“Thank you very much for your feedback, praises and sharing. Each one has been noted, and we will do the necessary.
Alhamdulillah, we are almost done. But before we call it a morning, allow me to share a few thoughts. I joined Abedeen as a teacher. The English teacher for the Secondary students. Not only did I fall deeper in love with teaching, I found a home for me to educate and train the next generation of whom will become our leaders as we step into our golden years. That was never the dream as a young girl. It was a passion I stumbled upon 5 years ago, and have been privileged to pursue.
I am fully aware, that at the top of our heads, academic success is something we want our children to achieve. Who wants to see their children receiving bad results, and being depressed and embarrassed right? None of us. Not as a parent, not as a teacher. While I must say that all students enrolled at Abedeen are smart, in fact smarter than they make themselves to be, there is a bigger matter that has come to my attention. And for this, I seek the assistance from you dear parents of Abedeen to make come true.
We grew from 40 to 110 students in a blink of an eye. In the first week, frankly speaking, the school turned into a mamak stall. Yup, that market. This is by far, the saddest thing for me. It got me thinking, and thinking real hard. Why are our mamak stalls dirty? Have you ever gone to a mamak stall having to look for a part with clean flooring? Why? Why? Why? This question kept popping up. Why do we have to go to that extent? People in our community eat there. Our neighbours eat there. Our friends eat there. So why is it dirty? Our houses are certainly not in that state. No siree. Then it dawned on me. Ethics and mannerism. Our ethics and mannerism when we dine out. Our children’s ethics and mannerism when they dine out. Based on real time observation, it is lacking. So, dear parents, at Abedeen, we have started teaching students to clean their tables after eating and studying. They must send their plates and cups to the basin. They pick food and wrappings they discard on the floor. Yes, I know none of us teach our children to throw things on the floor, but it is happening. They are to pick up after themselves and so I ask you, to do the same at home. Let them pick up after their mess. Let them take responsibility. Let them own their responsibility and bear consequences for not being responsible. So, that the next time they dine out, they are aware of the importance of keeping clean. And I truly truly believe, we can have clean mamak stalls.
And this obviously goes beyong the mamak stalls. The trait of ‘someone will pick up after me’ is brought into the classroom. Students leave their items lying everywhere. They have a drink and leave the cups on the table. Shirts and sweaters lying on the floor, benches, tables and chairs. They kick their shoes off, and leave slippers lying around. They are leaving books opened, lying on the table. The Quran, is left on the table, just like that. Out of habit, they leave it thinking ‘someone will pick up after me’. I will admit that when I catch them in these acts, they will be required to clean up before the next activity. And I always check up before lunch time. So, if it’s a mess, I hold lunch. If they start lunch later than 1pm, they still must be at the musolla for prayer by 1:40pm. No excuses. Let us train and teach them that luxury, and a comfortable life, comes with being responsible. And it is my personal yet firm believe, that when they respect rules, their surroundings, people, their elders, respect their education, respect their religion, respect themselves and their responsibilities, everything else in their life, including academic success, will follow.
Being clean is half of deen. So, it is a requirement. It is asked of us as Muslims. The Prophet was loved and adored and idolized practicing cleanliness. And in following the footsteps of the Prophet, we lead by example. We do it with them. Not for them. But with them.
So, let them do it. And mums, this will be a big help, no? It may cause some chaos in the beginning. But we are developing world leaders, aren’t we? Wouldn’t some chaos be worth it?
Before I end, thank you for your trust. Thank you for your support. Thank you for the children that you have brought into Abedeen. Diamonds in the rough they are. Let’s work together to make then shine.”
Iman Fairuza Rozhan