Malay teacher offering free Chinese tuition for religious school students

Nurainn teaching a student how to write the date in Chinese. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 (Sin Chew Daily) -- 35-year-old Nurainn Azhar is a full-time Chinese language teacher who also offers free Chinese tuition for Malay students at a religious school.

During an interview with Sin Chew Daily, Nurainn said she started to receive Chinese education since kindergarten, and went on to study at Chinese primary and secondary schools.

Her parents sent her to a Chinese school with the hope she could master an additional language for her own good in future.

Additional language an advantage

She said now that she had acquired this additional knowledge (Chinese language), she should share it with her fellow Malays, and hoped religious school students attending her free Chinese tuition class would be able to master an additional language which would help them when they start working in the future.

“They are now learning religion, and I think I should teach them an additional language as this will be an advantage for them when they go out to work in future.”

Nurainn admitted that she did not see the importance of the Chinese language when she was at the primary school, but said she was lucky enough her parents had the foresight.

She said during the olden days Malay parents were generally against sending their children to Chinese schools, and her grandmother was worried she would start eating pork after attending a Chinese school. To allay the fears of her grandmother, her mother always prepared food for her to bring to school during the six years at the primary school.

Nurainn started her Chinese language class in June, offering free tuition for religious school students every Sunday morning.

As the class is held within the compounds of the religious school, male and female students are separated during class, sitting on either side of a partition while Nurainn stands in the middle.

Free tuition for 20

There are currently about 20 religious school students taking Nurainn's free Chinese tuition class.

She told Sin Chew Daily the students were excited when told of the opportunity to learn Chinese.

She admitted that she herself found learning Chinese language a very tough job when she was in kindergarten, and she therefore could understand the difficulty her students encounter today.

After graduating from a Chinese primary school, Nurainn's parents sent her to Chong Hwa, an independent Chinese high school in Kuala Lumpur.

As she spent more than half of her time during childhood and adolescence in the Chinese community, Nurainn said she acted “very much like a Malaysian Chinese”.

Language and religious freedom

Despite being a devout Muslim, to Nurainn religion is free; so is language.

“The people here (religious school) accept me and welcome me to teach the students Chinese.”

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