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Archive for November 19th, 2011

“Good morning, Frances, so how is Alexandra’s UPSR result?” Uncle Li called around ten o’clock on the morning of November 17th.

UPSR is the Malaysian Primary School Evaluation Test for year six students; they are required to sit for this examination before they continue their secondary education.

“Oh Uncle, I’m not sure how she is doing; there is no news from her yet. I’ll get her to call you once I get hold of her,” I told him.

Uncle Li was a very good family friend. He was very concerned about her education and her brother’s too. He gave them a lot of guidance and motivations, especially when their examinations drew nearer.

At twelve forty-five the same afternoon, I met another mother at the school gate. She said smilingly, “Wow, your daughter scored 7A’s! Many parents talked about her, she was among the top scorers.”

“Oh really, but I have yet to see her result slip,” I was happy but uncertain of what I heard. My heart was pounding wildly.

When the school gate was finally thrown open, I dashed for the notice board where the results of the UPSR were put up for public viewing. I could only read from a distance as throngs of parents stood glue to the board, all busy searching for their children’s names. There was excitement among them.

Alexandra’s name could be easily located as she was listed as the second candidate. Yes, she scored 7A’s alright and only then could I catch my breath again.

Oh, if only my father is still around, he would share my joy. It was Dad’s idea that I started teaching her as soon as she could walk and talk.

“If a girl is educated, then her children and their children will be educated too,” I remember him telling me.

Minutes later, she was beside me, giggling excitedly, “Mommy, I got straight A’s; there were thirteen of us and our class teacher was extremely happy and pleased. He was smiling from ear to ear!”

“I knew darling, well done to all of you boys and girls!” I was happy beyond words and gave her a kiss and pat on her cheeks.

“Call your daddy to tell him the good news, girl!” I reminded her.

“Hello Daddy, I scored straight A’s!” she revealed with great delight.

“Well done, my little rabbit girl!” he answered, “Daddy’s busy now but I will come home as soon as possible, okay!”

“Oh yes, call Uncle Li to inform him about your results too. He had been asking this morning,” I also reminded her.

“Hello Uncle, Alexandra here. Uncle, I scored 7A’s!” she laughed into the mobile.

“What, only seven? I thought there are ten subjects!” Uncle Li joked.

“No, Uncle! The maximum is seven subjects only!” my girl laughed.

“Well done, Alexandra! Uncle will come to visit you shortly!” and she nodded.

“Uncle asked why only seven A’s and not ten A’s,” she said and we both laughed some more.

The efforts of the teachers, parents and the children themselves are finally bearing fruits. Hard work does pay. And thank you, Uncle Li, on behalf of my family!

There was an air of jubilation among her classmates. All of them passed the examinations; some did extremely well, others average, but they all managed to get through nevertheless. A few cried because they did not get as many A’s as they had hoped for or what their parents have expected. Then, there were some gloomy faces too, but never mind, do better next time, okay? It was like this, year after year, throughout the length and width of the country, on the day when the results of public examinations were released.

The next day, November 18th, as the last bell rang for the year, the headmistress came onto the PA system, instructed all the year one to year five students to come out from their classrooms and lined up to bid farewell to their seniors.

All the year six students from the four classes were then invited to troop down from the highest floor where their classrooms were located, down the staircase and then to the corridor leading out to the school gates. Many were seen weeping as they shook the hands of their teachers and were hugging each other for the last time. Next year will see them all going to different secondary schools. With heavy hearts and teary eyes, they parted ways after studying and playing side by side for the last six years.

Some parents who stood at the school gate were emotional and so was I. Not only the children made friends with each other but we the parents too; for we were there every day, rain or shine to send or fetch our kids. There was a bond among us.

As we made our way out into the busy road jammed with school buses and cars; Alexandra turned back and waved to her school mates and teachers. The sky was heavy with dark cumulus and minutes later, the rain fell on us.

“Mom, quick, let’s find some shelter!” my girl and I were both drenched in the rain; our tears washed away by the rain water. It was a long walk home for us both.

“Let’s celebrate tonight when daddy got home, okay?” I offered.

“Yeah!” she shouted out in jubilation and skipped with joy.

Keep it up, Alexandra; your journey has just started and we will walk every step of the way with you!

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