Families, schools must be aware of what kids are learning

Last Friday's article (Rude gesture at NDP: Pupil deeply apologetic) reported how a primary school pupil was caught on camera making a rude gesture at the National Day Parade, and how he was deeply apologetic and has been counselled.

Many people may think of this as an incident of a rude child who lacks awareness and manners.

However, there is a deeper issue behind this. The fact that the boy is only in primary school, yet made such an offensive gesture, highlights the possible issues in the teaching of children in Singapore.

One would certainly expect children, at the young age of seven to 12, to be curious, pick up behaviours that they see, and then display these behaviours, regardless of whether they know the meaning behind them.

If their families and teachers are more aware of what pupils have been observing and picking up from their environment, then they can teach the pupils whether the behaviours are right or wrong.

Hence, though I agree that the boy was wrong to display the rude gesture, his family and school should take responsibility too.

Crystal Lim Zhi Ying (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2017, with the headline 'Families, schools must be aware of what kids are learning'. Print Edition | Subscribe