Naimah Yusuf is a Chemistry teacher at Sekolah Menengah Teknik Terengganu who has inspired her students with her dedication for her work
One of her students nominated her for McDonald's Anugerah Guru Inspirasi 2021, where she was named as one of the winners.
In their submission, they went into detail as to how Cikgu Naimah became one of the reasons they felt motivated to study.
The boarding school student wrote, "Bismillahirahmanirahim. Inspirational teachers? Do I even need to care about this? Yes, to me, as a student, it's a need. Why is it a need? With the existence of an inspiring teacher, it pushes me. Sometimes, when there are teachers like this, they become the main reason I want to go to school."
One particular event which makes Cikgu Naimah stand out from others is when she decided to provide food and accommodation for 33 students in her own home and a rental unit so they can study amidst the pandemic
The student explained, "At the beginning of the Movement Control Order (MCO), my spirit to study broke. Of course, it's hard to study online. Especially when it comes to Chemistry since we cannot physically see the theories. Sometimes I wanted to cry. When you push yourself to understand a difficult subject but you just cannot, at that very moment I lost my motivation to study."
However, when MCO 2.0 started, Cikgu Naimah sent a message to her class and offered them to stay overnight at her house so they can learn better.
"Our class discussed whether we wanted to go or not, but because of her dedication, we decided to go ahead and stay at her place," the student said.
They also noted that in their school, there are students from different parts of the country who are originally from states such as Johor, Selangor, and Kelantan.
"If you want to know, we did not spend two, three, or four nights at her place. We stayed for a month and two weeks at the teacher's house. Imagine, there are 25 students in my class and about eight more students from other classes."
"Our teacher placed male students in a rental home and the female students stayed at her house. For the one month and two weeks we were there, we did not have to pay for accommodation or food. She said she would sponsor us. We only paid for transportation from the rental unit to her house when it was time for extra classes. From 10am to 10pm, we'd be at her house to study."
"The whole time I was at her house, I did not just study Chemistry but also picked up a lot of knowledge about other things," the student noted
In their submission, they stressed that Cikgu Naimah and her family were very welcoming.
"Her husband always gave us advice about the future every time we performed congregational prayers. Here was also where we were trained to be an imam, muezzin, and here was where we learned about manners during prayers and when making friends."
"At our teacher's house was where we learned to be independent and also work together. For example, when it was time to eat, we would work together to prepare the dishes. Here was where cooking skills were taught to us. We learned to cut vegetables, prepare chicken, beef, and more."
"Even though our teacher had her own family, she was devoted to carrying out her responsibilities in educating her students," they added.
Cikgu Naimah inspired her student so much that now their ambition is to become an educator just like her
"This incident really gave me inspiration because with her presence, she made our bond among classmates stronger and we learned to love each other. In addition, the experience made my relationship with my family and other friends stronger too."
"Alhamdulillah, with her dedication in teaching the subject, our class managed to prove that Chemistry is fun, up to the point that we managed to improve our grades in the class from F to C during the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) trial exams."
"I am very inspired by this teacher that I have made it my ambition to be a teacher at a technical school. Why? because I want to bring good to others like she did. InsyaAllah."
Besides Cikgu Naimah, McDonald's has named 24 other teachers from all around Malaysia as the winners of Anugerah Guru Inspirasi 2021
They will each be awarded an RM5,000 cash prize, a trophy, and a certificate of appreciation.
For the past five years, McDonald's has held the Anugerah Guru Inspirasi competition to honour extraordinary teachers who have gone beyond the call of duty in nurturing students.
You can find the complete list of winners and read their heartwarming stories here.