Must Not Jump – A Humble Apology

I am ashamed of myself. Most of the time, before I decide to write something up, I tend to find out more about the issue. Yesterday, I didn’t. I can come up with so many excuses for my rashness but in the end, it was just that… a rash conclusion from my end. I am sorry

According to this article here, the school had problem with space and used the changing room for all children regardless of their race. I guess, since it is Ramadan, there wasn’t a Malay child in the picture in the previous article in my post yesterday.

The news has now been sensationalised in social networks and blogs (I’m included here as the guilty party) and news. The school and the headmaster of the school is now under scrutiny.

Due to the issue of space, the headmaster opened up the changing room, which does not have toilet bowl in it, to the children so they have somewhere to sit to have their meal, rather than standing up or sitting on the ground. Whatever it is, the school and the government need to find a solution to the issue of space as the children has the right to proper facility.

Mind you… when I was in school, recess time is always busy and lack of bench and tables… I didn’t mind sitting anywhere as long as I had my friends with me.

Down the Toilet

Literally.

I was made aware of this article on a blog here. It’s in Malay and even if you Google Translate it, I don’t think that they’ll be able to translate it properly as the writer is not using proper Malay… but then I might not give Google Translate enough credit.

The story is… if it is true… and I don’t know why someone would make it up… as it is the month of Ramadan where Muslims are observing fasting, the non-Muslim children in a primary school in Malaysia has been told to have their meal in the toilets as a mark of respect to the Muslim children.

I find this disgusting!

How about respecting the non-Muslim children?

When I was at school, I fasted. My non-Muslim friends have their meal. Some of them say ‘excuse me’ or ‘sorry’ before they had their meal and I was thinking ‘What’s the problem? What are they sorry about? They are not Muslims and don’t have to observe fasting so they can do what ever they want.’ But it was nice of them to think of me.

The school canteen was still open and selling food to the non-Muslims. Well… they need to eat.

But hey! We had perks too! No physical education during Ramadan and oh how I hated PE.

What I’m trying to say is that we just need to get on with it. It’s just like any other month only us Muslims were fasting. Us kids back then didn’t see any difference.

By segregating, this is what the school is doing, the kids will feel different towards each other. I heard on the radio conversation once where a caller was pointing out that people are not born racist but are taught to be one. And reading the blog post made me agree with this line of thinking.

There’s a saying in Malay ‘melentur buluh biarlah dari rebungnya’ – to bend a bamboo you have to start from when it’s sprouting. It is up to us to teach the children. We adults are the ones responsible of how the future generation will look at the world and treat each other, which at the moment looks really bleak.

Popping on the Poppies

November is the month that I associate with poppy wearing season. I do tend to donate a few coins to the British Legion but not take the red poppy off them.

As it gets closer to Remembrance Day, I see more and more people wearing poppies may it be red or white. Each seems to symbol something about war.

I donate to each.

Red to remember those who fought the war to ensure peace and the victims of war.

White to promote peace.

I know there are those who feels that the white poppy supporters do not seem to understand the sacrifices of the arms forces.

I know there are those who feels that the red poppy wearers supports war and do not understand the meaning of peace.

I know that there are those like me who understands and see the points of views of both. I might be facing the wrath of both parties but I might instead get a pat on the shoulder for compromising.

So, what have I done?

This

red and white poppies for remembrance day

I donated and made my own poppy, combining red and white, to wear until Remembrance Sunday… for those who fought, those who fell fighting for peace and those innocent victims of war. I can only read about what happened and the consequences of war and a pray that I will never have to experience it. To all of you, I thank you.

Absent at Term Time

I was listening to a radio talk show and one of the topic was about a mother getting fined for taking her son off school for a couple of weeks. She was getting married in the Caribbean and wanted her son to give her away. She gave the school one year notice about this and the school rejected her request. She still took her son off school and was fined £50. Out of ‘principle’ she refused to pay and she was taken to court and now she has to pay around £500.

The radio presenter was agreeing with the mother and some listeners agreed with him, saying that the price for a holiday may go up by £1,000 during school holidays.

One listener agreed with the mother taking the son off school but said that she should have paid the fine and left it at that.

What would I do?

I think as my mom was a teacher and to me education is important, I don’t think I would take my child off school. By taking a child of school, what do you teach the child? That it is OK to go against authority?

Yes, the world is your oyster and you will learn a lot by traveling to different parts of the world. But education is important!

I don’t remember ever being taken out of school during school term. I was lucky enough to be able to travel and even if I didn’t, I had really good education at school that even though I have never been to Japan, for my O-level equivalent, I did geography and answered really well on the Japanese seawater pearl cultivation.

My mom was a geography teacher and I had a really good geography teacher at school.

Of course I could understand taking a child out of school due to special circumstances is understandable but it is the school’s decision. If you decide not to abide with the school’s decision, you should then face the consequences.

To miss two weeks of education is a lot. If your child does not do well for his/her exam, I bet you will still blame the school.

There are kids in other parts of the world who hunger education. Please don’t take it for granted.