Education System in the Lens of A Student

Pakale Kam Suara Anak Semporna (meaning “Semporna student voices”) is a series of essays written by our students in Semporna, expressing their opinions and experiences in education. 


Hi! I’m Nurfatihah Armizah. I am a Form 5 students from Semporna, Sabah. Here, I will talk about the education system from my point of view or in the simple terms of the education system that the students want. 

First and foremost, I have often wondered why we (the students) were not put into our respective streams from the beginning. For example, when we were about to get into Form 1 of secondary school, we should have been placed in our respective streams whether it is Science, Accounting, Business and so on. The students’ ability to enter their own pathway or stream can be determined based on their Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) result. The purpose is to make it easier for students to familiarize themselves with a number of elective subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry and more. If these elective subjects are studied from an early stage, I believe students will be able to obtain higher grades and prepare early for SPM examination.

 In addition, I want teachers to take on a very serious role where they know their main objective in teaching students which is to make sure we gain knowledge and understand what they are saying or explaining. It is not merely listening to the teacher’s explanation and ultimately not obtaining anything from them to understand. For that, I am very grateful that I have been taught by teachers who are aware of their purpose in sharing knowledge with us. However, I also hope that teachers will come up with different ways to teach. Some teachers use common techniques such as just describing the topic being studied and it can be a little tedious at times. Why don’t teachers look for more interesting ways to make students understand? The variety and appeal of it is up to the teacher’s own creativity. For example, teachers can relate a topic that they are teaching to their daily lives so that students can clearly understand it. As we know, young people are so easily influenced by the entertainment world especially in the creation of songs. Teachers can direct students to create songs that have a similar rhythm to the songs that students are interested in. The content of the lyrics should be based on the key points in the topic being studied. Like myself, I love to study in groups or in pairs. This is because I believe that learning this way allows my friends and I to come up with many ideas and share knowledge with each other. 

Other than that, here, I would love to share about the personality of a teacher I admire so much, Ms. Sheryl Crissie Robert from Teach For Malaysia. Other than teaching in a variety of ways, she often asked about our health and emotional state before starting her class. If she finds out that we were having a problem, she would immediately find a solution and cheer us up. I know that the goal is to make sure we are comfortable during the learning and teaching sessions. For me, a teacher like this is one in a million.

Furthermore, in terms of discipline, I really do not want students to wear makeup to school because it shows that students are not serious about studying. They seem to come to school with the other intention, which is completely contrary to the vision and mission of the school. There are students who wear thick lipstick and this behavior is improper and especially against school rules. Not only that, I also do not want schools with bullying. The cases of bullying among students are becoming more and more prevalent. Among the most common types of bullying are verbal bullying in which students often use parental names in ridicule, and physical bullying in which a student beat another student. This can have a detrimental impact on the students involved and directly damage the school’s reputation.

Finally, I sincerely hope that our voices as students can be heard by teachers, adults and even the world. Our voice matters too.


Teach For Malaysia recruits, trains and supports Fellows to teach in high-need schools across the nation. Beyond the Fellowship, our Alumni continue to champion education in different ways. As of 2019, we’ve impacted over 111,000 students, working with the Ministry of Education and other partners. During the MCO period, TFM has worked to minimise disruptions in the lives of, as well as support the wellbeing and learning of our students, teachers, school leaders and parents.

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