INTERVIEW: Why Samuel Isaiah Teaches His Orang Asli Students Under a Tree?

  • 10 Jun 2019

Samuel Isaiah is no ordinary English teacher. He took the challenges presented in front of him and turned them into a success story.

When he first set foot in a native school SK Runchang in Pahang, one of the teachers told him to 'not try anything' since they were just Orang Asli (native) students.

Surprised, he chose not to follow the advice and took matters into his own hands to change the perception of the people around him. 

The first challenge he faced was the poor attendance. The native students didn't show much interest in attending the classes. In order to solve that problem, Samuel made his lessons fun and interesting.

He introduced musical instruments like Ukelele to attract the native students and even collected funds to get the instruments for every student. 

Since his goal was to improve their grasp of the English language, he made sure the native students learned English while singing and playing the musical instruments.

Some might think he would have stopped there since he found a way to bring the students into the classrooms. Not at all! He wanted the best facilities for his native students and generated funds through a site called in 2015. 

From the collected funds, every student received a tablet and computer. The classroom is equipped with sound systems and an LCD projector.

Another interesting project Samuel introduced was an international e-mail exchange project called 'Asli E-Pal'. Through this project, the native students communicated with adult volunteers from all over the world in English. Brilliant, isn't it?

Despite all his efforts, some native students were still missing from the classes. So, he decided to bring the classroom to them. Under a project called 'Sekolah Pokok' (school under a tree), Samuel started off with only 10 students. Now, the class has grown to 50 students and these classes are conducted mostly on weekends.

Once considered impossible, Samuel has changed the perception surrounding native students and has instilled the interest to learn in them. The passing rate of English subject has drastically increased after his tireless efforts and many even scored A's in UPSR. 

Watch Samuel Isaiah's inspiring interview here:

We are proud to witness how one man's efforts to change the approach of teaching to suit the native students brought amazing results. Let us know if you are aware of any such inspiring Malaysians. We would love to feature them on Ulagam!

Source: World of Buzz
Photo Credit: Samuel Isaiah

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