Educate kids on issues behind vandalism act

It is unfortunate that children at White Sands Primary School in Pasir Ris were exposed to the work of vandals (Vandals deface wall of Pasir Ris school; April 13).

The act is believed to have been carried out by loan sharks.

Schools should always remain havens for learning, where children feel safe to pursue their education without harassment from the outside world.

Although the police and the school dealt with the matter swiftly, the pupils may still have many questions. For many, it would probably be their first exposure to vandalism of this sort. They would want to know the reasons behind the act and why their school was targeted.

Educators should not pretend it did not happen but rather take the opportunity to explain the issue of loan sharks, why people use these illegal services and the implications for our society.

Helping the pupils to understand the dangers out there and the difficult circumstances of others will not only help to ease the fears of some of these children, but also cultivate compassion in them.

Educating children on social issues is vital in laying a strong foundation for our society. It sets the stage for people and the Government to co-create a caring community in the long term.

Colin Tan Heng Yeow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 23, 2017, with the headline 'Educate kids on issues behind vandalism act'. Print Edition | Subscribe