The news of Ahmad Saidin Mohd Idris, a 40-year-old teacher at SK Lenjang, Lipis who travels to the school some 65km from his house on a motorcycle, went viral after netizens shared it on social media.
The father-of-two works at the school which caters for 456 Orang Asli students from 17 surrounding settlements. The journey to school starts at 5.30 am from his house located at Kuala Medang. Saidin rides his motorcycle on the windy and hilly tarred road, which are mostly rutted and uneven. The road condition always worsens after heavy rain as it will be covered with muds which causes the road to become slippery. That is why Saidin wears casual clothes to avoid getting his work attire dirty when he rides to school. He will change to his work attire and freshen up once he arrives at the school daily.
“The school relies on the river for water supply, solar-powered electricity and there is no phone coverage apart from the wireless satellite. It lacks modern facilities at the school. It’s hard to adapt initially but now all the teachers enjoy teaching here,” said Saidin.
He enjoys introducing the Orang Asli pupils to various sports activities because sports is a reason for them to go out from this place especially when participating in district and state-level competitions. Saidin further explains that at SK Lenjang, all of them are like a big family and during school sports day or games they will include the supporting staff, including the security guards.
Saidin adds that most of the teachers at SK Lenjang have learnt some words from the Semai dialect which allows them to become close with the Orang Asli pupils as the pupils are mostly very shy. Some teachers who live at the staff quarters will also conduct extra classes for the Year Six students who live in the hostel at night.
SK Lenjang has now 25 teachers and some of them travel daily, others will usually leave the school on Friday evening before returning on Sunday.
Hats off to Saidin and all the teachers!