It is exam time. Last week 481,424 children were reported to have started sitting for their PMR examination. And in a fortnight’s time about 400,000 will sit for SPM examination. We hear all the noises made by parents, particularly those who are at this game for the first time. Children, who are right now in the middle of PMR exam, sat for their UPSR exam three years ago, and will face their SPM exam in two years’ time. It is exam after exam, a worry after another.
What comes to my mind is how many of these children give their families worrying time. These are the fortunate ones, being loved and cared for. Little is said about those whose performance is no skin off anyone’s nose.
Every where in our country are homes for the orphans and children of the less privileged families. Those who have been following this blog have read about one home oficially open last year. It is just one kilometer away and is on the same stretch of coastal road. From the very start Almanar has been involved in one way or another with a small number of its inmates. And less than a month ago, Pakcik was handed a new group of 20 Form One children. This group is supposed to consist of the better children selected from a larger group. In two years’ time this group will be facing their PMR exam. What can Almanar do to help these children on top of what they are taught in school?
Now let us have a look at their last year's UPSR exam results after six years in primary schools in various parts of the state. The following list shows the performance of these twenty children, ten boys (number with ‘b’) and ten girls (number with ‘g’).
Results for 20 children in their UPSR exam sat in 2011
Kef : Kefahaman ; Pen : Penulisan
No Eng Maths Sc BM BM
(Kef ) (Pen) Total score
1 g A C B A A 3A 1B 1C
2 g C A B A A 3A 1B 1C
3 b B B B A A 2A 3B
4 g C B B A A 2A 2B 1C
5 b B C A A B 2A 2B 1C
6 g C C B A A 2A 1B 2C
7 g C B B B A 1A 3B 1C
8 g B C C B A 1A 2B 2C
9 g C D C B A 1A 1B 2C 1D
10 g C B B B C 3B 2C
11 b C C B B B 3B 2C
12 b C C B B B 3B 2C
13 b C C C C B 1B 4C
14 b C C D C C 4C 1D
15 b C C D C C 4C 1D
16 g D C D C C 3C 2D
17 b D C C D E 2C 2D 1E
18 b D D E C C 1C 2D 1E
19 g C E D C D 2C 2D 1E
20 b D C E E E 1C 1D 3E
Watch the performance of the last seven children, five boys and two girls. It is C’s and D’s, even E’s as well. I shudder at the thought of those not selected for Almanar’s help. The above list shows one girl being good enough to score A-grade in English.
When I see this kind of performance what comes to mind is how lucky our children are.
Who really cares for the future of the above children? We get jittery when an exam time comes. Those children grow up without creating jitters to any body.
On the first day of their attendance at Almanar Pakcik discovered SIX children with eye-sight problems. At the end of their second day at Almanar Pakcik drove four of them to an optometrist. Another two were not well that day and will get their glasses in due course. Now watch how the first four smile outside the optometrist with glasses on for the first time ever.
This done, the greatest challenge is whether this group can be motivated to study? Should I be worried over their academic future because they are not of my flesh and blood?
While we were waiting for the glasses to be ready at the optometrist one of the girls popped out this question; “Pakcik dah lupa saya? (Have you forgotten me Pakcik?)
I was pleasantly surprised to be told by this girl that two moths before her UPSR examination last year she joined a group of about twenty children selected six months earlier for extra tuition in English and Maths. The primary school had requested Pakcik’s help for a weekly class there. I obliged the school, doing the twenty-minute drive there every Wednesday afternoon. Late as it was to join the group, this girl managed to score an A-grade in English in her UPSR. Now I remember this girl. Not among the top UPSR scorers then but she is the one on top of the list above. Her father is an invalid and life is hard for her family. My gut feeling tells me that this girl is a spark, a bright spot in that group. She may, hopefully, ignite the rest.
As we fear our own children not getting all A’s, spare a thought for these poor childrenBerkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.