Thursday, 31 January 2008

Perginya Seorang Ulama'

Assalamualaikum! Semalam dan pagi tadi SMS di terima menyatakan kembalinya ke rahmatullah Dato Haji Ishak Baharom. Blog lain dah mencoretkan mengenai Tokoh ini. Jadi saya akan cerita apa yang berlaku pada kami sahaja. Saya telah mula English class for Form I pagi tadi, tiba-tiba nampak Pak Haji (Pengetua) bergegas ke Ting 2 kelas sebelah. Kemudian nampak the boys berderet turun ke bawah blok bangunan. Lepas tu Pak Haji masuk kelas saya buat pengemuman mengenai bekas Mufti Selangor meninggal dunia akan di kebumikan di Makam Di Raja Shah Alam. Pak Haji ajak/ mengarah kami semua seluruh warga MTAQSA pergi ke Pusara mengiring Jenazah dan menyaksikan pengkebumian. Tanpa lengah kami semua bergegas turun ke bawah. Girls pun nak ikut sama jadi kamipun berhimpit-himpitlah naik transport Hilux Pak Haji bawa ke pintu masuk jalan nak naik ke Pusara.

Setiba kami di situ keadaan jalan Persiaran Masjid sangat sesak. Kelihatan ramai orang yang berjalan kearah Masjid Negeri dan juga Ke Pusara. Kami berjalan kaki naik ke kawasan Makam Di Raja yang terletak di atas bukit bertentangan Masjid Negeri. Tidak berapa lama kemudian kereta jenazahpun tiba. Upacara pengkebumian di jalankan dengan segera dan berjalan dengan lancar. Cuaca yang mulanya mendung kian panas. Nasib baik saya dan pelajar-pelajar MTAQSA berada dibawah khemah, kerana kami datang kesitu agak awal juga. Namun saya lihat orang-orang lain yang berdiri dalam panas tidak berganjak seincipun sepanjang upacara pengkebumian, bacaan talkin dan tahlil sehingga doa-dao tamat di baca olih Timbalan Mufti Selangor. Bacaan tahlil dan mengamin doa-doa bunyinya bergema kuat dikawasan pusara itu.

Dalam pengalaman saya, inilah upacara pengkebumian yang sempurna dan teratur dan indah diiringi oleh ramai muslimin dan muslimat yang datang ikhlas bukan kerana pangkat simati. Maka tidaklah salah lah kalau kita buat kesimpulan bahawa arwah tersebut mendapat rahmat besar dari Allah SWT.

Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmatNya keatas roh arwah Dato Haji Ishak Baharom!(seorang yang berani menjalankan tugasnya) Ameen! Ameen! Ya Robbul'aalamin! DariNYA kita datang kepadaNya juga kita kembali!

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

My Daily Routine

I wake up about 5 am to prepare for the subuh prayers and the sunat night prayers if there's time.( Sometimes Pak Haji is up much earlier) Then do the sunat fajr and the subuh prayers. After subuh read a few pages of the Quran. Then have a little breakfast. Then I walk down the hill to the school with the students (girls). While walking briskly we say the zikir in low tone ( Subhanallah, Walhamdulillah, Walaiallaha illaallahu wallahu Akbar!). In about 10 minutes we reach the school gate. The girls cross the road into the school compound. When I see that they are safely in, I walk a little further down the road towards the Pasar. By then my son will pick me up to deposit me at the pasar. I will have about 1 hour to do my marketing. My husband or son will pick me up from the pasar about 8.30 am.

Then I will sit down for breakfast with Pak Haji while glancing at the papers. Meantime the maids have prepared the ingredients for the students makan to be served at 10.30 break.(eg today the menu is Mee Goreng). When the maid announced that the igredients are ready, I will go into the kitchen to cook the item on the menu for the day. Having done that I will get dress up for school to teach the students Bahasa Melayu or English. I have an hour of classes everyday from Monday to Thursday.

After class, we (Pak Haji and I) will go out to do purchasing, banking, pay bills etc. Then come back for lunch, check E-mails, pray, rest and take a nap 3-4 pm. Wake up, check the food preparation for tea and dinner. At night Pak Haji and I usually knocked out early! Sometimes we wake up again by 11 pm. Pak Haji will go out to the hostel to check on the boys or to met out punishment if there's any wrong-doings by the boys earlier during the day. I checked on the girls and then we sleep again by 12.30 after the late News.

Friday is my rest day! I am at leisure especially when the all the boys and men go to the mosque for Friday Prayers. Saturday is my marketing day for bulk purcase at Pasar Besar Klang while Sunday is my purchasing day at the Giant Supermarket. Sometimes we feel very tired but Pak Haji and I are both happy doing this job. Syukur Alhamdulillah!

Oh! It's now time for my Beauty sleep ! Bye....

Sunday, 27 January 2008

My Two Daughters in Middle-East

I have two daughters in the Middle-east, Lia in Irbid Jordan and Yanna in Cairo, Egypt. They have been sending me SMS about their coming August holidays. I told them of my plans that Bapa will be sending Ally to Cairo by June. (Insy-Allah Ally will be doing Al Quran in Syubro a faculty of the Al Azhar University) So may be I could follow as well and spent sometime with Yanna, then visit Lia in Jordan. I told them that if that plan work out then they should cancell their plan about coming home to Malaysia. They both quite agree with the idea and Yanna is looking out for a place to house us in while we are there. Lia is looking forward to our arrival in Amman.

When the other members of the family heard about this plan, they all want to follow. I said "Ok, but expenses are on your own!" He, he, mummy has no extra Rms to spend on them. Three of them, ie, Kin, Amal and Ude are already working, earning reasonable income.

In 2005, we had gone on holiday, the whole family, 10 of us, Yanna in Cairo, Lia flew in from Amman (except for Amal who was in UK). We did Egypt, then did the Umrah. We really enjoyed the Umrah that the children said that in the future for holidays get-together with their siblings, it should be in Makkah and Medina doing the Umrah again. Then we all went back to Cairo, after another week in cairo the children went back to their respective destinations while Pak haji and I continue our journey to UK for Amal's convocation. Then we came back to Egypt for another week and went home after nearly 1and half months away for the whole trip. Naturally the whole trip costs us a bomb! So for this one I am not planning to spend a bomb for the second time!

For this trip I hope to do Jordan, Syria and Turkey. For the 2005 trip we could not do that sector because we found out plane tickets were not available. It seems that during summer a lot of American, British and European tourists fly into Jordan to spend their summer!

So Lia and Yanna do pray for Bapa and Mummy to be able to make this trip, so that we all may go to Syria and Turkey as well. Mummy will try to keep fit for all the intended travelling.

Who is going to look after the school? No idea yet!

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Meet The Students' Parents

This morning at the market I met adam's mother. When she greeted the salam to me, I was blinking trying to figure out who she is. When she saw that blank expression on my face, she introduced herself as adam's mother. I smiled and apologised and she understood that with so many new students I could not know all new students' parents at this juncture. Then adam's mother told me that she will be bringing bubur kacang for tomorrow's tea. I thanked her for that and for informing me early so that i don't have to prepare food for tomorrow's tea-time. She further informed me that her son is happy in our school. Of course I am happy to hear that!

Yesterday morning azim's mother met me at the subuh prayers at the masjid. She purposely came all the way from Alor Setar once a fortnight to be able to do the subuh sujud sajaddah prayers and stay till saturday afternoon when she could take her son out for few hours. (parents visiting day is once a fortnight on saturday after the asr prayers)

Hakim's parents who have a cattle farm in Johor have often brought few kilos of beef when they came visiting their son. They also readily hand in financial support when we are in need. (Hakim is a senior)

Elisa's and syimir's parents are model parents. They are very enthusiastic about their childrens' education, have full confidence and faith in what we are doing and gave us all the support, financial and moral which we really need !

Fakhri's mother will follow the events that we are doing in school and she will do all the sunat prayers and fasting and doas that she knows her son is doing in school. And to think that she was the one who apposed Fakhri's enrollment into our school because she could not bear to be separated from her only child.

Not all are such star parents! There's one or two that I would not like to mention here. Insy-Allah with my past years experience, my interview for next year's intake Insya-Allah, I will not make mistake in choosing star students as well as the parents!

And by the way we will start interviewing for 2009 intake in august as soon as after the UPSR exam based on the trial exam result. So look out if you are interested for your children or anak buah.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Nasi Goreng Day

For our students one of the highlight of the day is the morning tea-break at 10.30 everyday. They look forward to the tea-break where they have their favourite menu. For breakfast we give them bread and eggs plus butter, jam and kaya. Eggs are served as scrambled, omellette or 3/4 boiled. Some morning they are served with tuna and baked beans and on Sundays Nasi lemak is served.

This morning tea-break they had nasi Goreng, which is much sought after. Tomorrow they will have bubur nasi daging (delicious but difficult to cook as it takes time) or sphagetti ( delicious but expensive ingredients). When sphagetti is being served I had to ask the helper ( whom the students called bibik ) to do the serving or else you will find that the last few in the queue will have none left. On Sundays they get mee goreng, mondays roti jala with chicken curry, tuesdays freid bihun with sotong, wednesdays mee kuah hailam special, and thursday koay teow mak aji special.

It is interesting to note that when they go for the 10.30 tea-break, they had to perform the Sunat Duha Prayers first, you will find that they hurriedly perform the sunat prayers and then make a beeline to queue for the tea-break food. I love to watch over to see how they enjoy their food. It makes me happy to see them eating well with great appetite. No need for anyone to say Mak Aji is a good cook. Looking at how they enjoy their food in evidence enough! And it is very satisfying!

Thursday, 24 January 2008

The School Assembly

Last week we had our first school assembly. It was a proud moment for Pak Haji and me. After 2 years of struggling trying to establish the school, we now have a school assembly. We will have the assembly once a fortnight on a sunday morning (our first day of the week) The students take their marching position in rows and then to the order of their commander, turn aroud to face us the teachers and staff. First, the students sang Negaraku, then the Asmaulhusna.( the names of surahs in Al Quran as a song, to be added as the third song later in future assemblies ). The Pengetua then addressed the assembly mentioning how proud he is of his students who has shown good behaviour especially in public and that they are to always matain such examplary behaviour. Then the decipline teacher spoke and then lastly one of the ustaz said the doa and the assemly ended.

The assembly reminded me of my school days when I was a prefect and I did my duties with full responsibilty. Sometimes during assemblies one of the prefects had the duty to raise the flag when the National anthem was sang. So, in the case of our present school, we have yet to put up the flag post!

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Of Swimming, Archery and Marching

Todays cocurriculum activity which starts at 5.30 is marching (usually on Thursdays) The boys enjoy this marching activity sometimes with Pak haji as the Commander. Today they will learn to march to the beat of a drum. They start from the school compound and march along the neighbourhood streets, then they will march uphill and come round in front of our house. When passing infront of our house, they will make a point to shout loudly, as loud as they can, shouting left, right! left, right! They enjoyed doing that and when I heard them coming I would go out and waved at them with my thumbs up! He, he, he! . It does not matter that at that time I happened to be in the midst of cooking their dinner!

Another activity which the students love is swimming. They are so enthusiastic about it that you will find them performing the asar prayers with the swimming suit under their jubah. Then as soon as they finished the doa they took out the jubah, put on normal clothings on top and raced to the waiting Hilux to transport them to the swimming pool. They did not even bother to have their tea first. Swimming is once a fortnight. The boys' swimming day is Monday and the girls' swimming day is Wednesday. The girls have beautiful, colourful bourqini ie swimming suit for muslim ladies which covers the aurat.

Of course, the other favourite activity is archery. Archery is on saturday 8.00 -10.00 am. They have to do their workout for warming up first. Then they will assemble the equipments and lined up to have their turn aiming at the target butt. There are a few seniors who are already preparing to go for competetition! We hope to win a few championships, Insha-Allah.

Monday, 21 January 2008

We Are More Settled Now

This is third week of schooling. We are more or less settled now! Our new boys have settled in rather quickly. There's very little complaints of homesickness or 'rindu ibu'for this week. The new students have fit in with the seniors and the strict hostel rules. They have started their marathon of memorizing the Al-Quran (most are doing a page a day, which is very good indeed!). They are learning the academics plus the 13 religious subjects. While they study hard, they play hard too, games like football and badminton are their favourite. At the same time they also do their compulsory co-curriculum, ie archery, swimming and marching. So you see, they have very little time to dilly-dally.

Eating wise they consumed all their rations with big appetite . Of course in hostel, we do give them generous helpings but there's no second helpings. However there' an exception where they have abundance of food ie when their rezeki came in big quantities and varieties. Example on last Saturday, the 10th of Muharram we the staff and all the the students, fasted the puasa sunat 10th Muharram. We prepared the food for buka puasa with extra dishes and special desserts. Then people came to donate and sent us a lot of special food; there was satay, nasi briyani ayam, cakes and desserts. The students ate to their hearts content but there were alot more left unconsumed! We are thankful to those people who send us food but I wished they had call us earlier to inform us so that we do not prepare too much food and avoid wastage.

Anyway Syukur Alhamdulillah for all the rezeki! So next time when we have our buka puasa, we would not hesitate to invite other people or friends or family to join us because we anticipate the rezeki will come in abundance, Insya-Allah! However do inform us first and you are welcome.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Puasa 10 Muharram ( Asyura )

Assalamualaikum! Esok 10 Muharram, kami dan semua warga MTAQSA akan berpuasa sunat. Ganjaran berpuasa sunat 10 Muharram adalah sangat besar. Pelajar-pelajar kami dilatih berpuasa sunat sejak di tahun pertama lagi. Banyak lagi perkara-perkara sunat yang mereka diajar mengamalkannya. Anak-anak yang masih bersih jiwa dam menghafal Al Quran setiap hari ( tidak kurang 5 jam sehari mereka mendampingi ayat-ayat suci), mereka ini amat dikasihi Allah, doa mereka makhbul. Oleh kerana itu, jemputan dan permintaan untuk mereka mebaca doa, membuat solat hajat, membaca Yassin dan tahlil amatlah banyak. Sehingga Pak Haji terpaksa menolak beberapa permintaan yang kurang sesuai. Setakat ini sahaja mereka telah pergi ke 3 majlis jemputan seumpama itu.

Kami telah mendapat tahu bahawa ibu bapa pelajar-pelajar kami, mengikuti perkembangan anak-anak mereka di sekolah ini, turut melakukan apa-apa saja ibadah sunat yang anak-anak mereka lakukan. Bila mendapat tahu akan hal sebegini kami merasa sangat bahagia dapat melatih pelajar-pelajar dan diikuti oleh ibubapa mereka sekali.

Ada seorang ibu menelefon saya berkata, "Mak Aji saya sangat gembira sejak anak berada di MTAQSA. Saya bangun solat tahjud kerana malu kepada anak yang bangun disekolah melakukan solat tahjud. Dulu saya tak mahu hantar anak ke MTAQSA kerana, saya sedih dan tidak mahu berpisah dengan anak tunggal saya tu. Tetapi sekarang tidak ada persaan begitu lagi. Tolong beritahu anak, saya bahagia sekarang tak sedih lagi. Saya tak apa-apa (tak susah hati) dirumah, saya ok."

Seorang lagi ibu menghantar SMS kepada saya, tertera begini: Sejuk hati saya melihat anak-anak di MTAQSA, Terima kasih kerana memberi peluang anak saya belajar disana.

Ada lagi seorang sepasang ibu bapa yang datang dari jauh semata-mata hendak menunauikan solat subuh Jumaaat (sujud sajaddah) bersama-sama anak mereka di Masjid Negeri.

Perkara-perkara yang beginilah yang menguatkan semangat kami beria-ia membina MTAQSA.
Selamat menyambut 10 Muharram dengan berpuasa sunat. Janganlah kita menyambut 10 Muharram dengan hanya membuat bubur asyura sahaja.

Note: Bubur asyura Mak saya memang sedap!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Have You Heard of This?

Assalamualaikum! Last week our first casualty left our school. He is the male student in the first case that I have mentioned earlier. The second day in the hostel, he developed spasm ie difficulty in breathing. Pak Haji took him to a doctor who diagnosed that physically all is well with him. " It's just stress due to anxiety, and this usually happens to some new students who go to boarding school." said the doc. The parents were called to fetch him home that night. They took him to the hospital and see another doctor, who gave same opinion that the patient has anxiety symtoms. Then the parents took him to Darul Syifa' where the ustaz treat him the Islamic method by reading verses and doa's. 3 days later he came back to school on Maal hijrah day. I was surprised because he looked different, bright faced not gloomy as before. When I asked him he responded brightly that he was happy to continue schooling. But alas! he only lasted to the evening when he started crying out for his mother again gasping for breath. The parents quickly came and took him home finally after 4 attempts of bringing him back to hostel, they gave up and informed us so.

We were quite sad for the boy and his parents but quite relieved that the hostel life for the other boys return to normal and there was a feeling of relieve for all especially the warden ustaz. I have heard this kind of cases in other hostel for tahfiz school that usually the cause of these problem in not physical or phsycological but more deep rooted. So I had asked the mother whether, her family ancestors had "saka". This has something to do with in the old days when Malays were ignorant about Islam, some kept or fed evil spirits or jinns to protect their families and properties. This evil spirit or jinn would not go away even if the original keeper had died. I was not really surprised when she answered in the affirmative. She explained that, her grandfather who died some years back had a "saka" passed down to him but the decendents never want to inherit the "saka". I told her that from what I heard some person who have this kind of "saka" will not be able to do the Quran intensely to become a tahfiz or staying in the asrama for tahfis students where the Al-Quran is being read most of the time. Then I told her I heard some people could remove the "saka" but I was not ready to get involved with that.

So poor thing, we could not help much and we lost a student! However the next day Allah send us not one but two new students; one hailed from Brunei Darussalam and another arrived from Temerloh Pahang. Both are high acheiving students with good potential. I am happy to note that the Bruneian has already led prayers as Imam. He looks bright, focussed and able to adapt that Pak Haji and I would have no doubt that he will be able to finish his Al-Quran memorising (hafazan) much earlier that the target date and on top of that his English is excellent too! ( So to the Bruneian Mum: Do not worry much about your child here, he's doing just fine!)

(Note: As for the Sarawakian Mum, Alor Setarian Mum (Doc), Kuantan Mum (Doc), your children are doing fine too! Pak Haji and I are happy to take care of all your children just like we take care of ours!)

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Semua Berjalan Lancar

Alhamdulillah, ni baru dapat mengadap computer ni nak blog, lama dah tidak dapat buat entry. Kesibukan saya kerana mengedalikan sekolah MTAQSA. Bermula 1 hingga 5 hb January pelajar telah menjalani orientasi. Senior masuk pada 3 January, mereka bersuai kenal. Mulai 6 January kelas dimulakan. Pelajar-pelajar beratur 2 baris mereka berjalan (kawad) dari asrama ke sekolah. Pintu sekolah dari asrama lelaki hanyalah 50 meter, dari asrama perempuan 200 meter.

Setiap pagi 'morning walk' saya di tukar kapada sama-sama berkawad dengan pelajar-pelajar perempuan ke sekolah. Rasa suka berbuat demikian kerana selain dari boleh exercise, saya 'bangga' dengan kehadiran ramai pelajar saya berkawad, mencerminkan latihan disiplin di sekolah ini. Segak kelihatan pelajar-pelajar lelaki berpakaian jubah putih, kopiah putih, kasut dan setokin hitam menyandang beg berbaris kawad ke sekolah (nampak macam burung bangau)

Menghafal Al Quran telahpun berjalan lancar sejak hari pertama, sekarang ada yang sudah boleh menghafal 1 muka sehari. Kaedah hafalan kita ialah dengan cara membaca ayat-ayat hingga lancar, menulis ayat-ayat yang hendak dihafal, menghafal ayat-ayat yang ditulis, keesokkannya tasme' atau memperdengarkan hafalan kapada ustaz. Pelajar-pelajar diajar menghafal lancar sebutan, melihat ayat-ayat dalam minda secara fotography, mengingatkannya secara mengenal makna perkataan-perkataan umbi (root word) dalam ayat itu dan memahami secara keseluruhan maksud ayat.

Ada juga beberapa orang murid yang lemah dalam Al Quran tetapi selepas temuduga kami bersetuju menawarkan tempat pada mereka kerana minat mereka dan ibubapa ke jalan ini, cemerlang akademik tetapi baru mengenal Al Quran dan kalau kami tak ambil kemungkinan besar dia tidak akan ada peluang belajar Al Quran dan agama. Mereka saperti ini diberi bimbingan khas oleh ustaz.

Mata pelajaran akademik dan Agama juga telah bermula serentak. Semua buku-buku pelajaran agama adalah dalam bahasa arab, membuatkan ada pelajar-pelajar yang rasa kecut. Mereka diberitahu bahawa semua orang tak pandai bahasa arab sebab tu lah nak kena belajar. Ibubapa jangan bimbang sebab kita dahulu masuk sekolah inggeris pun dari tak tahu apa-apa, 3 tahun boleh mahir! Ada 3 orang ustaz mengajar pelajaran Agama. Dari segi pelajaran akademik pula tidak ada masaalah. Saya mengajar Bahasa Melayu, Inggeris dan Public Speaking. Pak Haji ajar sejarah dan Kemahiran Hidup. Seorang guru sambilan mengajar Maths dan seorang lagi mengajar Sains.

Hari ini saya dah mula mengajar Bahasa Melayu Ting 1. Memang seronok mengajar pelajar-pelajar sekolah ini. Mereka cerdik, cergas dan mudah menerima pelajaran. Itulah juga pendapat guru-guru sambilan berpengalaman yang pernah mengajar di sekolah ini (mereka adalah guru-guru sekolah biasa)

Masaalah yang telah kami lalui adalah juga seperti, pelajar yang sakit kerana merindui ibunya, kerana belum pernah berpisah dan terlalu dimanjakan. Kes pertama (lelaki), ada seorang murid yang mengalami 'freeze' hingga tidak boleh bernafas 'spasm' kerana fobia takut tinggal 'berasrama'. Jawabnya, kami suruh ibubapanya ambil bawa pulang hingga dia pulih boleh hantar semula. Kes kedua (perempuan), sakit pening dan muntah-muntah, kerana tidak boleh berpisah dari ibunya. Cara mengatasinya sama seperti yang tadi. Kes ketiga, menangis tidak boleh fokus hafalan (lelaki) sebab ingat dan rindukan keluarga. kes macam ini diberi 'counselling' sahaja. Kes keempat(lelaki), nak balek sebab jadual sekolah ini terlalu padat dan dia lambat menghafal al-Quran. Ini juga diberi 'counselling'. Kes minor medical seperti, demam-pening sembelit, cirit-birit, adalah perkara biasa bagi kami. Dari pengalaman kami dapati orang-orang Melayu terlalu memanjakan anak-anak hingga mereka tidak boleh berpisah dari ibu mereka. Ini adalah perkara yang kurang baik kerana semua orang sayang anak tetapi janganlah terlalu dimanjakan hingga akan menghadapi masaalah untuk anak dimasa hadapan. Janganlah jadikan anak kita seorang yang lemah semangat dan tidak boleh berdikari.Kita tidak dapati bangsa lain berbuat begini di dalam mendidik dan membesarkan anak-anak. Perkasakanlah Anak-anak Bangsa kita bermula dari rumah kita sendiri!

Saturday, 5 January 2008

The Freshies!

Remember when we were the new batch of students in the secondary school, especially in the U, they call us the freshies! Do you still remember how excited you were? So now I have 30 new faces whom we adopted at one go as our new brood of children. Yes they are fresh innocent faces with expectant wide eyed expressions. Oh! don't we all love to see them, eager to learn the new knowlege, excited to have new friends, jumping about with activities, chattering to the dozen during resting time and most important, full of optimism for the future!

As I was telling you, after the tearful goobyes with the parents, their attention were soon diverted to the taaruf week activities ( in English its called orientation week ) Boys are boys and girls are girls, soon they made friends with the new schoolmates and by the third day when I asked who has found new friends, all raised their hands. Then I asked further, who has found a close or best friend, most raised their hands and hook an arm at the one sitting next to them. Isnt it wonderful? Children can make friends very fast because they do not have that kind of researve that we adults have.

As you would have guessed, by the second day and third day most mothers have called me eager to know how their children are faring. Well I was very pleased to let them know that all the children are doing fine and enjoying themselves with all the activities. They are really a healthy and hungry lot who ate all their rations and asked for extra helpings!

Today we are going to the tailor to collect the uniforms for the girls. The girls' uniform is a blue grey jubah dress with white tudung. The boys uniform is the white jubah with white cap. They also have their archery uniform, the marching uniform, outing clothings and their swimming suit costume. Our girls will wear the specially made swimming costume that cover their aurat. Parents nee not worry swimming days for boys and girls are on different days. Other activities are combined with strict code of conduct observed.

Friday, 4 January 2008

A Few Days of the New Year

These few days of the New Year, my husband and I were very busy. We woke up on 1st January, expectant of many happenings. All preparations were made to the best that we could. We were quite prepared for the influx of new students to our school. At 9 am we went to the boys hostel where the registration of new students were to take place. When we arrived, there were already a queue waiting to be attended to. So we promptly did our duties as the sun's heat was starting to get stronger. There were 30new students that came from all over, 8 girls and 22 boys.

By 10.30 am students and parents were gathered in the school surau. We had a Welcome Speech by the Pengetua, a taklimat by the Registrar cum Students' Welfare Officer (yours truly)explaining the fees and charges and facilities provided by the school. Then we had Q&A session and after that we had a speech by Ustaz Nizam the Imam (thank you ustaz Nizam for a very moving and insightful speech). As usual the session ended with some makan-makan and getting to know each other. Some mothers were in tears when they came to me. ( thank you mothers for you trust in us to take care of your precious children!)

After the students have been accommodated, the parents said thier tearful good byes, we were left to handle the new boys and girls. To my husband and me its like getting a new brood of children and there's a feeling of warmth and happiness and being blessed to be entrusted with such a special job as to take care, educate and to ingrain good values to these 'specially chosen' children.

As you can imagine our hectic schedule, 2nd and 3rd January saw us running around to purchase necessary items and essential kitchen requirements. 3 kitchen helpers and a caterer were kept busy feeding the students 5 times a day. The contractors are also around to do some neccessary renovations and the electricians to do the wiring for extra lightings.

Our population will be 50 Insya-Allah, when all the seniors and new students come in. We will have 7 full time teachers and 3 part-time teachers. We also have an archery instructor, an instructor for marching, an ex-army officer, and a swimming instructor when the co-curriculum starts. We have 3 live in teachers and a warden.

At the same time more applicants and enquiries are coming (from overseas as well). We are quite overwhelmed! We are still lacking in facilities like a bus for transportation. We need a bus to transport students to and fro Masjid Negeri, the state library, the club swimming pool and going for outings etc. We need more beds, students lockers, tables and chairs. Donations are welcome!