Monday, 13 April 2015

[Straits Times] Event builds students' sense of belonging and commitment

AS PARENTS of an Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) student, my wife and I learnt about the school's carnival and its ticket sales through a letter from the school's principal, Mr Peter Tan ("Carnival tickets: Students feel sales 'pressure' "; last Saturday).

The objective of the carnival, an event that takes place once every four years, is not only to raise funds for various value-added programmes that enrich the students' learning and development, but, more importantly, also to give them the opportunity to work with their schoolmates on a worthwhile cause.

Currently, my son can enjoy facilities such as the school's swimming pool, multi-purpose hall and theatre, which were built through the efforts of previous batches of ACSians.

Now, he gets the opportunity to pay it forward through raising funds to help build the school's indoor sports hall, which is expected to be completed by December 2018.

This is a contribution that the current student cohort can make for the junior and future ACS students.

My wife and I view our son's participation in last Saturday's carnival as part of school education - in line with the Ministry of Education's 21st Century Competencies framework - to nurture each child to become a confident person, a self-directed learner, an active contributor and a concerned citizen.

Our son sold some of the carnival coupons to relatives during the Chinese New Year period. The remaining coupons were sold at church.

About two weeks ago, he came home from school and suggested that we bake brownies in support of his class' food stall at the carnival.

We were at first hesitant as we both work full time, but when our son pledged that he would work with his mother on the task, we agreed.

Through the entire exercise, we saw in him a growing sense of belonging, responsibility and commitment.

These qualities are as important as his academic studies and we are appreciative of the school's effort to provide such a unique opportunity.

Wang Zheng Ming