by The Malaysian Dill
Recently a lot of Malay parents have been up in arms over the postings of a certain teacher, on her FB page and blog. I would like to share my two cents’ worth by recounting the story of my son.
My son will be finishing his hospital attachment soon, graduating with a Diploma in Nursing from a local polytechnic, and then on to National Service. He was named on the Dean's List, came second in the Nursing World Skills, and overall a well-adjusted student.
But, this was not always the case...
In primary school his form teacher disliked him. He fit the profile of a student from a delinquent parent – or, in other words, "Mak bapak yang heng sana heng sini (read: father and mother who both run here and there), who should have been wearing a condom before attempting to breed".
My son had an extremely short attention span, never did his homework, never handed up his work, and could not sit still in class. He was bullied and called names in school, and once even stole $50 from a classmate. He justified his actions as retaliation for the other student stealing his book but his teacher was "too busy" to request the student’s parents to replace the book despite my repeated complaints and my son's dismay at losing a brand new favourite storybook.
Obviously, he did not fit the system. And it was not just the academics. What saddened me most was him losing interest in studying altogether because the teachers kept criticising him to me and the comments were downright demoralizing.
That is when I took him out of school and homeschooled him up myself until his ‘O’ Levels. And I did this for all four of my children.
It was a radical decision. None of my friends and no one I knew personally practised homeschooling. I had no support system. I would wing it on many occasions. Blame it on my protective mother's instinct and an unshakeable (and as yet unproven) belief that my son has a brilliant mind – that ALL my kids have brilliant minds, and by God, no one will tell them otherwise!
However, dear parents, I essentially agree with the spirit of the post – that parents need to take FULL responsibility for their child's education. And in this case, this teacher who posted her views was exactly like my child's ex-teacher – a young person who was an inexperienced teacher yet arrogant. In my case, I stopped complaining to the school because it was pointless. The truth is that MOE is always short of teachers and you cannot always hire truly dedicated, selfless, loving educators who will believe in your child and you, especially if he cannot read at Primary 1.
These types of teachers will always exist. It does not matter that she quit, because there are loads of them out there doing damage to your kids by trashing you as parents and looking down on your children – especially looking down on Malays and the minority races.
The way forward then is to believe in your kids as their parents, teach them morals, teach them to love themselves, be present and supportive of their academic learning, and celebrate their achievements. In the end, the educated person is someone who will bring the most benefit to others, and serve mankind in the way of the Lord.
May all our families be blessed.