“When you don’t have a school campus, the whole world is your campus!”
Exploring nature: A day in the life of Pasxcel
There we were on a Saturday morning at the beginning of the hiking tracks of Bukit Kiara. After 10 mins of steady hiking, everyone was getting the hang of it. We were like a straight group of ants. Slowly the trail became wider and allowed us to walk next to each other.
Every now and then a party would come from the opposite direction to break us apart with their gleefully coo-ing hellos and good mornings. After a group of friends passed us by Sohail- one of our students- and I continued our conversation, which shifted gears from him hijacking a scouts river rafting expedition to how his ex-school never took them outdoors.
“ Teacher, what I don’t understand is why to have an outdoor activities club if you are never really going to go outdoors,” he said with a quizzical look on his face.
“ Perhaps the school management was concerned that parents might be worried about their children’s safety if they were to take all of you outdoors” I quipped.
“ I think it is more like they don’t want to go through all the trouble of planning and bringing us,” He answered.
Our conversation slowly glided to how some of his family friends are apprehensive about joining Pasxcel despite his heavy recommendation on how he is enjoying himself better compared to his ex-school where his family friends are still at.
“ The issue is most parents are not ready for change. They are still very traditional when it comes to thinking about education. The kids love it when I talk to them about what we do. It is the parents that are the issue”
“ Don’t the children go back and share with their parents what really happens in school?” Sohail has told me some pretty unacceptable things about his school including a non-existent CCA, teachers convincing students to drop subjects to maintain IGCSE pass rates to glass panes falling crashing a few feet away from students.
“ Well, they do! But most parents think their kids are whining. They don’t take the kids seriously “
I can understand that part. Parents these days are terribly busy and in comparison to what they are going through daily, feedback from children such as the ones Sohail shared with me might just come across as complaints.
As I returned my gaze, we’ve reached a steep slope which Sohail charged on climbing at top speed screaming, “ Yeeeeeehawwwwwww!!”
All of us followed and soon enough we reached a clearing with a bamboo hut. I think the highlight of our day was when an uncle who helped us take our pictures asked us if we were all from the same school. We were eager to say, “ Yes, yes all of us are only 18!”
The uncle laughed, “ More like plus 10 to that number “
I was tracking alone for a bit before Teacher Devina and Sohail joined me. “ You know I think it is a huge advantage that Pasxcel does not have a campus. Now, the whole world is our campus! We can do our CCA anywhere we want!”
I just smiled and had to agree. The hike had made everyone tired and hungry. We had no idea how to get to TTDI public park. As we were figuring out which path to take, we were greeted by a group of elderly women who frequent the track weekly. With their help, we quickly reached the end of the track. We then had a well-deserved meal together before calling it a day.
Written by : Teacher Yuven, Founder & Principal of Pasxcel Academy