This NST report (Wednesday Oct 31) headlined "144 truants rounded up" caught my eye.
Now that's a huge number playing truant. But the report did not say whether all 144 students - in the Pudu and Keramat areas - were caught in one day or over a period of time under the ministry's "Jom Ke Sekolah" operation to curb truancy.
The operation, with the co-operation of the police, was "planned" since August. I suppose it was only carried out on Wednesday. So, I assume on that one day, 144 students were caught.
Twenty-two in Pudu and 120 in Keramat!
Tell me that's not worrying.
If the ministry does not conduct investigations, then I think the whole lot of them should move over, move out or be removed. Starting from the top. Ok, I am so harsh this morning. But I am just wondering what the hell is going on.
And I am so tempted to start talking about "when I was in school, back then....." But, I suppose that's for another time, another day.
Meanwhile, here's the NST story.
What hit me was the reason given by the students -- "that lessons were not conducted so there is really nothing to do."
So, the kids can't go home for fear that their parents will go ballistic. So the only other option is to lepak at the malls.
144 students not in school.
Teachers not teaching.
I know this is not an isolated case. And I think you all know that too.
Ok...so maybe the kids were lying to the police. Doesn't the ministry want to get to the bottom of this?
You caught the students. They told you their reason. Go investigate. Go to the schools. It is a serious problem.
I know of other (reputable) schools where the teachers are not in class, teaching, so the students feel so uninspired, so demoralised, so BORED. So they either stroll into school way after the clock-in time or they, simply skip school.
I know that for a fact.
Now don't get me started on teachers holding tuition classes. Hey, I have no problem if teachers want to make that extra cash to help with their household expenditure, what with rising living costs and all that.
But if you think teaching is a lowly-paid job without any upward careeer prospects or mobility, then it is not for you. Go be a full-time tuition teacher. There's a lot of money there, I'm sure.
Don't make teaching in school your part-time vocation.
The students are the ones to suffer.
And yes, in some schools, teachers are not conducting lessons.
Tell me if that's ok.