20 March 2009

Well Done Cikgu

Maka berduyun-duyunlah datang yang berhormat dan yang tak berhormat memuji dan menunjukkan rasa takjub dan rasa belas kasihan – kerana Madihah cemerlang dalam peperiksaan SPM.

Nik Nur Madihah had lived for 17 years and suddenly all eyes have been focused on her and her family. Pak Cik admire her no less but I feel equally sorry for so many, many others like her, many of whom have never reached anywhere to be noticed, let alone to be given some tea and sympathy.

Last month, Pak Cik was requested to see a group of 20 ‘selected’ (top) pupils of standard 6. Half of them are fishermen’s children, like Madihah. The school has about 40 pupils in standard 6. During the last four years, only three students have scored all 5A’s in their UPSR exam. Can we say that over these years not one child from this school deserves sympathy and encouragement? To gauge their understanding in maths, I gave those 20 ‘selected’ pupils a test from STANDARD ONE maths. Surprise, surprise, a number of them were not sure of eleven, twelve and thirteen, and few did not know the meaning of 'near’ in ‘nearest to’.

What future will these innocent faces have without help today?

Last week I was equally astounded to find that none of my current twenty odd FORM One pupils could tell me the difference between 'we', 'our' and 'us'. Believe me, these are not children without brain. You, who have been through Almanar, know it too well how many of you have managed to get all A’s in your PMR exams. You are not of poorer quality in brain-power than many others, though you may be poor in many other aspects. You needed a chance, were given it and have pulled through, some with distinction.

Nik Nur Madihah is not a miracle and it should not be necessary for a child to have scored 20 A’s before a silent cry for help begins to draw attention. We should never forget that she is unlikely to have achieved her success without the school (Sekolah Menengah Arab Maahad Muhammadi, Kota Bharu, Kelantan) and its teachers. Pak Cik would want to loudly say, “Well done cikgu. You all have lived up to what is expected of your noble profession. Keep up with the excellent contribution to the community around you.”

Pak Cik will end this particular posting with a few lines quoted from an article written by the great Pendita Zaaba way back in 1927, more than 80 years ago:

“….. Kita sangat kekurangan orang yang berperasaan gemar pada faedah-faedah ramai (orang yang public spirit kata orang putih). Barangkali yang berperasaan demikian belum ada satu orang dalam tiap-tiap 10.000 orang Melayu melainkan kebanyakan masing-masing menilik kepada faedah diri, loba kempada tembolok sendiri, tamak ke perut sendiri ‘kalau kita sendiri tak dapat faedah apa guna?’ ………”

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.

12 March 2009

STOP PRESS - Congratulations

This is one of the days that make Pak Cik forget my age and how tired I can be. I have just heard two pieces of good news. Firstly, the person, of whom I wrote in The End Of The Tunnel – In Sight – (Part 3) – It Is His Lucky Day, has obtained all 9A1 in the recent SPM exam. His dream of becoming a doctor is non-stoppable now, insya Allah. I wonder whether his father stops manning his road side ‘sugar cane’ stall to celebrate the day. He stopped for a while yesterday just to send a second daughter to Almanar on his old motorbike.

Secondly, a girl associated with Almanar has obtained 8A1 and 1A2 (in Ugama of all subjects!) in the same nine subjects. Since she has A1 in all the maths and science subjects she may want to consider going for a first-class honours degree in Islamic study, to make good!

I am lost for words on such an occasion as this. Hope there will be more good news coming.

My heartiest congratulations go to all of you my dear.