Monday, September 23, 2013


So, as you all know my school came up second place in a national level competition which we have been gearing for since last year. The prizes? RM3.5K, Microsoft Surface, trophy and certificate.

Almost a year of hard work and thousands of ringgit (trust me, that 3.5K times 6 or 7 to get the amount that we spent for to get into the national level) and the energy and time by everybody in the school (not just the teachers and students but parents and staff) to put our school at par with 15 other schools all over Malaysia.

How I felt couldn’t even justify the sleeplessness of keying in data (since I’m Guru Nilam so that means I have to key in volume of books read by every students in the school for both BM and BI from January until the end of the school semester) for 2012 and 2013. The increment of my spectacles’ power seemed belittled by the rewards that we got from the competition.

What I gained from the competition was not from the crowning moment itself but the ‘Bengkel Kerja’ a day before the actual event where library teacher from the school selected needed to demonstrate and justify why their school was selected to represent the state. Corporate video and powerpoint presentation flashed through and the recurring pattern was how every school highlight their participation and excellence in all aspects from district, state and national level for both students and teachers. I felt like I was in some bid to host the2020 Olympics. Every school brought forward their achievements and kept pasting it at our faces like their lives depended on it. Where was the school built for nurturing children instead of a factory to produce students who get straight As and make their mark in sports and other academic competition?

And then we are worrying about how our students have no balance between work and play. And how during exam fever, we heard stories of suicidal teenagers and teenage runaways who just could not cope with the pressure of excelling to their fullest potential. How stressed it is to be the pillar of hope by parents and teachers alike who pushed these kids (they may be big physically but deep inside they are still children who like bubble gum and cartoons) who always reminded these children the importance of studying and playing in sports but forgetting that these children are in fact, children, who need comforting voice telling them that “Hey, it’s okay to fail once or while” and “It’s not the end of the world” if they didn’t get that number one spot in the classroom or if they didn’t get first place in that competition. I looked at the corporate video and I could taste bile in my throat. How I would not subject my kids to torturous routine that makes children today unable to enjoy their childhood. Seriously, how many kids today have the time to watch the rainbow or enjoy looking up the stars at night? They are more worried about missing their extra classes and weekend tuition.

Such a sad and sorry state of children today. Makes me think a thousand times about bringing one into the world. Why would I want to bring a child up just to bring him/her down with high expectation and unrealistic hopes placed upon his/her little soul? Unfortunately, that’s the reality today and by the way the society is putting emphasis on overall excellence, I think it is still a long shot until we finally realized we are going backwards instead of forward.

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