Friday, November 02, 2007

Jom Ke Sekolah

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. 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.


A Voice said...

I remember this jingle ... Mula2 ke Bata kemudian ke Sekolah.

But Bata is no more the prefered brand for today's kids. But mind you Bata makes the cheapest and comfortable sandals. BIla rosak, buang dan beli baru.

Abt kids being school, I had this experiance of taking care of my nephew at Sekolah Jln Gurney. Kids tend to be free doing ntg in class when teachers are having their meetings. WOnder why must it be held during class time? THis happened particularly often in the early part of the school year.

zaitgha said...


teachers not teaching or not even coming to class are really not new at all...heard these since my oldest boy started school...

year end exams just finished, all 3 of my boys begging me to let them stay home....when asked they say 'tak belajar buat apa pergi sekolah' oldest boy is in premier school here in Seremban, makes me wonder all the time...

cant the teachers at least organise something after the exam...those days we had debate/bahas, we had choral speaking or maybe just board games in the class...these can help the students to develop other skills beside learning for exams from the textbooks....

tak kan ini pun nak kena cakap kat cikgu2 kan??

Anonymous said...


Adam who is in Std 2 hasnt been going to school regularly since finishing his exams. According to him the teachers dont come to class anymore and the chilldren fight among themselves. There is only the class monitor to supervise them.

The other day his classmate snatched the glasses he had on and almost broke them.

He'd rather stay home and play with cousin. Ayra. I dont blame him.

It seems he is not the only one. I forced him to go to school on Monday. Only half the class turned up.

Anonymous said...

'a voice' mentioned Sekolah Jln Gurney.
GRS is a good school (or used to be a good school). I had my primary education there in the mid 60's with Mrs B.I. Robless and Miss Cho Seen Chok as the headmistress. We had very dedicated teachers back then.
Teachers today are a pampered lot. The Edu. Ministry has accomodated them exessively. Their pay cheques are getting fatter by the years and yet they want to moonlight by conducting tuition classes hence neglecting their job. Just look at the school parking area. You can see gleaming Vioses, Civics, Citys, Myvis, BMWs, Mercs and even MPVs and SUVs. They are now 'besar kepala'.
Saya ada nasihat untuk guru-guru semua. Jangan abaikan amanah yang diberikan kepada tuan-tuan.

Hi&Lo said...

An educationist once said, "There are no bad students, only bad teachers."

There are good teachers and great teachers. Good teachers bring out the best of their students. Great teachers see the potential in each student.

A good teacher works on the material she has. If a student is disinterested, she let him be. But a great teacher empathises and seeks to understand why the student is such.

The influence of the teacher is for eternity cos the students are at an impressionable age.

IBU said...

Last saturday, Idin had to go to school as "replacement day". Idin being Idin, forgot to inform us in advance. So we had to re-arrange quite a number of things to accommodate that (the major one was we all kena bangun awal to send him to school).

When we picked him up at 1pm, the first thing he 'reported' was "tak belajar langsung Bu! Wasting my Saturday only la!". Oh dear.... Even a boy could come to that simple conclusion.

This was supposed to be replacement for Hari Raya hols. What happened was, there were some teachers who turned up and some did not. The ones who did, did not teach any lesson or do any revision at all - despite the fact that final term exam was supposed to be week after.

Of course we could argue that the students could use that to do their own revision right? But hellloooo.... from the eyes of an 11 old boy who's current interest is to become a professional footballer, he would easily argue back that his football coaching session would be more relevant for him becoming a millionaire in the future than attending school on Saturday for nothing.

Idin sulked all the way home, not at all satisfied with the fact that he had sacrificed his saturday morning football session.

And the authorities are complaining about boys playing truant, not wanting to go to school?

What laaa....

Salt N Turmeric said...

Sis, i can feel the bahang all the waaayyy here. ;) hehe. sorry ye. usik aje. back to the teachers thingy, until now i believe tht teachers, they either make u or break u. thus the a and p for my spm. tsk tsk tsk.

Anonymous said...

My children had to face their year end exams immediately after the Hari Raya holidays.
How are they going to excel if the week before they were enjoying their 'balik kampong' and hardly did any revision?
Why does the school in a hurry to conduct the exams when there's another 4 weeks of schooling after the Hari Raya holidays???
I assume that the teachers have their own plans.
They are the ones who are already in year end holiday mood.
Teachers should relize that school holidays are for the students and not for them.
Teachers are paid 365 days a year.
Year end exams can be held a week before the year end holidays and teachers must come to school to mark the students papers during the holidays.
Saya ulangi nasihat saya kepada guru-guru. Jangan abaikan amanah yang diberikan kepada tuan-tuan.

a malaysian in riyadh said...

Sis Ena

My first school was Sultan Abdullah in Kuantan (a predominantly boys school). I remember the fierce looking HM, donning the Sikh turban, but otherwise a credit to the school. The annual sport days were always a glittering event, with parents attending in droves. Same with the annual prize giving days. They were plenty of wonderful entertainments provided by the 10-12 year old boys on stage, sometimes in drag (no choice what?). We learnt to sing “kookaburra sits in the old gum tree”, and write the lyrics line by line in our exercise book, and between the lines we drew our own patterns. I was very good at this and drawing in general. I remember at one time, my teacher asked me whether I was interested to do illustrations to accompany a famous children book. Before she gave the responsibility to me, she asked whether I could draw a fairy. I lied and said yes, because I badly wanted it. A few days later I showed the product to her. And she said “how come your fairy is without wings and magic wand?”, but she accepted it all the same. The good thing is when my Wan visited the school during the Parent-Meet-Teacher session, she proudly showed my work of art to her.

We experienced similar kind of situation in Anwar Al-Majd International School (managed by Labanese) Riyadh where we enrolled our children Arman and Ainaa from Sept 2006 to June 2007. But now our roles are as parents, and of course no sporting, singing and dancing in public.

Rather sadly we have yet to recapture the “feel good” sensation in Malaysian primary schools in the new Millenium.

Rockybru said...

I never did excel in (secondary) school but I didn't ponteng because we had discipline masters who were damn strict and were not afraid of the students. This was in the 70s and teachers were, well, respected (and sometimes feared) not just by the students but also by parents and members of the public (including the police).

When so many students play truant, something is really wrong with the school. Meaning, something is really wrong with the teachers at the school.

Unknown said...

Yes, the students refuse to go to school these days, especially when exams are over, and the teachers don't come to classes with the monitor being the boss.

Supervision by education officers is nil and basically the Headmaster has no control over the teachers.

The Education Ministry is at fault, and if nothing is done you can be assured our students will not only play truant but involve in other undesirable deeds.

The Education Minister should react and react fast.

Anonymous said...

The teachers are busy campaigning. Don't you know the UMNO gen assembly is just around the corner?

zorro said...

Ena, kids play truant because going to school is no more fun. School has become so stressful. The Ed. system needs a thorough re-engineering. As a teacher I try to avoid giving unnecessary homework. Once they are out of the school, some hours should be spent on revising what was learnt and not spend hours on homework dished out by sadistic teachers. Kids skip school when they do not do their homework. When lessons are not presented in an interesting manner, it becomes a drag. When this happens, the mind wonders and nothing is learnt. I remember teaching history on the Black Hole of calcutta to the tune of Bah Bah Black Sheep. The date of the event was in the chorus and even the weakest kid knew the year of this event.

Anonymous said...

Kak Ena,

My son just took his PMR and after Raya he went to school on alternate days. When I insisted he goes to school, he said : "what's the point Ma, all we did was to play football and board games. There are no other activity."

Not taking his side of the story - I called up the school to enquire what kind of activities they had. The teacher in charge admitted that they did not have much activities because the attendance is low.


When I pressed on again, why don't you arrange for some ceramah on career guidance etc - again the excuse was " susah nak jalankan sebab budak-budak ramai tak datang."

How can the kids WANT to go to school when they will be bored out of their skull without interesting activities ?

The way I see it - the kids get bored after a few hours of playing football or even chess. They were told to bring story books to read.

Those who can, stayed home from school where they have all the ammenities to keep them occupied. Those who couldn't, will ponteng to seek entertainment elsewhere.

Somehow all these scenario were never there when I went to school in the 70s. What went wrong ?



well...they don't make teachers like they used to.
I'm sure there are good dedicated teachers but I think they are few and far between.
The entire system leaves much to be desired.

I can understand why some parents are willing to pay alot to send their kids to good private schools here or boarding schools abroad.

During my time in the 70s, (national) schools were of quality.
I had NEVER felt less than my cousins in Singapore.
In fact, students from Chinese schools would be enrolling in national schools. I think most schools had, what you called then,"remove classes" where students from Chinese schools were placed before they were absorbed into the normal classes.

I think today, parents are scrambling to enrol their children in Chinese schools.

I remember ALL my teachers --from primary to secondary school.
They were ALL GOOD. Strict, firm but fair.
Oh,... except the one in standard 5. She slapped me for not being able to solve an arithmetic problem.
Kak Eda (who was in the same class) reported to my dad. She never "touched" me or any other girl after that.
Otherwise, she was good.

I enjoyed school. I really did!
Oh... truyancy was frowned upon. You just would ot think of playing truant.
In my school (Assunta in PJ), if you were caught playing truant, you would be made to wear normal clothes to school. You were not allowed to wear the school uniform.

These classes