Culture of care a valuable lesson

My nine-year-old son sprained his ankle recently and needed to use crutches.

Once I informed his form teacher of his injury, the administrators and teachers of Meridian Primary School swooped into action immediately, and arranged for all his classes to be moved from the third floor to the ground floor.

This was no small task in coordination because every subject was taught in a different room by a different teacher.

My son's teachers, in particular his form teacher, Mrs Sharon Goh, turned the incident and its attendant inconveniences into an opportunity for the children to demonstrate kindness and thoughtfulness.

Mrs Goh took pains to explain to the pupils the importance of helping a member of their community in times of need, and assigned two "buddies" to be with my son at all times to physically support him, as well as buy him food from the canteen during recess.

While the school's actions were a great comfort and assurance, the response from the pupils was significant and heartwarming.

Two boys took the initiative to clean the ground floor classroom in preparation for the move, much to the delighted surprise of the teachers.

My son's classmates jostled to be his assigned buddies and resisted being rotated out of that "duty" because they wanted to help.

Even the girls who could not serve as his buddies were determined to help, too, and did so by carrying my son's heavy school bag.

Numerous pupils showed my son concern with a variety of kind words and gestures.

The collective and spontaneous response from the school and pupils shows that the culture of care is well ingrained in this school.

Exams are currently under way. Regardless of how well each pupil does in the tests, he or she has already received a valuable education, and our communities are better for it.

Eileen Aung-Thwin (Mrs)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2016, with the headline 'Culture of care a valuable lesson'. Print Edition | Subscribe