Our Malaysian schools used to have co-curricular activities on working Saturdays. But few months back, the Government Departments are working five-days week. Teachers too probably have demanded five-day weeks without any co-curricular activities on Saturdays.
Well, suffer the little children. They are barely 10 years old and have school and activities lined up as follows :
7.45 am till 1.05 pm : School
1.30 – 2.30 pm : Uniform bodies like scout, Red Crescent, cadet
2.45 – 3.45 pm : Clubs like English/Science/etc societies, Library (reading club), road safety club etc.
4.00 pm – 5.00 p.m. – Sports bodies like chess, karate, badminton, football etc.
And hear this. Every student must choose one of each of the above. I.e. one uniform body, one club and one sport. All of these are held on the same day, each week. I.e. my poor little son has to be in school from 7.30 a.m. till 5 p.m.
This is mentioned in the circular I received from the school. I had written a note to the Headmaster about my concerns on the long hours and told him that I will phone him to discuss. My son brought back a selection form for his choices, and also to get my approval plus indemnify the school of any incidents.
*hiaks* I live next door to the school. But I don’t see any reason for me to bring my lazy butt over to argue with the school authorities. I am sure this is not the headmaster’s idea but some directive from the ‘higher up’.
For me, I am experienced in this because I know that these are all the hangat-hangat tahi ayam (flash in the pan) matter because my two older sons ponteng-ed (skip) these co-curricular activities most of the time. (hot sun la, I am too sleepy to drive you there la, you have just recovered from flu la, etc etc) The most they get was some shellings from the teachers.
No way am I going to let my kids stay in the school from 7.30 am till 5 pm without proper bath, proper meals and sufficient time to rest in between the activities. Chisin meh, it is not like he is studying to be a scholar or future Prime Minister.
However, many parents aren’t aware. Leaving their poor kids in school, under the burning, scorching, beginning-of-the-year-hot-like-hell sun. Just two days ago, my son in secondary school told me that one of his schoolmate fainted during their scout’s meeting. The secondary schools too have their co-curricular activities that were normally held on Saturday mornings shifted to after school hours, around 2 – 3 pm when the weather was the hottest.
Now, this leads to another rant. With the additional bahasa ibunda and pendidikan sivik, my poor 9 years 0ld kid in Standard Four have to study till 1.35 pm every day. Previously, his elder brothers (when they were in primary school) returned home by 12.30 – 1 pm. Gee, I hate you so, MOE. Once my kid kena suffer because of your doesn’t-make-sense policy, I get very anal.
The only things that I am thankful for are the fact that I am a full-time mom, ever ready to pamper the tired kid from school with cold drinks and lunch, my house is just few steps away and my kid doesn’t attend any tuition or other classes apart from school.
You have to see the poor little kids who hang around the school compound every day after school (some parents left their kids in school instead of daycare) or those who chase after their school-buses with their schoolbags that weigh a ton. Heartbreaking.
So, Jesus’s words of Suffer the little children…..rings in my ears. God, protect these little ones for the adults do not know what they are doing. We can’t built a kingdom by trying to chase after more knowledge which we hope to bring more money and in the process, forget the basic touch. Love. Pumping more civic, moral, mother’s tongue lessons into them aren’t going to help. It has to start from the parents’ side. Expect less, nurture more and don’t worry, be happy. And stop being so blardy kiasu.
(I wrote this last night when I was pissed. No time to edit this ‘cos gotta pick up the kids for Chinese New Year shopping. )
So, basically, that’s what our children are going through during their childhood. Suffer. Because adults make policies that don’t make sense. Agree?