Go KL is the KL’s iconic free bus service. Currently it serves 11 different routes which intersects so that a patron can visit a lot of places in KL. The patronage is huge and it is such a clean and beautiful sight in the wonderful bandar (city). This bus has taught me a lot, which if I had known before, would have given me more meaning and enjoyment. I will document my learning in GoKL to help an expatriate like me enjoy the city. 

The morning I boarded the bus near my place, I was careful to take the front door. This bus had both the doors open but I have learned that drivers need to keep an estimate of the usage, so use the front door. The bus moved gently before I could step on while I managed to board it. I am not good in the Bahasa (local Malay language) but could get the message from the kind driver who said that the belakang (back) door could be used. One more learning of GoKL. when both doors are open, can choose to use the nearest door. But when a lot of passengers are in the bus and the stop is an important one, use the front door. This small important behaviours helps a person like me to be on the right side of others. 

I understand this unsaid, unwritten rules or customs as the ‘hidden curriculum’ (HC). Identifying, recognising, acknowledging HC is important when relationships are involved, whether or not you accept the HC. You are empowered when you know about the HC. In my country, the same type of bus would stop at a distance from the stop to allow the passengers to get down and free the bus a little, while the would be passengers huff to catch the bus. We are always on our toes to catch the bus which predictably stops a little away. I have also missed the bus because it suddenly, without warning stopped at the bus stop. 

Each culture, country, school has a HC which need to be observed and learned. Many a time, the HC is in direct conflict with the rules and regulations of a place but still is what is followed. This becomes a difficult situation for citizens and students who dont realise the conflict. It can be as trivial as waiting for two hours for the party to start just because you didnt know the ‘real’ time. Or it could be serious as being on the wrong side of a teacher leading to failed grades. Proactive institutions, especially garnering international staff and students, have taken a proactive step to identify the HC os the School. This allows the students and staff to understand the HC and agree to it or change it for a better place. 

What HC have you observed recently in your life? Want to conform or change it?

I write blogs on Academic Coaching, topics that empower students in their learning journey. For the complete blog posts on academic coaching, click here.

Note on Comments: If you don’t want to share your details, use Name as Anonymous and email address as [email protected]. All comments will be moderated. Logging is not required to comment.