So near and yet so far…

4 01 2010

I CROSSED THE Sungai Tujuh border again very early in the morning to pick up my Principal from the Miri airport. In fact I was the first in line to wait for the Customs gate on the Brunei side to open at 6.00 am.

When I left the house earlier, my children just got up from bed and ‘delay-dally’ having breakfast and taking shower to get ready for school. But when I entered Miri the traffic jam near a Chinese school not far from the border was so long and it was still dark at 6.15 in the morning. I wonder if the schoolchildren in this Sarawak oiltown always start school that early! 🙂

I know Bruneian school kids who take school buses do have to wake up quite early to catch their Government-provided transportation. But lessons won’t start until 7.30 am. After the last final term holidays, classes are still pretty much relaxed these past few days after schools re-opened. Interesting contrast as far as education systems go.

Home schooling has never been allowed, tried or experimented by education authorities in this part of the world, I don’t think so. It may be an effective teaching methodology for today’s children but not all kids can ever get used to such learning environment — at home! 😉 Those brilliant young minds who have proven critics wrong and excelled academically are few and far between.

One name that cropped up in my poor memory now is a Pakistan-Malaysian child prodigy by the name of Sufiah Yusof who was home-schooled by her parents in London. She used to be a Maths genius who was admitted into Oxford University at age 13 some years back. Unfortunately, once she got exposed to the outside realms of learning, it was downhill all the way due to culture shock or maladjustment, most probably.

The moral of her story: Young children shouldn’t be pressured too early in life until the stress level was unbearable for them to cope with… 😦





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