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Friday, 12 July 2013 00:00

Tzu Chi Elementary Students Visit Malaysia

Written by  By Loh Siew Chien & Kang Sin Fue, Melaka / Translated by Chai Lee Lian

Students from Bukit Beruang Primary School’s Special Class performed for the TC Elementary teachers and students. The visitors joined in with hand gestures and created a warm atmosphere.【Photograph by Hong Geok Hui】

Teachers and students of Tzu Chi Elementary School, Taiwan, were in Melaka on a cultural and educational exchange from July 10 - 14, 2013. They also experienced the exotic and unique culture and tradition of Malaysia, which made their summer break more meaningful.


Six teachers and 17 students from Tzu Chi Elementary School, Taiwan, arrived from Singapore on July 10, 2013. The following morning, they rose early, amidst a heavy downpour, to start the new day with a cultural exchange and inter-school experimental learning activities.

On arrival at Bukit Beruang Chinese Primary School, they were accorded a warm welcome by the school’s teachers and students. After enjoying a rich local specialty - “the Nasi lemak” – for breakfast, the Senior Assistant led them on a tour of the school compound.

Next, they visited the Special Class, where 12 of its students sang the song, ‘Hello’. The Tzu Chi Elementary teachers spontaneously joined in with hand gestures, warming up the atmosphere instantly. They learnt from Class Teacher, Hu Mei Ling, that the class has a small vegetable garden and they made compose from the leftover food from the canteen. The visiting students also had a hands-on experience in making compose.

When Class Teacher, Yang Rui Yuan was hosting the exchange session, a student went near and leaned against him. Mr. Yang immediately responded by gently holding the child’s hands. Teacher Chen Wen Xin from TC Elementary witnessed this scene and was touched. He is indeed a role model of a caring teacher.

TC Elementary School’s Supervisor, Su Qiu Bi, and Bukit Beruang Primary School’s Headmaster, Mr. Chen Guan Sheng, shared their respective educational philosophy. The aim of Bukit Beruang Chinese Primary School’s foreign exchange program is to broaden the students’ horizons and achieve recognition as an excellent school; while green environment and humanities courses, student self-care and volunteer services are the main characteristics of TC Elementary School.

Headmaster Chen concurred that a good cultural environment will improve the students' humanistic qualities. He was particularly appreciative of the students marching neatly and quietly into their classrooms. From this exchange, he hopes to create a better learning environment for his students.

Lawyer Ronald Gan, President of the School’s Parents and Teachers’ Association, was most impressed with the students’ table manners during meal time. They also brought their own cutlery, which is a very good habit to uphold.

An unforgettable afternoon tea

In the afternoon, children of Tzu Chi Melaka’s Da Ai Educare Centre welcomed their visitors with a Malay drumming ceremony. They then invited their big brothers and sisters to taste some local authentic snacks. Everyone was in awe seeing the giant horn bananas, and some mistook the jackfruit as durian. The sweet potato balls wrapped in shredded coconut and palm sugar really tested everyone’s effort, while the purple dragon fruit and pineapple juice tested the courage of the first timer in drinking it.

Da Ai Educare’s children then served their guests refreshments. Supervisor Su Qiu Bi was happy to meet these children whom she had seen on Da Ai TV when they featured the Malaysian pre-school children. She said, "The children are very polite and friendly; they gave me a massage! They are so sweet! I am sure the teachers have put in a lot of efforts to educate them into what they are today."

Visit to Pay Fong 3

On July 12, the visitors went to Pay Fong 3 Chinese Primary School to participate in the school's morning reading program. Headmistress Huang Cui Ling personally led the students in reading "The Analects" and also explained the meanings.

The most touching moment for the visitors was the flag-raising ceremony of the Malaysian flag, the flag of Melaka, Pay Fong 3 School flag, ROC flag and Tzu Chi’s secondary flags. Gratitude, respect and great love spirit were greatly shown at the ceremony.

The most special part of this trip was to allow the students of the two schools to have a science lesson at Bukit China (San Bao Hill), next to the school. Bukit China was a Chinese burial ground that dates back to the Ming Dynasty, and its terrain covers an area of ​​160 hectares. This piece of land contains the historical significance and roots of the Chinese people.

The students walked up the hill in small groups, with a teacher assigned to each group as tour guide. On top of the hill, they saw the Straits of Malacca. Unfortunately, this visit was interrupted by rain and everyone had to leave with a little sadness.

The visiting students also shared one of the school's special courses - tea serving - and interpreted the "Filial Piety Sutra” in sign language.

While watching the interpretation, Headmistress Huang thought of her deceased father and elderly mother and became emotional, with tears running down her face. She was thankful to Tzu Chi’s Great Love Mothers for promoting the exchange between the schools. This has given a great opportunity for the students to get to know the teachers and students from other countries. After an exchange on the Jing-Si Aphorism Teaching Method with TC teachers, Headmistress Huang intends to implement the teaching method during moral class.

Lu Jia from TC Elementary made several new friends during this exchange. Huang Hui Qian from Pay Fong 3 was one of them.

Lu Jia said, "The students here are very warm and enthusiastic. I am very happy to spend this very special summer vacation here. I hope to bring back all that I have learnt here to share with my fellow classmates.”

An educational trip with full harvest

TC students spent months practising the “Filial Piety Sutra” performance. Xu Li Yang, who was not very committed to the performance at Bukit Beruang School, decided to make adjustments for the following day’s performance at Pay Fong 3. His teachers were very happy with this positive change in his attitude.

At the Klebang Happiness Centre for the Mentally Handicapped Children, Li Yang donated some money to help the unfortunate children. His generosity inspired other students and teachers to do the same. Altogether, they donated more than RM800/- to the Centre!

A very dependent Wang Li Ti had proven her mother wrong as on this trip, she washed her clothes, got up early and was always on time. She was very grateful to the local volunteers for their warm hospitality and arrangements, which made her feel at ease and at home.

Xiao Xing Qing has been teaching in TC Elementary for six years now. In the past, when she heard comments from people that: “Tzu Chi is a family", she felt nothing. But, with the meticulous care from volunteers throughout the trip, she really felt Tzu Chi is a family.

Supervisor Su Qiu Bi thanked the volunteers for their hard work, which has enabled Tzu Chi to develop so quickly abroad. It also allowed the TC Elementary children the opportunity to be here. She hopes the students could pass on the volunteers’ love to others.

She quoted an ancient saying that means: “In order to attain wisdom, it is not enough merely to read many books; one must also travel vastly”. Through this visit, the students have learnt knowledge other than those from the textbooks. Everyone returned home happily with a heart full of love and sweet memories.

 

In this trip, Wang Li Ti learnt to wash clothes, get up early and be on time.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】 The teachers of TC Elementary and Bukit Beruang Chinese Primary having an exchange session at Bukit Beruang School.【Photograph by Loh Siew Chien】

In this trip, Wang Li Ti learnt to wash clothes, get up early and be on time.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】

The teachers of TC Elementary and Bukit Beruang Chinese Primary having an exchange session at Bukit Beruang School.【Photograph by Loh Siew Chien】
Supervisor Su Qiu Bi (1st right) praised Tzu Chi Kindergarten’s children. She was happy to meet the children whom she saw in Da Ai TV. 【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】 TC Elementary delegation and Tzu Chi Kindergarten and daycare children preparing the local specialties.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】

Supervisor Su Qiu Bi (1st right) praised Tzu Chi Kindergarten’s children. She was happy to meet the children whom she saw in Da Ai TV. 【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】

TC Elementary delegation and Tzu Chi Kindergarten and daycare children preparing the local specialties.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】
TC Elementary students shared their tea serving ceremony. Pay Fong 3 Headmistress (1st right) was impressed. 【Photograph by Hong Geok Hui】 Lu Jia (right) from TC Elementary Huang Hui Qian from Pay Fong 3 become good friends through this visit.【Photograph by Hong Geok Hui】

TC Elementary students shared their tea serving ceremony. Pay Fong 3 Headmistress (1st right) was impressed. 【Photograph by Hong Geok Hui】

Lu Jia (right) from TC Elementary Huang Hui Qian from Pay Fong 3 become good friends through this visit.【Photograph by Hong Geok Hui】
Xu Li Yang (2nd left) initiated the idea of donating money to Klebang Happiness Centre for the Mentally Handicapped Children.【Photograph by Tan Ah Lek】

Xu Li Yang (2nd left) initiated the idea of donating money to Klebang Happiness Centre for the Mentally Handicapped Children.【Photograph by Tan Ah Lek】

 

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