Wednesday, July 31, 2013

This Story Wins Me a Samsung Galaxy S4

Took part in the national level essay writing competition in conjunction with Teacher's Day celebration organised by INTI. I was thinking how I could focus my theme and make an impact on the judges. After an hour of reflection, I decided to send the article I wrote about my years in Sarawak and how my time there impacted not only people around me but I myself gained a lot of experience and memories that last...
Here is my story.

INTI International University

We are proud to announce the winners of the INTI's Teacher's Day "Sharing Your Best Teaching Memories" Contest. To all winners, INTI would like to congratulate you and thank all teachers for their continuous effort in nurturing the leaders of tomorrow. 

GRAND PRIZE WINNERS 
The grand prize winners walk away with a brand new Samsung Galaxy S4. Congratulations! 

NameNRICSchool
TEO SOOKXXXXXX-XX-5594FOON YEW HIGH SCHOOL
SONG CHENG INGXXXXXX-XX-5472SMK SERI BINTANG UTARA
SULCHANA PERIAKARUPANXXXXXX-XX-5472SMK SEAFIELD
KHIEW WAI MUNXXXXXX-XX-6947SMK ST MICHAEL, IPOH
POGAVATHI S KANARATNAMXXXXXX-XX-5514SMK BUKIT MEWAH
KAHLAH VATHEE PERIASAMYXXXXXX-XX-5078SMK TELOK DATOK BANTING
LIM SENG HOXXXXXX-XX-5243SMJK YU HUA, KAJANG
LEE WAI YEEXXXXXX-XX-5882PENANG CHINESE GIRLS' HIGH SCHOOL
NUR ALIYA YEOH BINTI ABDULLAHXXXXXX-XX-5802SMK SEBERANG JAYA
NORMAZIAH BT HUSSINXXXXXX-XX-5550SMK PEREMPUAN KAPAR


Those Years In Sarawak...

caption: Mr Migin(left), Mr Nicholas and the blogger.
It was more than 21 years ago, I was posted to a very interior place of Nyelitak in Sarawak, precisely 200 km from Kuching. It was only accessible by foot and on good days, when the narrow muddy path dried up, then a scrambler motorcycle would make a reliable transport.                      
The first school, Sek. Keb. Kerajaan Nyelitak accommodated 36 pupils of Year 1, 3 and 5 for the year, and Year 2,4 and 6 for the following year. Meaning, no intake of pupils for a year. We had four teachers, including the headmaster, Mr Migin Ruai anak Rugus. We had our hands full almost daily, including preparing breakfast for the pupils who had to walk for miles from their respective villages. Breakfast was a cup of Milo and a few pieces of biscuits as interior schools had no canteens. It was not easy to attract them to school as they were required to help out their parents in the farms or padi fields. The teachers had to ensure that although they were needed to assist their families, the pupils must also get basic education.
My years in the school were filled with memories as the teachers transformed a storeroom into a mini library, to make the pupils read a little and at least, to let them know how a library look like. We introduced many innovative methods in our teachings. We brought in new teaching aids and we organised trips to town.
Our efforts paid off as attendance soared. The school was now filled with some noise and laughter. Sports day was a grand affair as it was also a platform for parents to turn up in drove as we had also drawn up events for them - a tradition in Sarawak. Another activity they looked forward to was cock-fighting.
At night, at least once a month, villagers would come knocking on the door - to share their catch of wild boars, deer, ant-eaters and many more. These Iban folks were good hunters and to celebrate, they would never miss out the teachers.
The sign at the entrance to school- it took me two weeks to make.
The second posting was to SK Lepong Emplas, in Simunjan. It was a place popular for its sweet, juicy rambutans. It still is. I spent three years there. Unlike the three classes in the earlier school, we had six classes here. The number of staff, however, remained at four, including the headmaster, En Halip.
The location of the school was scenic but we had a problem- it frequently flooded. When it did, the teachers had to fold their long pants and helped the pupils with their school bags. It was encouraging to see that they came to school despite the situation. When nature called, it was not like the 5-star toilets in St Michael's. It was made of wood by the villagers. It looks dilapidated but it served us well.
The toilet
We printed our own exams papers, we brought provisions from the nearby hamlet and we ensured that the pupils had their essentials. The pupils could be a bit weak in class but they were excellent in their drawings, skillful in jungle survival and swift when it came to tree-climbing. I had savoured the local rambutans, highland durians and myriad of catch from the river, items which parents freely shared.
Yes, those years in Sarawak. They were many others which made my years in Sarawak memorable. The experience had made me stronger, more courageous and more importantly, I have cared for the last, the lost and the least!       
HAPPY TEACHER'S DAY.

11 comments:

Newbie said...

Congratulations !

Matt Bay said...

Well done, Peter. We are extremely proud of you.

brinlaw said...

Congratulations !

Sambruce Sam said...

Congrats sir!

Muhd Amirul said...

Congrat Sir... :)

constantine † said...

Well Done, Sir! nice post to share among us students and friends as well! Congratulations on your new phone too, sir!

constantine † said...

Well Done, Sir! nice post to share among us students and friends as well! Congratulations on your new phone too, sir!

melv said...

OMG! How lucky am I to have a proper alma mater :')

somash said...

Mr.Peter Khiew. Congrats! You truly deserve this reward.. You are always one person i look up to. Your utter passion, zeal and positivity is very inspiring to so many of us.
Rgds: Somash.R [1999-2005]

somash said...

Congrats Mr.Peter Khiew! You're truly an inspiring idol. One should always learn how to be passionate, positive and realistic from you.. I know i did.. :)

Rgds: Somash.R [1999-2005]

Patrick Thilagaraj said...

The highest of salutations to you sir!!! You are truly a remarkable educationist with passion. I am glad to have been under your teachings.

Regards,
Patrick