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Sunday, 15 November 2015 00:00

Education for Life Ensures a Bright Life

Written by  Lee Lay Sim & Hong Mei Rong, KL & Selangor / Translated by Lim Wen Xin

Cheah Guat Hoo, Principal of Da Ai Kindergarten (Pandan Indah), shifted the graduand’s tassel from one side to the other, representing the formal completion of the student’s Kindergarten education. [Photograph byKevin Tan Kok Sieong]

The teachers and students of Da Ai Kindergarten Kepong and Pandan Indah held their first joint graduation ceremony at KL Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall. This was Kepong Kindergarten’s first graduation ceremony for 24 students whilst Pandan Indah held their eighth ceremony for 26 students. At this event, teachers sent their sincere blessings to the students who had completed their preschool studies.


As the heart-warming songs sounded gently, teachers and students walked in hand-in-hand from the sides of the hall towards the stage. Fifty final-year students in dark blue graduation gowns looked dignified in a line. They bowed 90 degrees, giving their most sincere bows to their parents, thanking them for their unconditional love and care in all these years of development and growth.

Education for life

In order for parents to understand the children’s progress, Da Ai Kindergarten prepared a Parental Bridge* which was meant for the parents to share bits and pieces at home with their kid. The Kindergarten also encouraged parents to take up Loving Mother roles at school. By becoming one, parents would better understand their kid in class, while teachers would get to understand the details of students growing up at home.

All four sketches, presented that evening were the children’s life stories discovered during the teachers-children interactions.

When the couch at home had a crack, the mother thought of getting a new set. Su Le Yao suggested instead, “Mum, this can be fixed by putting a beautiful seat cushion on top. When the crack turns into a big split and we can’t sit on it any longer, then we can buy a new one.” Le Yao’s appreciation of the lifespan of things was commendable; and her mother accepted her suggestion.

Dai Jia Hao was a little environment protector. He encouraged his family to use green tableware to pack food because it could be used repeatedly without having to waste Earth’s resources. The young protector saved up to buy sets of green tableware for his family to avoid using styrofoam. Jia Hao vowed to continue to save and buy for more people so they would not need to use styrofoam and instead protect Mother Earth hand-in-hand.

It was when Yu En Ting accompanied her mum to the wet market that she saw a foreign worker begging with her baby. The little girl was worried that they might be hungry so she asked her mum if she could buy something for them to eat. En Ting was very happy that her mum fulfilled her wish and that the baby would not be hungry anymore. The mother promised to work harder with her daughter who was filled with benevolence. The little one was caring and appreciative. She has never asked her mum to purchase toys, instead they would recycle boxes and turn them into toys. They have made a big kitchen, a little bedroom for the doll and a cash machine, all of which En Ting loved.

Zhu Cheng En had a little wish, and that is, to recruit one million people to become vegetarians. One day, when the family and uncle went on a trip, the latter suggested to have seafood for lunch. The boy started to panic. His mother consoled him and explained that his uncle was not a vegetarian. But the boy had insisted that everyone must have vegetarian meals. He advised his cousin not to eat seafood because the sea creatures might feel the pain. His cousin promised him and accompanied him to have vegetarian meals for two days. When he witnessed his son’s determination, the father, a part-time tour guide, promised to work with him to fulfil his wish. He said, “I’ll arrange vegetarian meals when I take groups on tours.” Cheng En was thrilled! His confidence had been boosted and the aim of 1,000,000 no longer seemed so far away.

These four sketches presented the various ways the children have implemented the education for life in their lives. We wished that the sincerity of the kids would touch every audience, turn impression into action and ultimately, make the world a better place.

Happiness overflowed – thank you teachers, dad and mum

Su Yang Jun was the class’s delight. He loved to attend classes at Da Ai Kindergarten because he thought the teachers, who attended classes happily and were friendly, were like the cartoon series, “Pleasant Goat”.

The sympathetic Le Yao was rather popular in class. She did not mind cleaning the toilets; instead, she would mop the toilet floor mindfully and leave it dry. The girl explained, “I’ll be sad if my classmate slips because of a wet floor.” Her classmates nodded and gave her the thumbs up. Her best friend, You Yan Xin described her as a kind-hearted, helpful friend. She said, “Everyone loves her because she doesn’t hold grudges. She looks even cuter when she is angry.” The whole class laughed when the girl pouted. She hopes to join Tzu Chi like her parents when she grows up. Le Yao made a pact with her mum that she would ensure everything at home was cared for before volunteering.

Yan Xin learnt a lot thanks to teachers and Tzu Chi volunteers for their devotion. She implemented Life Education at home. She was mum’s great helper, helping to fold clothes and towels used in mum’s shop without being told. Yan Xin spoke good words, listened attentively in class and maintained the good habits at school.

Rao Xin Er vowed to become a Tzu Chi volunteer. Despite being young, she has already practised the spirit of Tzu Chi. When her aunt came for meetings, the little girl would accompany her quietly without interrupting. On weekends, she would help mop the floor and massage her aunt. Whenever she went shopping, she would definitely bring recyclable shopping bags. She would also collect plastic bags brought over by other people, and reuse them as rubbish bags. Growing up in an environment full of love, the little girl learnt to be grateful; Xin Er thanked her aunt for bringing her up, and thanked her teachers for their teaching.

Understanding children

Zhang Wen Quan’s father agreed with Da Ai Kindergarten’s idea of emphasizing on behavioural education and did everything possible to create this opportunity for his children. However, another parent, Zhang Yu Hua, gave up this chance because she thought academic results were more important. After her husband, Huang Shi Chang’s patient explanation and guidance, she changed her mind. She began to believe that children with good behaviour would not have poor results and finally agreed to send her kid to Da Ai Kindergarten.

Mother Chew Siew Leng lived in Subang. She had to leave her house before 6.45 am every morning to make it in time for her daughter, Yu En Rong’s class in Pandan Indah. Although there were objections, the mother firmly believed behavioural education was important. The mother was relieved when her child became more sensible each day. She informed that En Rong is their home’s bright-eyed advisor who often calmed her fretful mood.

Dedication of love

At the end of the ceremony, all parents and kids were in front of the stage. The children handed their graduation certificates respectfully to their parents, indicating that their kindergarten school life had ended. The teachers then guided the students to kneel and bow to their parents. In their childish voice, they said gently, “Thank you mum and dad for bringing me up. When I grow up, it will be my turn to care for you.” Audience and parents were deeply touched. An understanding kid is the parents’ best gift.

Memories of the days with the kids at Da Ai Kindergarten were the ones that would stay. The song, “Walk Your Own Way”, told of the teachers’ words for the children. A teacher’s love is eternal. Although saddened by the parting, they still had to let go and allow the kids to walk their own way. When her classmates saw En Ting crying badly in her mum’s arms, they ran over to pat and console her. It felt especially warm. Mother Liang Fang Yuan commented in tears, “The kids here are so caring and understanding, I feel sad having to leave them. Fortunately, there are five other kids who will enter the same primary school, so they can still look out for each other. I feel more comfortable that way.”


The end of kindergarten graduation marked the beginning of a child’s primary school life. With teachers and parents’ blessings, we hope the children would be more confident and courageous in facing the challenges in their lives.

* Parental Bridge is a parent-child-teacher contact book that Tzu Chi Da Ai Kindergarten uses.

 

Teachers leading the graduates towards the stage to receive blessings from the audience. The Kepong branch  had 24 graduates while Pandan Indah branch had 26. [Photograph by Kevin Tan Kok Sieong]   Teacher Lim Hui Chia led Su Le Yao (from left), You Yan Xin, Su Yang Jun and Rao Xin Er to deliver their graduation speeches. [Photograph by Kevin Tan Kok Sieong]

Teachers leading the graduates towards the stage to receive blessings from the audience. The Kepong branch had 24 graduates while Pandan Indah branch had 26. [Photograph by Kevin Tan Kok Sieong]
 
Teacher Lim Hui Chia led Su Le Yao (from left), You Yan Xin, Su Yang Jun and Rao Xin Er to deliver their graduation speeches. [Photograph by Kevin Tan Kok Sieong]
 
In the drama, Yu En Ting (middle) saw a foreign worker begging with her baby in the marketplace. En Ting was worried about them being hungry so she pleaded for her mum to get something for them to eat. [Photograph by Kevin Tan Kok Sieong]   Graduates’ parents presenting the “Eight Noble Paths”. It is hoped that they could really implement the spirit of the Eight Noble Paths in their daily lives. [Photograph by Lim Choon Huat]

In the drama, Yu En Ting (middle) saw a foreign worker begging with her baby in the marketplace. En Ting was worried about them being hungry so she pleaded for her mum to get something for them to eat. [Photograph by Kevin Tan Kok Sieong]
 
 
Graduates’ parents presenting the “Eight Noble Paths”. It is hoped that they could really implement the spirit of the Eight Noble Paths in their daily lives. [Photograph by Lim Choon Huat]
 
Teachers giving children their deepest blessings by presenting “Walk Your Own Path”. Although it was hard, they had to let go for the children to walk their own path. [Photograph by Kevin Tan Kok Sieong]   Graduates handing over their graduation certificates respectfully to their parents. They also bowed to their parents to thank them for their upbringing. [Photograph by Lim Choon Huat]

Teachers giving children their deepest blessings by presenting “Walk Your Own Path”. Although it was hard, they had to let go for the children to walk their own path. [Photograph by Kevin Tan Kok Sieong]
 
 
Graduates handing over their graduation certificates respectfully to their parents. They also bowed to their parents to thank them for their upbringing. [Photograph by Lim Choon Huat]
 
Graduates hugged their parents tightly. Parents were moved to tears, it was a touching scene. [Photograph by Kevin Tan Kok Sieong]   Mother Chew Siew Leng was relieved to have made the right decision because her girl Yu En Rong became more sensible each day. [Photograph by Lim Choon Huat]

Graduates hugged their parents tightly. Parents were moved to tears, it was a touching scene. [Photograph by Kevin Tan Kok Sieong]
 
 
Mother Chew Siew Leng was relieved to have made the right decision because her girl Yu En Rong became more sensible each day. [Photograph by Lim Choon Huat]