Malaysian School Teacher Sets Up Minimart In Classroom To Motivate Students
Apart from parents, teachers are the ones most likely to leave an indelible mark on children.
Educators who go above and beyond are usually remembered by students long after they have graduated.
The same will probably be said for a Malaysian schoolteacher who set up a minimart in her classroom just for her students.
However, instead of cash or e-wallets, the only payment mode she accepts is stars earned through good grades and behaviour.
Once students have enough stars, they can redeem items like stationery, toys, and household essentials.
Schoolteacher funds classroom minimart entirely out of own pocket
Schoolteacher Anne Margarette Kho’s initiative gained recognition after a tweet by her husband went viral.
On Monday (15 May), Muhammad Nazmi congratulated his wife on winning an Inspirational Teacher’s Award from McDonald’s.
He then shared a series of images of Ms Anne working at her minimart, which appeared to be stocked to the brim.
The items for ‘sale’ include toys, stationery, and even household essentials like children’s toothpaste.
Each item is marked with a different number of stars, which is the ‘price’ required for a student to redeem them.
According to a video by Bernama, Ms Anne purchases all the items with her own funds.
To earn stars, the primary school students — who are from a remedial class — have to score well on quizzes.
The school is located in Lawas, a small town in Sarawak.
Schoolteacher gets S$1,480 for winning Inspirational Teacher’s Award
In winning a McDonald’s Inspirational Teacher’s Award, Ms Anne became one of only 25 recipients out of over 16,000 participants.
The award came with a RM5,000 (S$1,480) cash prize, enabling Ms Anne to ramp up her minimart initiative.
While introducing Ms Anne and her achievements, Malaysia’s Minister of Education Fadhlina Sidek became overwhelmed with emotion.
— Muhammad Nazmi (@chuckee_little) May 15, 2023
“In order to encourage her students to come to school, Madam Anne introduced the concept of a minimart at school,” she said.
The minister then paused and took a step back from the mic to regain her composure.
She also stated that the initiative has drummed up enthusiasm and motivation in the students to attend school and work harder.
On Ms Anne’s own Facebook profile, she said that “no words can describe” how happy and moved she is.
As a remedial class teacher in her fourth year, she admitted there have been ups and downs.
Nonetheless, her students are the reason she is inspired to do all that she does, she added.
Netizens offer to sponsor items for classroom minimart
After Ms Anne’s minimart went viral, many netizens came forward to offer a lending hand.
Many expressed their wish to sponsor items for the minimart.
One of them gave ideas on what the minimart can “sell” to motivate the students to come to school, such as new shoes and socks.
On another note, this Twitter user shared that their school practises a similar initiative.
In their case, students with good behaviour receive stickers which they can use to exchange for stationery.
Meanwhile, one highlighted that this shows how marginalised remedial class teachers are.
They hoped that things can get better for them, and that help can be given to kids who are unable to read, write, or calculate.
Kudos to teacher for her creativity & efforts to help her students
Being a teacher is not easy, let alone when you’re a teacher to underserved children from a rural area.
That said, Ms Anne has beat the odds to find a way to make a difference in her students’ lives.
May she persevere in her efforts and, more importantly, receive the support she needs to continue them.
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Featured image adapted from Twitter.
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