Monday, February 3, 2014

Tips for public exam-sitting pupils, parents

******************** In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ********************** Reflection ********************** "Anyone who obeys the Messenger has obeyed God..." (Nisaa 4:80) ************************** MY twelve year old daughter is in Year Six and would be taking her 'Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah '(Primary School Achievement Test or UPSR) around September this year. A few days ago I attended a motivation programme for parents and pupils organized by her school. *************************** 'Syabas' to the school’s 'Program Kecemerlangan UPSR' (UPSR Excellence Programme) for being an early bird. Well, the early bird catches the worm; hopefully, pupils in the school would bag strings of achievements and produce as many as possible high achievers, 'insya-Allah' (God willing). ************************ Children like to beg and coax their parents to fulfill their wishes. My daughter too has that trait. She begs her mother to attend the programme but as my wife could not take time off from her work, my daughter turned to me. ************************** "Father, you should be at school before 8.00 am when the programme begins," she begged, to which I nodded but on the said day, I turned up at 9.30 am! Nevertheless my wife had sent the girl earlier; she had dropped her at her school on her way to work. *************************** When I arrived at the school, 'they (the parents, teachers, pupils and VIP guests) were still busy with the 'usual stuff'' - perhaps readers with school going children are well versed in this - there would be speech after speech by the honourable guests including by the Chairman of the Parents and Teachers Association (PIBG). *************************** The invited speaker only took the floor at 10.30 am! Phew, what a long wait, but I must confess that I played full attention (perhaps readers could give me an A+ mark for that, well in schools pupils are 'brainwashed' to get as many ‘A’s as possible! ) to what one Encik Ikhwan Nasir of 'Jemaah Nazir Sekolah Melaka' (Malacca Members of the School Board) had to say. *************************** I noted the tips given by Ikhwan; and on reaching home at 12.30 pm, the first thing I did was to reach for a big white manila card and a black marker and wrote with bold words - Pupil tasks, a reminder by Encik Ikhwan Nasir at SK...on 11th January 2014. ************************ 1. Perform your five times obligatory prayers on time. ************************** 2. Respect your parents. ************************* 3. Always be ready to help your parents. ************************ 4. Be obedient to your teachers. 5. Always 'du'a' (do supplication) for your father and mother. **************************** I stapled the card on a door which would be easy for the whole family to view. Then I wrote on another card regarding the rules when using the internet and viewing TV. I stuck it on the plug of the TV set. *************************** The notes read: ****************************** 1. Please switch off the TV 15 minutes from the scheduled time for 'adhan' (call for prayers). **************************** 2. Do not study / do your homework in front of the TV. ********************************* 3. Spend (if necessary) only an hour daily on TV and using the internet. -- Reminder by Encik Ikhwan Nasir at SK...on 11th January 2014. ************************* As a father of five children, I knew what it was like bringing up the children. Every child has his/her unique characteristic; this daughter (the youngest of the siblings, at this moment-lah), was good at praising her teachers. I noticed since she was in kindergarten, she always 'said good things' about her teachers but was 'hard' on the advice given by me and what panicked and saddened me at times she too ignored her mother words. ************************** Her teachers were always 'right', thus I grabbed 'the opportunity of attending the motivational talk’ to highlight what was mentioned by the speaker (a former teacher himself) and made my daughter vow to follow the rules as at the programme she and her about 70 classmates had taken their oath in which they had said among other things: "We would oblige to our that we would score 5As in UPSR." ***************************** Well, Alhamdulillah after a few days, I realized that my daughter was turning for the better; hopefully she would turn over a new leaf. If before the talk, she would spend hours in front of 'the idiot box' watching what I told her 'those nonsense Korean, Chinese and Japanese stuff', nowadays she sticks to the one hour time allocated! ************************* She is now helpful in doing household chores, such as drying clothes, sweeping the floors and bathing 'our cats' - there are six of them. Usually we would not let the cats inside our house but two of them - Oren and Tupai would jump into the house as soon as we open the doors! ******************** In this article I would to take the opportunity to say 'jazakallahu khayran' (may Allah reward you with goodness) to the teachers, the school’s PIGB or PTA and last but not least to Encik Ikhwan for their concern for my (as well as our) child (and children’s) future what more in the religious aspects of it. ************************ Dear readers, as parents we too have to show good examples to our children; for example at times please perform the Maghrib and Isyak prayers in congregation at home with the whole family involved and please, please do 'du'a' (pray) hard for our children’s goodness, not only for their future in this world but also in the Hereafter. Pray that the whole family and all Muslims would be on His straight path and would escape hellfire but the doors of paradise be open to all of us. ********************** During his talk, Encik Ikhwan made a point to the children (and of course to their parents who were present) that life or success meant nothing if one did not perform his/her obligation to 'solat' (pray) five times daily. ********************** He then called for the children who did not perform their 'subuh' (dawn) prayers that morning to raise their hands. At first only two hands were raised but when the motivator 'grilled' the children, more than half of the class of 70 pupils admitted that they did not perform their subuh prayers. ************************ Encik Ikhwan then asked them why they did not 'solat'...and before getting the answer, he turned to the parents and commented: "Perhaps their mothers and fathers too did not 'solat'" which made some of them giggle and some faces turned red even though they tried to hide it by laughing. *********************** Encik Ikhwan then asked the children; what Islam stood for. Mind you, Encik Ihwan’s answer was only for the children to grasp and understand: I is for 'Isyak' (solat Isyak), S means 'Subuh', L means 'Lohor' (among some Melaka elderly folk Zuhur is pronounced Lohor), A means Asar and M is for Maghrib. ********************* "So you must obediently perform all those prayers...and leaving any means your Islam is not complete," warned the motivator. Yes, if you did not perform 'solat subuh' then the word Islam would become Ilam, if you failed to say your Maghrib prayer then it would be Isla, and if you skipped 'Lohor', it would be Isam!

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