In last Sunday’s NST Wan Hulaimi, in his article, ‘All that babble and blah about esteem’ said, “… it has been demonstrated time and again that telling students that they can hone their skills towards greater achievements is better than praising them for scoring all As. ….’
That interesting piece of writing bears no reference to the UPSR results. But it adds up to that pride of achievement.
After continuous record-BREAKING years of being the champion in UPSR examination, Terengganu, according to a local daily, is doing a ‘post-mortem’ on the reasons for the failure to maintain that distinction, the high esteem. From the small samples of pupils attending Almanar tuition classes over the last nineteen years I always wonder how on earth the state could have been proud of its achievement over the years. I have not been able to reconcile the reality with the esteem. It is about time to have a BREAK forcing a much needed post-mortem.
So it is good to have a BREAK, even in a record-BREAKING dream of self esteem.
One of Pakcik’s grandchildren failed to get all A’s in the recent UPSR examination. I am glad it is not seen as a tragedy in the family breaking the chain of excellence set by her two elder brothers. Isn’t it good to have a BREAK so that we all do not get carried away believing the world is always at our feet?
While two of Pakcik’s grandchildren are right now struggling with their SPM examination two other grandchildren are enjoying themselves because they themselves have just sat for their PMR examination. Never mind what fate has in store for them. As for now they are having a good BREAK with us, armed with their guitars, serenading their grandma from the top of the tree house.
In this part of the world these two city boys have a chance to perform the neck-BREAKING task of picking young coconuts. It is easy when they see a local shinning up a tall coconut palm; or a trained monkey running all the way up to the top. Doing it yourself even on a small tree proved not all that simple without a bit of cheating.
No, I can't make it
Let's do a bit of cheating
It is November now, the middle of our special snow-free winter season when monsoon rain ought to be pelting down day and night. But even the monsoon has its BREAK too. We are having sunshine for a change and the steady sea breeze helps children fly their kites on the beach.
Nice breeze for flying kites
But the sea is still dangerously rough. Tnree weeks ago a boy who was about to sit for his SPM examination was drowned in the sea not far from here. The strong under-current had drawn him into the deep water beyond. It is a sad story.
Watch that wave
It is fascinating to sit on the soft sand and watch the formation of waves and how they gather speed and strength only to BREAK with huge splashes, unrolling and laying sheets after sheets of beautiful white foams along the vast stretches of sandy beach.
I can sit all day
Only this deep we are allowed
Roll on to me !
To be sure that all play and no work does not make Jack a dull boy, these two long-and-bushy haired kids are given small doses of English, Maths, Physics and Chemistry in preparation for their early Form 4 days in January. That is on the assumption that they would be allowed to continue studying at Victoria Institution. For a start they have been warned that they would not be allowed to see their PMR results if they turn up with untrimmed hair as they are today.
Let's play the guitar
And forget the PMR
And will these two young boys have all A’s in their PMR? Their parents did not achieve all A’s before them and their grandparents did not even have such an examination to sit during their time. So what is the fuss? For all the lack of ‘esteem’ we, as a family, have survived better than we deserve. Alhamdulillah.
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