Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Childcare Work: Being paid "Makan Gaji Buta".

Makan Gaji Buta, is the malay term for when a staff is being paid for no work done at all....

My adventures continues from my return from Melbourne in the last two week. The integrated train-tram-bus transport of Melbourne is efficient. It had beautiful weather, which was still wintery cold although it's already Spring in Sydney, and we're starting DayLight Savings here in a matter of a few days! Why can't Sydney provide similar benefits to its residents? Hmmph!!

There hasn't been much to write since I left my long block weeks in Canterbury. This week, I was assigned to this centre in North Sydney. This area has in its vicinity, many childcare centres as many of the parents working in this area has need for it. The centre that I had been assigned to falls under a franchise, and to a class of 25 children with 3 staff.

Surprisingly, I really did not have much to do as everything had already been prepared in advance. The teacher who applied for leave had prepared the week's program for the entire week... so basically, I didn't have to do any writing of any sort at all! As what the Malaysians call it "makan gaji buta!", I got paid most to sit and look pretty there...

It wasn't my fault anyways. The staff there didn't need me to do much, stating reason s such as "I did not know the children well enough to do anything". I told my mother, and her insight to the situation was that perhaps because it was a franchise, that perhaps they had their own format of programming, so I should do just what I can to help.Strangely enough, my mother remarked that 25 children of 3-5 years with 3 staff may be too little. WHAT??? She must be kidding.

I would definitely like to contribute more, however, apart from just supervising the children in the toilet, in the play areas, some general duties like sweeping the floor, cleaning the table, and maybe doing some reading to them, there really was not much for me to do anyways.

Oh well, that goes to the life of Makan Gaji Buta. Yeah, and also to all our muslim readers out there, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!

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