Early last month an article in the newspaper highlighted one of my former teachers, Mr. Vincent Fernandez. In the article, he gave what I can only describe as a glowing report card of my time as a secondary school student at St John’s Institution, Kuala Lumpur. I was overwhelmed that he remembers me in such a good light; as a boy, I committed my share of pranks back then.
I believe that teachers are some of the most unsung heroes in our nation, at occasions being stationed in the most remote villages in the country. These are people who spend most of their lives nurturing and shaping the offspring of others, as the future human capital to spur the growth of our beloved Malaysia. Too often, their work calls for personal sacrifices, which sometimes go unnoticed and unappreciated by the people they serve.
Once every year, we celebrate their sacrifices and contributions, but we must remember and value them every other day of the year as well.
As parents, we all desire the best education for our children, and hope that they develop into productive members of society.
Teachers are there not just to teach us how to add or subtract numbers, or to read and write in different languages, or to memorise historical dates of our history. They are there to teach us how to be creative, articulate our thoughts well, and understand our role and potential in our community.
Today, I ask everyone to join me in honouring and giving thanks to the educators in Malaysia who have toiled to enlighten the minds of generations of Malaysians, and hope that this venerable fraternity continues to do so with dedication for many more generations.
Happy Teachers’ Day!