The 72-year-old senior designer Zainal Abidin Abdul Rahman refuses to allow his age to interfere in providing help to the students with their design projects in the middle of the Covid-19 situation.
The former LimKokWing University of Creative Technology’s design lecturer desires to help the students who are going through difficulty with the implemented online learning and decided to contribute his knowledge and share his love for designs to them through his guided classes worth RM1.
He is set to extend his help to as many students as possible, ranging from diploma level right up to Doctor of Philosophy level with their coursework and thesis.
A number of 45 students are interested in joining his classes thus far, in which eight among them including a few number of masters students already had the experience of having online sessions with him.
According to him, having physical lessons where the teachers can see for themselves the progress made by the students and being able to provide immediate feedback to them is where the success of any design project could be achieved.
He noted that as a design student, being able to have a teacher to give feedback on your work as such to correct your mistakes is crucial.
However, with the current Covid-19 situation, everything shifted online. Zainal Abidin also said that he noticed some students who are just so uninterested in producing their work to the best of their abilities.
He also mentioned about one student who showed him her sketch work to ask for advice. He added that it was far away from the concept taught in her university’s online class, but as she managed to seek help from him, she will be producing new designs and show it to him again.
Besides the student, a school teacher as well as a florist had asked him for his feedback online such that they could have new ideas and ways to create other floral designs.
When he was asked for his purpose in offering cheap classes, Zainal Abidin responded that all he wanted was to share his skills, experience and knowledge to the younger people without profit in mind.
Having multiple lockdowns, he said that a lot of design students do not have the opportunity to meet people from industry taking into consideration that with the implementation of Covid-19 laws, they were unable to leave their homes, and he wanted to connect students with industry leaders.
He said that being able to connect the students to the right industry leaders for substantial feedback is vital for their growth as future designers. As someone who takes pride in his work, Zainal Abidin advised that students must be extra motivated to utilize and learn various tools online.