Liu spends some of his nights each week in his bedroom located inside the school. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
BUKIT PELANDOK, Negeri Sembilan: A headmaster treats his school as his second home, and has been literally living in the school three days in a week. As a result, students' parents can look for him day or night.
He is headmaster Liu Shuang Zhen of SRJK (C) Kampung Baru Tanah Merah. He was appointed the principal of this school only last December, and has begun to live in the school for three days a week since the new semester started this year.
His "bedroom" at the school used to be a store room measuring 12 feet by 12 feet. There are only some simple furniture and a single bed with a mosquito net hanging over it in his bedroom. At night, he would spend his leisure time reading Sin Chew Daily and some books.
Living far away
Liu, who lives in Bahau, said during an interview with Sin Chew Daily that his home was 105km away from school, about two hours' drive. Therefore he decided to clean up the store room and turn it into his "bedroom."
This move has helped him save some precious time so that he could focus more on the school's administration.
He generally lives in the school on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and would return to his own house in Bahau on Wednesdays and Fridays after school.
Liu, who has dedicated himself to education for 26 years, said this was the first time he was tasked with the handling of a school so far away from home, and the first time he had to stay out.
Fortunately, Liu has a very understanding wife and three children.
Staying in at the school has saved Liu the trouble of having to hurry to school every morning, and he can now step into his office as early as 6 a.m. and handle the administrative work until five in the evening.
During the evenings, he would jog in the school field to relax his mind, after which he would pack some food from the village restaurant for dinner.
Reading newspapers at night
Liu prefers a simple life and would spend almost two hours every night reading Sin Chew Daily and some books.
Liu started his teaching career at SRJK (C) Air Hitam at Bahau in 1984, a career he had been holding on for 22 years before he was appointed a school inspector. Later, he was appointed the first deputy principal of SRJK (C) Chi Wen in Bahau until last December.
When asked about his feelings of staying in, he admitted it offered a different kind of experience from renting a room outside.
Implementing student honours board
Liu has set up a student honours board to encourage them to perform good deeds. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
Soon after he took over as the principal of the school, Liu implemented a student honours board to appreciate the good deeds of his pupils.
In order to encourage the students to perform good deeds, he has so far set up awards for excellent academic progress, courtesy, honesty, etc., which will be awarded to deserving students every three months.
Promoting education of love
He added that he would love to see his teachers showing their love towards the students than reprimanding them for their mistakes.
(Translated by LIM LIY EE/Sin Chew Daily)