Give kids space to express themselves, develop creativity

My eight-year-old son has told me that he does not want to go to school because it is boring.

I would have dismissed it as "one of those days". However, I was reminded of what one of my business contacts told me last week about his children's change in attitude towards going to school after being transferred from a local school to an international school here.

Instead of dreading going to school, they dreaded school holidays. During holidays, they counted down to the day when they could return to class.

What is it that international schools do that makes their students so engaged and enthusiastic about learning?

Can our local schools do an equally good, or even better, job?

My wife recently helped out during our son's school outing to the zoo.

She said that throughout the trip, the teachers kept asking the children to "keep quiet", "maintain silence" and "zip your mouth".

Is that the right way to encourage our children to express themselves and develop creativity so they can improve their communication skills?

Do our teachers need a change of mindset to engage our children so that they are trained to be creative and innovative?

Perhaps the Ministry of Education should recruit a head of innovation and creativity to ensure the curriculum of our local schools contains an element of fun learning to engage our children.

I hope there will be sufficient new opportunities for our young to explore, as our economy moves towards becoming more innovative and creative and embraces new technologies.

Jason Ng Bak Huat