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Friday, 20 June 2014

THE END OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR



On behalf of Pn Nor Rubaiha Mohamed Nor, CEO of KYUEM and myself, this blog post is to wish all our junior students a pleasant summer break. For our seniors, I'm afraid you now have the long wait until August before you are able to learn how well you've done in your "A" Level examinations. Of course, everyone at KYUEM hopes that you get the results you need, and that you will be starting the next exciting phase of your lives at University in September.

The end of an academic year is a good time for reflection on the events of the past two semesters. For me, personally, it is also an occasion to think back on my first year as your Headmaster - the first, I hope, of many more to come. We have witnessed some interesting happenings this year, both inside the college and externally. There have been momentous events around the world, many of them tragic, including the still unexplained loss of Malaysian Airlines flight 370. There have been conflicts, political upheavals, changes of government, medical and scientific breakthroughs and a whole host of other things that on the face of it, should not be of major concern to students at KYUEM.

However, the fact is that many of our young people here are destined to become tomorrow's leaders in many different spheres. It is, therefore, very important for them to be acquainted with the events that shape their world, both locally and internationally. I often think it would be a good idea for all our political leaders to do a degree course in world history before they are allowed to take office. If they did, maybe they would be less inclined to repeat the mistakes of the past.

I write these words 24 hours before our most important college event of the year - Awards Day. While it is an honour to welcome distinguished guests to the KYUEM campus, I am mindful of the fact that the main purpose of the day is to congratulate our senior students who will be graduating. During the past two days when we had a couple of dress rehearsals, I was struck by how much I'm going to miss all of these young people when we return in August. I am reminded of how transitory life can be, but how much we are influenced by fellow travellers who join us for at least part of that journey.

One of the ironic things about being a teacher is that when you leave a school, the students you have previously taught remain in your mind and never age. I was horrified to think the other day that some of the students I used to teach in England (and whom I remember as eager teenagers) would now be in their forties. Such thoughts remind us of how deceptively quickly time passes for us all.

But these are the ramblings of an old teacher, and don't really belong here. Instead, let me end by looking forward to next year. It is a time of great excitement for so many of us. For our departing seniors, the next phase of their intellectual development will soon be upon them. For our current juniors, their senior year awaits and the rigours of "A" Level study will make big demands on their time. We will have new teachers to welcome as we sadly say goodbye to those who will shortly be leaving us. 

To each and every one of you, I wish you a pleasant summer break. If you are travelling overseas, as my wife and I will be doing shortly, I wish you a safe and uneventful journey. This blog will be a bit dormant for the next month or so, but I look forward to starting it afresh in August.

Until then, my warmest regards to you all.


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