By Tim Drake
One morning Sanggat, an eight-year-old pupil of mine, knocked at my door. He was here to help me sweep my quarters! He noticed some thick books neatly arranged on my reading table.
Curiously he asked, “Sir, what books are these?” I told him that those were books that I needed to study for an important exam so that I might go to university someday. He frowned because in a remote area where we were, even a bicycle was unheard of. I tried to explain university to him with the help of pictures that looked like a university campus. At that time, Sarawak did not have a university and the nearest one was across the South China Sea, in Peninsular Malaysia.
He was surprised, “But, sir, you are a teacher. Why study?”
So we sat down and I told him all about this thing called Education and gave him a pep talk about his chances of becoming someone great in the future. He took one of the thickest books in his hands and upon opening it exclaimed, “Now, the words are so tiny and there are millions of them. How can you possibly finish reading it?”
I explained to him the importance of learning to read well and to make the best out of the lessons that he was learning at school, and that teachers like me, were specially sent to teach special children like him so that someday they could read great books like the one he was holding. He left my room. ......