is not easy, say Master’s grads

KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 (Bernama) – The sudden shift to online learning during the pandemic was hard to adjust to, but married teachers, Aida Jusoh, 41 and Mohd Zulhelmi Kadirun, 35, persisted and received their master’s degree in Educational Administration at Universiti Putra Malaysia’s (UPM) 45th graduation ceremony today.

Aida, a health and physical education teacher at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Dato’ Haji Mohd Redza in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan said: “I was supposed to get started on writing my thesis in early 2020, but when COVID-19 hit Malaysia, I had to teach and do my studies online.

“With hardly any experience teaching online and coupled with online learning, I almost wanted to quit my course,” she said, adding that if you’re determined, nothing is impossible.

“Before the pandemic struck, I used to attend classes during the school holidays, from 8am – 6pm. But during the pandemic, I conducted home-based learning and teaching (PdPR) in the morning, and participated in online classes at night or in the evening,” Aida said.

Mohd Zulhelmi, who teaches at SMK Juasseh in Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan, said it was a totally new experience for them, but they furthered their studies to be prepared for a new era of education.

“Imagine, we had to learn how to use Google Meet and attend online classes at the same time. But it didn’t get in our way because the more we learnt, the more we realised how little we knew,” he said.

Muhammad Hafizuddin Ahmad, 25, who graduated with a master’s degree in Arabic Language, said the pandemic taught him the importance of working hard while he was alone at the residential college during the movement control order (MCO).

“I had just returned from Jordan after following a language course under UPM. All my friends went back to their kampung, but I stayed behind,” he said, adding that he attended online classes from March to September 2020.

The youngest of 11 children, he was raised by his older brothers and sisters — who almost all have furthered their education — after his mum passed away from breast cancer when he was 9 and his dad from a heart attack when he was 12.

“With their encouragement, I worked hard to finish my degree,” Muhammad Hafizuddin said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency