Interesting FB post by a teacher friend and as expected, many different comments from readers.

If the ministry doesn’t start rewarding schools based on effort (and just purely results), how can we expect the schools and parents to do any differently?

The primary schools which my kids attended in PJ have the following rewards:

No1, no2 & no3 in class, best student for each subject and best improvement for each class. Why not add best improvement no1-3 and also best improvement for each subject? (Plus ‘best improvement’ does not have the same ‘covetousness’ as being no1 in class. Why? Ask the ministry).

There’s similar ‘best improvement’ award in the current primary school in KB too.

Let’s read the post, and I also put the comment by the teacher at the bottom.

Copy & paste with permission from a teacher who would rather be anonymous:


“Harini Majlis Anugerah Cemerlang sekolah aku. Dan majlis ni buat aku teringat kat pelajar pelajar aku yang tidak hadir kerana mereka tidak “layak” menerima apa jua anugerah.

And that somehow made me sad.

Sebagai guru, aku bukan lah pesen cikgu yang nak “trophy for all”. Healthy competition is needed. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But in reality, education is not a fair competition. Kalau ada sesiapa yang tengok video berkenaan “how privilege works” fahamlah maksud aku ni. These students did not start at the same starting line. And yet we reward them as if they do. The culture that we are upholding now is basically rewarding students with better privileges and giving them even MORE privilege.

Aku tak nafikan ada pelajar yang had little privilege and yet succeeded nevertheless. But such students are scarce. You need that extra perseverence, that extra effort, that extra motivation. Something that students with better privilege need not worry about because their situation has already made it much easier for them.

Aku ambil alih kesemua pelajar yang aku ada sekarang sejurus habis PPT. Aku ada anak murid yang PPT Bahasa Inggeris dia 0. Zero gais, zero. Dia tulis nama je. Dia tak usaha nak jawab pon. Selain isu akademik, dia juga ada severe behavioral issues. Aku hampir give up. Setiap kali aku masuk kelas dia akan menangis. Lari keluar kelas. Guling guling kat lantai. Hentak hentak barang. Baju sekolah dia kelabu. Kelabu betul, tak pernah putih (kesan berguling). Beg koyak robak. Aku ni da lah pesen cikgu yang suka main game segala apa tau. Tapi dalam kelas dia aku takleh buat. Contohnya, nak main dadu. Kena lah bergilir-bergilir kan? Dia tak boleh. Orang lain pegang dadu jee dia akan menangis. Dia nak dia sorang je pegang. Aku reward dia boleh. Suka. Aku reward orang lain tak boleh. Dia akan menangis juga. I tried every method in the book (except hitting coz I don’t hit) and it showed results, though painstakingly slow.

Anyways, fast forward several months later, after endless pujukan, PAT arrived and guess what?

He got 66% for BI. From F to B. He’s now one of my most well behaved. Tak buat bising dah, habis kerja buat kerja sendiri senyap senyap. And he has finally learn to share 😭😭😭😭😭 I was so proud of him playing chess and snakes and ladders with friends without breaking into tears (I took so many photos lol). He’s also the kid that hugged me and said “sayang teacher!”

And this kiddo, who has made me so so so proud, was not present at today’s ceremony.

By my standards, he deserve to be on a grand stage and be recognized for his amazing improvement. But apparently its not good enough. I, alone cannot change this culture. Be the teacher that celebrates the small things. They matter.

Actually, they matter the most”.

🏆Hopefully one day we will have a system that rewards both effort and results. 🥇🥈🥉

Comments are welcomed.

Soffea Rahim Hai, I’m the teacher that wrote this. Thank you so much kak Mazlyn Mustapha for sharing. Thank you to all of you as well for all the kind comments. I set my post to custom because I’m facebook friends with the teachers at my school and I’d rather keep my alter ego as a “facebook preacher” a secret from them 😂.

Yes our school also has anugerah peningkatan. But its for an overall improvement in all the subjects, not given for each subject. Actually even if the school had such awards, there will still be kids not receiving any.

Plus, the point that I really wanted to make was that, even if the child did not achieve such tremendous improvement in his academics, I would have still been mega proud if he only learnt on how to share. Or if he only achieved 10% because this time he tried. The point was that, we rarely celebrate these small small things, thinking its unimportant. When I lived in the UK (as a child), I was given an award for merely helping a friend picking up nails on the floor coz she toppled the box over. I want that kinda culture. Where small gestures are highlighted so that we grow up understanding they matter.

To all of those wondering, yes I do plan on giving them a small award ceremony.

Thank you again for the kind comments! 💓💓💓

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 · 8 hrs · Edited