family life · Singapore

Character Education.

Mittens when he started school last year

The Straits Times recently conducted a survey on virtues and character education, and here were some results which I thought were interesting:

  • 2% of respondents think teachers or schools should bear the primary responsibility for character education.
  • 97% of respondents felt that was the parents’ job.

Source: The Straits Times, Saturday Special Report, 3 March 2012

Now for the first 2, perhaps the questions were phrased in such a manner that if you had to pick one, you’d (obviously) pick the parents. But as a school principal mentioned, children spend so much time in school that it’s very much a working relationship between teachers and parents. I’m sure the falling birth rates and smaller households don’t make it easier for teachers when children are just super precious and sheltered, exemplified in an entertaining but honest read, What Teachers Really Want To Tell Parents.

As the time draws closer and closer for us to decide on the primary school for Mittens, I would really like to be able to send him to a school that is an all-rounder, and not just academically-inclined. So while I was happy to hear of our dear Ministry of Education’s move to emphasise character education in schools as a step in the right direction, my cousin reminded me that that would probably mean that they’d probably start grading kids on character. Oh ya hor, after all this is Singapore, and our economically-driven society is far too used to having to quantify ROI on anything.

Still, it has sparked lots of great conversation between members of the public, and if the relationship between parents and schools have floundered any, hopefully this will start us on the path to it bring it to a new, higher level so that most importantly, the children benefit the most. Because if there’s one thing we’re all know, it’s that they sure as h*ll don’t need any more stress than they already get.



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