I have wanted to update my observation about public school for a long time. It's time for review. It would also appear that each time I start to write about it, I see an arrow pointing to another direction. Is this a sign? And if yes, why am I still waiting? Perhaps I am in denial, perhaps I might not be.....it really doesn't matter anymore. I had a parent who came to me and said - wake up, make a move elsewhere, stop lying to yourself and keeping your son in school. It hurts, because like any parent, I also wish to see my son given a chance for normal schooling (if only if it is deemed `normal' as in fairness, supporting).
But being a person as I am, I wanted to see it with my own eyes. And truly it can be ugly. No wonder they disallow parents coming into school premises. It is said, for security reasons, and I wonder what `threat' we have in the school premises? We bullying the children? Or planting a bomb in the premises? I suppose it's the very same fear and reason for us not to interfere with the school discipline. But if we don't, if you only took a peep inside...you would be shocked! Would you allow another kid to beat the hell of your child and keep quiet? Ah...so is this how the school deal with discipline? And also........hide the dark secrets from us? Do we need to wait to see blood to get a phone call from school?
I observed from far during recess time. The children are left to play on their own. Yes some can be physically `wild' but as long as it's within limit, it's part of growing up in a public environment. When the school bell rings, the children, including the monitors are seen having a couldn't be bothered attitude, walking and taking their own sweet time to assemble. Some are seen still eating, talking and shouting loudly. Reminds me so much of a fish market. It'sonly when the male teacher raises his voice, then you see some order, still there are some who are seen not listening. Where is the fear of discipline. I am afraid it no longer exist.
Looking back my time in school. I remember fearing the authorities like the teachers and what more the principal of the school. We even give respect to the monitors in school. We dare not even break a rule, for fear taken up on stage for punishment. And the punishements were humiliating. If one was caught talking during assembly, you were taken up on stage and being from an all girls school, we had our mouth drawn with lipstick. No walkmans allowed. Now you see young children carrying handphones in school and some even surf porn sites.
I have always been an observer, rarely poked my face about school discipline. Partly because I have a child with some behavioural issues. I didn't want added attention when my own child also has issues in the classroom. Awareness helps in understanding and coping with children's extreme behaviour. I did write in my previous post about an Indian boy who is a delinquent in school. Numerous complaints have been highlighted about him being nutorious, beating up other children, lying and even stealing money. I wouldn't categorise him as `normal' naughtiness, as he knows very well what he is doing but couldn't help but to continue to be delinquent.
I try very hard not to interfere. Rules are rules. Meaning as parents we are not allowed to be in the school premises during school hours. But some mothers (including myself, but I am on special grounds) do visit the school during break time and prior assembly.
There have been issues about bullying in school. I played dumb and ignored them as it's non of my business since it is between the students, school and their respective parents. We have no right to interfere in other people's business but I feel the least we can do whenever we can is to protect our children as much as we can. I am not a typical parent who is obsessively protective. As long as there is no injury occuring, the child will have to learn to protect himself. It would be simply impossible for us parents to be with them 24/7, so it's part and parcel of growing up. Now, don't get me wrong here. I am not instilling bad behaviour syndrome to my child, ok.
It makes me see how vulnerable it is for our children to cope in such a maddening atmosphere in school these days. Children these days are very vocal, exposed and not forgetting to add also, very violent. Dragging each other on the floor, throwing food, telling lies. And with the exposure of internet, children even get to access porn sites in school, if not download images via the mobile phone. So it's a wonder to me why more and more parents are taking out their children from the school.
My main priority of putting my son in a school environment is for social exposure. Yes I admit there are pros and cons. Sometimes I regret. Am I really making the right decision? After all the abovementioned socialising isn't positive but filled with negative vibes. Again this is the real world.....
He did learn alot, but also exposed to be a victim of bullying. So how much can I protect him from a real life situation? I cannot, but this is sure an eye opener for me to see the real world. It is sure not easy and nice!
I can only try my very best. I cannot say I am doing the right thing. But that is the risk I have decided to take. I think I have seen enough to prove my concious that as a parent I still make the best teacher and guide to my own child. Honestly speaking, don't expect your children to learn about moral values from others. You be the teacher yourself. So in conclusion, socialising in school isn't a big thing after all. Yes he gets to mix with other children, but what kind of influence does he get out of it. As for the public school, I don't see much of a good disciplined moral influence, rather instead filled with lots of negativity.
My two cents worth of thoughts
|Many sides to the stick|
|Many sides to the stick|
Discipline versus punishment, respect versus resentment ... The dilemma of how best to handle problematic students is compounded by conflicting views on cause and effect.
SPARE the rod and spoil the child” may be a common refrain for previous generations. For today’s youngsters, however, the stereotypical image of the cane-wielding school teacher may well be on its way to history.
Caning in schools is increasingly unpopular and public caning has practically become taboo.
But the recent spate of serious disciplinary cases has raised questions on whether the cane should be banned altogther.
According to Deputy Education Minister Datuk Wee Ka Siong, the distinction between caning in private and public is clear.
“Public caning should never happen in schools. Caning should be confined to the principal’s office and handled privately,” he says.
Wee, who is also head of the Committee on Controlling Disciplinary Problems in Schools, adds that the school environment should be conducive for students to receive an education.
“The real purpose of caning is to maintain a certain amount of discipline and order in schools, not to humiliate or embarrass students as it would be counter-productive.”
Wee says a new directive issued by the ministry last week states that certain procedures must be followed before any caning. Among them is that schools must inform parents of the student’s offence. They should also state when and where he will be caned.
Caning should only be carried out by school principals, or disciplinary teachers, as delegated by the former.
It should also be reserved only for serious offences such as fighting or smoking on school grounds. And counselling must be given to the students after the punishment, to make sure they understand what they did wrong and why they were caned.
After all, “there is no point in merely executing the school rules if students are not taught to obey them on their own accord,” Dr Wee adds.
Don’t touch me!
In recent years, there has been a shift in disciplinary measures for school children.
New-generation parents who are better-educated are also more outspoken. The result? They will not hesitate to “intercept” when it comes to certain school rules.
Although caning in school has never been ruled out, some teachers have chosen not to touch their students at all, simply to avoid having to answer to angry parents.
Alice Lim*, an English and Mathematics teacher in a Klang Valley primary school, says: “We were never allowed to cane students. But nowadays, I am not even allowed to raise my voice or shout at my pupils because they will complain to their parents.”
Without the principal to back her up, it is difficult for her to ‘confront’ parents, even if their child was in the wrong, Lim adds.
“To a certain extent, parental intervention in schools has made our job more difficult. As teachers, we are obliged to carry out certain things. It is tough enough having to deal with disciplinary problems in school without the unecessary input from parents.
“Children today know how to take advantage of their teachers so it is important that as teachers we know how to be strict with them without (resorting to) the physical element.”
Daphne Lee, a mother of three, feels that the cane as a disciplinary tool should only be used by parents.
“I think caning should only be carried out by the child’s parents because I feel some teachers cannot be trusted not to abuse their power if they are allowed to do so.”
While Lee does not believe that caning should be completely written off, she says factors such as a child’s personality, and the reasons that call for discipline should be considered before wielding the rod.
Having been caned in her school days, she remembers that the punishment provoked resentment rather than respect for her teacher.
Caning aside, Lee strongly opposes disciplinary methods like writing lines, standing outside the classroom, and name-calling a child, which she terms a “waste of time”.
Rather, if a child does something wrong, “he should be set extra work that requires him to make a real effort” and be counselled about his behaviour, Lee suggests.
On the other hand, not all parents believe the cane should be hung up at home.
T. Ravinder has no qualms about having his children caned by their teachers. “If they’ve done something wrong, then I’d say go ahead,” said the father of two.
“In my day, if you came home and complained about being caned, you’d get a few strokes from your parents as well.”
Ravinder thinks that sometimes there is no other alternative but to cane a student.
“As long as they are made to understand why they are being punished, I don’t see any problem with caning students.”
UKM senior lecturer in clinical psychology Dr Ng Lai Oon believes that while caning may work as a disciplinary tool, teachers have to be prepared for the “side effects”.
“If you ask old school teachers, they would say that caning actually works quite well. However, we have to understand that caning is something that can trigger side effects, such as anger, rebellion and fear.”
Where public caning is concerned, the element of shame involved may have drastic consequences.
He cites an extreme example of a 14-year-old boy who developed split personalities after being caned publicly in school.
Dr Ng’s personal stand, however, is that caning should not be an option at all, as it is a form of aggression and violence.
“Sometimes, this act of violence is acted out in childplay - children punish their dolls or scold them - because these are scenes they are familiar with.”
Through his clinical experience, he has seen many who have suffered some kind of psychology consequence as a result of caning, be it short- or long-term.
Is there a difference between discipline and punishment?
“Discipline involves both punishment and reward. A child should understand that wrongdoing has consequences and if they do something wrong, they have to be prepared to face the consequence. On the other hand, they can also be rewarded if they do well.”
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative in Malaysia, Youssouf Oomar, says caning infringes on the rights of a child to learn in a safe educational environment.
“Aside from physical and psychological injuries, destructive punishment also creates a cycle of violence, whereby children tend to be more aggressive and resort to bullying and vandalism as a means to solving their problems.”
Youssouf adds that UNICEF has been working with the Education Ministry and HELP University College since last year to carry out a project on positive discipline.
“We’re developing materials as well as training teachers to use alternative models of discipline instead of corporal punishment, as well as conducting bullying intervention programmes.”
The good ol’ days
For Jonathan Wong Wei Choy, 23, the cane was the weapon of choice of teacherswho tried to maintain control over his all-boys school.
“I was caned throughout high school, mostly for minor offences such as talking during assembly and not paying attention in class. The punishment would be doled out on the spot.”
Although unaffected by the whole experience, Jonathan does not wish the same fate for students.
“For one, it definitely did not change my behaviour - we were all caned so many times that it became a joke. Secondly, I think it sends out the wrong message to children - it tells them that violence can induce obedience.”
Daniel Lim, now an accountant living in Australia, thinks caning should be enforced in schools as his experience of being canned made him a better person.
“The fear of getting caned is a pretty good control lever,” he says. “I was quite a good boy in high school because that fear kept me from causing mischief.”
As for the pyschological scars, Daniel reports that neither he nor his peers suffer from low self-esteem. In fact, they are all confident about themselves.
“I just think it’s sexist that girls were made to pick up rubbish instead (of being caned).”
However, not all girls are lucky enough to escape the sting of the stick. Graphic design student Athirah Naim says that she and her gal pals were caned for so many small ‘offences’ that she can hardly remember what these were now.
“I think it was for things like forgetting my homework, failing a test, not bringing my physical education uniform, having long fingernails and so on.”
Athirah, 23, concedes that the boys in her school had it worse.
“We would just get smacked on the palm or on our legs. The boys were caned on their rear ends. Of course, they tended to cause more trouble, such as painting graffitti on the school walls, and fighting.”
She feels that teachers shouldpractise “discriminate caning” when all other disciplinary methods have failed.
“I definitely agree with bringing back the cane though - students today are so out of control!”
Students who got the rod every so often had to find a way out - or, at least, a way to lessen the intensity of the punishment.
Jane Lim, 23, remembers the days when she took an “anti-pain toolkit” to school, comprising toothpaste and glue.
“We used to smear them on our hands just before we went in front of the classroom to be caned. They worked quite well in reducing the pain.”
While the debate over whether the cane is an indispensible instrument of discipline or a politically incorrect tool will persist, some see the swishing rod as just another unremarkable part of school life.
“I was caned in secondary school for smoking,” said a 20-year-old college student who wishes to remain anonymous.
“It didn’t affect me then, it doesn’t affect me now. After a while, the teachers just gave up and told me not to smoke in front of other students.”
* Not her real name
|Schoolboy death: Ministry waits for full report|
|Schoolboy death: Ministry waits for full report|
By KAREN CHAPMAN
PETALING JAYA: The Education Ministry will decide on its next course of action after getting a detailed report on the case of the nine-year-old schoolboy who died several hours after being caned.
Education director-general Datuk Alimuddin Mohd Dom said the ministry wanted to study the police and medical reports on the pupil’s cause of death.
“We want to know more about the pupil and his medical history. We also need to know what type of cane was used, as well talk to the other pupils who were in the class when the incident happened,” he said when contacted.
Teachers, he added, should know if pupils have a medical condition so they can be treated accordingly.
Alimuddin was commenting on the death of SJK (C) Kampung Baru Tiong student Chan Qi Xian, who died several hours after being caned on the back of his hands by a teacher.
Chan had complained of a severe headache after he was caned around noon on Tuesday for not doing his homework.
Alimuddin, who had been informed of the pupil’s death, said only headmasters and principals could cane a student although the authority to do so could also be delegated to the discipline teacher, or another teacher.
State Education Department director Datuk Abdullah Mohammad said the school authorities rushed the pupil to the Segamat Hospital when he complained of dizziness. They also contacted his parents.
Abdullah, who was away attending a meeting, said he would visit the school to talk to the teacher as well as other staff members about the incident.
Headmaster Lim Yan Ho refused to disclose details, adding that he had submitted a report to the state education department.
|9yr-old dies after caning at school|
|9yr-old dies after caning at school|
SEREMBAN: A nine-year-old pupil at SRJKC Kg Tiong in Gemas, who was caned in the hands by a female teacher at the school Tuesday, died on Wednesday.
According to Negri Sembilan police chief Datuk Osman Salleh, the boy had complained about feeling dizzy after the caning session. On seeing that his condition had taken a turn for the worse, the school authorities contacted his parents before sending him to the Segamat Hospital for treatment.
“The parents, however, had him transferred to the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru but later brought him back home the same day after being told by hospital authorities that chances of their son recovering were slim,” he told reporters after attending a blood donation campaign at the Negri Sembilan police headquarters here Wednesday.
He said it was understood the boy had “central nervous system problems” and dismissed allegations that the caning had caused his death.
He added that the boy died at home at 3.30am Wednesday. Osman said that on a personal note, in future, he advised parents to inform school authorities if their children were suffering any ailment.
“This way the schools will have proper records on the health condition of their charges ... teachers will be extra cautious when taking any disciplinary action against them,” he said. -- Bernama
|The Clock Is Ticking|
|The Clock Is Ticking|
The title of this post sounds so morbid as though I am waiting to die. Indeed I have a gloomy mood compounded by an untreatable disease. It's like having a terminal disease - cancer which gives me 3 more months to live.
That's what the school (yes again, I did mention in my previous mail the reason for my dampened spirit) has given WH.
I sat in the car this morning. I saw the parents sending the children to school. How nice and happy they looked doing their daily chore in and out and their children moving through the flow. Yes I envy them of their happiness not having to struggle. Yes I am dwelling on self pity. But honest, I feel very chocked up and it sucks not able to find a way. It frustrates me, I am a walking time bomb about to explode.
I write to inspire parents, but I can't even inspire myself. I am like an Astrologist able to tell others their future but I do not know my own future.
I dread the thought of going inside the school. The spirit is dampened. Yes it's dying and so is my hope and faith in seeing him through this challenge is evolving.
|To Tell The Truth Or Not To Tell|
|To Tell The Truth Or Not To Tell|
Today my heartaches. Aches in a different way than other times when I feel sad. This time it aches for White Horse. The more I see the world as itself, the uglier I feel about it. I am not in a good mood for the very reason why I sit here with tears in my eyes. Only those who has walked/walks the same path as me can feel the same. It's a phase I just have to go through, be strong and push on.
Tears roll down my cheek as I pen this down.
His teacher has been constantly telling me about WH's behaviour. Not that I do not already know but it has become something quite hard for me to hear. I think I just have enough of all the complaints and all the negative things being said. There is no one single good words about him being praised of acknowledge. How about his progress of assimilation that I see before my own eyes? Yes he face a big social challenge but isn't that what we already expect and for that very reason why we put him in such an environment to assimilate then to segregate him.
It's a shame that the world is still so narrow minded about the whole issue about mental disorders. Once one hears that you freak out thinking that a person is a nut and good for nothing person in society. I am just passing a general assumption here for the same reason if a child were to throw a tantrum and make a scene in public, all eyes would be on the parents that he/she has abused the child. Have they ever taken one second to think that maybe that child has a problem that his/her parents are having a hard time trying to calm the child down? Yes I won't blame the public for the ignorance. Simply they were not told about it. Or maybe they don't care.
Society as such we are born in we are all discirminants. We say we fight for equality and again so many times we see inequality with our own eyes. Law Acts created to protect the innocent, yet still we see the weaker beings taken advantage of.
I am speaking this on behalf for the weaker ones who are unable to voice out for themselves.
I feel disappointed, that's why I cry out loud in my heart. There is nothing much I can do being just one of the million affected people and with just my voice, nobody can hear it.
Maybe I should write a book about it and publish.
For those who have been following my blog, you would understand the triumphs and struggles I have gone through. Nevertheless again and again I managed to carry myself up again despite all the tribulations faced. For the same very fact I say again is the passion in my heart still burns. That's my only hope and reason to live and I am a person of my word. I made a promise to White Horse that I will see him through this. Even if it is to trade my life. I will not give up.
I cannot stop myself from feeling very emotional about this. Though I curse and whine asking God again - why God? I feel that everyday as I walk this path I am being moulded by White Horse. The character of being weak now stands strong and firm and determined. Appearing to resemble the character of a horse. I am slowly becoming that untamed Stallion, wild, free and strong.
I would like to share with you what the school has said about him. To be precise that is exactly what his class teacher said. Presumely we are here to tell the truth and yet we are caught in a Catch 22 scenario...to tell or not to tell. As a result of intergrity:
Just a little information which the school has highlighted in a letter to us about WH proposing special ed program
1. Your child is very hyperactive and disturb the teaching process which is conducted by the teacher during classroom time.
2. Other than that your child's behaviour disturbs his friends who are studying. He is not focus at what is being taught to him and do not
do the activites/work which the respective teachers give. Such attitude also cause the other children to follow this negative behaviour.
3.He does not listen to the teacher's instruction during lessons despite being reprimanded/scolded by the teacher.
4. The child's speech is not clear which makes it difficult to be understood.As a result it disturbes the relationship among the teachers and his peers
5.The past 3 months of teaching, the child is difficult to be taught to write properly. He is unable to differentiate the use of colours and colour properly
6.The school is concerned for his safety during recess and before lessons and during lessons as the child will disturb other children. This child goes out often
during class during the interchanging of teachers and he is often missing during the lessons.
7.The record performance of the child is weak because he doesn't concerntrate when answering questions during the exam and lessons. He scored 4/60 in the Streamling Exam. According to program KIA2Ma child which scores 0-9 marks needs doctors diagnosis to be placed in special needs sector.
8. Looking at the situation which has been going on for the past 3 months and to ensure the future of the child and after looking at the child's performance, the school would recommend that the child to be evaluated by a doctor to be placed in special ed. The reason is to get the special needs teacher who is able to help this child.
9. Enclose is the child's offence record and child's learning capacity to show as prove of the said offence and his weaknesses during school hours. Enclosed is a entrance form to the special ed programme.
Your cooperation is must appreciated to ensure the safety and the bright future of this child.
No doubt I know what is being said is true. But it really saddens my heart to read all the negative feedback about him. It truly breaks my heart as a mother who has worked so hard to see him progress this far and being thrown a list of negative feedback about him. It really disheartens me.
I looked back in the file and his previously reports. His former teacher had so much to say about him with all the positive points. It gave me courage to see the goodness of him vs, a report as mentioned above which dampens my heart and spirit.
Yes I feel weary and weak.
Isaiah 40:31 - But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. (KJV)
I stand firm.
God will make a way.......
The Power Of Your Love
Lord I come to You
Let my heart be changed
Flowing from the grace
that I found in You.
Lord I've come to see
the weaknesses in me
will be stripped away
by the pow'r Your love.
Hold me close
let Your love surround me
bring me near
draw me to your side
and as I wait
I'll rise up like the eagle
and I will sore with You
Your spirit leads me on
by the power of Your love.
Lord unveal my eyes
let me see You face to face
the knowledge of Your love
as you live in me.
Lord renew my mind
as Your will unfolds in my life
in living everyday
by the power of Your love.
|The Name Game|
|The Name Game|
Labeling Troubled and
The Name Game
That kid's got an hyperactivity disorder, attention deficit
He's learning disabled.
Generalizations; sometimes they are harmful stereotypes. Sometimes they guide practitioners toward good ways to help; sometimes they contribute to "blaming the victim" -- making young people the focus of intervention rather than pursuing system deficiencies that are causing the problem in the first place.
In all cases, diagnostic labels can profoundly shape a person's future.
Youngsters manifesting emotional upset, misbehavior, and learning problems commonly are assigned psychiatric labels that were created to categorize internal
disorders. Thus, there is increasing use of terms such as ADHD, depression, and LD. This happens despite the fact that the problems of most youngsters are
not rooted in internal pathology. Indeed, many of their troubling symptoms would not have developed if their environmental circumstances had been
appropriately different.What's in a name? Strong images are associated with diagnostic labels, and people act upon these images. Sometimes the images are useful
Diagnosing Behavioral, Emotional, and Learning Problems
It is not surprising that debates about labeling young people are so heated. Differential diagnosis is difficult and fraught with complex issues (e.g.,
Adelman, 1995; Adelman & Taylor, 1994; 1989; Dryfoos, 1990).person pathology.Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -- DSM IV (American Psychiatricformal systems used to classify problems in human functioning convey the impression that all behavioral, emotional, orpathology. Some efforts to temper this notion see the pathology as a vulnerability that only becomes evident
The thinking of those who study behavioral, emotional, and learning problems has long been dominated by models stressing. This is evident in discussions of cause, diagnosis, and intervention strategies. Because so much discussion focuses on person pathology, diagnostic systems have not been developed in ways that adequately account for psychosocial problems.
This is well-illustrated by the widely-used Association, 1994) and by MMPI categories, as well as the dimensions formulated by Achenbach and others based on behavior rating scales.
As a result, comprehensive learning problems are instigated by internal under stress. However, most differential diagnoses of children's problems are made by focusing on identifying one or more disorders (e.g., oppositional defiant disorder, attentiondeficit/ hyperactivity disorder, or adjustment disorders), rather than first asking: Is there a disorder?toward labeling problems in terms of personal rather than social causation is bolstered by factors such as (a) attributional bias --a tendency foreconomic and political influences --whereby society's current priorities and other extrinsic forces shape professional practice (Becker, 1963; Chase, 1977; Hobbs, 1975; Schact, 1985).versus nurturehere is a substantial community-serving component in policies and procedures for classifying and labeling exceptional children and in the various kinds of.
Overemphasis on classifying problems in terms of personal pathology skews theory, research, practice, and public policy. One example is seen inthe fact that comprehensive classification systems do not exist for environmentally caused problems or for psychosocial problems (caused by the transaction of internal and environmental factors). There is considerable irony in all this because so many practitioners who use prevailing diagnostic labels understand that most problems in human functioning result from the interplay of person and environment. To counter nature biases in thinking about problems, it's helps to approach all diagnosis guided by a broad perspective of what determines human behavior.
There is a substantial community-serving component in policies and procedures for classifying and labeling exceptional children and in the various kinds of institutional arrangements made to take care of them..
"To take care of them" can and should be read with two meanings: to give children help and to exclude them from the community
To illustrate the nature of transactional thinking, let's look at learning problems In teaching a lesson, a classroom teacher will find some students learn easily, and some do not; some misbehave, some do not. Even a good student may appear distracted on a given day.
Why the differences? A common sense answer suggests that each student brings something different to the situation and therefore experiences it differently.
And that's a pretty good answer -- as far as it goes. What gets lost in this simple explanation is the essence of the reciprocal impact student and situation have on each other -- resulting in continuous change in both. capacities and attitudescurrent states of. These "person" variables, but also thein which instructiondesired, deviant, . Any of theseprimarily reflect the impact of Diagnostic and-- DSM IVstarting placeextremely dysfunctionalcaused by pathological conditions withinare reserved for individuals who fit the
To clarify the point: For purposes of the present discussion, any student can be viewed as bringing to each situation accumulated over time, as well as being and behaving transact with each other and also with the environment (Adelman & Taylor, 1993).
At the same time, the situation in which students are expected to function not only consists of instructional processes and content physical and social context takes place. Each part of the environment also transacts with the others.
Obviously, the transactions can vary considerably and can lead to a variety of outcomes. Observers noting student capacities and attitudes may describe the outcomes in terms of disrupted, or delayed functioning outcomes may person variables, environmental variables, or both.
Toward a Broader Framework
The need to address a wider range of variables in labeling problems is clearly seen in efforts to
develop multifaceted systems. The multiaxial classification system developed by the American Psychiatric Association in its Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders represents the dominant approach (American Psychiatric Association, l994). This system does include a dimension acknowledging "psychosocial stressors." However, this dimension is used mostly to deal with the environment as a contributing factor, rather than as a primary cause.
To read more...go to the PDF file.
|Conversation with a 7 year old girl|
|Conversation with a 7 year old girl|
Me: Why? Do you have a headache?
Maz: No....I don't have a headache.
Me: But you just said so..you said headache....
Maz: I don't have a headache but my mum has one.
Me: Really? How come?
Maz: She keeps on going at home saying headache this and headache that.....so she has a headache. I don't have one...
Me: Tsk..tsk....~grin (sounds familiar)!!
We make our decisions through the choices we have. Sometimes we make good choices, while other times, we make mistakes. I am writing this to share part of my thoughts about government schooling system. I am sure many of us have heard many stories about the schooling system and therefore we made our choices to either send to private school or even homeschooling.
That's life, the world we face everyday. I feel that sometimes we cannot avoid confronting the ugliness of it, as it's there. But being caught in a situation where you don't really have much choices or even nonetheless, we just have to learn to fit it. That's the toughest part I realise ie. trying hard to conform into a system that just won't work. I say this basically from my honest heart that it's a very tough battle, needless to say even for a regular child to cope in such an environment, what more putting a LD child.
Yes we aspire many great things for our child. I admit I too would wish my child can assimiliate and be like any other child in town. Who don't wish for that? especially more if you are talking about children whom you just know have the chance if only given the chance. It's a shame to shun them away through discrimination.
I observed for the past few weeks. And for the past few days even more especially how the children play. I am not the type of parent who is overly protective and worry if he will get beaten up by a bully. We expect to happen in such an environment. From my observation, I already noted complaints from parents saying that so and so bullied my son, he spoke bad words and cursed and also threatened to break my son's fingers. There are limitations and constraints as we observe in such an environment. Reprimanding, disciplining children for the wrong doings has to be taken in a positive manner. Why would a 7 year old child behave notoriously ie. speaking the four letter words, cursing parents and friends and to the extend of even telling lies ? For me there is always an underlying cause of such behaviours, normally linked to adult influence from home. But this is just this much that you can do as an outsider for this child as again we are dealing with the human factor of feelings and school of thoughts. I rest my case to debate on such issues as for me there are more prevailing issues to encounter in assimiliting to the system. It's undoubtfully astounding to witness such events especially being a parent having to see your child being bullied etc. But honestly, that's part and parcel of the real world. So where do we draw the line of being overly protective and having the couldn't be bothered attitude? Do you close one eye and pretend not seeing it? Do you proceeed to intervene to ears in vane? The choice is yoursl. Ultimate either you let go and live with it or search for other venues of education.
One other factor I found struggling within myself in this system is getting emphaty. No doubt my son is a little different (not way out different either! yes stucked in between), I also feel the same stigma as time goes by. Maybe I am being inferior, but suppose I do have feelings also when mothers start to talk about their child performing, while mine is not or stuggling. No doubt I tell myself over and over again I am running my own marathon race, I still feel the pressure of having to compete. Yes honestly it's a competition eventhough I tell myself that my aim is to get him to mix socially but in reality I am still in the rat race.
They started to streamline the children. My son remained in the same class as they claim they streamline according to the National Language competency. Well there is pros and cons in this aspect.
For me streamlining a child as this very young age is unjust and makes no sense. especially if you are emphasising on moral studies and having a life case scenario of `discrimination' intellectual capacity. I find such system is not good at all. It doesn't help the teachers to cope teaching one class of problematic children, while the other so called `clever' class has the smart alexs in school. Even as young as 7 the child can distinguish their `intellectual' level and `disciriminate' unvoluntarily?? One boy came to me and said - you are ..... mother. I said yes. This is his classroom. I used to be in the same class as him but I have moved to another class. I asked him why...knowing the answer already as I wanted to see his reactions. He said - that's because I am clever so I have been promoted to the other class but he stays here because he is not clever.
I went...mmmm....ok. I wonder what they teach the kids to think or say? What's society ending up to become? I thought we are suppose to bring in more awareness of speciall needs in hoping to gain more emphaty and acceptance but it boggles my mind when a 7 year old child response to me in this manner. I can imagine he will grow up `discriminating' and let alone talking about learning to be humble.
So...there..........back to square one. We are on our own league. Yes tired of fighting a hopeless system. Instead I feel I would rather spend my time nurturing and teaching my son on my own then fighting a loosing battle.
No I have not given up hope. Perhaps it's time to face reality and move on.
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