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pcyeoh
08-03-2003, 12:58 AM
LETTER TO THE STAR
Thursday, March 06, 2003

Parents have role to play in schools, too

WHEN it comes to making complaints about the school system and teachers, no one does it better than parents.

From heavy bags, dirty windows, and poor lighting to too much/little homework, smelly toilets and teachersí conduct, parents wonít think twice in bringing the issues to the authorities and the media.

Sometimes small issues get sensationalised and the poor school administrators and teachers get the brunt of it. The lucky ones get away with a warning. The not so lucky ones get transferred out, suspended or even sacked!

While parents are quick at pointing fingers, however, when it comes to involving themselves in the schoolís activities, it is another story altogether.

Every year, schools or their parent-teacher associations would organise gotong-royong to beautify and clean up their schools.

Besides making the school compound clean and beautiful, this activity allows parents to interact with teachers, hence building better ties between them.

Parents would have been informed of the gotong-royong through their children by means of circulars from the schools.

However, sad to say, more times than not, when the day approaches, the number of teachers would outnumber parents. It is certainly a big question mark as to why most parents turn a blind eye towards such events.

Donít they see the importance of making the school compound clean and beautiful so that it is more comfortable and conducive for their own children?

Donít forget that children spend at least six hours in school daily.

To accommodate parents, schools go the extra mile to hold the gotong-royong either on a Sunday or a non-working Saturday so that more parents can join in.

If teachers can sacrifice their non-working Saturday for the benefit of the school children, why canít parents do the same?

This brings us to an urban school in the Klang Valley. The school held a gotong-royong last Saturday and pupils were given the circular about it earlier.

The schoolís enrolment is more than 900. However, on that day, only about 2% (yes, 2%!) of parents turned up for the gotong-royong. The school should have at least 450 sets of parents (totaling 900 adults) with that kind of enrolment!

It is acceptable that some parents may not be aware about the activity due to their childrenís failure in letting them know while some may have prior appointments.

However, on that particular day, taekwondo lessons for the schoolchildren were also being held in the school compound at the same time.

Many parents were seen sending their children to school. These parents would have noticed parents and teachers painting, clearing and cutting away as these were done in full view right inside the main gate.

Yet did these parents come out of their vehicles to find out what was happening and then lend a helping hand? Nope!

Okay, they could be on their way for an appointment or they may not be dressed to work outdoors, you may say. What about those parents who stayed on to wait for their children until their taekwondo lessons ended?

The irony of it all was that these parents just sat around reading the newspaper whiling away the time while waiting for their children though the gotong-royong was in full swing.

One wonders as to what kind of message is being sent out to their children who are watching nearby. Doesnít charity begin at home?

If you want the school and teachers to play their roles in caring, nurturing and educating your children, you ought to play your role too.

Only by working together, will our children flourish into leaders of the future.

Your contribution in kind goes a long way to make the school a better place for your children. As teachers adopt the slogan My Children, My Pupils and the pupils, My School, My Home as their motto in life, parents should adopt the slogans My Childrenís School, My Home and My Childrenís Teachers, My Friends as their motto in life.



AN OBSERVER,

Subang Jaya.

(via e-mail)