KUANTAN – Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said today that the criticism and mocking of a teacher’s Science lesson in English on educational television channel DidikTV recently is cyberbullying.
He said the people should take into account that the teacher was not a professional actor and may never have undergone training before the recording was made.
“She should not be criticised for doing her job as an educator…I also think that the Ministry of Education (MOE) should not be treated (criticised) like that because this is a new thing and of course there are weaknesses here and there.
“These weaknesses need to be addressed to ensure its content will be improved from time to time,” he told a press conference after handing over donations to the Parent-Teacher Association of schools in Indera Mahkota parliamentary constituency here today.
Saifuddin said the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) was ready to offer assistance to the MOE in the preparation of DidikTV content, as the ministry through the National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) had the expertise in filming.
Saifuddin also reiterated KKMM’s stance that specific anti-cyberbullying legislation should be introduced to address the problem, as the act can cause its victims to face problems such as depression or worse, suicidal.
“We do not know the exact number of cyberbullying victims because they don’t report…either because they don’t know they can or they think there is no action that can be taken if they make a report. We cannot blame them for that.
“We have laws like the Communications and Multimedia Commission Act and the Penal Code, but in relation to cyberbullying, a study by KKMM and Multimedia University (MMU) found that more than 80 per cent of legal practitioners think we need specific law for cyberbullying,” he said.
In this regard, Saifuddin, who is also Indera Mahkota MP, explained that KKMM is preparing a Cabinet paper to get a policy decision and has started the initial draft of the anti-cyberbullying bill so that it can be expedited once Parliament begins its sitting.
Proud to be a teacher
The teacher who was cyberbullied has said that she will not be disheartened by negative comments online directed at her over a lesson delivered during an educational programme broadcast on television.
Despite the criticism she received for the video of her giving a lesson on the human reproductive system in apparently poor English, she said she remained proud to be a teacher.
“I admit to any shortcomings and am ready to learn and improve.
“I hope all the difficulties that have occurred for me and my friends can be overcome,” she said in a Facebook post, a local daily reported
The science teacher’s video lesson, meant for Year Two pupils in the dual language programme, was criticised online for her poor English pronunciation and grammar.
In the one-minute-28-second clip that went viral circulated, she is seen swaying while explaining the human reproductive system.
Rafidah’s post has garnered more than 3,000 comments of support and asking her never to give up.
A Facebook user criticised the critics, saying there was no need to ridicule or give harsh comments against the teacher.
“If someone makes a mistake, correct them with the heart of seeing improvement, not to make them feel small.
“I could imagine how much stress the teacher might have experienced while doing something so unfamiliar, ” she said in a Facebook post, adding that the teacher is a volunteer and took on the task while juggling all her other daily duties as well.
A teacher and one of those who volunteered to produce content for DidikTV Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (KPM) herself, she said that none of them received training on script writing or producing slides for broadcast.
“We were trained to design lessons and deliver them live in class (sic).
“This is foreign territory for us. Yet, many of my fellow comrades took up the challenge to do so, ” she added.
The main purpose of the video, she said, is to ensure the child understands the lesson and not to “flaunt your accent”, as not every child is fluent in English.
Another user, said these teachers with no training in broadcast, probably had to rush and create content for the educational television channel.
She said that the target audience for DidikTV KPM are children who cannot afford gadgets or the Internet, and are mostly from the B40 and M40 groups.
“So, please give this newborn baby (DidikTV KPM) a chance to improve, ” she added in a Facebook post.