We have come a long way in lifting ourselves from a Third World to First World country, but this may be so only by definition.
If we factor in simple values like the display of considerate behaviour in public to the measurement, we fall far short.
On the world stage, our schools have topped academic achievements and economic prowess.
This is not surprising because we put in great effort in schools to excel academically against the best in the world.
However, while we have put in concentrated efforts to excel academically, we have also taken away the civic classes as most people are under the impression that such lessons have no tangible value compared with mathematics and science both for the individual and for nation-building.
What is the purpose of education if it is not about imparting basic human values to each cohort?
Mr Tan Kim Hock was right to say that self-respect is definitely lacking in our populace (Cleanliness habit has to do with self-respect too; Oct 26).
It is the main reason why our public eating places look messy, with food particles and cutlery haphazardly strewn about.
It is time we nipped the problem in the bud by bringing civic classes back to the fold.
Ho San Cheow