Sunday, May 15, 2011

To Sir With Love And Madam Too

A Kadir Jasin


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IT was a happy coincidence that I bumped into two of my teachers from the Saint Michael School’s days in the 1960s as the Teachers’ Day approaches.

That was a Saturday ago when I was sending daughter, her husband, their three children and their family friend back to Switzerland.

As I was entertaining my grandchildren, somebody tapped me on my shoulder and called out my name. Embarrassingly I could not recognise him at first.

After a brief “do you know who I am?” game, the kindly gentleman turned to be my art teacher, Mr Tony Siebert. He then motioned me towards a handsome elderly chap, who was my general science teacher Mr Jeremiah.

We had a good laugh when I reminded them that they gave me some pretty hard knocks on the head with the sharp end of the rulers – something that could have caused today’s teacher a lot of trouble.

They and their spouses were on the way to Rome for a holiday. How romantic. Siebert’s wife, Constance, is the daughter of the late Mr Charles Alexander Westwood, our Head Master.

Siebert went on to become a successful lecturer at the Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang and, in his retirement, he works for a private college. He’s active in the Malaysian Eurasian Association.

Not being particularly good in art and science, I often ran foul of these two teachers. But I thank them, nevertheless, for their patience and perseverance.

In several past postings I had paid tribute to Westwood, who, during the 1996 National Language Month, was christened Salleh Iskandar Kayubarat, and to others like Cikgu (Dato’) Wan Shamsuddin, the late Zainal Abidin and, the late (Dato’) Shaari Abu Bakar, the late Mr Dorairatnam aka Mohd Yusoff Abdullah and Dame Catherine Cole Catly, my teacher at the Wellington Polytechnic, New Zealand.

Without these teachers and many more like them, I would not be where I am. I owe then an eternal debt of gratitude.

Of these selfless people, the poet Kahlil Gibran, in part, wrote:

“No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.


The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.

If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.”

Let us, as we say Selamat Hari Guru to the teachers, remember those surrogate mothers and fathers of ours by recalling our experiences during those good and trying school days in the spirit of “To Sir With Love.”

As the singer Lulu said:

“But how do you thank someone


who has taken you from crayons to perfume


It isn't easy but I'll try


If you wanted the sky I would write across the sky


in letters that would soar a thousand feet high


To Sir with love.”

On this occasion, I also remember and, at the same time wonder, about the Malaysian English teachers whom I met when I was in New Zealand in 1971. I remember Ghazali, Raja Akhiruddin, Miss Tan, Ali Pitchay, the two Alias and Norma, who were in Wellington to hone their English teaching skills.

Last but not least, I also thank all the teachers, past and present, who helped make my children what they are today. Terima kasih cikgu.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

bab ni aku ingin berterima kasih pada cikgu sejarah aku, iaitu puan zaharah sebab mengajar aku tahyat akhir, walaupun masa tu aku dah berumur 16 tahun, dari dialah aku mengenali erti sembahyang. disini aku ingin memberi sedikit pandangan supaya cikgu agama menitik beratkan pembelajaran agama bukan untuk peperiksaan tapi untuk mengenal allah. dari pengalaman diriku yang jahil guru agama tidak menjalankan kewajibpan untuk pelajar memahammi agama allah tapi lebih kepada peperiksaan, jadi pelajar yang kurang faham macam saya tak berminat sebab saya masa tu mengaji pun tak tahu.

mohd paizal

berasiam said...

Salam Datuk AKJ

Selamat Hari Guru untuk semua guru. Hari Sabtu, 14 Mei lalu kami berkesempatan memotong kek untuk sambutan Hari Guru di sekolah yang telah berusia 31 tahun di Muar. Kehadiran seramai lebih 200 orang bekas pelajar adalah tanda ikatan ukhuwah yang masih kukuh. Sebuah sajak yang disampaikan oleh Tuan Pengetua amat menyentuh hati, luahan tulus beliau. Jasa guru bukan sahaja patut dikenang malah harus sentiasa disanjung tinggi.
Selamat Hari Guru.

Anonymous said...

Terima kasih Dato' kerana membangkitkan rasa mengenang jasa kepada Guru. Saya sendiri anak askar prebet kini tahu benar dan berterima kasih kepada semua guru di Bagan Pinang dan Salak Selatan (Cikgu Marzuki dan Puan Zainal), mereka sebenarnya telah mejadikan kami ini berdaya saing untuk berlumba dengan rakan-rakan dari luar negara. Terima kasih guru dan cium tangan sekali!

Zaidi Mohd Ripin

Hanezam said...

Datuk,

Selamat Hari Guru untuk semua guru-guru, ustaz-ustazah, pensyarah-pensyarah, dan profesor-profesor di seluruh Malaysia. Jasa anda semua dikenang sampai bila-bila.

Datuk juga adalah guru saya, yang tahan melayan pelbagai kerenah pembahas, yang tahan disakat, dan tahan macam-macam lagi. Datuk kena kutuk pun blog ni masih terus beraktiviti. Kalau saya, sekali kena kutuk terus hilang dari muka bumi ni, he he he ..

Anonymous said...

Dear Datuk,

1. Selamat Hari Guru To You ... For sharing your thoughts and expertise and for facilitating this forum in a gentle manner. Appreciate this approach very much.

2. Many teacher friends lamented the lack of manners among our modern young students ... both in actions and words (perlakuan dan pertuturan). Bahasa Melayunya kurang adab ...

3. Our most important teachers are therefore our parents and guardians. We acquire our adab from them ... how to greet ... how to listen ... how to speak ... how to respond ... how to appreciate ... how to apologise ...

4. If we start delegating teaching of adab to UPIN dan IPIN dan seumpamanya ... terimalah generasi "tau tak apa" dalam kehidupan kita ...

5. Terima kasih Abah dan Emak kerana bagi cili bila mengguna perkataan tak senonoh ... so that in moments of desperation those swear words could only be uttered in Bahasa Inggeris ... never in Bahasa Melayu ...

6. Terima kasih Pak Imam dan Isteri yang mengajar mengaji ...

7. Terima kasih semua yang mengajar kami erti kehidupan ...

Wassalam

XERONINE

Billy said...

I wonder whether we are able to write similar sentiments on our teachers of today. I came from the 50s and 60s educational system. The teachers then were really outstanding and what I am today, I owed it to them too. However, one teacher stood up most in my mind when I was in secondary school [SMK Jalan Cochrane, KL] and I used to address him as "Cikgu Ahmad". For some rhyme or reason, he would teach two different subjects continuously one period after another twice a week. The first period would be our Bahasa Malaysia lessons when everything would be taught and spoken in BM. I still remember the pantuns, sajak, Malay tales of yore and peribahasa. As soon as this period ends, he would switched over to English with "Ok boys, now take out your maths book. We will be doing Theorem xxxx today, and don't forget your logarithm book ready for reference". For someone like me who was a duffer in maths, his method of teaching certainly made maths easy to understand. Until today, I am still proud of such teachers and I am amazed at their commitment to their profession. Cikgu Ahmad, if you are still around, this is for you!

Anonymous said...

Dato,

I still remember the film To Sir with love stared Sydney Poitier and Lulu. Wonderful film.

I am blessed for having great teachers during my school time.

Selamat Hari Guru.

affendi hussain said...

Terima kasih guru..
Kerana andalah saya berada disini..

Dari alam rahim hingga ke liang lahat, kita sentiasa hidup berguru..merekalah yg membimbing kita merangkak, bertatih, berjalan hingga berlari..

Memburu di padang datar,
Dapat rusa berbelang kaki,
Berguru kepalang ajar,
Bagai bunga kembang tak jadi..

Banyak sungguh bunga kembang tak menjadi masa kini Dato'..
Memburu tersasar di padang datar..

wallahualam..

(",)

Anonymous said...

"That was a Saturday ago when I was sending daughter, her husband, their three children and their family friend back to Switzerland."

"Brain drain in your family too eh old chap!"

svm

A KADIR JASIN said...

Pembahas XERONINE, antara lain, menulis:

"5. Terima kasih Abah dan Emak kerana bagi cili bila mengguna perkataan tak senonoh ... so that in moments of desperation those swear words could only be uttered in Bahasa Inggeris ... never in Bahasa Melayu ..."

Momori dan nostalgi. Saya tidak pernah dicikilan. Mungkin kerana kalau dicilikan pun tak berkesan sebab dulu memang saya kuat makan cabai.

Tapi sekali dalam seumur hayat ayah saya dia mendengar carutan saya. Ayah sedang mengaut padi dari jelapang. Saya dan kakak membuka mulut guni di bawah. Saya marahkan kakak dengan mencacut.

Ayah dengar dan lantas terjun dari jelapang dan mengejar saya. Saya lari sederas yang mampu. Di tengah sawah yang hampir kering, ayah dapat tangkap saya. Dia julang saya dan humban ke dalam kubang kerbau yang penuh yoi (lumpur pekat) dan beberapa ekor ikan keli separuh mati.

Saya hampir terbenan. Ayah berpatah arah dan balik ke rumah. Dia tak kata sepatah apa pun. Saya berhempas pulas membebaskan diri daripada sedutan yoi. Separuh nyawa hinggalah kakak datang dan menarik saya keluar.

And my greatest teacher of all was my late father. May Allah shower his soul with heavenly blessings and forgive his sins, and give my beloved mother health and forgiveness. She's still very much my teacher and the candle in the wind.

Terima kasih.

Tinta Hitam said...

Datuk,

I share your feelings.I still remember the good old days ato school.Many thanks to all teachers fro their very significant contributions to my life developments. My feelings towards them had been beautifully expressed by Lulu's famous song

OKJ said...

Salam Dato’ Kadir

Sebelum vs Selepas

PARIS 12 Mei - Pendidikan di sekolah wajar dilakukan dalam bahasa ibunda sesebuah negara kerana pengajaran dalam bahasa tersebut dapat memberi kesan yang lebih baik terhadap pencapaian pelajar. Menurut Ketua Pengarah Pertubuhan Pendidikan, SAINTIFIK, Kebudayaan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, secara prinsipnya UNESCO menggalakkan pihak sekolah mengajar dalam bahasa ibunda terutama bagi murid di peringkat sekolah rendah.

Itulah kata-kata KETUA PENGARAH UNESCO. Juga sama seperti yg laporkan oleh guru-guru kita. Sekali lagi, bukan saya nak kata apalah, tapi keputusan YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin pula sebijik macam cadangan UNESCO dan amat prihatin terhadap laporan guru. Inilah dikatakan mengkaji & menggunakan scientific research SEBELUM membuat keputusan dasar.

Janganlah kita membuat survey hanya SELEPAS dasar baru dibuat. Tak baiklah main bantai je dan ikut kata hati kita je. Kata hati orang lain macam mana pulak. Akhir kalam, PRINSIPnya ialah; yg betul kita puji, yg salah kita hentam. Selamat hari Guru dan sekian TQ.

Anonymous said...

Yes Datuk we should be grateful to our former teachers who had done much for us

student of 69

Idris Mamat said...

Selamat Hari Guru to all my former teachers especially Cik Gu Mohd Zain Abdullah (former MP for Bachok Kelantan who used to be the HM of SK Badak before entering politics), Cik Gu Mokhtar Hassan (former HM of SM Bachok) and Cik Gu Noordin Razak (former DG of DBKL)

Anonymous said...

Askum Dato'.

1. Of course we have to thank all our previous teachers for their untired efford to teach us since our first day in school until we left. Terima kasih Ckkgu.

2. But one thing that I must record here is that I earned a lot academically from my Arwah father who was not a teacher by profession. He was just an ordinary goverment clerk. He never took his Senior Cambridge Exam. But supprisingly he was knowledgeble in English, Mathematic, history.
and geopraphy.

3. Those day, in the late 1950s and early 1960's, during our school days, there're hardly any tuition classes available. So at least, twice a week, me and my brothers and sisters will have sit around the dining table for my father to teach each and everyone of us of different subjects from Mathematic to history depending which subject we children is lacking.

4. Of course at that time it never strike our mind on where's the hell he knew well of all these subjects. For us he is well equiped with all the knowledge we need. No quiestion asked. Only now we are wondering from we where did he gathered the knowledge of the subjects he guided us those days. He never complete his Senior Cambridge. But one thing we realised now, he reads a lot. He only bought us Straits Times newspapers for us to read. But unfortunately for his children, we only read the back page of the paper, that is Sport page.

Terima kasih Bapa for being a great teacher to all your children. Alfatihah.

Anonymous said...

bagi yang ada bapa memang seronok tapi aku jadi anak yatim masa kecik lagi yang jaga aku kakak aku je emak sibuk berkerja cari duit jadi emak aku harapkan cikgu untuk mengajar aku jadi orang.

mohd paizal

hairulfitri said...

Salam DAKJ

Saya sgt mendambakan perkara berikut:
1. nisbah murid guru tak lebih 25:1

2. Sekolah satu sesi

3. bilangan sekolah ditambah dan dekat rumah....tak perlulah murid2 naik bas sekolah.Jalan kaki je

4. murid2 gembira pergi sekolah tampa dibeban dgn kerja yg pelik2 dan berlebihan

5. murid2 tak perlu dipaksa pergi kelas tusyen....kecuali sgt perlu agar budaya tuisyen dihapuskan.

6. semua pihak terutama kerajaan berhenti menabur harapan palsu agar hanya 25% pelajar terbaik pergi ke U. Yg lain tu pergi belajar kemahiran hidup lagi bagus

7. Berhenti menghina Melayu yg kurang mahir berbahasa Inggeris dlm mendapatkan peluang kerja dan naik pangkat. Tapi hendaklah tegas dgn bukan Melayu yg tak pandai atau tak hormat pd Bahasa Malaysia

abdullahngah said...

seorang yang bukan melayu berkata saya bangga apabila melihat anak murid saya jadi doktor dan saya sedih apabila melihat anak murid saya masuk penjara.

Jawatan guru adalah jawatan yang paling mulia.

Persoalannya apakah perasaan seorang pemimpin apabila melihat orang dibawah kepimpinannya ramai yang jadi jahat?

Kalau seorang guru beperasaan sedih apabila melihat anak muridnya masuk penjara kerana gagal mendidik.

Bgaimana pula jika pemimpin gagal memimpin rakyat?

Anonymous said...

Dear Datuk,

Sdr Mohd Paizal berkata:

"bagi yang ada bapa memang seronok tapi aku jadi anak yatim masa kecik lagi yang jaga aku kakak aku je emak sibuk berkerja cari duit jadi emak aku harapkan cikgu untuk mengajar aku jadi orang."

1. AlhamduLiLLAH syukur dan terima kasih. Saya tersentak ... dan tersedar ... dalam pendidikan anak-anak minoriti (minority children), guru di sekolah ialah juga ibu bapa dan penjaga murid.

2. Saya mengumpamakan murid-murid yang juga anak yatim atau yatim piatu, sebagai dari golongan minoriti sebab kebanyakan murid masih ada ibu dan bapa. Contoh lain ... special need children and minority groups such as Orang Asli or Indigenous Groups.

3. Maka sangat jelas impak guru terhadap pembangunan diri murid terutama murid-murid dari kalangan minoriti.

4. Love you all cikgu for loving them all especially of the minority groups.

Terima kasih

XERONINE

About Me

My photo
I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).