Phase 2 of our community service at Pangsapuri Sri Semarak lowcost flats in Setapak kicked off a couple of weeks ago with English language classes for children 7 – 15 yrs. We were pleasantly surprised by the response, eager children seated (books and pencil boxes in hand) and all raring to go after they received notice about Free English Language Tuition.
It’s a mixed crowd, largely Malays, with a sprinkling of Indians and Chinese, totaling almost 60 in the first week, and several more in the second week. First, we get the kids to warm up with preliminary icebreakers, and then they break into smaller classes. That’s when our own teens get down to business, each to a class, reviewing their school text, and helping them with reading, writing, and speaking English. What’s exciting was the enthusiasm of our own 8 youths who participated as tutors. They’ve been told we’re not majoring on textbook studies; but more importantly we’re chipping away at walls and developing inter-ethnic relationships.
Certainly it’s too early to say, and his comment reminds us that if we’re going to do any good, we’ll have to make sure we take the long view and run the course. We’re still involved with the senior citizens – warga mas, as they're referred to – from NACSCOM, and now there’s work with the youths as well. I don’t think it’s easy but here we are. I’m passing the word around; we’re open to volunteers to partner our tuition effort - not for education alone, but for work of restoration.
PS: Follow-up with a first person account at Ethan's blog here.