( C ) Of reading books Vs
How right Awang Goneng is. He said ‘hold on tight’
‘They probably don't read a book in a week because of tiredness and minyak Cap Kapak (for the aching limbs)’
I know, by comparison with children in other big towns, how much love for reading is among the children in my part of the country. I look at the library of a club in Kuala Lumpur and marvel at the large number of members’ children busy returning and borrowing books, each with more than one copy in hand. I visit the beautiful library of my famed bandaraya and can only draw my famous sigh at the pathetic scene.
The so-called ‘c-cafés’ are found in all the corners of my neighbourhood. They exist even in the midst of low cost housing estates. There is money to be made and the operators have no qualm over the damage their private enterprise does to the young kids. It is a common sight to see children from primary schools spending whatever little pocket money they have at these places, sometimes during school hours. Here I would like to relate a case involving a young brother of a pupil at Almanar.
One day a Form 2 pupil moaned over his failure to persuade his Form 1 younger brother to attend tuition class at Almanar, being so hooked up on computer games with friends. Whatever few cents he receives every morning from his single mother, who worked as a helper in a teacher’s home to supplement the small monthly allowance from Social and Welfare Department, would be spent on computer games. Not enough, the boy worked part-time helping to do the dishes at a food-stall nearby, just to earn a few ringgits, all for the computer games.
And now this rich state is applauded for having started distributing computers to school children. I would have thought the students at the universities ( of ‘taraf anatara bansa’, no doubt) have greater needs for them.
We have three desk tops at Almanar for children to work on. Of late I have to begin tight control over these computers after realising that, among other things, the computers were on to provide ‘music while you work’ - working indeed! Furthermore, seeing the many prohibited items sold at ‘pasar malam’, I fear other uses/misuses of our computers; these are not unlikely hearing what the children have been saying to Pakcik. They are a clever lot on the novel uses of computers and hand-phone with cameras. These young kids are one up on Pakcik on taking pictures and sharing them through friends’ hand-phones. I only know how to operate a less-than-one-hundred ringgit Nokia, which is complicated enough for me. One day a boy confided that he had just received a picture of xxxxx through his hand phone. The subject was a known pupil of the same school! In fact the pleasure of sharing such pictures is common among his friends, girls no exception. I shuddered at the disclosure.
In short, who wants to read books which takes ages to read and understand when a computer can give all the things one needs without having a stack of reference books to page through.
Of ‘tiredness and minyak cap lapak’, I think ‘minyak cap rimaa’ is better.
Sebagai akhir kalam, Pakcik would like to apologise if dear readers, especially teachers, do not share the views expressed above.
Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.