28 December 2011

With a Sigh (Pt. 11) - A Class for Three

Flashback - A year ago, on 15.12.2010 my posting went like this:

"With a sigh ( Pt 4 ) – Do I carry on or call it a day?

O, no, … only NINE ….?” cried my first little thought when I stepped into my class at Almanar one day last week. Rising to their feet to greet me were just nine pupils, ALL GIRLS. What has become of all the boys?....


Indeed, Pakcik went through a very disappointing time and questioned whether or not to call it a day. A few reasons contribute to the dwindling number of children attending Almanar. I was truly depressed at the situation then. Somehow, nothing short of providence brought fresh light into the gloom. A house for children of poor families and orphans was opened one kilometer away from Almanar, calling for help from Almanar to tutor about 80 children from Form 1 to Form 4. This god-send fresh mission was most welcome, albeit a fresh challenge never thought of previously; the majority are of very poor quality, academically and in attitude towards learning.

How the Form 3 children of this group fared in the recent PMR is not yet known to us as these children are away on holidays. But we are certain of very poor results for a start. We will soon know.

In the meantime we have not closed our door to other children in the community. This morning was supposed to be the first day for new Form 1 pupils to join Almanar class. Against the previous high figure of up to forty, we had THREE pupils, a boy and two girls!

The class of THREE

But we are past being deterred from pushing ahead. I remember Mr Micawber, a character in Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield, one of the text books for Form 4 English Literature in 1954. This eternal optimist believes that "something will turn up".

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan


Awang Goneng said...

Abang Ngah,

It is better to have three motivated pupils than a score who are there only because it is raining outside. When we were looking for your house we stopped at a petrol station and there was a young lad working at the pump. His eyes lit up when we asked him where al Manar was. Why, he said, he 'graduated' from there and was now awaiting entry into university. I felt so proud for him, for his kampong, for al Manar.

Salaam to you and Kak Mah.

Temuk said...

I pray that all your Form 3 students have done well in their recent PMR. And I hope more will come to join the Form 1 class. Insya-Allah. Semoga terus hiduplah Al-Manar demi anak bangsanya!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Dear Pakcik,
Something will turn up, eh? I can help you boost the number by sending you six of the best specimen in felinedom. I can assure they are going to be your best students ever. teeheehee....
Anyway, take heart Pakcik. Perhaps the slow start is because everyone is still on holidays. They'll come. purrr....meow!

abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Pak Cik,
You have read Charles Dicken and trust Mr.Micawber is right. You have done more for the unfortunate than what you think and the good work can never die,it shall continue no matter the number.

Anonymous said...

Salam Pakcik,

It is still early in the day Pakcik. Most of the children are still in their holiday mood. I am sure when exam is around the corner, they will come flocking to Al-Manar. That is how with most children; last minute preparation. I do agree with Awang Goneng though; it is better to have three motivated students than a room of those who think tuition class is a place for them to socialise.

Don't give up Pakcik for you have become the inspiration of many.


kaykuala said...

Dear Pak Cik,
Providence has a way of extending the ray of hope.It's just that we find it disconcerting to extend the goodness and efforts meant to benefit 40 but just 3 came.It's too early to tell. The no.will increase,invariably.They will come.I'm sure they will.


Al-Manar said...

Awang Goneng,

Mi, a chanced incident like the one quoted has been a motivating reason when the morale is low. And there have been a few of such feed-back to us.

Was there no white x'mas in London like last year? For us it is the sound of waves beating the shore, pounding the beach exceptionally heavier this season - with reports of serious erosion in Dungun and Tok Jembal, near KT airport.

Salaam to Zaharah and the 'kids'

Al-Manar said...


WAK Salaam. I have not yet had the full picture of PMR results, but for sure it a dismal one because we had no Form 3 class this year. This was the result of extra classes and excessive co-curricular activities at our two feeder schools, giving me no alternative but to close Form 3 tuition classes in 2011. But I am still interested to see the results of those who attended up to Form 2, at least their PMR results in English, Maths and science.

Al-Manar said...


We have to be optimistic. Something will turn up, indeed.

Are we not going to hear briefly at least of your recent Qurban performance? That is if disclosure of it is not against the rule of the organisation.

Al-Manar said...


Once started and having tasted some success it is extremely difficult not to adopt Micawber's philosophy - a hoping-against-hope attitude.

You have very kind words, akhi. Hope the new year will bring all the good things to your family.

Al-Manar said...


.... will come flocking ... Thank you for that Ruzita.

By the way Makcik and I plan to drive up north one of these days, in which case we would like to drop by. Must get our bearing to your place right. Will ring you up once we have decided.

Al-Manar said...


Dear Hank. It is so encouraging to hear optimistic remarks from you and everyone else. Doing what I have been doing for so many years has become part of my routine which is difficult to stop unless I am physically incapable of carrying it out.

My good wishes and a fruitful new year for you nd family.

kaykuala said...

Dear Pak Cik,
It is not so much an encouraging voice as it is a testament and acknowledgement of courage which rightfully belong to you. If only I know of some other ways of firm support. I hope I can in future, I sincerely hope I can!
Wishing you and Mak Cik the very best for the ensuing year and Good Luck to you, Sir!


Ismail aka Pak Mail said...


Lebih baik bermula dari sedikit dan terus bertambah daripada banyak dan kian berkurangan.

Selamat Tahun Baru 2012. Semuga tahun baru terus membawa keberkatan kepada Pakcik seisi keluarga dan alManar. Insya'Allah.

Al-Manar said...


Words may not reflect totally what are intended. We all learn to read between the lines, like my failed attempts to understand poetry of your class. But we know friends mean well when they say something. That is encouraging enough.

Al-Manar said...


Betul juga biar kecil dahulu semakin bertambah besar bilangannya kemudian. Bilangan merusut merendahkan semangat.Masalahnya ialah 'ego' kita yang ingat kita ni penting sangat!

Selamat tahun baru dengan kejayaan dan keberkatan sekeluarga.

Anonymous said...

AK,just a few words from your sahabat carry on GOD Willing y0u will see the light of day. Sabar itu saparuh daripada iman.ZUL

Al-Manar said...


You must be having nothing better to do than to spend time visiting my blog and to comment as well. Anyway happy new year and hope you will be even more prosperous, throwing more lunches and dinners to your less fortunate old pals.

See you an Asmah around next year.

Abam Kie said...

It is good to see a kind-hearted man like you who still wants to offer free tuition to the kids in your neighbourhood. May Allah repay your good deeds! InsyaAlah.

Al-Manar said...

Daddy Zuki,

Apa nak buat kalau kita ada banyak masa lapang dan tak ada peluang bersuka suka jauh dari tempat hiburan, apatah lagi night club! Tolonglah budak budak kampong. Kadang kadang dapat ikan percuma atau buah kayu.

Selamat tahun baru DZ/

Arifendi said...

Alhamdulillah, there is still 3 person..=)

Al-Manar said...


Betul, tiga orang yang berkehandak lebih baik dari sepuluh yang malas.

Selamat tahun baru