Teacher Deserved Award, Let's Appreciate the Hard and Sincere Decision He Made
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
The Straits Times (Forum - Pg A20)
THE reaction of Mr Mark Gregory Rozells ('Baffled by award for teacher who went on trip while wife was dying'; May 12) to the article ('Caring teachers win awards'; May 9) is equally baffling.
Mr Rozells criticised the decision to give an award to a teacher for carrying out his duty to his students at the supposed expense of his dying wife.
While I understand his sympathy for the teacher's wife, the Education Ministry was right to recognise the teacher for his selfless contribution to his students and school. If the teacher had been on a military engagement, I have no doubt he would have received the highest military honour for putting nation before self.
It must have been agonising for the teacher in question, given the dilemma.
But it is during the most difficult moments that a person's worth and character are revealed.
While it is true that no one is indispensable, it is also true that not everyone is easily replaceable.
My son is also a teacher and I would be sorely disappointed if he abandoned his students just to return to see me die. So let us appreciate what the teacher had done for his students and school, while at the same time extending our deepest sympathy for the loss he suffered. I am sure it has not been easy for him.
Ong Soon Leong
Source: The Straits Times (Forum - Pg A20), sph