What breaks my heart every time it happens is watching a student fail to continue his or her studies because of financial barriers.
I have lost count of the times I have personally witnessed a student do well in exams but cannot continue because of money problems.
C was one of the top three students in a previous STPM exam. She could've easily got a place in university but for reasons known only to her, she chose to help her family in their shop.
Q was in the top TWO in his school in an SPM exam.... but family pressures and financial obligations steered him away from a confirmed place in matriculation. Now I do not know where he is.
J was the TOP student in a school.... but because his father didn't live up to his responsibility as a parent, J dropped out of school.
I cry inside when I see these things happening for I know education is their best route to a brighter future. I feel so so SO frustrated because if it is not their own family that 'drags' them down, it is they themselves who make the choice. One student even switched off his handphone so his teachers could not talk to him and persuade him to just go for the course. Yes, money is needed but it can be sourced. There are ways and means.... but the adults cannot help if the student refuses to be helped.
Sometimes I wish I can just grab the student and 'force' him or her to go. But of course, I cannot do that. I guess I can only pray for these young people that somehow somewhere they get to achieve their dreams. They will probably have to go through experiences that will test their heart, soul and willpower. But I really really pray that they also meet angels in our world who will help.
And the irony is... there are hundreds more young people who never worry about their next meal or their next place to sleep but who don't really care about their education.