14 October 2014

Mission Impossible

 Could  Rome be built in one day?
To-date, the largest orphanage centre in the state, Perkaya., which have its own school, have started sending pupils to Almanar on a weekly basis ,a very unsatisfactory frequency. Two groups are ferried in in their own bus every Saturday morning . I am hoping the new programme for next year will increase the frequency. I have, thus far, concentrated on teaching English, leaving other subjects to begin in January.

 I was greatly surprised last week when their representative requested Pakcik’s assistance to spend one Saturday morning with their Form 3 children who would begin their PT3 ( to replace the PMR) examination , which began yesterday with half a million candidates. The children were in need of help in mathematics. Preparing children of unknown level of knowledge in half a day for an important examination was a tall order; a mission impossible. But I knew better than to decline. I would, at least, have an opportunity to assess the children’s competency in that subject before they turn up to be tutored as Form 4 pupils early next year.

Bus from PERKAYA
As planned a busload of children arrived at Almanar before nine last Saturday. Buses from Perkaya have always been very punctual despite their one-hour journey to to Almanar. So, by nine last Saturday morning,  27 children ( 6 girls and 21 boys) were seated quietly in four rows in my class. I was conscious that all the 27 pairs of eyes watching me belonged to children without fathers. It was a sobering thought and I felt grateful to be in that unusual and enviable position.

After the initial few words of welcome, making sure that they would only address me as a simple Pakcik or Pakcik Hassan, we began with Al Fatihah for their fathers and the rest.

The ensuing three hours was tiring, selecting appropriate parts ans examples.  At least I know now the level of their competency; which is low in my estimation. They would not make an A grade today, but, Isha Allah, a few would in two years’ time. Rome was not built in one day.



kerana Tuhan

untuk kemanusiaan


kaykuala said...

That was a tall order. The attitude and the reasoning Pakcik adopted was the best in those circumstances. It was not turning them into a genius within a short spell but rather assessing them first. That was a good strategy.
Invariably Pakcik is now expected to have the energy and the stamina to complete the equation.Keep the good flag flying, Sir, mindful of the physical and mental strains arising from it all! Best wishes to you semoga sentiasa diberkati kekuatan Yang Maha Esa Allah SWT!


Aziela said...

As salam Pak Hassan. It is really sad to read you ask them to recite al-Faihah for their late fathers and mothers. And you were there, standing to be their 'father' though for not long.

I hope they would appreciate the love shown by Al-Manar.

Al-Manar said...

Dear Hank,

Thank you for the encouraging words an d I am pleased with my strategy.

If all goes well the workload is substantial. I have started discussions with a university close-by. I am very hopeful their enthusiasm will end with cooperation. This group is from Counselling which will be additionally good to handle these children, motivating them.

Al-Manar said...

Dear Aziela,

Your words reflect your Human Resources background. It may be the right thing to play the father figure to draw closer to us children like these. Thank you for your opinion,Aziela

Anonymous said...

NBK has left a new comment.

Assalamualaikum Pakcik. Moga Allah permudahkan urusan Pakcik

Al-Manar said...


I have some problem with my computer again, this time unable to use the normal'publish' prompt button. So I have resorted to copy your comment under anonymous. I am sorry for this unusual method.

Thank you for your good wishes. My salaam to you and family

madame blossom said...

Aamiin.. I hope they did well. Aamiin. Pakcik, I wish i'm there to help you teach at the tuition center! So inspiring. Maybe I can do a visit, a guest tutor? heh. :D Would that be possible? Or maybe do a documentary on Al-Manar. hmm.

Anonymous said...

Pak Cik,

It's indeed a tall order, but with your unique kind of experience plus excellent facilities to be made available by Perkaya, nothing is impossible.

Once again, the mere mention of "without fathers" reduced me to tears. Sorry for this uncontrollable emotion on my part.

Idris Mamat

Al-Manar said...

Madame Blossom,

Of course it is possible. You are not kidding are you? We will arrange for a visit if you are keen, even if it is just to see KT and buy keropok lekor!

Al-Manar said...

Dear Idris,

It is nice to see you around even if it is just to show your tears.

I think I shed more tears than most old men; helping my eyes well washed to see without the need of glasses.

Anonymous said...

Pak Cik,
Thank you for your comment on my comment. I’m actually a “tough” man having been an orphan since I was 10 years old. Hard life during childhood toughened me up greatly, both physically and emotionally. Few can match the hard life I went through. For example, I only had a table for study at home when I was in Form 4. I studied for my LCE in 1967 (the first batch to sit for objective type of exam) without the benefit of a table to do my writing or reading. I believe very few could beat that! Coupled with my work experience (mostly enforcement in nature, though not in uniform) and association with seamen (they are a tough bunch of sailors!), I become a “tough” man. Thus, it’s not easy for me to shed tears. However, I do have soft spots, very few though. One of them is when talking about parents’ death.

Idris Mamat

Al-Manar said...

Dear Idris,

Indeed with your background, particularly the firm you worked for, you ought to have that toughness.

nwar said...

My dearest Pakcik,
Indeed yours is an enviable position, serving HIM by disseminating knowledge to HIS most protected of subjects, the orphans.
Se-titik peluh mu di sini, selautan madu di sana, insyaAllah.

Please take good care of your physical self, my pakcik. Our makcik can only do so much!

Pakcik's No.2, and I'm sure I speak for No1 & No3 as well.

Al-Manar said...

Dearest Nuar,

All is well that ends well. We have been lucky all along and that is more than just luck.


Anonymous said...

Hazri Hazmi has left a new comment :

When I read this story, I remember back when I was studying in Almanar. He is the uncle who guided me before and after the loss of a father. He lent me a hand, when villagers distanced themselves away, and inspired and gave me the drive. May God give lasting mercy on uncle, aunty and family.

Al-Manar said...

Dear Hazri,

I am very pleased indeed to realise that away from here you still manage to call on Almanar, now the blog, not the tuition centre. Of course Makcik and I will never forget you throughout your difficult time, before and after you dad's passing. May Allah bless him. You are one of the pride of Almanar, a mechanical engineer who chose to follow Pakcik's footsteps.

Bring back a Bugis boy/girl to KT for a holiday!