When we wrote about Muthu* earlier, we did not know the surprises that were in store for us, especially for Muthu himself. In the last volume, we wrote about how Muthu was really struggling in class with the years of neglect in school. Muthu’s neglect was due to his bad family background. His parents are nowhere to be found. His uncle is a drunkard and his grandmother who is trying to care for him, washes dishes for a living. When we sent Muthu to the vocational school (Electrical engineering course), we really did not know what to expect but prayed for the best to happen. However, Muthu found a lot more.
Muthu attempting to setup a three pin wall socket as his classmate watches on
He said this to the staff who was following up with him, “Brother, this is the first time I scored 60 marks for my exam. I have never scored like this before in my entire life (with a huge smile on his face). My highest score then was for my Bahasa Malaysia paper ; I almost passed!"
He went on to share excitingly about the things he had learnt in class and would sometimes proudly share that he was one of the first few to finish the assignment given. While his classmates who are older than him fooled around in class, he would be focused on finishing whatever needs to be done. He would sleep early at night and get to school way before the class starts the next day. This is despite the fact that his classes are from 9am – 4pm daily (except weekends).
Muthu's work on a blueprint
This was such a huge contrast in comparison of his behaviour in secondary school. Muthu was recalling his experience to the staff that during most of his classes then, he would find himself falling asleep. He shared “I would have slept early the day before and still tried to put effort into learning in class but I would find myself really sleepy”.
Sometimes we forget the importance of applying the right teaching style for the different learning styles that each child has and how it can spark interest in learning. However, all these would take planning and intervention. Now Muthu has found confidence in studying that he never had before in his life and we are glad that whatever course of action we took, it has paid off. We now wish Muthu would go as far as possible in his studies in this electrical engineering course.
One of Muthu's most recent work which is pretty symbolic, as though the lights represent his hope against the darkness of his earlier life
*Name has been changed for identity protection purposes