Monday, 18 May 2009

The principal that was

I remember the time when I was about to enter high secondary school. At that time, everyone was given the impression that we will be in for a tough time. No, it was not due to the new academic requirement. It was something else.

At that time, the principal of the secondary school was known to be a tough no-nonsense person. He was one who can be seen carrying the mighty sword a.k.a. the “rotan” whenever he did his patrol around the school. One can say that he ruled the school with an iron fist, or should I say… iron “rotan”, metaphorically speaking of course.

If you happen to be breaking school rules; and there were plenty by the way, and he happened to bump into you, your ass will immediately feel the fury.

His strict discipline regime was legendary. Besides successfully eradicating the rampant gangsterism in my school, he also transformed my school into a top STPM institution during his days. Other rules which student used to hate include the ever strict hair regulations. Students coming to school with long hair will probably go home wishing they were bald.

Oh yes, and who can forget the dreaded public caning. Speaking of caning, he instilled a peculiar culture into us. In other schools where public caning was practised, the victim will probably have to say “Sorry sir” after being punished. Not in my school though.

After administering the usual heavy dose of stinging feeling to the ass, the owner of that poor ass is to acknowledge the favour rendered to him by offering his gratitude. The words one must utter after the ordeal was not “Sorry sir” but rather… “Thank you sir”. I don’t know whether he reciprocates with a “You’re welcome” because I never got to “thank” him.

As they say… those were the days. Many feared him, more hated him. Most could not understand why he was so tough on us. I am very sure kids nowadays will never go through secondary school like I did.

But ya’ know what?

One day, I saw a peculiar name in the “people you might know” function in facebook. Wow! My ex-principal has a facebook account! Naturally, I added him. I also left a message on his facebook wall telling him the year I left school and how I was getting on with life. It was then that I began to read other messages on his wall…

Surprise would probably not be the right word to describe the feeling. There were messages after messages of former students, talking about how his strict regime has transformed their lives. Some talked about how they were forced out of gangsterism and are now reaping the rewards. Some talked about how they hated him but they now cherish the time when he was the principal. Some say they will never be who they are now if not because their ass-es have felt the fury of the “sword”.

I truly believe that no one who has gone through my secondary school will deny that Mr. Loh Kung Sing is a true educationist. Regardless of whether his cane has landed on our bottoms, students of my school will forever say… “Thank you, sir”.


1 year ago…
When cost is not an issue

2 years ago… “Sam Jiu”A professional mistakeDo you know why?

23 comments:

seokthong said...

I remembered that i got whacked one time by the discipline teacher for talking during assembly time. I came late on that day and have to stand most behind of the crowd..Then i start to talk with another friend and this gorilla teacher came suddenly and took a few text books from my friend's hand and whacked me and my friend..Seriously i'm still angry until today! I swear if i see her again..she will get something really 'nice' from me. And i don't appreciate at all what she has done to me.. :)

kyliemc said...

Gosh, there is is still public caning during your high school years? must be really tough... anyway, yeah, come to think of it, it's those teachers who are strict or keep nagging at us that keep our minds going. lol.. the rebellious years plus the 'i only copy homework days'. at least i do some of the homework, just that i dont do all at times. :P i believe in end results though...thanks to the strict teachers, i excel :D

sabrina said...

I am all for caning and shit. I don't believe in this 'spare the rod and use psychology' bullshit...it just doesn't seem to work. That's why our youths nowadays are so messed up...cos they've been so spoilt by their parents and teachers

day-dreamer said...

It's hard to find teachers like your headmaster nowadays... many teachers are like $.$

Hmm.

leyaw said...

I'm not sure if public caning or just plain caning is still allowed in school but I am one who believe in caning. There is nothing wrong in it. Those parents who is against it are just pampering their children. What is wrong in punishing your children if they have done wrong?

Though I have to say such punishment would have to carried out only by selected teachers who has good judgement. Not by any teachers. Like all other professions, not all teachers are good.

Your story reminds me of my secondary school's discipline teacher. As it was an all boys school, its really really difficult to control the students especially so when it comes to gangsterism. But he has good intelligence sources. He knows which students are involved and most of the time he will know beforehand if they are planning for any trouble. Also, he was known to be not afraid of using his knuckles on those who are really nasty.

Fi-sha said...

Dear Zewt, thats so sweet of you, writing about your Mr. Principal. He must be very proud of you.

I had one too who was so strict but one day i stood in front of the class voicing our disagreement to him. I was crying but he kept listening to me. So, i learn from him that crying doesnt necessarily make us weak - it can bring down the 'strongest wall' and speak the truth where even words could not do.

Cheerio!

Cindy Khor said...

yeah, we do feel appreciate to those teachers who are strict on us, as they are the ones who normally change our lives... the only primary school teacher that i remember is my class teacher who was so strict with our academic that i got canning at least twice every week. and i really do thank her for that...

littlepolaris said...

Haha I'm always the teacher's pet so i never got whack before. Probably other students hate me more than the teachers lol. But I love my teachers. I still go back to school once in a while to visit them, say hi and go out makan with them. All these little things make their day.

ven said...

Public canning was not really used in my school until form 5 when we have a new principal and discipline teacher who nobody likes. The previous principal and discipline teacher don't have to resort to canning, they have the aura to behave students. For example, the principal will just stand in front of the microphone without saying a single word and the entire school will be dead quiet during assemblies.

iamthewitch said...

I have an exact person like your principal in my secondary school too, our discipline teacher. He is exactly what you described your principal to be, except for the thanking part. Gosh how I feared the legendary rotan. Might I say I've suffered from that rotan quite a few times myself. :P LOL

Anonymous said...

suddenly it sounds like we all attend g8 school

im all 4 the strict rotan wei woo charismatic teachers at school

u dun talk sense with kids same like u dun play piano to the cow

lol

Yvonne Foong said...

Hi Zewt, it looks like I'm the odd one here. I've never had a a principal who used the cane. Some teachers in-charged of student discipline affairs used the cane, but it did not necessarily make the school more peaceful.

The school rules that were broken, were minor issues. Caning was used to make students behave in uniformity rather than teaching students right from wrong.

Teenagers will grow up sooner or later.

Or maybe I just happened to have grown up in an orderly neighborhood. Haha.

Yvonne Foong said...

I remember and have greatest respect for teachers who were patient enough to listen and discuss with me using moral reasoning.

Yes I do remember teachers who used the iron fist, but it's a different kind of emotion associated with this sort of rememberance. Maybe a feeling of respect out of cultural norms. We tend to revere people who are older, subconsciously.

On the other hand, I ADMIRE teachers who were patient and who used moral reasoning. But I can't say that I ADMIRE teachers who caned.

Manal said...

Were u so skema and goody two shoes back then? Rugi la tak kena?
Or u happened to have never been caught in the act?

Manal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

somehow i felt the ending was predictable..

i suppose every1 has to learn things the hard way to live..

whoalse said...

i think most of us are of the generation where caning is a norm be it by the teachers, coaches or parents. i've seen the difference it made compare to some of the young ones these days (my personal view)...we are privileged to have these true educationists.

Kellaw said...

we all learn that since primary school liao. thats when both secondary and primary school share the same canteen. lol

JustJasmine said...

if i were in your school, i think i wont kena too ;)

jam said...

I believe public caning is no longer allowed in the schools nowadays.

zewt said...

seokthong - hahahahaha... so revengeful?

kyliemc - well, my school days were during the 90s... so, definitely got canning.

sabrina - ahh... i am so in line with you. definitely going to do a post on that infamous topic.

day-dreamer - or they just dont know a thing, only there becos they have nothing else better to do. sigh...

leyaw - yes, i am also one who believes in canning. lack of canning has resulted in many little tyrants running around. and your teacher used knuckles? wow... that's really nasty! haha!

Fi-sha - yeah, we do miss teachers who are like that, isnt it?

zewt said...

Cindy Khor - did you get caned then? :P

littlepolaris - yeah, they do appreciate that. i still support my school's function to raise money.

ven - wow... he must had a really stern face. well, my principal had that too, but that's because he was holding a cane in his hand :)

iamthewitch - hahahaha... so you're a naughty one huh! i am surprise they cane female students.

anon @ 19/5 9.57am - hahahaha... so "we" used to attend the same school eh?

Yvonne Foong - well, i have seen how some ppl, being spared the rotan turned into a tyrant. well, to each its own. we just have to know what we are doing :) maybe girls have a different way of learning.

zewt said...

Manal - hehe... guess...

constantly craving joe - yup... else, never learn.

whoalse - haha... i think we should not deprive the current generation of such privilege... dont u think?

Kellaw - now more sharing right? what a shame.

JustJasmine - wah... so sure?

jam - it's a bad move really.