As founder and admin of the Malaysia Primary And Secondary School Parents on Facebook group, I read through each and every discussion to moderate. One of the things that strike me is the stereotyping that parents have for a particular school. SK schools have been stereotyped as very relaxed with teachers missing in action etc. whereas SJKC is stereotyped as very academically focussed and overly strict with liberal use of the rotan (cane).
Whenever, even the slightest mention of "proof" of such stereotyped circumstances, many parents jump in the thread to discuss and the thread ends up over 100 comments long. This happens over and over again. This strikes fear in many parents hearts. "Am I doing the right thing in sending my child to SK/SJKC?" would be the first thing they ask themselves.
As an English speaking parent of two children in SJKC, I too was once struck by that fear and misconception. At one time, selecting schools seemed like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea.
As a parent this is what you can do to rise above these stereotyping of schools
- Do not let this stereotyping affect you or your child
- Be supportive. If you think the school is slack, YOU give your child a push. If you think your child is having too much work at school YOU make sure he gets enough rest and relaxation at home
- Do not feed on negativity by thinking that every thing you read in the forums are the exactly the situation you will find in all schools. In forums, sometimes parents are ranting their unhappiness but there are also parents who are happy, just not expressing it, especially not in a negative thread. Those threads can be quite vicious too at times. I have seen parents who after reading the forum or thread said "Oh, no, I better think twice about sending my child to SK/SJKC". That is sad really. Not every school, nor every teacher is the same as what is often described
- Do not talk negativity about your child's school or teachers in front of him or her. Ok, rant it out in the forum if you want but please, NOT in front of your child because it will affect him or her
- If you encounter a problem in school, keep calm and find out what actually happened by listening to everyone involved followed by a step-by-step approach. You will find indignant parents in forums telling you to "Report to the police. Report to the Education Ministry". That should be the final step in your approach AFTER you have spoken to your child, the teacher, the HM, the PTA, then the Education Ministry and the Police in that order unless it is a very serious case which warrants immediate action
In my next post, I will share with you that not all SJKC teachers are the same stereotypical ones.