Remembering My Primary School (Part 2)

by Patrick Liew on September 23, 2011

In 1964, my parents enrolled me to start my primary education at Joo Avenue Integrated Primary School (JAS).

I looked forward to it because it was a rite of passage that my elder brothers have gone through.

It was a coming of age sign – “I was no longer a little kid. Yeah!”

On the first day, I remember my elder brother walking me to school. Once I got into the queue to join the assigned class, he disappeared.

One incident stood out in my mind. I did not have a name tag like the other students.

When the teacher came around to me and enquired about it, I was happy that I could respond to her in English.

Strange as it may seem, there were students who were unable to speak in English. The fact that I could do it gave me a sense of pride.

My grandmother gave me twenty cents as pocket money – ten cents for food and five cents for a drink. I could save the remaining five cents.

Towards the end of the day, I saw my papa parking his taxi and walking towards the class.

He was wearing his usual unkempt short-sleeved white shirt and khaki pants.

Sadly, I looked away from him.

I felt uneasy because he was the only father who came to see his child in class. I did not realize the special love my papa had for me.

Years later, I made it a point to be present on the first day when my daughters went to school.

I hope they realized that I did it because I love them. My dream is that through education, they will become better than me.

Education is one of the greatest equalizers in life. It can change the course of history and carve a new destiny for a country.

It can change the fabric of society and improve any community to be equal to and if not better than the best community in the future.

Education can help individuals from any background break out of their place in society. It can help unleash their potential and attain a higher level of achievements.

I was blessed that I could go to school and be educated. It has made a world of difference in my life.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Question: How can we better appreciate our education?


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