Card houses hold key lesson for pupils

ST VIDEO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Primary 4 pupils of Boon Lay Garden Primary School building card houses on a large cardboard canvas resting on the laps of their peers. The set-up encouraged cooperation as any movement could cause the canvas to shake and make the houses fall. It was
Primary 4 pupils of Boon Lay Garden Primary School building card houses on a large cardboard canvas resting on the laps of their peers. The set-up encouraged cooperation as any movement could cause the canvas to shake and make the houses fall. It was part of the activities in the lead-up to Racial Harmony Day on July 21.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

With a huff and a puff, houses were being blown away in Boon Lay Garden Primary School yesterday. Houses made of cards, that is.

Primary 4 pupils there were learning about how easy it is to disrupt daily life and the importance of the different races working together to rebuild their homes.

Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng dropped by the primary school yesterday to kick-start two weeks of activities in schools for Racial Harmony Day, which falls on July 21.

Sitting among the pupils, Mr Ng stressed the importance of unity among Singaporeans: "When we Singaporeans come together as a team, we are stronger and able to build a better home for ourselves."

The pupils were building houses of cards on a large cardboard canvas resting on the laps of their peers.

The set-up encouraged cooperation as any movement could cause the canvas to shake and make the card houses fall.

Teachers facilitating the event also simulated disasters such as earthquakes that would destroy the houses. Pupils of different races then worked together to rebuild their card houses.

The importance of teamwork resonated with Primary 4 pupil Shawn Yee, 10. He said: "It was really hard and I messed up once, accidentally making the houses fall. But my friends did not blame me or say anything. Instead, we just worked together to keep building the houses."

Meanwhile, as part of the SGSecure movement to prepare Singaporeans for a terror attack, all Primary 3 pupils this year received an illustrated book developed by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The book, which was discussed by Mr Ng at a dialogue with parents yesterday, includes different scenarios of possible emergency situations and responses to them, like reporting a suspicious bag on a bus to the driver.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2017, with the headline 'Card houses hold key lesson for pupils'. Print Edition | Subscribe