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Monday, January 8, 2007

New broom sweeps clean?

The School - Early Morning, 1st Day

My kids had been in the school going to complete their second year. The Headmistress of the school had retired. She had been good, kind and very considerate to our family. She is a local and had had a long traditional assimilation and association with my larger family. Though we had only spent less than a couple of years with her we could feel the reasons why the parents here like and adore her. She took care of the school and the kids well. She had been with the school since her very humble beginning more than a decade ago.

It was quite a ceremony when she left the school, then her deputy acted as the Headmaster for almost half a year Towards the end of the year a guy was assigned to take her place. He is a stranger to me. If a guy is local or have been here long here, then chances are, a member of my larger family would have befriend him and thus make us connected or feel so. This is a small town where everybody know everybody, somehow.

I was there on the first day of school. It was not for sending my Year One daughter solely but more to see my Year Four daughter’s teacher. To give her a word or two about my daughter and to hand over to the teacher my daughter medical leave certificate. She had an eye surgery to help improved her vision.

The smells of change was there. The teachers were still adjusting to it. When I was at the canteen asking who is the class teacher of my daughter. They had to turn the clock back, thinking from first principle that my daughter will be in Class Four Gigih that will be Four Mercury. The focus were slightly out, every teacher that I talked to, were thinking like that and another standard four teacher , who make a calculative guess (of who would be my daughter’s teacher) did not get it right. Now the school changes the name of the classes to something astronomical, grandiose, intellectual but complicated sounding to the kampong folks. They named it after planets.

As I walked toward the classes I could see, among the first expenditure of change. As usual, the first victims are the signboards. In this case it was the signs on the door front of the classes.

The first day Assembly

I ran into the Headmaster at the front of the school office he pushed the teacher who was the acting headmaster to see me and take the medical leave certificate from me A good sign of first meeting courtesy, I should think. While he was walking away, he mentioned that I need only to call and there is no need for me to come over, a typical very manly welcome. We, man have a thing or two to learn from the ladies. I would thought that the former Headmistress would have handled it slightly differently and had said different things directly to me, if I ever ran into her on that day. She would probably see me in a one sentence meeting, I understand it was a busy day for teachers. She would probably had said,” it is okay now that we know”- period, and that’s her only sentence of our meeting.

The teachers' discussion
There was an assembly. I recalled the Headmaster telling that, there are 997 students with some 53 teachers. I observed that the number of male teachers is about a dozen or so. After doing some background arithmetic. There are about 166 students per Year, distributed into four classes and that make it 41 or 42 students per class. That make the students to teachers ratio of slightly less than twenty to one. How about that comparing to the National Statistics?

The former Headmistress had brought some fame and glory to the school. She had maintain a very green, well landscape and a conducive study environment.. She had also build up a good PR with corporations, local and federal administrative and political leaders. Year in and year out the school had been ranked among the best of the rural schools by the MoE (Ministry of Education) in this country. Anytime I would placed her on the Board of Governors of the school if there is one and I have a say.

Leading to Greater Achievements?

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