I'm still thinking. Reading. Trying to decide.
It's not going to be easy dealing with Qwertyuiop.
As a teacher, I have to teach it.
As a Muslim, I need to be careful at what I'm delivering to my students.
I've to answer before Allah.
And I need to use the most appropriate approach, without scaring the students [nahh, they won't be anyway] and without making them superstitious [but most likely they already are].
As I've said, it's not easy dealing with Qwertyuiop.
Qwertyuiop is not a person.
It's the title of a short story introduced this year under the new literature component for Form 4 students.
It's a story about a young lady and a ghost.
She communicated with the ghost using an electric typewriter, and using only her determination and intelligence, finally succeeded in persuading it to leave her office.
So tell me, how do you teach and analyse this story and its characters, which one of them is a ghost to a class of teenagers, who are already being fed with ghost movies, tahyul beliefs, syirik customs, etc ?
God help me, I don't want to make the situation worse by encouraging these easily-influenced teens to start believing that one can communicate with dead people, and in the 'special power of the ghosts'.
Don't ask me why they, those at the ministry, chose this story to be used as part of the English language literature component for upper secondary students. I'm only following orders.
Sure, the story is interesting. Students won't find it boring.
But... will all the teachers be able to impart the necessary moral values to their students, while dealing with the sensitivity/ fear/ taboo of ghosts in our Malaysian community?
I'm hoping for the best.
Not all English teachers who are going to teach this story [this year] will have the opportunity to go for special courses, and even if we do, I doubt this issue will be dealt with constructively. I might be accused of being hypersensitive over an 'insignificant issue'.
I'm learning all I can about this topic of ghosts in Islamic teachings so that I'd be able to answer any of the students' questions and comments through the Islamic point of view.
Reading this, this, this and this, doesn't help. I can inform my students, especially the Muslims, that they shouldn't believe that a dead person can return as a ghost but they'd be asking, " then why, teacher.. are we reading this story? [ go ask the officers at the ministry?]. Or shall I say," Oh, the Westerners believe in ghosts but we shouldnt?"
The last thing I want is for my Muslim students to start believing in ghosts and God forbid, have a seance to experience meeting a ghost themselves!
What do you think? a synopsis of that story : here