Teacher goes the extra mile for student with special needs

Hanees Daliela Hasbulla in a video call with her Bahasa Melayu teacher Zainurah Muhamad. Photo: Bernama

KUANTAN: Teaching a Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2020 candidate with special needs who has hearing problems while wearing a face mask, as required during the Covid-19 pandemic, had been a challenging yet valuable experience for Zainurah Muhamad.

Other than having to use hearing aids, she said the student also reads lip movements to understand what is being taught and of course, with a face mask on this is a problem.

Her student Hanees Daliela Hasbullah, 18, from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom here, is said to have suffered hearing loss following a high fever when she was five years old.

“As such, I recorded a video of myself without the face mask so that Hanees Daliela can read my lips for any topic that is difficult for her to understand,” she told Bernama when met at her house at Aspa Cottage, here, recently.

The efforts certainly paid off when the Malay Language teacher heard the good news that Hanees Daliela came up tops among SPM 2020 candidates with special needs in Pahang when she managed to score 6A, namely 2A+ (including for Bahasa Melayu), 3A-, 1A, 1B and 4C, out of the 11 subjects she had sat for.

Zainurah said Hanees Daliela also proved that disability was never a barrier for her to compete with her classmates in the mainstream schooling system, despite having to cope with skipping classes for medical appointments almost every month.

“Hanees Daliela had also experienced some issues with her hearing aid device that caused her not to able to hear what was being taught. There was this one time the device got damaged and took her almost a month to get a replacement, but during that period Hanees Daliela attended classes as usual and we (teachers) had to teach in a loud voice.

“If Hanees Daliela was still unable to understand a topic, she would come to see us after class to get further explanation on it,” she said.

Zainurah said she was also touched by Hanees Daliela’s determination and perseverance in fulfilling her promise to score A+ for Bahasa Melayu.

On the implementation of home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the teacher admitted that it was quite a challenge for her as she has to get used to using the Google Meet and Telegram applications as new classroom tools.

“When it comes to difficult topics, I will make a video recording and send it to students via Telegram so that they can play it repeatedly until they understand,” she said.

Hanees Daliela Hasbullah (centre) shows her SPM results at her home in Kampung Pasir Garam, Beserah. Photo: Bernama

Meanwhile, Hanees Daliela who lives in Kampung Pasir Garam, Beserah, here, said she is forever indebted to all her teachers who never get tired to help her even after school hours.

“My friends are also very helpful. They know and understand my condition. I also decided to stay at the hostel since Form One to make it easier for me to focus on my studies.

“I have made a habit of going to bed early and waking up at 4 am daily to do revision,” said the second of five siblings who intends to pursue a degree in chemical engineering.

Hanees Daliela said she started using hearing aids when she was in Year Three after going through a medical examination.

This was after her parents Hasbullah Yusoff, 49, and Nik Rokiah Nik Hassan, 45, were told by her teacher that Hanees Daliela did not seem to hear instructions given in class.

Despite being categorised as a student with special needs, Hanees Daliela refused to be given any privilege, but instead, she likes to challenge herself to take on responsibilities, including becoming a school prefect and president of clubs at the school. – Bernama