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Mixed Feelings

Idlan joined SSU - Sekolah Sri Utama - back in 2008 in kindergarten. He spent 3 years in pre-school before starting primary school, finishing off with his UPSR last year. He left a couple of weeks after the exam to join the school he is at now.

Irfan also joined as a 4-year-old back in 2010 and will be leaving in September. It looked like we would be completing our 9 year association with the school soon and I was there today to pay for Irfan’s term fees, which would eventually be the last for him. With that fee paid, it meant that this may be the last bit of business I would be doing with the school except for collecting the school bond when Irfan leaves later.

Over the years, it was clear that the school was heading for a decline. They were actually lucky as there were a number of schools nearby that had completely closed over the years. SSU was still surviving, but I fear for their future. The quality of the teachers had deteriorated. They had a number of headmasters recently, with one only just recently resigned. Most of the teachers were local - the last headmaster was Caucasian. With a PhD. I didn’t think that he was a perfect fit from day one.

One of my main gripe was the fact that the school do not have a Parents-Teachers Association. Dissemination of informations had been weak over the years, much to my frustration. And there were no avenue for us to voice our concerns. I did write a letter to the then headmaster when Idlan left, and he did reply back. From the tone of his email, I could sense that he was just as frustrated with the arrangement at the school.

The school Idlan - and later Irfan - would be moving to was way different to Sri Utama. They put a lot of emphasis on parents’ participation, their activities were great and Idlan had definitely moved on from. He was miserable in the last couple of years at Sri Utama. We told the teachers about that but unfortunately they weren’t at all interested.

I still have a soft spot for Sri Utama. It was convenient when we were living in Gombak before. Time has changed and the school had certainly been left behind .... We were still in contact with some of the teachers from yesteryears. They still remembered the two boys, and how they had grown over the years .... I still had the photo of Idlan’s first day at Sri Utama in 2008 framed on the wall at the house in Gombak.

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