A typical day when I was in primary school

ZZZISLE: I saw an article this morning that there is ongoing project by a govt agency for memories or stories about our schooldays. After some thoughts, I decided to send in a short entry.


A typical school day, when I was in primary school in 1980s, would start from me waiting for the chartered school bus. When I arrived in school, we would still have around 15 minutes before the bell rang for assembly. That was the time for some chatting and even copying of homework. After the national anthem and national pledge, we would proceed to the classrooms for lessons. We used wooden tables and chairs. The 1980s was an era before computers, internet, powerpoint slides, handphones, pagers and the likes. The teachers would write on blackboard with chalks. Sometimes we would need to push the tables and chairs to the back so as to make space in front. We would then sit on the newly-created empty space and the teacher would show us some diagrams, drawn on vanguard sheets, to explain some concepts. It was also an era when teachers were permitted to smack our palms with rulers, or to pinch our ears, for misbehaving in class or for not submitting our homework. Sometimes punishments included standing outside the classroom for the entire lesson. Complaints against such treatment were unheard of. In fact if I were to complain to my parents about the punishment, my parents would side the teacher and say that I deserved it.


After a few hours of lessons, we would have a 20 minute recess. I vaguely remember that a glass of syrup water cost $0.10, and a plate of fried noodles cost $0.30 to $0.50, depending on the portion. At that time the bus fare for a feeder bus service was $0.15. Of course some students would choose to play games. The games we played were stuff like zero-point, hide and seek, marbles, catching and so on. When the bell rang to signal the end of recess, we would assemble to prepare to return to the classrooms. There was a period of time when we had to brush our teeth by the drain before returning to the classrooms. After the last lesson, I would take the chartered school bus home.


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