Tuesday, 6 October 2015

by Cheryl Loh Qian Wen, Junior 2 Cempaka, Class of 2016


Cempaka@Home is good as students haven’t missed out their lessons and student participation was good,” stated Ms. Helen Henry, English teacher of Cempaka Damansara.


“It’s very stressful because you have to constantly reload the page, and if your wifi is down you can’t learn anything, and it’s harder to actually learn things when you’re using Cempaka@Home because you can only do assignments or self study,” urged Eg Zhong Ning, Junior 2 Cempaka, Class of 2016.

On several occasions in the previous weeks, we, Cempakans, have been subjected to a learning platform known as Cempaka@Home where our teachers either create discussions while students are required to sign in and complete questions before signing out, or conduct conferences over the VLE. This of course has been brought upon us due to the recent haze situation which has since seemed to become a season on its own here in Malaysia.

As read in the above statements, there have been many conflicting ideas on this programme which has acted as our next best alternative to school. As a student myself, I have been quite put off by Cempaka@Home as well, although I agree it is the only feasible substitute. It is the only way to pursue our education at a somewhat continuous flow while maintaining our health in this current situation. Even so, some of you may agree that it can be quite frustrating on many different levels.


First of all, I am not one who can wake up easily in the morning. I can’t be the only teenager who feels this way. With Cempaka@Home, I don’t feel the rush of panic to get to the bus on time, and admittingly, I tend to sleep in. In fact, I tend to sleep in until the last possible minute before the first lesson, and there are probably others who have slept through the first 2 periods of school. Of course this is completely our own fault, but wouldn’t you stay in bed for that extra 10 minutes in the morning if you could? I, for one, would answer that with a resounding ‘Yes’.


When you accidentally click on the wrong course name and wonder why there hasn’t been an update only to realise what you have done and that you are halfway through a period you never signed into. All this because you read the timetable of the wrong day in your class schedule. Oh no! Then there’s the paranoia of having to constantly refresh your page in case there is that one assignment you missed or that one comment you forgot to read. Oh and don’t even get me started on break and lunch times. Having to constantly check the time while you eat to make sure you don’t miss the next class, you almost miss the prefects on canteen duty who act like personal alarm clocks to rush you back to class.

An Example of a Blue Button Conference
Once the stress of all that is over, the actual classroom-style learning and answering questions on the discussions or following lectures over the conference really makes you feel like you are back in school. It gives you the impression that you are doing something productive at home which, let’s be honest, does not happen very often. But, as students, I think we all know one thing: Cempaka@Home can’t give us is the experience of learning with your friends in class which, in school, is really half the fun.


I don’t think I am alone when I say I truly do hope the haze clears up soon so we can return back to school. I know this because of the numerous tweets of students annoyed by the closure of school on my Twitter feed. At least this experience has taught us one thing - to enjoy our time in class while we have still got it because we know it won’t last.

by Cheryl Loh 14:20 67 comments

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