Being acknowledged as the Founder of Pembimbing Rakan Sebaya (PRS) program in Malaysia is an honour I cherish. I am proud of this small contribution to the development of counselling in our country. I am being called again to give a talk on the development of PRS and its future on 27 November 2008 in Gold Coast Hotel in Klang, Selangor by the Ministry of Education. This keeps me busy researching and preparing the slides. I have just delivered a paper for Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA) in Putrajaya on 13 november 2008 about mentoring by peer helpers (PRS is known as AKRAM) of JPA.
Beside this I was also involved in conducting hypnosis session and being the examiner of hypnotherapy practical eaxaminations with LCCH (Malaysia). As a retiree, these activities keep me busy and have no time to feel bored. My friend, Sharipah, called to say that she is bored to tears. She can do a lot of activities actually in Kuantan, especially voluntary work but so far she isn't keen. Beside being involved in Wanita UMNO, I hope she will find something or some motivation to keep away her boredom. Boredom can lead to depression, an unhealthy mental situation.
Sharipah has vast experience as a Principal of a very challenging school in Kuala Lumpur and she had managed to turn it around. That's something great that can be shared with the younger generation by writing down her managing skills and experiences. I have been trying to persuade her to do so but I am not successful. I guess if she is willing to learn how to use the computer to make her work easier, it won't be so tedious. To me, it was such a pity when experiences like that are not shared with others. People, especially the young principals, can learn from her experiences.
Preparing the talks took some effort. I have to travel back and forth to my old house in PJ to get books and materials for references. I can't keep my books here in my apartment as I have limited space. Though talking about PRS is like kacang (some peole say) I have forgotten some facts and dates. I remember when I was transfered from IAB, I have handed all the materials about my courses such as the Kursus Asas Guru Besar 2, Transactional Analysis, Kursus Kejurulatihan Pembimbing Rakan Sebaya, Kursus Guru Besar Sekolah-sekolah Kecil dll, including some photographs, to IAB Library. I wonder whether they are still there. Some I have given to Pusat Dokumentasi at Bahagian Penyelidikan, Kementerian Pendidikan. I need to make time to visit these places and see for myself.
I met a former colleague in IAB at a wedding in Salak Tinggi the other day. That brought back my memory the time when I was introducing and training counselling teachers for PRS program. He and his gang were quite cynical of my program. In fact, words went around to say that my course was low class because I was dealing with school children while theirs were dealing with high ranking officers! They forgot, without the school children, there wouldn't be officers. Ridicules were thrown around even making jokes of it in his ceramah at the surau. I remember how the counselling teachers were furious when they told me about it. I was upset too - ridicules did not only came from him but also from friends in counselling whom I know. I was grateful for all the support that Dr. Mat Saat Baki, Dr Halim Othman and Assoc. Prof Yusnus Nor (allahyarham) for supporting and believing in me. What erked me most was that while preaching sincerity and commitment in management by citing verses from the Quran, he was one bad example. Being a strong kuncu of Anuar Ibrahim (Minister of Education then), nobody seemed dare enough to say or do anything. I was really disgusted!
But that was past. Being me, I didn't bother much about what people say, it's their problem and their opinions were not important to me. I went on doing what I believed the right thing to do. I didn't have much time to bother about what people did or said as I was busy doing my own things. Refering to Rotter's Locus of Control theory, my Locus of Control was very much internal. I didn't depend on other people's evaluation of me to make me feel good and though my confidence was shaken at some point I bounced back unscathed. Because of that I was labelled as stubborn, hard-headed, arrogant and incorrigible. Didn't bother me a bit - it's their pain, not mine!
When I was interviewed and asked about the history of PRS, I realised that I have to research the facts and put it in writing so that there won't be confusion when I was not around anymore. So another project in mind now is to trace the events in my memory backed by written documents. I wonder whether anybody is interested to help me? I am calling the counselling teachers, the counsellors, my ex-students who love to research and write to take this challenge and document it while my memory is still intact. My time is numbered, you know.
I know a few counsellors have done academic research for their Master's and PhD degrees on PRS. Why aren't there any sharing of the findings? Why aren't there any new books written about PRS, its progress and new approaches. I believe as time moved, strategies and approaches should be adapted to the present need. My time was different - there was no such thing as cyber, dunia tanpa sempadan, computer literacy etc. Please write and publish!!!!
Confidence is belief in yourself.
original post: http://zuraidaharahman.blogspot.com/2008/11/pembimbing-rakan-sebaya.html