No, this was said to be the temporary building for the Anglo Chinese Girls’ School, back in the 1950s. For those of you who don’t know, Anglo Chinese Girls’ School (or ACGS Ipoh) later became Methodist Girls’ School (MGS). Of course, the MGS building now looks nothing like this one pictured above.
MGS Alumni, we’d love to hear from you! 🙂
Yes, you read it right – Anglo-Chinese Girls’ School. Maybe you’re more familiar with its current name – Methodist Girls’ School (MGS).
Anyway, here is a nostalgic photograph taken during the sports day. The guest of honour is none other than Mrs Florence Kesselring.
These pictures were sent to us by Lam Lai Meng, an Alumni of MGS.
This first picture needs no explanation.
The second picture was taken at the Regal Lodge, Ipoh. This large group met on 16th of February 2010, during the Chinese New Year period.
Lam had this to say about this picture:
“CNY 2010 photo – no. 4 and 5 are husband and wife teachers Mr and Mrs Ho Ho Chuen. Mr Teh Chin Seong is no 6 and his wife is no. 7. This could possibly be one of the last photos of Mr Teh before he passed away a few months after Feb 2010.”
Are you somewhere in any/both of these pictures? Do point yourself out….and DO tell us about this reunion!
As stated in the poster, this event is scheduled for the 4th of August 2012 at the Grand Valley Ballroom, Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Suites. The party, themed “Friends Forever”, kicks off at 6pm. Spread the word, folks 😉
For reservations and more info, do contact: Ms Lim (05-2532882); Mr Chow (012-5283212); Ms Yau (012-5125693); Ms Doreen (019-5103270).
Enjoy the long awaited Episode 4 recalling UV’s many ‘adventures’ during his career as a teacher!
EPISODE 4 – TEACHING IN AND AROUND IPOH
Teaching is not essentially academic in nature. It involves an overall development of the child. A teacher is not only expected to teach subjects offered by the school but also to train the child to adapt to society. This can be achieved in many ways, from being a personal example to being involved in training them in games and guiding them in activities related to clubs and societies formed within the school.
In MGS Ipoh, the excellence in ensuring students giving their “Utmost to the Highest” is ensured by not only maintaining a high standard of academic achievements but also to excel in games and other social activities. In this episode, I would particularly like to highlight sports and games.
It is most common for men teachers in all girls’ schools to be assigned to training the students in games. The late Mr. Teh Chin Seong was assigned not only as the Sports Secretary (a job without extra pay but lots of extra work) but also to other activities like being a coach in the various games the school was involved in.
I was not exception. The very first year I started work in MGS Ipoh, I was assigned as the softball coach. Softball was not a game that many schools in Ipoh were involved in. There were actually only three schools initially taking part in competitions in 1968. They were St. Michaels, Anderson and MGS Ipoh. Those were the schools participating in the girls’ competition. Later, more schools joined in. St. Michaels and Anderson had girls teams because they were Sixth Forms schools with girls.
That year, MGS Ipoh was to chair the Competition Committee of Softball for the Central District of the Perak Schools Sports Council. This was before the new system of Malaysian Schools Sports Council was established. Then Perak was divided into 3 Zones, Northern, Central and Southern. It was the responsibility of the school to organize competitions for the Central Zone. Unlike now, Principals of chairing schools were not the chairpersons. The teachers of the games were! Thus it was that I, as a greenhorn chaired the competition committee of Softball for Central Perak that year.
It was a simple task as there were only three girls team and two boys teams involved. What a game to be involved in to learn the ropes. That year, Saint Michaels came out champions. I wonder how many of those players of the three teams are still around Ipoh today. I would love to hear their comments. MGS Ipoh’s team was thrashed that year. That made me very determined to improve the team’s performance the following year and intensive training took place.
In the years that followed, softball team of MGS Ipoh became strong and it was not uncommon for us to beat teams with scores like 10 – 0, 20 – 0 and even once 70 -0. This happened because many new school teams started entering the competition, among them being Raja Perumpuan Ipoh, Menglembu Secondary School, Perak Girls School and a few lesser known schools like Sri Intan and Sri Puteri. SMI and Anderson continued but their girls’ teams could no longer dominate the game. In the early seventies, MGS Ipoh’s softball team was the strongest in the state. However, strong opposition started coming from Nan Hwa Sitiawan and eventually Ave Maria Convent, Ipoh. The latter would eventually be a school that dominated softball in the 80s, 90s and even today.
The Perak State Softball Association was formed and it encouraged the game among school children. However, many schools could not adopt this game because of the high cost of equipment. I became the secretary of the Association for some years and since the Pengarah of Education Perak was automatically the Vice-President, it wasn’t easy to serve in the Association when you are a teacher. However, being a Maverick, I considered him as an ordinary person with the official post and not my boss! A few times I did cross swords with him on Association matters and many within the Education Department thought I would be hung out to dray for crossing him. However, he was a true gentleman and leader and never let outside activities cloud his professional judgement!
Eventually I qualified as a State Softball Umpire and also a National Softball Umpire and did my duties in various games conducted all over the country. My involvement in Softball saw me being appointed as the Kinta District Softball Technical Chairperson, the State Coach for the Softball School boys and girls team and being involved in the organisation of various softball competitions in the State.
When I was in Sam Tet, I assisted the school coach in training the boys too. This school team was the strongest in the State of Perak for a long time. However, when I was promoted as a Principal I was sent out of Kinta District to Kuala Kangsar District and I stopped my softall activities. I hung up my mittens, gloves, bat and mask for good. However, the years of demonstrations of softball skills to players caused me to suffer from wearing out of both my hip joints and knee joints. Recently, I had a bilateral hip-joint replacement and need to go for knee joints replacement soon.
The role teachers play in promoting sports is vital to the nation. It is a pity that so few teachers take this role seriously and learn to be good at doing this task. Through the years, with neglect by school teachers who are not fully qualified in the games they are assigned to and the lack of interest in this task has resulted in the deterioration of the standard of sports in Malaysia. Teachers, lay the foundation for sportspeople of the nation and if the foundation is weak, everything after that would be flimsy!
We have here the 3rd installment of UV’s account….about his teaching experiences in and around Ipoh. Happy reading 🙂
Teaching In and Around Ipoh
Teaching is not merely the passing on of knowledge to students. It involves and interaction that is rather complicated. A student learns through various ways. [This article, being mainly for lay people, will not dwell into pedagogical terms but would be using layman’s terms.] Unfortunately, many teachers during my time still depended on the textbook or the ‘chalk and talk’ method. That is, the teacher would write on the board a lot of notes and try to explain and idea by merely talking.
Most of the students will be busy scribbling notes onto pages and pages of their exercise books, word for word and trying desperately to listen to their teacher. Sometimes, the teacher would scribble and talk (facing the blackboard) at the same time. This is when some naughty students will do cheeky things behind the teacher’s back.
Such teaching methods should be obsolete by now but unfortunately old habits die hard and many teachers today are doing the same. Another batch of teachers don’t even bother to write notes, they merely open the textbook [insisting that every child must have one too, if not the child would be punished] and read from it, and from time to time, instruct the students to underline important sentences or phrases. To ensure passes in their subjects, these are the parts they will set questions on during the examinations.
These are teachers that do not prepare their lessons or had done so once [underlining their own textbook so that he or she remembers where to tell his or her students to do so]. For years, until the textbook is changed, they would use this same old textbook [facts may have changed a lot] to ‘teach’!
However, there are others who would prepare their lessons meticulously and bring along to class maps, charts and models to make their lesson interesting. They would involve their students in activities necessitating them to move to the front of the class or into groups for group work and discussion. The lesson is different every time the teacher steps into class. The students are never sure what to expect. Motivation for learning is high.
Many teachers too resort to interesting anecdotes or simple but unforgettable stories related to the theme of the lesson. Students may forget the facts but will never forget the stories told and eventually recall the facts the story is based on. Some teachers use a joke to set the mood for teaching, but sometimes this would backfire on the teachers. The students are set wrongly and look forward to a period of fun and follies!
In MGS Ipoh in the 60s and 70s we have all sorts of teachers as described above. Boring teachers or interesting ones are remembered. The in-betweens are forgotten. When I started teaching, I modeled myself on some of the best teachers I had in ACS Ipoh. My Geography teacher, Mr. Yee Sze Onn impressed me so much that I gave up a place in Business Management when offered to me to take up Geography as my major from the Second Year of my Degree course instead. [I was called directly a ‘fool’ by the head of the Economics Department then.] When I started teaching in MGS Ipoh, I was one of three graduates, the most junior of the lot. I decided to emulate Mr. Yee and asked for a Geography Room to be set up and it was granted. I had a sand tray set up so that I could make landscape models to explain to my students what features I was teaching. To my horror, stray cats made it their toilet!
I had a map tracing table specially built so that I can trace maps and diagrams. MGS was one of the few schools with an epidiascope that could project pictures or diagrams from text book on to a screen [but the bulb was so powerful, if we leave it on for too long it would singe the page the map or diagram is on] and this was used for projecting maps, diagram and pictures in class or in the Geography Room and used for making charts. There were storage places for rolled up maps and drawers for topographic maps. Globes were available for teachers to take to class. A fantastic collection of pictures and charts, made by me with the help of my senior girls were available as teaching aids.
I give credit to the other teachers of Geography that came before me for a good collection of Geographical materials. It made it easier to put them into a room and made available for all teachers of Geography to use. Unfortunately, teachers being human would borrow items from the room and not return them to the proper places. Very often they became the ‘property’ of those teachers who kept them in the Staff Room beside their favourite place of perch for ‘easy excess’ whenever they go to class. This I consider as selfish as it deprives other teachers of the use of those items.
I also took it upon myself to take my pupils to field trips. Geography is not a subject you learn in the classroom alone. You need to make the students see what is really outside on the surface of the earth. When we teach the rivers and their various stages, we could show them a real river at its various stages. On one such field trip to a waterfall in Buntung [Guntung], we climbed up the steep slope of the waterfall and on descending; a student slipped and slide down to the base of the fall. Luckily for me, she only sustained a small cut to her chin which she wore till today. We rushed her to hospital and sent her home after that. It cut short our field trip. I never took my later students to the same waterfall again!
Visits to places of interest were another thing that made studying of Geography interesting. I organized [like Mr.Quah Guan Teik an ACS Geography teacher of Lower Secondary classes] field trips to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Lumut and Penang just to name a few places. These trips were to visit port facilities, factories, airports and other major landmarks in Malaysia. I even organized a trip by air to Penang and back just to ensure the students could see the landscape from the air. We raised funds to subsidize the fare for selected pupils who were the ones involved in fund raising.
Many of these were organized in the name of the Senior Geographical Society of the school of which I was the advisor. I remembered in those days, the USA Presidential Election was on and I would allow my students to hold elections for positions in the society based on the American Presidential Election system. This enabled them to learn about the American Election System, part of what is termed Political Geography and compare it with our own system.
I continued teaching Geography even when I became the Senior Assistant of the school. My love for this subject never faded until now. I wonder how many of my students went on to teach this same subject and did what I did when I was teaching it. I would love to hear from some of them who did.
As part of our objective of saving the history of the Kinta Valley for future generations we try to gather original memories about days past. Here is one about Rickshaws. Do you have any memories we you can share with us please
“Anna Down, locally born, but now from UK, remembers that as a child in Ipoh she had a regular Rickshaw Puller to take her and two others to and from the Anglo Chinese Girls School daily. He was a tall, well-built, Chinese man who was paid monthly for his services and despite only having a single seat vehicle, happily allowed two girls to squash into the seat and one to squat on the wooden platform. They took turns as to who rode where and called him ‘Long-Legged Uncle on account of his physical size.
Anna remembers the rickshaw as ‘great fun’ as they used to exhort ‘Long-Legged’ to run faster and overtake the other girls in their rickshaws and trishaws which he could do with ease on account of his long legs. She also remembers fondly that when she left Ipoh to go to UK for further studies he presented her with a ‘lovely brocade jacket’.At around the same time (early 1950’s) Anna recalls a ‘rather obese’ Chinese ‘Aunty’ who was a ‘broker’ and spent a considerable amount of her day traveling around Ipoh in a rickshaw. On one ‘never to be forgotten journey’ she hired a rickshaw puller who was the exact opposite of ‘Long-Legged’. He was small, positively skinny, poorly dressed and indistinguishable from others as his face was covered with the traditional ‘Good Morning’ towel and pointed hat to keep the sun off.
‘Aunty’ climbed into the rickshaw, sat herself down with a thump and ordered the puller to start the journey in the fastest possible time. The puller promptly lifted the handles high and prepared to start running. At that very moment ‘Aunty leant back gratefully into the comfortable seat and disaster struck. The rickshaw tipped back and the puller was left with his feet dangling in the air, as the rickshaw continued its backwards arc, until the overweight passenger was stranded in the hood of the vehicle, upside down, with her legs in the air. Wearing only her sarong below her waist, which had of course followed gravity and was now only enveloping her upper limbs ‘Aunty’s modesty was at risk, but as quick as a flash the puller dropped to the ground, removed his hat and gallantly slapped it on his passengers exposed areas to protect her from public view. His colleagues came to rescue and righted the rickshaw. It is not recorded whether ‘Aunty’ ever traveled by rickshaw again.”