Why the need for this post? Because I noticed so many of us settle. We don't fight back because of so many reasons...why bother? I don't want to make it a big issue. People will think I'm over reacting etc...
I beg to differ. Why not? Why shouldn't we make it a big issue? Why shouldn't we over react, when we need to? Otherwise, how will people know that it is an issue ? That something that may be ok for you may not be ok for others. If we all keep quiet and do nothing, a change will not take place.
I will narrate incidents that happened in my daughter's school that spurred me on to write this post...
To be continued ....
I’m back.. I couldn’t leave something hanging for long... anyway. My older daughter Ranya is 16 years old this year. She is studying in a local Singapore school that is particularly focused on the academics. I encouraged her to attend that school because of a few reasons - proximity to home, history of academic excellence, my alma mater. But it didn’t suit her. She was a circle trying to fit into a square hole. Last year was particularly bad as she had so many subjects with very high standards and she couldn’t clear so many of them even with extra lessons from private tutors. Students who can’t clear the exams are given a second chance to catch up during the last 2 weeks of Nov. We weren’t aware so we were joyfully enjoying our London and Paris holiday. When we returned, we had a rude shock awaiting us. The dean informed us that our Daughter either leaves the school or gets retained for that year. I was appalled. I was shocked. I went home devastated. I started blaming myself. How could I have I hv let this happen? But it slowly dawned on me. It’s not my fault. I’m not the one to blame. So, I didn’t keep quiet. I fought back and I made some noise.
Firstly, we were not aware that there was such thing as a 2 week review period for weak students. Secondly, without giving her a chance, how could the school ask my girl to repeat that year or leave the school?? I had a few meetings... I had to put my foot down. I wrote to the principal and even cced the email to Education Ministry in SG, MOE. That got the school’s attention. They realised they had not been fair to my daughter, gave her a 2 week review period and eventually let her progress on to the next year. They didn’t want us to blow this issue out of proportion. After all it’s the school’s reputation that is at stake. They had to give in. My daughter was very grateful to me. She said any other parent in that school would not have fought for their child’s justice. Even my husband noted that it’s my email that got the school’s attention. I replied I’m not any other parent.
Another incident coming up...ok I’m back again. Sorry guys.. a lot of things are on my plate right now. My charity organisation, my dual roles in the training team, housework etc...
The second incident happened just last week. Again it’s about my older girl. She is very weak in Chemistry. All kids her age from different schools seem to be weak in Chem. My girl got a new teacher this year Ms P who also happened to be a close friend of my sister. She is a strict teacher and expects her students to excel. She won’t think twice about kicking kids out of class for not being able to answer her questions. Everyone in her class is not fond of Ms P.
Let me come to the matter. My girl Ranya wasn’t doing well in her Chem tests. And her close friend D didn’t pass the recent test either. Ms P then asks D ‘ What happened? You were doing so well at the beginning of the year? Now what happened? Are you having problems at home? Or is it because you are sitting next to Ranya?’
D narrated the whole conversation to Ranya and Ranya showed it to me. I ask of you ... as a parent, what would have been your reaction? Shock? Insulted? Offended? So I was. All that... shocked. Insulted and Offended. How in the world would my daughter affect another classmate’s marks? But It’s a tricky situation. The teacher was a friend of my sis. So I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. I didn’t want to bring the matter to the higher authorities yet. So, I made a quiet noise. I sent Ms P an email and gave her a chance to explain herself. My husband and I are meeting her next week.
Ranya asked ‘Aren’t you blowing this small matter out of proportion? Probably she could hv been kidding?’ I asked ‘Is this a joking matter? And if we don’t ask her to clarify herself, won’t this matter repeat itself again in the future?’ Another Ranya will be targeted ? Just because she is weak in that subject, does not give the teacher any right to make fun of her and insult her in front of her friends. It’s damn right offensive. All these incidents leaves us as parents of children in that school with a very bad taste in our mouth. It clearly shows how the school treats it’s weak students.
Another incident where a Deputy Dean took photos of my younger daughter because she was wearing a slightly bigger stud earrings. I wrote to the principal directly. How can a teacher take photos of a student without asking for her permission? It’s a question of privacy. And why are these Teachers micro managing them and treating them like little kids. They are teenagers, for goodness sake. Treat them as young adults. Let them make their own choices. Advise them and be their Friend.
I don’t want to elaborate but the principal told me that the matter has been dealt with and the deputy dean was advised.
So do you see why we have to make noise when we have to? These incidents somehow sheds light on my personality. On who I am. Why I get affected when people are rude to me. When people ignore me.
When a close friend left me suddenly without an explanation, I now understand why it affected me to the core. It wasn’t right.
Make your own noise, people. The world needs to hear you.
My home is
usually in a mess and has dust settled on almost everything. But I believe laughter and love will win the day. In 20 years, my girls won't remember how messy the house was but will remember the time we spent together and the love they felt...