Isnin, 20 April 2009

FOR VIPs ONLY: Schools roll out red carpet for bigwigs


AHMAD Sirajudin of Terengganu ("There is no place for all that pomp" -- NST, April 9) complained about politicians, bureaucrats and others in public office who put on airs and lose touch with the common folk. It reminded me of what happened at my son's school recently.

My husband and I were invited to our son's school prize-giving ceremony at his residential school in Desaru. Like other parents, we drove up from Muar that morning.

We had to wait for hours before the important guests from the Education Ministry in Kuala Lumpur and other local Education Department bigwigs arrived.

They were greeted with pomp and gaiety by the headmaster as well as the school's kompang and bunga manggar troop, all sweating after standing for hours in the sun.

The parents, weary from the long hours of travel and the waiting, were not even ushered into the hall. We were left to find our seats.
As an additional insult, invited parents were provided with only packed nasi campur for lunch and asked to sit at the canteen. The VIPs were served with buffet lunch in an air-conditioned room.

My son, the top student in Physics in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination, was embarrassed by these arrangements. We decided to stay on as we wanted to convey our appreciation to the headmaster but we waited in vain as he was busy entertaining the VIPs.

We also experienced a similar incident at a parent-teacher association (PTA) meeting at our daughter's school in Muar.

We were asked by the teachers to use the side entrance because the well-decorated main entrance was meant for the VIPs.

My husband reminded the teachers that the occasion was designed for the PTA, not the VIPs. We then decided not to attend the meeting.

The New Straits Times Online: 20 April 2009

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