Teachers play part in helping needy kids

A teacher guiding her class during an activity to create a class motto and banners.
A teacher guiding her class during an activity to create a class motto and banners.PHOTO: ST FILE

Educators, especially pre-school and primary school teachers, play a significant role in influencing and mentoring children who face higher degrees of adversity - often those from low-income families, according to a recent report (Kids from needy families face risk of poorer outcomes: Study, April 1).

As children spend a lot of time with their teachers, educators can provide them with strong emotional support. This is especially crucial for children who come from broken families.

While there are various counselling programmes to help children from such backgrounds, more can be done. For instance, teachers could set aside more time for one-to-one interaction with these children to engage them in meaningful conversations and let them know that they are not alone in life.

Schools can also draw inspiration from Finland's education system and consider attaching the same form teacher to a class for several years.

This can deepen the emotional connection between educators and students, and compensate for the lack of warmth or security that some students experience at home. Hopefully, this will deter such children from engaging in undesirable acts, such as alcoholism and drug use, later in their lives.

Kuo Pei Yu, 18

Junior College Year 2 student

CALLING YOUNG READERS: If you are a student or aged 21 years or below, and want to air your opinion on any report or letter in The Straits Times, e-mail your letter to stforum@sph.com.sg, with the subject header “Voices of Youth”. Do include your age, school level and contact details, and the headline of the report/letter you refer to. Please keep to a length of 250 words

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 20, 2019, with the headline 'Teachers play part in helping needy kids'. Print Edition | Subscribe