Saturday, November 17, 2007

Malaysian teachers: there's still hope yet

Today is the last day of the school term for 2007. Parents all over the country with children in boarding schools were out in force making their way to these schools to fetch back their children.

With Anas, in Batu Kikir, being taken care of by a friend, I made my way to Kuala Kubu Bharu MRSM to collect Syafiq.

Before leaving the college, I stopped by at the administrative block to meet up with the college principal. She is the new principal, having just been transferred here since early of this month. So, my visit was partly a ‘courtesy call’ to get to know the new head. But it was also to discuss Syafiq’s running into trouble with the school authority – like any normal teenagers would.

As I approached the door to her room, I must admit that I was half expecting to be greeted by a matron-like, stern-looking grumpy old lady. You know, like the mean, cane-wielding teacher from the Lat cartoon character.

To my surprise, what I found was this mild-mannered lady who nevertheless exudes confidence as she speaks. She was a good listener, and it showed. For every time after I had finished my piece, she would give her views and comments, which just seem to hit the right notes.

Even on the issue of disallowing students to use hand phones in college – always a sore point for me, what with two of Syafiq’s hand phone already being confiscated – she managed to not irritate me with some feebleminded reasons I have heard before such as “hand phones encourages students to show of…bla, bla, bla”.

But what really impressed me was that she came across as being sincere. She also displayed something of a rarity among the current crop of teachers, which is a passion for teaching. Even though she is the principal, she told me that “saya tak suka dipanggil puan”. Saya lebih suka dengan panggilan cikgu, sahaja, sebab saya seorang pendidik. Teaching is my passion”.

When I asked for her phone number, she volunteered it without a moment’s hesitation. She even requested for my number. Later on, whilst driving back home, I received a phone call. It was the principal “just checking” to see if the number I had given her was correct. Now, how’s that for sincerity?

I know I have always had doubts with the ability of our teachers to truly “teach” our children in every sense of the word. Unlike those in the 1960s or even 70s, the current breed are merely salary earners. They lack passion, competency and, as a result, respect from students and the community at large. But my meeting with this madam principal has proven that there is still hope yet for the teaching profession – and more importantly, our children.

I am a happy parent for that. And just by the look on Syafiq’s face, I think this teacher has managed to convince him to be a better student. Here’s hoping to a better year in 2008, Syafiq. Together, with the support of your madam principal, let’s make sure that it culminates in an excellent result in your SPM, insyaALlah.


Syafiq@TorresMalaysia said...

my comment bout this article is..
my brand new principal is very carring n nicer than mr.safar wo is very cruel..
abah, syafiq janji akn jadi anak yg soleh n jadi yg terbaik..syafiq akn jadikan pransang drpd pengetua n abah sbg titik permulaan kpd syafiq untuk jd org yg berguna d masa hdapan..smoga dgn do'a n kberkatan drpd abah n ummi n dsusuli dgn usaha syafiq untuk berubah akan mnjadikan syafiq anak yg ummi n abah inginkan slama ini..
i love u ummi n abah..=]

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Syafiq my son

You are intelligent and have always been a good son. It's heartening to read your pledge and commitments.

Abah, Umi, and the new pengetua will always be there to support you. But what's more important is for you to be clear in your mind what you want to achieve,and how successful you want to be.

I know you will work hard, my son. And when you do that, a bright future awaits, insyaALlah.


My Dearest Syafiq ,

From your words I know you are a good boy . Always respect your parents and teachers . I really LOVE you Syafiq.

Dear Azizi ,

I was in Bandar Baru Bangi on the 18th and 19th of November untuk angkat nikah anak saya , maaf tak kontek saudara kerana program ketat sikit . Melalui surat ini saya nak jemput your family to my house on the 26th November (Monday)for the kenduri kawin.....kenduri kecil saja utk sanak-saudara dan kekawan...makan ulam sambal belacan saja . Incase you are around Sungai Petani , please don't miss this small kenduri.

It's just another 5 more days.

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Salam Pak Cha

Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement for my son, Syafiq.

Thanks also for your kenduri invitation. It's an honour to be invited. Unfortunately, I shall be in PD at that time organizing a seminar.

InsyaALlah I will drop by at your place to have ulam sambal belacan by the river one day.