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Thread: Helping an uninterested youth

  1. #1
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    Helping an uninterested youth

    There could be many reasons why students are uninterested in studies, often stupid is not the reason. May be they just need more time to be ready for studying. In such case, they must be sufficiently prepared for such time.

    To help an uninterested youth in study, the best way is to make learning interesting. However, if you have tried various means and method and still can’t get him interested, I have here, no expert advice, but offering a case for reference.

    Background
    A teenager who wanted to quit school because school was boring and meaningless. His results in Form 2: many subjects below 70 marks, good in English. Tuition was of no help.

    My strategy
    Set my goal at the minimum requirement for further studies; able to read textbook/reference book, reasonably good in Mathematics and English. To achieve that,
    • Train his patience in reading a textbook
    • Ensure he excels in at least one Math subject

    Personal development
    • Student who is not excellent in studies need to have something else to feel good about himself. Provide the support he needs to do well in one skill.
    • Find him the opportunities to participate in team work and organizing skill

    The implementation

    Train his patience in reading
    • Seek his understanding and acceptance why he needs reading.
    • Let him know you won’t ask for much, just one subject would do. Get him to ‘bear’ with you just for that one subject. ( you have to bear with him just for that one subject)
    • Pick a ‘reading’ subject to start with, the one he dislikes, and sit with him through the reading and identify key points.
    • Help him to remember those key points by asking him the same question over and over again in different ways (it is a way to test if he is listening).
    • Be persistent; review the points before end of a lesson and beginning of a new lesson.
    • frequency of lesson: daily

    Math
    • Avoid telling him things that he already know, he might have too much ego and too little patience for things he knew.
    • spend time to go through his exercises, check for what he doesn’t know and explain accordingly.
    • Ensure the working is systematic and neat
    • To be able to answer tricky or indirect questions, for each topic, there might be a few key point a student must know, check that he is aware of such key points.

    Challenges
    • this is an uninterested student, he might not think when he is reading, he might not remember what he reads, he might be playing with his phone and texting in between reading.
    • He might not be punctual.
    • Secondary school is quite a long journey, it will not be smooth sailing all the way, there will be tug of war but don’t pull the rope too hard, he might fall or the rope might break.

    Important

    - you must be with him, don't just give instruction and walk away," you read… I will come back to you" ; often not effective.
    - whatever you do, it must be something you are confident that the student is sufficiently learnt to do well in his first test after all the effort put in.
    - you want him to give you the chance to help him, so watch your response so that he would not give up during the process , remain calm and focus on your objectives.
    - modify your plan along the way, such as additional subjects, get him to invite his friends for group study, offer guidance for free.

    Case outcome:

    In this case, after two months, the student obtained the highest mark in his class for Sejarah test. He was the center of attention on that day he got his test result. Needless to say, he wants to remain good. The reading experience remains useful till his tertiary studies. More than half of his SPM subjects are A.

    I happened to get in touch with several students who did poorly in SPM recently, I wish more parents could do more for these students during those years the students were struggling to cope with studies or discipline themselves. By sharing my experience, hopefully, encourage parents not to give up trying.

  2. #2
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    What prompted me to write about my experience in helping an uninterested youth was a recent experience in trying to help a SPM school leaver to find a suitable course for further study. I realized with her poor result, there were very little choices for her.

    Today, while clearing old newspapers I chance upon an article in Sin Chew Jit Poh, about how a SMJK HM helped 8 uninterested youth passed their SPM. He talked about the challenges he faced but he persisted.

    For concern parents, or people in position to help uninterested youth, the news could be inspiring.
    http://www.sinchew.com.my/node/1626944/

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennylim View Post
    For concern parents, or people in position to help uninterested youth, the news could be inspiring.
    http://www.sinchew.com.my/node/1626944/
    Sometimes parents is the first-in-line to motivate the children.They should encourage, compare, tell horror future working life etc...so that at least they complete F5. Last month I talk to the parents near my work place but they insist their only son is totally not liking school. So they just let his son stop school.He is only F4 . Both parents busy working .

  4. #4
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    I have immense respect for people who dedicated their time to help teenagers in their studies because this can be the most important life-changing episode for the students. One day, when they look back what contributed the most in deciding their life/destiny, they may realize getting back on the right track in studies is the most important change that have profound impact to entire life.

    Having said that, I also think studies should not be the only path in life. NOT everyone is the suitable material for higher education. The problem of education in Malaysia (and in other Asian countries) is the students are completely blur of what they are good at after completing their secondary school. Also, the social environment does not encourage them to do other more meaningful things (apart from going to college) that is more relevant to their interest and strength.

    Most parents just cannot accept their children are not the right material for studies, they put them in low-ranking college/university (local and abroad) which are abundant nowadays which only demand low entry qualifications. Do they really know apart from a degree, is they anything else which is more relevant to the kids ??

    One should realize a critical fact in life that they should choose a path that is specialized and requires high entry qualification, and I don’t mean it is just academic qualification. The executive chef in a good hotel anytime earn higher income than a bank manager but the path to be a good chef require a long period of time, patience and perseverance than a typical executive/manager of an organization, just to give an example.

    I once sent my watch to a Swiss service branch in KL, I saw a few young men worked as watch apprentice. To me, this is a specialized skill that is highly marketable in future once they master the skills. Craftsmen are highly regarded as professionals in Europe and Japan with good income and social status.

    I think the general rule is if you can't be good in studies, choose something that you can do as a business in future. This is much better than becoming a "neither-here-nor there" once you are getting older.. and with the fast changing world nowadays, you will become a redundant "neither-here-nor-there" much faster than last time....
    Simpletons are the majority in a society. Don’t argue with them as they cannot comprehend they actually have a smaller brain size….

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan tomaswaki View Post
    Sometimes parents is the first-in-line to motivate the children.They should encourage, compare, tell horror future working life etc...so that at least they complete F5. Last month I talk to the parents near my work place but they insist their only son is totally not liking school. So they just let his son stop school.He is only F4 . Both parents busy working .
    Ya, I think if one is capable of getting a SPM cert, he could at least read and understand some documents. They can do whatever they want after that.

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