Last week, my colleague SM was very perturbed. Usually, I’ll meet up with him for a little chat in between my driving breaks. He’s a walking encyclopedia of sort. Most of his waking hours are spent watching Fox News, Discovery, BBC, National Geographic channels, Russian Times etc. No wonder he knows everything in the world especially the financial market, Euro crisis, Japanese, Taiwanese mafia, Japan, Hong Kong and our own train systems etc. I don’t watch t.v.
That day, SM was rather subdued. He was not his usual self. He confided to me his daughter having some problem in school. I tried to advise him to speak to the school directly but he refused. He just wanted me to pen a letter about his daughter’s problem to the school. He would send it as an email.
I just whipped out my stylus from my shirt pocket and within 20 mins started penning a short memo just to assuage his constant whining. After few versions, he settled for the following final copy (edited copy for this blog)
“I’m a concerned parent of my once bubbly happy-go-lucky daughter who is now on her second year in your Langgar Polytechnic reading Retard Behavioral Science.
Of late, I have noticed a slight worrisome change in her outward demeanor. She is no longer the lovely daughter I once knew. She refused to confide in me.
Nevertheless, my wife managed to draw out the cause of her recent abnormality. It seems that lately, she was under much duress. Apparently, she is the target of much public humiliation by one of her lecturers – one new hot spicy lady lecturer with colorfully tainted hair. The latter has an irresistible penchant of picking on her in class much to her chagrin! As a young sensitive introverted lady, my once lovely daughter ‘s self esteem is impinged to the point of wretchedness.
In the circumstances, I appeal to your good self to intercede and pull her back from that bottomless pit she seems to be sliding into. Failing which might add to her woes leading to more damning emotional damages. I would greatly appreciate if a discreet investigation is initiated to reverse this relentless onslaught on my precious daughter’s fragile self-esteem by not publicly targeting her by the said lecturer.
I look forward to your favourable reply. I sincerely thank you for your assistance on this urgent matter.”
What’s the matter with our educators. They are amongst the highest paid in he civil service yet they pale in comparison to our teachers of yester years. I’m sure you have read recently of those teachers having up-close and personal with students. One of them – amongst the batch of 44 itchy monkeys was recently convicted in court, not with his student but an underaged professional. What about that disgraced MOE scholar in an UK university found with lots of objectionable materials? Male teacher up-close and personal with girl students and even female teacher with a boy student etc. You name it, they have it either way!
I may not be surprised if one day, we wake up to read headlines of mass orgy amongst them instead of inculcating nation building values and life’s intrinsic qualities to our future generations.
Teachers can break or make a student’s career. I’m speaking from my own experience. Thirty years ago, an extremely dedicated Englishman with a Masters degree in English from Oxford University came to teach us. Within one year – end of 1982, everyone in my class passed the General Paper. I scored distinction for my GP when my English never surpassed C6! It’s amazing when you consider the fact that I never had any private tuition and my parents are illiterate.
It really validates the Chinese saying, “名师岀高徒” – Excellent teacher produces excellent student. If the teacher is in perpetual itchy mode, will that teacher produce an excellent student?
Of course, there were many more dedicated teachers over the 13 years of my formal education. Some of my Chinese teachers imparting Chinese values I still fondly recall. Until today, I still remember my form teacher Mrs Baratham – wife of late Dr Gopal Baratham where she taught us to write good proper English and her history lessons on Malaya peninsula were always lively discussion. Dr Gopal Baratham was a neurosurgeon and a published author of poetry and short stories. He used to drop by at our school ECA on Saturdays.
Will you concur with me if I make a general statement here that most of our teachers are not as dedicated as those teachers in my time years ago or earlier. What do you think?