In her first year (Form 1), she made many friends from all races and was very happy in that school. In fact, one of her best friend is a Malay girl whose father is also a school teacher, albeit in another district. My friend's daughter did very well in her school exams and came out among the top 3 in her class. However, for some unexplained reasons, she was "demoted" and separated from the class of best students in her second year. She ended up in a class of students who are more interested in disrupting the teachers and playing the fool rather than doing any actual learning.Is there a HOTLINE which we can call the Ministry of Education and complain about the headmistress and assistant headmistress? I'm in agreement with Cik Amoi that the above experience is not unique, and is prevalent in many schools throughout the country. At the same time, I'm aware that there are also excellent head of schools in Malaysia and these black sheeps just give national schools, which is the critical melting pot to promote national integration, a terrible name.
In her second year, she applied for leave from school to sit for her Piano ABRSM theory examination which happened to clash with the day she was to sit for a Sejarah test paper. She was told to see the HM regarding the matter. Imagine her shock when the HM refused to even listen to her plea or even look at the proof of exam attendance slip. Instead, the headmistress refused to look at her, waved her off with her hand and curtly dismissed her with a "ini semua alasan saja. Kalau kamu absent, kamu dapat markah kosonglah." With that, she was summarily dismissed from the office. Needless to say, she was almost in tears.
My friend was shocked by the callous attitude of the headmistress and went to the school the next morning to try to explain the situation to her. However, the HM was out of the office on "personal matters" and he was attended to by the asst HM. When he showed the exam slip to her, she retorted with a "Oh, ini untuk ujian Piano. Anak kamu dari keluarga elit, ya?. Maaf, saya tak boleh tolong. Kalau alasan tak mahu datang sekolah kerana sakit masuk hospital atau saudara mati, itu boleh. Lain alasan mesti tanya guru besar dulu. Datanglah besok pagi" My friend was utterly speechless!!
When he finally caught up with the HM, she was in a better mood. The HM conceded that it is not possible for the girl to change her Piano exam date and agreed to allow her to sit for the Sejarah paper in her office immediately after she finished her Piano test. When my friend queried her on why she refused to give her consideration to the request earlier, he was further shocked by her reply that it was because there are so many other students in the school who frequently apply for leave to attend "Church" matters (hal-hal agama Kristian)! She thought that my friend's daughter was also trying to skip school to attend "Church". Maybe it was the HM's good fortune that my friend is not a Christian, otherwise, he would be HUGELY OFFENDED by her remark.
The problem is, in the best case scenario, the headmistress gets transferred to another school as "punishment". To me that's not punishment for the headmistress, but instead for the poor students of this other school, at the continued expense of the taxpayers.
There's clearly plenty to be "transformed" and improved about our education system, and our team of teachers and education administrators. Things will not change overnight - not a chance. But if things do improve bit by bit over time, then that's worth fighting for the future generation of young Malaysians. The question is, where do we start?