29 July 2010

With a sigh ( Pt 3 ) - good news ?

Two news items left me heaving sighs of different kinds.


A) ‘Sekolah pelajar hamil tetap ditubuh’ ran the head-line in a local daily.

That is truly fantastic. This will help girls who have prematurely ventured into marital activities. The presence of this ‘special’ school will offer these young mothers a chance to continue their studies - especially in Biology, I suppose!

Thinking aloud, if such a school proves successful, with many of them churned out as experienced gynecologists by our universities of ‘ bertaraf antara bangsa’, many more girls may see this as an incentive to ‘qualify’ joining this very exclusive school – (nauzu billah)

At the end of our class one day last week a Form 1 girl whispered gleefully to Pakcik that a Form 3 girl she knew had given birth prematurely and was now out of school; and she is from a poor family. So would the ‘dream’ school solve such a family’s problem?

Shouldn’t I draw a sigh of relief that someone has found a brilliant answer to one of our increasingly serious social ailments?


(B) ‘Kekalkan UPSR, PMR’ runs the front-page head-line of another daily.

Malay Consultative Council (Majlis Perundingan Melayu) which represents 126 Malay NGO’s wants that the two current examinations be retained.

The final decision has not been made but I hope the power that be will hear the voice of this large group. Thus far I have refrained myself from making any comments on the current hotly debated issue.

We have been having enough issues with our current education system to delve into more. To me our efforts ought, in the first place, to be coordinated to improve the quality and competency of present and future teachers to enable them to be truly qualified to teach effectively the subjects they are assigned to. Secondly, the principles and heads of schools must have the skill in managing an organisation. We can win half the battle by improving weaknesses in these two areas. Improving salary scales and more opportunities for promotion may not help much. It is worse if promotions are politically influenced and nepotism is allowed to flourish. How often do we hear that ‘so-and-so should have never been there’?

Teachers introduced into schools around 1950's and 1960’s were a class of their own. They were trained at various centres in Malaya (then) including the two very famous training colleges in Tanjong Malim and Malacca, and the two premier colleges in Kirkby and Wolverhampton. At the end of their training they were credited with just diplomas, not the glorified degrees of today. But they were excellent and dedicated educationists.

What did the authority in those years do right? Do we have to reinvent the wheel? Kereta lembu used to have hard wooden wheels. If there is one today it would have tyres and tubes, or tubeless for that matter!

Many would not agree with my comments. Of course we are all entitled to make. After all I was never trained to be an educationist. But I am sure many would join me in giving a salute to MCC or MPM for their stance.

And here I heave a sigh of relief.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk Kemanusiaan


Wan Sharif said...

Salam Bang Hassan,
As a rejected teacher who has been observing at the situation for the past 10 + years.. I have to agree with you that a coordinated effort should be taken :-
1.to improve the quality and competency of present and future teachers to enable them to be truly qualified to teach effectively the subjects they are assigned to.
2. to equip the principles and heads of schools with the skill in managing an organisation.
Saya tak nampak ada kesungguhan di pihak berwajib untuk melakukan kedua ini dengan baik..

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Dear Pakcik,
Perhaps they should have a vet too in that "special" school. Effective on animals so.... roar! roar! roar!

Al-Manar said...

Dear Ayah Wan
If a person with qualifications like you was a 'rejected' tacher is there any wonder the situation has become what it is today? Now we can make comments but who cares?
Buat sedap mulut saja ayah wan.

Al-Manar said...

But of course we will have many vets, imported from Englis-speaking countries, one for each student. It ill be a roaring success ... not a laughing matter.

Wan Sharif said...

Honest Abang Hassan,
I was rejected twice.. first when I applied together with the other 26 non-Malays that complete the 79 USM class of Maths, Physics with education.. on the ground that I was not bonded .. (Pst.. They did not give me scholarship or dermasiswa.. I took Trengganu Yayasan's Loan to see me through my study).
In July 79, I re-applied only to be told.. that I was fooling around and would leave the vocation or profession the moment I got a better offer.. I disagreed and submit the application..
Then in early Sept 79, I revisited the Education Ministry and asked the attending officer how many bumiputera Physics and Mathematics (double major)teachers do they have.. I think the number was less than 10 at that time.. Seeing that I was serious they called me to start teaching in October when the normal schooling term was about to be completed.. the idea then that I was to tend to those taking MCE/HSC (in October??!!).. after I was already employed by Petronas (after an hour interview and was asked to report next Monday)..

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Dear Pakcik,
Dengan izin, mintak laluan sikit ye?

Auw! Kesiang ke Ayoh Wang! Sampai hati deme tu reject Ayoh Wang kita nok jadi guru. My Mama was actually in a similar boat. She wasn't on scholarship/bond but on Mara loan so upon graduation wasn't given any posting. The ministry people told her that at that time, the country had too many science graduates but if she want, she could be re-trained to teach English, BM or literature. She went to do TESL for a week or so. Then she joined a research institute. End of story.
Oh, in KL, Mama's organisation runs voluntary tuition classes for underprivileged and refugee kids. Kalu Ayoh Wang rasa nok ngajor, please email us. Boleh diatur.

Terima kasih ye Pakcik Hassan! roar! roar! roar!

Al-Manar said...

CiS and Ayah Wan

Now we begin to see one of the reasons why our schools today lack teachers of quality, competent in English and Science. For dragging their feet the Ministry lost the opportunity to engage candidates like CiS’s mother and Ayah Wan. There must be many more. Good candidates have ready takers. Siapa cepat dia dapat. In my own case I applied for a government scholarship and was told there was none. And I was offered a better one. So I made no noise, not even a MEOW, let alone a ROAR

ninotaziz said...

I have to inject my 2-sen worth here.

Firstly, Pakcik, I was mildly shocked to see that flicker of sarcasm in the first matter...I suppose the whole idea was too upsetting...

Secondly, I would like to laud the 'old school' teachers. I would like to pay tribute to my Grandma who after lulus darjah enam went on to teach for four decades. To late grandfather, a Tanjung Malim graduate who was the first gurubesar sekolah felda in Lurah Bilut where the conditions were less than basic...to my mother who loved teaching so much, for a while, she was lost after retirement until she dicovered the computer, to my uncles and aunties and two sisters who are teachers today...what a noble line of work.

To Sister Gabriella, Mrs Khaw and Prof Basseville - some of my favorite teachers. Sir Peter - my daughter's Physic and Addmath tuition teacher. The excellent teachers at our kids' kindergarten. To Pakcik of Al Manar.

And yet I cringe when I see and hear what some teachers do and say in schools today. So yes, in some areas, quality and competency is sorely lacking.

The question is, what do we do?

As long as we continue to debate on politically induced issues and avoid the crux of the matter ie quality of the teachers and the administration of schools, things will never change. Some bloggers even say this is why foreign investors are dwindling, our kids are not competitive etc. Some say that our education system is designed consciously or unconciously to produce 'unthinkers'...

I refuse to believe that.

kaykuala said...

Dear Pak Cik,

A)Half Way House for Wayward Girls: While this is specifically to house those with unwanted pregnancies, it presents a blessing on one aspect. It may help reduce occurrences of abandoned babies, I think.
A pregnant girl at least knows she is not the only one in such a predicament and may try her best to let the baby live. This is a decision done even without being an inmate there. It is just based on her awareness that she is not alone.
It is only when they panicked and didn’t know what to do that they took the easy way out and abandoned or killed the baby.
This is a bit tricky as invariably education would impact on language, race and culture and gets mired in politics and political bickering.
It would also impact on business as an exam supports an industry - the authors who write the Revision and Q&A books, the publishers, the printers, the tuition teachers etc. These are those who oppose the abolition of exams.
So it is not just to have or not to have exams.

Al-Manar said...

Do you read sarcasm there? Perhaps I belong to one group of the old school who do not want to hear the mention of premarital pregnancy. All efforts should focus on avoiding that from happening in the first instance. Likewise, in the education issue, improving teaching quality and school administration should take priority before going witch-hunting on what has gone wrong in other areas.
So, madam, you belong to a family thick in education as their profession. That tells Pakcik a lot about you. Your late grandfather and my late father-in-law, whom I never met, could have crossed their paths at SITC Tg Malim. He was a lecturer there with the great Za’aba until 1951 when he joined the first batch of lecturers at Kirkby. Alive, my late father-in-law would be about 92 now.

Sir Pök Déng said...

Dunia kembali seperti dulu bukan? Seperti putaran roda. Mahu kiamat sudah.

Al-Manar said...

Akhi Hank,

You make your points clear as always. The half-way house for the wayward and home for the babies are commendable as you said. To advance one step ahead by establishing a school for the mothers is not something acceptable to all, hence the heat generated in the dailies recently. As for the UPSR/PMR examinations it is, as you say, not just to have or not to have exams. The argument will go on.

In both issues every one has his preference. The final decision is not going to please all.

Al-Manar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Al-Manar said...

Pok Deng, Sir

Memang berputar. Tetapi munkinkah satu masa putaran itu terbalik?

Salaam hormat.

ninotaziz said...

Dear Pakcik,

Just to set the record straight, I am also of the old school who oppose pre-marital sex. It is an continuous task[with the environment being what it is today]of talking straight, highlighting, leaving the newspaper open on relevant pages, etc with the two teenagers - and yet not wanting to scare the younger three.

How easy it was for my mother...she just told me simply before leaving for overseas - get your licence first....that was it!

Yes, we had a lot of guru and panglima in our family. I love it that I can recite my family tree seven generations back. Tapi untuk kenang-kenagan saja dan rasa sayang pada bangsa. Not more than that.

My grandpa would have been there around that time. I will check with my grandma when I see her this week. She is today 84 so arwah To'Ki would have been 88 this year.

Al-Manar said...

Indeed I already HAD the record straight when I said,"That tells Pakcik a lot about you" - nothing but a compliment, my way.
Your GM is about my MIL's age.The plot thickens.If it is not meant for disclosure, when you have done your checking, feel free to use my e-mail on my profile page.

ninotaziz said...

Dear Pakcik,

Thank you. I will surely update you. For now, here is a short post from my NINOTAZIZ blog in 2006:


norzah said...

Much of what I want to say has already been said, Akhi Pakcik, so i'll venture just a brief comment. The halfway house for unmarried mothers is just like the baby hatch concept- probably useful as an emergency measure to stop unwanted babies from being thrown away. Like a relief drug it doesn't stem out the ailment. Parents must play their role like before to prevent "the squirrels from attacking the ripe fruits".
As for the UPSR and PMR exams, some form of exams is required to check the educational std achieved by students. Question is whether current exams check the desired standard and are teachers
giving quality education to achieve that standard. Now, teachers will also be more interested in politics than teaching!

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Bang Hassan,
Dengan izin, mintak laluan sikit ye?..
Dear Cis.. thank you for the offer.. It would be difficult now after 30+ years.. I have to lengthened the steps when solving the add math for my son's homework.. my son even commented that the steps I used to solve add maths problems were way too short, complicated and would be beyond him.. Ouch.. I desperately paid RM 50 /hr to get personal tutor for a month just to get my son through his SPM add math.. see I could not even teach my own son.. some mathematics teacher I am he, he..

Bang Hassan,
I believed it is not that theKementerian did not want us then.. maybe it was just the officer-in-charge thought it was too much hassle to rope in those non-bonded teachers ....
I am following the nice exchanges between you and your other readers.. nice and ..
Terima kasih Bang Hassan memberi laluan..

Al-Manar said...

Der Norzah,
The two issues made news items yesterday. Terenganu had 611 llegitimate children last year compared to 230 just four years ealier. If agreed a new exam called Peperiksaan Berasakan Sekolah (PBS) will be introduced by the Ministry.
You had long experience at high levels in various ministries and I respect your views. We seem to choose a lot of uncommon grounds to disagree, although the objective is common to all. You put it nicely in your latest post on UMNO/PAS coomon objective, if there is any.
On many of these issues we seem to be beating a dead horse. That is just my humble view.

Al-Manar said...


Thank you. I have visited the other posting of yours.


Al-Manar said...

Dear Ayah Wan

By all means you may address any one leaving comments here.
Abang Hassan

ninotaziz said...

Dear Pakcik,

If you have the time, singgahlah at www.poemsbyninotaziz.blogspot.com this week. The poem The Hand was inspired by people like you..


Al-Manar said...

It is simple and beautiful. You are too kind.
Salaam from Pakcik

ninotaziz said...

Dear Pakcik,

Your sajak was lovely. Ayoh Wang and I gave our translation for the benefit of the many poets who do not know Malay there.

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and your family, and extended family - Selamat Menyambut Ramadhan and selamat berpuasa.

Al-Manar said...

I wanted to seek your permission before posting the latest entry,Welcoming Ramadhan, but I do not have your e-mail address. I hope I have not offended you.
Selamat berpuasa.

Anonymous said...

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ARZ said...

Pak Cik,

A belated wish for a meaningful month of Ramadzan for you and Mak Cik.
Your poem....ah...short and sweet.