Forum: School is best place to learn about race, religion issues

Religion and race, like death and sex, are taboo subjects which parents and teachers often prefer not to discuss with children due to discomfort.

It is, therefore, important that the next generation has a place and time to frankly and rationally clarify doubts on these subjects (In-depth conversations on religion, race crucial in schools: Ong Ye Kung, July 17).

I can think of no better place than school, where children mix freely and naturally, and no better time than when young minds come together to learn about life.

Discrimination comes in many degrees. From obvious outward acts of discrimination and aggression, to subtle acts of avoidance and non-acceptance.

Racism lies more deeply in the subconscious. To eradicate it, we need to confront it openly and be convinced rationally that it is wrong.

I do hope Education Minister Ong Ye Kung will have a programme to allow children to resolve this issue naturally and openly, and create a multiracial and multi-religious environment in Singapore which will endure. The advice of child educationists should be sought.

This frame of mind has to be nurtured deep from the roots of our psyche. Singapore has the right soil for it. Let Singapore become colour-blind to race and religion.

George Wong Seow Choon (Dr)

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