You don’t teach your kids with words or by telling them, you teach by being the best example. You want your kids to be brave, you have to step up. You want them to be successful, you have to first define your success.
Retirement is something some may look forward to. But not for this feisty lady. After almost 3 decades thriving in the education industry, climbing her way from being a biology & chemistry high school teacher to lecturing at varsities in education to consulting and writing books on assessment in education, staying at home after more than 30 years of service just does not cut it. Her short stint time off led her to a new business venture. She pulled her knowledge and experience and her undying love for educating young minds to form ‘Inspire Kids‘, an Islamic based Montessori preschool in this prideful land of Klang Valley. Many knows her as Dr Hajah Eftah Moh, but my sisters and I calls her mummy.
First impression with her awkward smile and wondering eyes that she is somebody’s grandmother soft and gentle. But once you get to know her and be in a conversation with her, without a doubt you would feel her passion, her emotion and her ideas resonating around her aura and yours.
Growing up back in the 60s, life was different. With 9 siblings in the rural area, the struggle was real. Kids these days balanced life between social media and school. She balanced her life between school and rubber tapping (basically scrapping the skin of the rubber tree to collect the rubber milk) to help the family. It is not uncommon to hear such stories from our uncles and aunts on how hard life was back then. Mummy brag how she could finish rows and rows of rubber trees in a few hours. But her commitment to learning led her to unimaginable journey. Growing up listening to various stories of her struggle to success, I felt so privileged. From using kerosene light to illuminate the house to study, smelling like rubber milk 24/7 which let me tell you not the most pleasant smell in the world, unable to join school activities as her uniforms were always smeared due to hard labor, cycling miles to school, back and forth between school and rubber tapping, having to live with extremely little money in university that was miles from home that led her to curate her meal plan to ensure her survival, entering university with only 3 pairs of proper clothes for classes. It was surreal.
Fast forward 2016, my father, her research buddy’s health began to deteriorate. She decided to retire early to care for her lover. We can plan but Allah swt knows best. When he passed, she invested her time in doing what she knows best. Learning. From various cooking classes, skincare making, dress making, business management, quran classes and many more. However, a vacation trip with her sisters to the Balkans led her to a beautiful river. The river runs through the middle of the city but it was beautiful and the water was clear, there were cruise ships parked and tourists everywhere but the environment was still clean. She started making conversation with the locals and they were so proud of their history and heritage. Her mind began to wonder, what sort of teaching led them to grow into such responsible being. She knew for such richness in value it has to begin from very young age.
Coming back from the trip, the experience led to monumental action. And the rest was history. The idea of creating a school of their own has always toyed with both of these husband and wife. Its a way to pass the legacy and the love of learning to the world.
Inspire Kids. Abah would be truly proud.