Wednesday, May 16, 2007Today's STAR carried a full page advert from the Malaysian Cabinet ministers thanking teachers on this year's Hari Guru. Although laudable, teachers who are perfectionists would complain that the ad should not carry the signatures of people who are not in the cabinet, however hopeful they are. Otherwise, do not label the ad as "Ikhlas Dari Menteri Kabinet".
Nitpicker that I am, I am grateful to all those that taught me. Most of them would not have the tools that can be exhibited in the recently mooted Teachers Archive/Museum/whatever. Schools that I went to in my younger days did not have Audio/Visual aids like my children's and grandchildren's schools. I remember when I was in Sekolah Melayu Paya Bunga, Kuala Terengganu the most hated tool used was the fist of one Cikgu Lebo. His fist landed on the back of many aspiring artists and writers whose only transgression was drawing or writing in the sands in the school ground. You cannot put that fist or its owner in the museum. You can however trace a piece of 2 by 4 timber carried by an old teacher in the Grammar School decades ago. Knowing the mentality of the students in that particular school then, I am quite sure that the piece of wood was solely for self-defense. I remembered the teacher also carried a copy of the Surah Yasin in his shirt-pocket as an added protection. This was a school where a few pupils asked me ( a temporary teacher) for a light for their cigarette.
I remember Mr. Lau Kuan Jin who always zero in on me during English classes in SMC 1 years ago in the "kajang" school. Sultan Sulaiman Primary School caught fire and needed to be built in a hurry. Petroleum was yet to be discovered so the state used "kajang" (pandanus leaf) as walls.
When we moved to the secondary school by the South China Sea, we had teachers just a little older than us. Thus I had the opportunity to attend a course at the same institution in Sydney as Mr. Razalli Mutallib, my P.E. Teacher. I will be collaborating with another of our young teacher, Cikgu Ibrahim Sihi on a project soon, insyaAllah. Even though I could not write down all of my teachers name ( like the roof of our august Parliament house, my memory leaks too and I apologize sincerely) I do appreciate what they all did. To those who have passed on, May They Rest in Peace and Allah swt bless them. Thank you cikgu!
While waiting patiently for Blogspot to load, I received an SMS from Mat Baee, a good friend and pensioned teacher. He wrote for the occasion:
Berburu ke padang datar
Dapat rusa berbelang kaki
Berguru kepalang ajar
Ibarat bunga kembang tak jadi...
to which I replied
Bersyukurlah kerana tak ada murid kita yang kencing berlari....