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Election Watch

Tan Sri teachers in action

Source: The Star
Date: 17 April 2012

Students told they have to study hard before someone can give them work
Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar

FROM TAN SRI WITH LOVE: Students listen attentively as Azman gives them precious words of advice — Pic: Ashraf Shamsul

BANTING: How do two powerful, knowledgeable Tan Sri's end up teaching secondary school on the outskirts of Selangor?

Said to advocate that education is everyone's responsibility, Teach for Malaysia Week is a chance for industry leaders to be teacher for a day.

Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and economist Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam were among those who chose to step up, yesterday.

Azman conducted a Form Four science class while Navaratnam taught Form Three history.

"My teenage children helped me prepare for the lesson," said Azman, adding he had borrowed their books and practised in front of them.

"I was sweating. I have spoken in all kinds of places, but this was kind of nerve-wrecking. It's good to be nervous. It spurs you to do a good job."

Meanwhile, Navaratnam regaled his history students with his experiences during the World War Two Japanese Occupation and when Malaysia gained Independence.

He was, however, surprised to learn that the students did not share his thoughts on career opportunities open to them and felt it was due to a lack of exposure.

"They have two years of school left, but did not know that if they don't study hard, they could become labourers or gangsters."

Navaratnam said sharing his experiences as an office boy under the Japanese at the age of eight struck a chord.

"You have got to study hard before someone can give you work."

Brett Wigdortz, co-founder of Teach for All, a Teach for Malaysia partner, said the programme had initially started as part of a proposal when he was working as a management consultant.
He then took leave to pursue the idea which has lasted 10 years and resulted in partner programmes in 23 countries.

Educators sing praises of VIP teachers

EVERYONE at SMK Sungai Manggis has only praises for the Tan Sris who took up the challenge to become teachers for a day, yesterday.

Impressed by the dedication, effort and innate talent of Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and economist Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, they hoped the two would return soon.

"Tan Sri Ramon was super cool and nice too," said History teacher Adibah Abdul Latif.

"He was inspiring and gave a lot of encouragement when he spoke to us."

Adibah was almost moved to tears when the economist handed out bilingual dictionaries to her students which included words of encouragement.

She had told Ramon that her students were not fluent in English when the economist asked her which language would be best for him to use during class.

"He walked for an hour despite his age," she said of the 77-year-old.

Science teacher Chan Oga meanwhile was impressed by Azman's teaching skills.

"There is a teacher in him," she said. "I prepared a lesson plan for him but he brought his own materials."

"He was so generous. He brought along a huge book on science for the library, another for the class and also handed out pens, notebooks and chocolates," she added.

When pressed on how the two first-timers could grow as educators, the teachers suggested they improve their language skills and time management, move more around the class and interact with students, projecting "teacher-like voices".

Form 4 student Archana Sivaselvam said her class enjoyed Azman's session because he was easy to understand.

"He was interesting, a little funny and not stern," said the 16-year-old, who aspires to be a mathematics and geography teacher.

Form 3 student Khairul Idzaly was 'starstruck' when Ramon gave him a dictionary and had enjoyed his Japanese Occupation stories and the one of how he 'broke into' Merdeka Stadium in 1957 to take part in the celebrations.

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