11 August 2011

With a sigh ( Pt 8b ) – Bring in the clowns

Kotastar left the following comment against my post ‘With a sigh ( Pt 8a )’. The gentleman behind Kotastar, suffice to say a product of the famed Kirkby teachers’ training college, explained briefly how a teacher of his era was trained. Here is what he wrote:

‘Thank you for remembering Kirkby and Brinsford Lodge. Yes they were two teacher training colleges set up for Malaysians overseas. Successful for that period.Don't know if the same experiment will show similar result. Just to enlighten. We started reading the 'Chong Beng' book and ended with almost all editions of Shakespeare and not to mention other literary books the likes of authors Thomas Hardy, Conrad, L. Stevenson and other literary figures. Only then, we were able to speak and write English as it was. Maybe as good as the Queen's English itself. So no short cut, no brief induction courses will push our teachers and students to that height. It took good six /seven years of hard learning, practice AND 2+ years overseas in native English speaking countries to get us to that position.Similarly people like Shahnon Ahmad,Kassim Ahmad ( two Malay writers) English educated with strong command of Malay Language to be active and well known writers. Mind you English Literature and Sastera were two strong subjects in school.

Next,I attended our PAMKM (Persatuan Alumni Maktab Kirkby Malaysia last Tuesday at KL and surprisingly yr name was mentioned after I brought up your father- in- law's name. Dato Baharudin , Dr Shaari Isa and others know of your activities at AlManar. Our President Tan Sri Yahya too was surprised how an engineer got into such 'predicament' but with success. We referred to your 'kampong' near Tg Malim plus the durian tree.Ha.Ha what a small world. Just to let you know the old Collegians are still 'active' though many have even touch the octogenarian period.We are proud to be able to share your success story. Wishing that the teaching and learning of Malay and English too will find the lights in the tunnel.
Salam to you and 'family' Selamat Berpuasa dan Selamat Menyambut Shawal.”

I am truly humbled by what Kotastar related in the second part of his comment. A few truly learned people talked about Almanar and the person running it. It is praise indeed to be commented in that vein by these people. But my fear is that this may be a case of ‘Indah khabar dari rupa’.

Kotastar, you were not certain whether the ‘experiment’ you underwent to be a teacher in English would still produce good results today. I maintain we need not reinvent the wheel. Our ‘cerdik pandai’ have experimented and failed badly. And now we do not know how and where we have gone wrong that the result has been all but wrong. So now bring in the clowns.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.


kotastar said...

Sdr AlManar,

Just returned from breaking fast and prayer at a former student's business centre at Jalan Ampang KL and happily I read your latest posting. How happy and proud we are to see our students successful in their career.That is the biggest reward and they remembering us. Your AlManar likewise continue to heap gratitude from former students though sadly we know even from far less from those who should have come forward in the first instance.Your signature signing off truly reasons for all things. Yet we did mention that Uni Sultan Idris should find time to see what AlManar is producing. InsyaAllah. Thanks

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Dear Pakcik,
There is one human in our house who did science with education, majored in maths, minor chemistry, then was picked by ministry to do immersion course in TESL. Halfway through the course, she was offered a job not in teaching but in publishing of research work. She's a lady of leisure who dabbles in charity now. Should we persuade her to pick up where she left off? purrrr *giggles*

Al-Manar said...


I am lost for words to thank you enough for all the complimentary remarks given so generously. What we want is icreased efforts to meet the need to improve these less fortunate children.

Selamat berpuasa. Munkinkah berhariraya di ibu negara tahun ini?

Al-Manar said...


Publishing, charity and leisure hours! I think that is an enviable combination to start with. Going back to pick up where she left with uncertain future sounds a waste of good life, unlike you having the benefit of so many lives to waste. Charity, as long as one has the means, is never something that one can scoff at.
Wish you and the whole house selamat berpuasa. Jangan curi tulang.

Anonymous said...

AK, I wanted to respond to your(Pt 8a)Bad English in the morning of 9/8/11. Unfortunately I had a surprise visitor an old hostel-mate of early 1950s and who was also my wife’s classmate. We had not met for umpteen years and the great surprise was that he brought along a frozen organic chicken for us, as a gesture for the holy month of Ramadhan. After almost 2hrs of chit chatting about the old days he left with a few ripe mangoes from the tree in front of our house.

That visit interrupted me until now. AK, talking about school and English, I am not trying to project you as a extraordinary person. We became friends from the very day you stepped into Std V11(Form 3 now) from the Arabic school, sitting at a desk next to mine. You hardly knew English and we made fun of you. But I must take my hat off to you for your hard work in 3 yrs solid that you not only topped the class in almost all subjects sat for Cambridge School Certificate 1955 but you were the only candidate offering Add Maths which was foreign to all of us - and you scored A for that too. I am not at all surprised at your dedication to have spent 17 years to help Anak Bangsa from poor families in particular, without personal & materials gains.You have been fated by the ALMIGHTY to render services to the poor and HE has given you the strength to carry on. Well, AK, I can only give you moral support. Before I end this I want to record our general feeling towards out old dedicated teachers most of whom have gone. Those were real teachers who spent their time with us in the classrooms as well as on the school field. Chamapions in sport activities in the state were monopolized by children of our school in the 50s and 60s. Our teachers then made it possible for to study and be active on the field. Alfathihah to the Muslim ones.

Cheerio from ZUL.

Al-Manar said...


Leave the old stories to rest. What we need to worry is our present and what is left of it. Hope after Raya we can round up whoever left of the 'gang' for lunch. Then we will talk about Mrs Paton, the English teacher, and how your pen kept rolling down onto the floor!

Selamat puasa, Zul, and Selamat Hari Raya ( no more card - can't afford the costly postage any more )