Cikgu Chan, a teacher in demand for his extraordinary work with Gen Z

He is also at the forefront of tackling mental health issues among students.

16 May 2024 10:13am

SHAH ALAM - The world of teaching has evolved significantly, from the traditional role of educators shaping paths for students to now navigating a landscape where numerous complex issues surround students.

Is there a teacher who can create a new narrative with Generation Z, widely known as Gen Z? There is!

With 22 years of experience as a counselling teacher, Chan Chin Ho stands as an inspiration despite challenges faced by educators in Malaysia.

"The challenge I face is the identity of the younger generation. I deal with students who have fragile spirits and weak mental resilience," he laments, citing issues ranging from mental resilience to substance abuse among students.

However, Chan was not one to merely lament; he is proactive in addressing these issues head-on.

"As a guidance and counseling teacher, I conduct prevention education activities on DARVIH (Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco, Vape, Inhalants, and HIV-AIDS)," he said, emphasising collaboration between stakeholders to curb substance abuse.

Chan delivering motivational speech during school assembly
Chan delivering motivational speech during school assembly

Related Articles:

Moreover, Chan is at the forefront of tackling mental health issues among students.

"The implication is that they do not want to attend school due to factors such as stress, anxiety and depression," he explains.

His proactive approach involves not only informing parents and guardians of students’ updates but also advocating for specialised consultation and treatment when necessary.

When asked about the unique challenges posed by teaching the Gen Z generation, Chan acknowledged the influence of technology on today's youth and highlighted the need for guiding students toward positive digital engagement.

"Teaching Gen Z is truly challenging because today's generation is heavily influenced by the explosion of communication technology without boundaries. All information is at their fingertips.

"If the accessed information is positive, then the student will become a positive individual. Conversely, if they access negative or unhealthy information, we worry that they will tend to engage in negative activities," he reasoned.

Despite the challenges, Chan remained steadfast in incorporating Malaysian culture and values into his teaching.

"Every student must respect teachers, peers, and other school staff. They need to avoid doing things that threaten the issues of 3R (Race, Religion, and Royalty).

"I ensure that students of various races are involved in forming school theatre or sketch teams. This is because schools are effective agents of racial unity in line with the Student Integration Plan for Unity (RIMUP) and Education Ministry," he asserts.

Chan's dedication to supporting students from diverse backgrounds and abilities is evident in his holistic approach to education, underlining the importance of fulfilling students' welfare needs to create conducive learning environments.

"Every student is unique and special. I accept them unconditionally.

"As a counseling teacher, I always deal with cases of students skipping school. From truancy issues, I can explore other student issues

"I look at why students are absent from school. Among them are financial problems, transportation problems, family problems, attitudes, bullying victims. So I often visit their houses to identify the problem and solve it," he added.

Perhaps most notably, Chan's impact extends beyond academic achievement; he was renowned for inspiring and guiding disciplinary problem students back on track.

"Discipline is very important in shaping students' futures. Bullying cases need to be focused as well, I believe that every student has the right to learn safely, comfortably, and enjoyably at school.

"Therefore, schools must be in a zero-bullying or bullying-free zone. The Discipline Unit and Counseling Unit along with the school community should consistently carry out anti-bullying campaigns to prevent bullying among students.

"Bullying victims need to be assisted and guided to become students with good mental health and high resilience to face life's challenges.

"As Malaysian teachers, we must educate our students with sincere hearts," he advises, stressing the pivotal role teachers play in shaping the nation's future.

Chan during school lessons
Chan during school lessons

For Gopal Karnnan, 26 who was Chan's student during secondary school expressed his utmost gratitude and described himself as lucky enough to meet a teacher like Chan.

"Every school must have a teacher like Cikgu Chan. I was once a student who often skipped school due to family issues. He (Chan) came into our school and changed every student's life including mine.

"He handled my situation easily by diverting my concentration to art. I was involved in acting or drama classes where I had the chance to participate in district-level competition. That interest brought me further in pursuing higher studies majoring Multimedia Design in Limkokwing University. I am forever grateful to have a teacher like him," he said.

Meanwhile, former student Lee Chuan Long said Chan always invokes student's spirit to do anything perfectly.

"He has his own idea to make students more confident in studying and also how to face life. He also has this 'magic' where all students are comfortable with him.

"Happy teacher days Sir, I truly appreciate your service as a teacher and always being there to listen to my problems. I will always remember you, thank you Sir," he said.

For his exemplary dedication and service to the field, Chan ​​​​​​​was honoured with many prestigious award namely 'Bintang Cemerlang Melaka (B.C.M) from Yang di-Pertua Negeri Melaka Tun Mohd Ali Rustam'.
For his exemplary dedication and service to the field, Chan ​​​​​​​was honoured with many prestigious award namely 'Bintang Cemerlang Melaka (B.C.M) from Yang di-Pertua Negeri Melaka Tun Mohd Ali Rustam'.

For his exemplary dedication and service to the field, Chan had been honoured with many prestigious awards namely 'Bintang Cemerlang Melaka (B.C.M) from Yang di-Pertua Negeri Melaka Tun Mohd Ali Rustam', 'Inspirational Teacher Award from Education Ministry', 'Cultural Art Icon Teacher Award (Performing Arts)', 'Silver Award – INOVASI 2022: Human Well-Being and Sustainable Community', and many more.

More Like This