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HISTORY WAS NEVER A BORE WITH TEJA AROUND

Wednesday December 22, 2010
History was never a bore with Teja around

I CANNOT agree more with Dr Ranjit Singh Malhi regarding the teaching of History, which is an interesting subject made uninteresting by teachers ‘Factual Errors in History book’ (The Star, Dec 20).

Let me give you my experience as a student at the Malacca High School in the early 1960s.

MHS had the proud record of being the best school in terms of History grades in the Lower Certificate of Education and Senior Cambridge exams with over 80 per cent scoring distinction.

This occurred year after year. Why was this so?

I can proudly say that it was the commendable effort of one History teacher, Teja Singh Dhaliwal, who was a class above the rest in his teaching methods.

History was never a boring subject and all of us (even science students) looked forward to his classes.

Teja made History a very interesting subject by his lively presentation skills, using a lot of anecdotes (a bit like story telling) but more importantly, he used his body language and expression to hold the class to attention.

We did not have to memorise facts; we just had to remember the interesting ‘stories’ which we talked among ourselves after class.

At the same time, he encouraged us to ask questions so that we knew exactly the ‘what, why, how and who’ of major historical happenings as well as its ramifications.

To top it, he gave us simplified and easy-to-remember notes which certainly reinforced what he had heard earlier.

I would like to thank Teja for making History an interesting and wonderful subject which has made us better persons in understanding why the world is what it is today.

Teja is still around in Malacca. The Education Ministry might want to seriously consider availing his services for current and future History teachers.

DR POLA SINGH,

Kuala Lumpur.

Webmaster: Mr.Teja Singh also taught me History in Form 3 at Malacca High. Enjoyed it very much and we can relate to historical events especially in History HD.