Last week whilst I was driving my daughter and son to school, the daughter complained that our maid had made a mistake. It seems the maid had put my son's tuperware in her bag and vice versa. This appeared to be a repeat offence. This is how the conversation subsequently went:
Daughter: Bibi (the maid) selalu buat macam tu...Me: Selalu? Every day?D: No... sometimes... but I don't like it...M: Is there food in the tuperware?D: Ummm, yes...M: So which is more important, that Bibi makes sure you have food to bring to school or that she puts the right tuperware in the right bag?D: The food is more important.M: Good. You must realise what a rush it is in the morning for everyone to get ready kan?D: Ya.M: So, have you thanked Bibi for making sure you and your brother have food every morning?D: No.M: Isn't that more important than complaining about the tuperware?D: ...M: I know you are upset about the tuperware, and I know it is important to you, but that doesn't mean it's the most important thing. You must understand what is really important when you choose to do things...
I'm not sure if the lesson was well learned, I certainly didn't ask her to swap tuperwares herself with the brother, hoping they'd figure it out themselves. (Not sure if they did really as we pulled up to the school by the end of the conversation). Nonetheless, how, what, where, when and why to prioritise, is a lesson not easily learned, even for a working adult and perhaps the confusion begins at school!
I won't rant about the physical examples of the poor prioritisation of our childrens' lives at school, such as the big bags heavy with nigh all the books they are using for the year as there is poor clarity on what books to bring! Or the strange celebration of kids scoring 18A's at SPM, when I would have preferred 6A's of higher quality and difficulty to attain that are also the childrens' choice of subjects to study with an eye for the future.
There are bigger examples of poor prioritisation in our school system, such as on medium of instruction. I know of no other nation in the world that has, not just allowed non-national languages as a choice for primary medium of instruction at schools, but also has had its government funding the majority of these vernacular schools! Now these schools have become not just a political football in minority politics but is exceedingly seen as the root causes of racial disharmony!
Opposition parties like to say that BN component parties like to practice race-based politics, however, the DAP themselves play this game and this was proven in Perak when the former PR government helped fund some PRIVATE vernacular schools! Last week, we see nonsense escalating in the education arena when Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat claiming 'merit' to mean just exam grades and not co-curricular activities! Ah, I see, so he wants us to be a nation of exam crammers!
I hence welcome efforts by fellow bloggers to stop politicians of any ilk, but especially racist ones, from messing up the priorities of our schools. I have hence joined the following petition. Join us: