as logged by Kriztee Fu
Third day of our volunteering mission and my last full day in Teringai. We decided to start off the day with mural painting. The kids were very curious and stared at the wall, wondering what we were going to do next. They were excited about how it would look like at the end, and honestly so were we. As I was teaching Mathematics and English to the students, it struck to me of how poor the quality of their education is. Basic addition and multiplication proved to be overwhelming for them.
However, there was one student that surprised us all, his logical reasoning of obtaining his answers in an unconventional way truly put us in awe. At that moment, I thought he was definitely a genius in the making. The sad thing however was that when one of the volunteers praised him, he replied saying that he was not smart because he belonged to the ‘dumber’ class. I now am able to see for myself, how the elite system in our education is flawed, mostly only benefiting those with smart grades at an early age ,at the expense of those who were weaker that had much potential. I went into this experience thinking what I could do for these kids, but it turns out I gained more than I have given. They thought me to be grateful and also to be patient.
When I realised how hard it was for me to remember 5 words of Rungus ( their local dialect) in 3 days, it struck to me how hard it was for them to even remember 5 English words a day. I had learned to become more understanding towards them and focused on making lessons fun to make studying more appealing rather than feeding them words they would simply not comprehend. I feel sad, now that I realize my time in Teringai is almost up. I wish I could have done more and spent more time with them but sadly my time with them ends tomorrow evening. This has been a short but memorable experience, which was truly enjoyable because of my fellow volunteers and students.