Friday, May 16, 2008



Friday, 16 May 2008. The nation celebrates ‘Teachers Day’ today with the attendance of the Prime Minister and other officials at its gathering. For reasons known only to the organizers and the Ministry officials, Kedah had to relegate its place. Earlier preparation had been done in the northern state to welcome the celebration, but changes were made at the eleventh hour. So it moved to Malacca where the action took place today. Maybe one day we may learn why Kedah lost out.

Like other mammoth gathering, the elaborate celebration with an attendance no less than several thousands must have gone like clock works. Teachers and educators are efficient at organizing such functions as they have been doing so for ages. From the very orthodox to the most sophisticated display with the participation of hundreds to thousands of students, teachers would be the task master unequalled by any others. The participants mostly school children are after all rightly under their care and supervision.

We are therefore privileged to learn of the ‘slew of incentives’ (as reported by Bernama) thrown in by the Prime Minister himself at the celebration. Not able to guess what ‘slew’ meant, I checked it out. The dictionary explained ‘to turn about the axis. That meant a turn around and surely as reported teachers would be able ‘to look to better days ahead’. When the news hit the newsstand tomorrow it will surely eclipsed our downfall at Stadium Senayan Jakarta.

So much for the teaching fraternity as it is now. But surely ‘Teachers Day’ celebration is not only fulfilling expectations of rewards and incentives. It is the expectant recognition of the teachers role in society and more so in the classrooms. Besides their functions and directions would not have bloomed and become effective without the communities around them. Teachers and schools owe tremendous debts to parents and personalities around their work areas. Teachers owe their achievements to their own students like school prefects, librarians, scouts and other uniform bodies that contribute to their institutions success. Only then they move up, get promoted. Thanks to those who have helped them.

It is gratifying to receive messages from former pupils who somehow or other have not forgotten the roles played by their teachers. Congratulation for duties performed almost a half century ago, whatever it was must surely be grasped with joy and melancholy bliss. Being in schools and teaching then especially in the rural areas would be hard to imagine by the current breed of teachers. The encouragement and the ‘slew’ of incentives they receive today must surely push them to greater heights and a good recourse to finding alternatives in the teaching skills and parental care. For they are parents to those who are in their ‘homes’ from the time the students arrive till they depart for their homes.

Those of us who have been teachers take pride in being continuously referred as ‘Che Gu’ . It’s a two letter word yet fulfilling honor, respect and love. Surely it is a magical word because policemen too call their seniors by the same token of appreciation. Next time you see a policeman greeting another, just listen.

Rambling as it is, in recognition of this special day for the teaching fraternity, it would be good if future celebrations dwell into the strength and depth of the teaching profession and come out with alternatives do.

At least as teachers, we must congratulate the state government and the religious authority for not ever forgetting to recognize the role of teachers, ‘ulamas’ and all those who gave their time to educate the communities. Today’s Friday Prayer summon read by the ‘bilal’ again in all mosques in Kedah paid tribute to all teachers dead or alive. Yes, that is the simplest and most effective gratitude we seek I believe. Nothing more.

To all ‘Che Gu’ Thank you for your guidance and making us what we are today.

My uncles, my cousins, my partner and I too were teachers before. Only one of my children has taken up the profession and that too being at the tertiary institution. Perhaps other professions confront them and many others with better or adventurous choices. So to exclaim “Guru Cemerlang Negara Terbilang’ would be easy enough but to achieve in its finality would be a challenging episode as we don't capture the top echelons.
This 37th (2008) Hari Guru Celebration today beckons to those years when we set foot to start our training program overseas and the following photos tell about it all. We had become teachers fifteen years earlier before Teachers Day was first declared and celebrated.

Friends of yesteryears as we gathered for a group photo while waiting for the train to arrive to take us to our respective schools.Place: Kirkby Railway Station Year 1958

Boys and Girls everywhere will take the same stance whenever their group photo is taken. Here is my first class at Ormskirk Elementary School near Liverpool, England . Year 1957



Pak Non,
Terkenang di masa dulu,
Hatiku menjadi rindu.

I like your article , so are the photographs .

Seronok kalau dapat pi cari anak2 murid dulu di 'LUBUK HATI" ( pinjam kata2 arwah Pak Mud ).

Al-Fatihah utk Pak Mud ( a kirkbyite ).

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Pak Non & Pak Cha

Selamat Hari Guru. The nation salutes you.