KUALA LUMPUR — Bolstered by the enthusiasm showed by scores of students who participated in the #Occupy Dataran movement, lecturers and teachers across the nation are expressing hopes that the same enthusiasm is shown in the movement to cut truancy amongst students, or #Occupy Classes.
In a statement released by the National Parent-Teacher Association (PIBG), educators have said that they are ‘amazed’ by the spirit shown by the student participants of the autonomous grassroots movement, and hope that M.I.A. students could “show even a fraction of that interest in attending classes too”.
“The amount of energy and time spent, the risk taken and the commitment shown in the #Occupy Dataran movement is testament to the can-do spirit of the young,” said the statement. “Braving the extremely uncomfortable weather, threat of arrest and physical violence by strong opponents of the movement, this is proof that when Malaysian youngsters put their mind to it, they can achieve anything.
“Now, if only students across the country can show the same enthusiasm in attending classes and lectures, imagine the impact to the nation. And that is why the #Occupy Classes movement was initiated.”
Teachers across the city lauded the new movement, citing the urgent need to keeping kids in schools and their purpose for waking up each day.
“Look, we’re human beings too,” said Cikgu Jamal Kamaruddin, a Maths teacher in a secondary school in Ampang. “While we’re very excited to teach, facilitate the learning process and impart our knowledge to the young, it does affect our morale seeing so many pupils cutting classes every day without remorse. It’s sad to know we’re unable to reach out to many of the kids, who’d rather spend their days loitering around town in video games outlets.
“So it’s a good idea to rally the students like this. If they’ve shown so much support for the Dataran Merdeka gig, there’s no reason they won’t support the anti-truancy movement. It’ll be great to have full attendance again, even if they’ll be camping out in the classroom like how they did in Dataran. We’ll just remove the desks and make room for their tents.”