2nd January 2019 is the first day of primary school for my eldest daughter. School will start at 7.20am, so we departed from home at 6.45am because it’s just less than 1km drive. However, we get a shock when we can’t start the engine of our car – no battery. We tried few times hoping that magic will happened but to no avail. And there is no one in the parking lot for us to help jump-start the engine and we don’t have enough time too.
Feeling desperate, we decided to walk to the school even though the sky is still dark. My husband and I were sweating heavily because he carried my 7years old eldest daughter and I carried my 3years old daughter. We tried to wait as fast as we could. We took about 25minutes and reached school Gate A around 7.20am.
We quickly rushed my daughter to her class and found out many parents are still standing outside the classes. When she walked in her class, the Headmaster requested all parents to wait in the canteen and let the students to start their lessons.
To go to Gate A, we need to pass by the school canteen and we saw lots of parents eating and waiting in the canteen. I suggested to eat at the school canteen too because I was too tired to walk back home now as I needed some time to rest. Moreover, the mechanic shop will only opened around 10am. And we need to eat breakfast too. We can use this opportunity to try the food in the canteen too.
Initially, we just thought of sending my daughter to school and pick her up after school. While having breakfast in the canteen, I noticed that many parents are waiting there. And there are few 爱心家 (volunteer parents) stationed in the canteen. Then, there is an announcement that Year 1 students will come to have their break at the canteen at 9.30am and all parents are required to go to the back of the canteen. Again, I decided to wait for my daughter because the mechanic will come to fetch my husband from school at 10am to fix the car.
Around 9am, all parents are told to go to the back of the canteen because the Year 1 students will come down soon. The students came down in batches. I noticed that the string and name tag is different colour for different class. Maybe this is to ease the teachers to identify Year1 students and from which class.
I recalled that when we received the textbooks during the Orientation Day, there is also a name tag inside. Parents have to fill up the information and let the child wear to school. This name tag is very important because of the information stated:-
- Student name (in Mandarin & Malay)
- Transportation to school
- Driver’s Contact No
- After school waiting area (Gate A or Gate D)
- Emergency contact no
- Catering service (Breakfast, Lunch, or None)
- Co-Curriculum on Tuesday
- Co-Curriculum on Thursday
(During the 2nd week of school, teacher requested parents to pay RM3.50 for the name tag. There are other payments too like RM7 for student photo and RM16.60 for 3M magazine).
爱心家 and teachers work together to guide these Year 1 students on how to go to canteen, how to buy food/ take food from catering counter, how to put back the plates, bowls and cups,….and how to go back to class. After all the students are seated and eating their food, parents are allowed to go inside the canteen to find their kids (for about 10minutes, I think). Around 10am, the children were guided back to their class.
After my daughter was guided by the teacher back to her classroom, I went back home as the car is fixed. I will fetch her home at 1.20pm later. Because co-curriculum and extra-class will only start on the 2nd week, the school ended early for the first week of school.
For pick-up after school, I choose Gate D because it is inside school compound and it is shaded for parents while waiting to pick-up the child. Year 1 students are guided to Gate A/Gate D according to the pick-up area of their parents’ choice stated in their name tag. The students are requested to sit down at the dedicated lane (There are labels on the gate stated 1C, 1M, 1P, 1K,…etc). When the bell rings at 1.20pm, they are allowed to leave the school through the gate.