BEATING the odds slowly’ (StarEducate, Nov 24) was truly a heartwarming account by a mother of a boy’s struggle at school.
At a time when everyone is obsessed with excellence, it comes as a welcome surprise and a breath of fresh air to read about the struggles and challenges faced by students on the other end of the spectrum.
The account of Firdaus encapsulates the arduous journey of children who struggle between passing and failing in the education system.
Firdaus represents the average Malaysian child but his school life was made more difficult when his parents enrolled him in a Chinese vernacular school.
Apart from Bahasa Melayu and the English language, every other subject was taught in Mandarin which was the medium of instruction in a Chinese vernacular school.
He had to learn Mandarin from scratch because no one at home spoke the language.
In the early years, he was struggling but with determination and perseverance, he beat all odds to succeed.
He did not succumb to failure but took it upon himself to improve in his studies.
His parents were supportive and were happy with his achievements.
They have been a beacon of hope and faith to Firdaus. They have shown that the entire journey of education is a teaching and learning curve for themselves and Firdaus.
Most importantly, the parents showed that grades are not everything. It does not matter at the end of the day. They understood his feelings and emotions.
What matters is the transformation of Firdaus from being insignificant to attaining enlightenment. He is now able to take each stride at his own pace and chart his own destiny.
How many parents can be supportive of their children in their studies or interests? How many parents can guide and support their children in attaining their dreams and wishes?
How many parents can break free from the As mentality that pushed children over the limit in achieving excellence in examinations?
The story of Firdaus is a beacon of hope for the majority of parents. Society fails to realise that there are children who have different kinds of challenges in life.
It is the story of the silent majority who do not make the headlines whenever examination results are released.
SAMUEL YESUIAH Seremban The STAR Online Home News Education 01/12/2013