Almost every morning, not far from my office, I could see students playing truant. They would loiter and smoke behind the row of shops. They seem to have a "couldn't care less" attitude. To them perhaps, they have their whole life ahead of them - so, why worry, what's the hurry? They have all the time in the world. So right now, is the time to enjoy, have fun and live life to the fullest.
I can't help but feel sorry for them. By cutting school, they're missing on education. I sincerely believe that they're playing truant out of a sense of misguided freedom. While these school students are teenagers who are capable of thinking for themselves and differentiating between right and wrong, most of them I would think have yet to reach a level of maturity. If they have, they would certainly have been able to know that education is important, and that playing truant won't help them at all.
I wonder if they realise that competition is very stiff these days? I wonder if they know that it is difficult for even the best of students to get a place in universities in this day and age, much less get to do what they really want to do? I wonder if they are aware that without paper qualification, it is difficult to get a good job? Heck, even having a first class honours degree these days is not sufficient. More and more people are entering the job market with masters and professional qualifications. How on earth will these truants be able to compete?
I hope I am not sounding like I have a "holier-than-thou" attitude. I am just very frustrated actually. I know most of the teachers are a dedicated lot. They are trying their level best to be educators. But their best won't be of use if the students themselves do not have the realisation that for them to succeed, change has to come from within themselves. They need to have the urge and the drive to succeed.
Teachers will give the proper guidance but unless the students themselves want to be guided, then all the effort will go up in smoke. I have taken to task some of the students who were loitering when they are supposed to be in school. All I get were snide remarks like "Rilek la pak cik. Bapak kita orang tak kata apa pun..."
I could feel my heart stopped upon hearing that. They are right, of course. I am not their father. I am not even their relative. I am only a total stranger who is saddened by what I see. And what I see is not pretty. These students have all the potential to succeed in their lives. But they are literally throwing their future inside the drain. And while it is not my business as they so clearly pointed out, I could only pray that they realise the folly of their ways before it is too late.
And I sincerely pray that my children will not go down the path of the truants. For if they ever do, then it becomes my business to set things right.