Last week, while driving to the market to get some fresh vegetables, I tuned in to my favourite radio station, Lite FM. It was about 8.55 a.m. After humming along to Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With It", the DJ introduced a guest speaker, Dr. ............., seeking his views on the topic of discussion for the morning "Manners Getting A Back Seat In Our Society". I was very disappointed when I heard what he said. I think it was unbecoming of him to claim that teachers are responsible for the decline in manners amongst the youngsters of today. He blamed the teachers for failing to instill good manners in students. Excuse me, we are talking about manners here. It is considered RUDE to go round blaming others without any evidence to suppport your claim. It is more appropriate if you put forward suggestions on how to rectify the situation instead of freely throwing your accusations at teachers. I must admit, though, that you represent most people's negative perception of teachers today. What a shame!. After all the dedication, tolerance, perseverance, sacrifices and determination, teachers are made scapegoats for all the things gone wrong in our society today. I agree that there are teachers who go "astray" but they only make up a very small percentage of the whole population of teachers in the country. Therefore, it is unfair to put all the blame on teachers. Most teachers would go to great lengths to ensure that their students not only achieve academic excellence, but also will become good citizens of Malaysia. Unlike their predecessors before them, the teachers of today have to struggle to achieve all these minus the cane, minus harsh scoldings, minus making a child stand on a chair, minus giving hard knocks on the knuckles, minus giving a hard slap across the face, etc, etc. It was the fashion those days to practise all these forms of punishment to "educate" a child.. There were no complaints whatsoever. I came from that era, I know what I am talking about.
I urge all Malaysians to be more reasonable and objective in their judgement and not just point accusing fingers at teachers everytime a student is caught using drugs, skipping classes, stealing, smoking, extorting, bullying, etc, etc. I think it is the responsibility of ALL within a society, PARENTS topping the list, in ensuring students develop into useful, well-mannered citizens.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my teachers who have moulded me into what I am today. I had my fair share of punishment during my schooling years but I hold no grudges or resentment against any of my teachers.