24 March 2010

2009 SPM – Against the trend!

TWELVE out of sixteen pupils (75%) are BOYS, and BOYS occupy the top seven positions with 7 A’s or more.

Please do no not say to Pakcik, “Tell it to the marines!”

Instead have a good look at what we have below:

Total = 16 pupils ( 12 boys & 4 girls )
No. of pupils No. of A's each
1 (boy) 10
2 (both boys) 9
3 (all boys) 8
1 (boy) 7
5 6
3 5
1 4

These were the sixteen pupils who attended Almanar classes for three years from Form 1 to Form 3 (2005 to 2007).

No, Almanar cannot claim credit for the SPM results of these 16 pupils. If at all, these pupils can only be thankful to Almanar for giving them the help when they most needed in subjects like English, Maths and Science during the three years after their UPSR. Most of them, on registering at Almanar, had obtained 3A grades and below, except for a boy and a girl achieving 5A’s each and another boy with 4A’s. Nevertheless, not unlike many kampong children, they never lacked what is needed to succeed. Three years later, 10 of them (8 boys and 2 girls) gained 8A’s each in their PMR exam. Following that creditable performance, a number of them were offered places in better schools to continue with their Form 4 studies. Many continued to call at Almanar during the following two years. They treated Almanar, and still do, as a convenient place to meet, to compare notes or even to do their small group studies.


Of particular interest to Pakcik is how they performed in their SPM exam particularly in English, Modern Maths and Additional Maths. Putting aside all the sarcastic remarks and the harsh man-to-man talks with Pakcik, had these pupils continued to benefit from what they learnt at Almanar in these three subjects? I was anxious to know and now I know.

It is, therefore, so very fulfilling and gratifying to notice that ten out of the sixteen obtained A grade in English. All the sixteen passed their Modern Maths with A Grade. In Additional Maths, the more difficult mathematical subject, seven obtained A and another seven obtained B grade.

No. of pupils passed with Grades A, B & C

Subject Grade A Grade B Grade C
English 10 5 1
Maths 160 0
Add Maths 77 2

If number and academic performance of female pupils should favour girls as the accepted rule of thumb, the above figures certainly do not represent the national statistics for SPM achievers. Admittedly there is a twist to the whole situation, a disturbing story to tell.

It all began five years ago, soon after pupils had started their Form 1 class.

To cut the story short, Almanar had, as a matter of fact, more than 30 pupils initially when the form 1 tuition class began early 2005. The number of girls, indeed, exceeded boys. It was also true that the girls’ UPSR exam results were generally better. All was well and things started smoothly until the authority of the secondary school they were attending attempted to rectify a problem the school was facing. The school which could offer some boarding facility had not been able to attract enough number to fill the hostel beds. Very few parents were keen to allow their children to move in. For one thing the school was within easy reach of most houses. Many could idly cycle there and back. Some were sent to school on motor-cycles by brothers, sisters, mothers or whoever, and many others took school buses which collected reasonable fares. At the same time one must not underestimate the economic factors involved.

To the dismay of most parents, pupils in the top class of form 1 were put under pressure to go into hostel. Promises were made by the school authority of a hostel environment conducive to study, of good food and lots and lots of extra tuition classes etc. Quite typical, one parent moaned over his difficulty to make available the cash needed to pay for his daughter to join the hostel. One hundred ringgits may be pittance to many but not to some. Parents like this did not have the courage to speak up. PIBG meetings are almost always silent endorsement to what a school Principal wants to bulldoze.

Pakcik was against such a move by the school and voiced strongly to the parents of those who had already joined Almanar classes. Based on past records I knew it too well the academic records of children staying at the hostel were dismal to say the least. A number of parents, however, relented under pressure from the school. Many girls with good potential left Almanar to stay at the hostel. Sadly, many of them subsequently opted to leave their hostel life, disillusioned.

That was how, for once, Almanar had a group unnaturally tilted in number and good exam results towards male pupils.


By now all the 16 pupils have turned up at Pakcik’s home with ““Pakcik, what do you think I should do?” question. My answer invariably goes along the theme expressed in

Ukur baju dibadan sendiri

It is well and good to have high ambition and all. Many ‘pakar motivasi’, who often address themselves with Doktor ( PhD) Datuk and all, would expound their text-book theories the need to aim for the moon. I cannot not simply look at the faces of these children without reflecting on the reality that their parents are wondering what and when their children’s A’s would translate into dollars and cents for the family, and ease the pain and tiredness at the end of a hard day’s work. These children must fully realise that they cannot, years from now, make excuses:

“ Hajat hati nak peluk gunung. Apakan daya tangan tak sampai.”

A choice has to be tailored towards an assurance that he or she is able to take home dollars and cents at the end of the day, leaving aside the need to satisfy one’s ego of achievement. Pakcik will in due course explain why my way of thinking is more conservative with regard to higher education for many of these kampong children. It is hard for many in the urban areas to accept the reality that it is not altogether a level playing field despite the number of A’s scored. Many of them need to practice running up the small hills before attempting a snow-capped mountain. In all cases there must be rooms to improve themselves.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan


Anonymous said...

tahniah pakcik - u have done ur share. May Allah bless u always.ur silent reader

Anonymous said...

Congaratulations I salute you and all Al-Manar students who have managed to obtain good SPM results.


ARZ said...

Pak Cik,

It's difficult leaving any comments. I will be repeating myself, again and again.

Al-Manar said...

My silent reader
You have been around from time to time. That is more than I can ask for.Thank you.


You were among the successful ones,too, yourself.I hope to learn of your continued success.

Al-Manar said...

That you care to drop by, like the 'silent reader' above,is an honour to me. We share certain interest in common, don't we?

Anonymous said...

You have pried open my eyes and hopefully that of my children too...


Awang Goneng said...

Well done alManar! AlhamduliLlah! Let the children climb to the very top but let their feet be firmly planted on the ground. I hope you will continue to be be able to inspire a new generation of caring, respectful and socially conscious children, not just the type that genefluct at the altar of materialism. And there are too many of them nowadays. And looking around us, are they wholly to blame? I pray for your success always Abang Ngah, and long may you be at alManar to nurture the growth of intelligent, decent, caring and God-fearing human beings.

Anonymous said...

pakcik thank u coz teach me n give lot of support and advice to me... may Allah bless u always...

Al-Manar said...

We do whatever little we can - apa yang tercapai tangan.
Agaknya budak budak bertiga tu dah sampai ke London - hitang llegi' dok maeng panah.
Abang Ngah

norzah said...

Pakcik, dah lama nak cuba baca semua entries, tapi tertarij dengan yg ini. Form 3-4 memang tahun-tahun yg penting untuk mendapat foundation yg kukuh dlm bahasa Inggeris, maths dan science. I've no doubt you helped them to score the As in SPM.

Baru sekarang ni Kerajaan nak tolong budak-budak kg yg tercicir dan kurang kemampuan. Tolong belanja dan BUKAN memberi panduan khusus seperti melalui Affirmative Action yg baru disebut oleh PM. Itu baru disebut. Pakcik sudah pun menunjukkan hasil. Teruskanlah. Tuhan melihat segala dan tahu apa yang tersuruk dan yang nyata.

ps. istilah 'genefluck' yg digunakan oleh sdr Awang Goneng itu sepatutnya 'genuflect', terpengaruh oleh loghat utara agaknya, hehehe.

Al-Manar said...

Munkin kita mempunyai ramai sangat cerdik pandai yang membuat perancangan. It is a case of the proverbial cooks. Menteri pelajaran pun pandai pandai juga dan bersilih ganti. Penulis buku pelajaran dan penerbitpun bertepuk tangan kegembiraan. Apalah sangat budak budak kampong! If we do not hit the right tune today we can always strike another cord tomorrow. We can even continue rebranding the names of our schools from SM Cemerlang to SM Terbilang till we achieve the elusive 'taraf antara bangsa', or till the cows come home.

Gukita said...

The present school environment favors female students. Female by nature could stay sitted comfortably for hours and hours and hence stay focus. This cannot be said for male. Male vision tend to be outgoing and need activities to stay focussed and alert. The need to move and do something to facilitate learning. Docile swallowing of facts and figures is not the way male mind works.. Hence I think the education system is to blame for the female dominance in classroom studies. In work environment, especially outdoor works like Engineering, it is totally different, hence male dominance is more prominent.

Al-Manar said...

I cannot agree more with you. My limited experience in this field seems to comfirm this.How I wish our view is shared by those who have a hand in it.

Memorable trails... said...

Salam Pak Cik,
Hope it is not too late to congratulate you on the achievement of ALManar students..
Let the boys rise n shine to the top since they are the ones who should shoulder most of the responsibilities in life.
I always challenge the boys in my class not to be beaten by girls..
And for the girls I always told them to be independent financially in life n to be one they need to have knowledge n skill.Dont just sit back ,relax and totally depend on your future hubby because we will never know what will happen in later life...
Manusia hanya mampu merancang...

Anonymous said...

frankly speaking,i am regret for not making up in the SPM.
honestly,i am to lazy to studying and always make a fun of myself there.
maybe you all dont know about it,but i usually playing truant when the preparation class.
without pak cik,( as he always talks to me,giving motivation n so on),,
i get lost of myself..
that's why i always regret for coming to SESTER.
you know pakcik,
i can make up for the PMR because of you.
i want you to be proud having a student like me.
but, when you are not at my side,
i failed to grab the success.
your inspiring words make me become bold even though it's harsh

Al-Manar said...

You left no name but I think I can guess the writer.
It is good to realise our follies in the past but life is not all regrets. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. It is time to wake up and do something concrete for your future.You have not done badly. Improve on what you are not happy about. Get on with it. I am always around if you need to seek outside views. Good luck from Pakcik