05 September 2006

"Political" Crisis in CHS?

I seem to be standing in the eye of a hurricane the past few days.

Surreal and stunning incidents seem to be unravelling around me. First there was the rejection for a hostel room, though that was kinda expected. Then there was the abrupt news of Steve Irwin's death just yesterday, but that is somewhat distant from my personal life. And then today, while I was browsing The Intelligent Singaporean, it appears that my alma mater, Catholic High School, is undergoing some sort of administrative/leadership crisis. (This incident was also Tomorrow-ed.)

This came as quite a surprise to me, since two months back when I visited the school, there didn't seem to be much tension going on at the surface. Even when I chatted with some of the teachers, there didn't seem to be any gripe about the principle. Of course, they, as teachers, are forbidden to speak bad about their superiors, but there didn't seem to be any underlying disdain for the man in their words.

Quite frankly, many of the allegations in the petition are rather startling, and they certainly demand some investigations (such as the public humiliation of students and forced donations). Others, though not so urgent, still needs to be looked into, for they are, to a certain extent, inappropriate actions and demands (e.g. the call for perfect punctuality). However, this is only one side of the story; I'd need at least the principal's side before I can make a fair judgement. Even so, my judgement assumes that both words are of the truth; an inquiry should be conducted to verify or refute these statements.

To me, one of the most shocking facts in the whole situation was the transfer of the nine teachers. More than half of them were around when I was in the school. In particular, Mrs Alice Long was my teacher for maths in secondary 4. And here I give you my word that Mrs Long is one of the best teachers in the school. For one, she is extremely capable in teaching (I've got A for both my maths), and two, she cares about the welfare of her students and goes beyond what is necessary to help them. What's more, she has been around in the school for more than a decade, so if there's any question about her capability, she would not have stayed till now. In fact, the first four names on the list are long-time teachers in Catholic High School.

I hope that the school can sort these things out, preferably out of public eyes, and more importantly without any casualties to office politicking. Such incidents are not encouraging to students who are taking their O levels this year, and certainly to the teachers whose only dream is to see their students soar above the clouds.

Oh my... what a week... what a week.

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