More than textbook knowledge

When I look back at my schooldays, I realized that the school is not just a place for textbook knowledge. Some organizations collaborated with the school to educate us in certain areas too.


In primary school,

  • We were taught the correct way to brush our teeth – vertically, not horizontally – and to choose toothbrush with soft bristles. To put that into practice, we had to squat by the drain to brush our teeth after recess.
  •  The charity came to encourage us to donate to the needy. We would be given an envelope, with a picture of an elephant, to put our donation, and then the teacher would collect it and pass to the charity.
  •  The traffic police came to teach us about road safety – no jaywalking, and do not cross the road when the red man is on or when the green man is blinking. We would visit the Road Safety Community Park, to practise that.
  •  The bank came to teach us the importance of saving. I remember the mascot was a squirrel and the slogan was to save for a rainy day. We could open a savings account with $1. That was my first account with the bank.
  •  We were told the importance of reading – to improve our language proficiency and to broaden our knowledge. The bookshop would set up a booth in the school to sell storybooks. I cannot remember the name of the bookshop but I remember the mascot was a worm wearing glasses.
  •  Posters were pasted in various parts of the school. Those posters were about water conservation, hygiene, courtesy campaign, avoiding patronizing illegal hawkers, and so on.


In secondary school,

  • A police officer came to warn us not to associate with gangs, and to inform the school or police if we were harassed by gangs. I remember he also showed us some pictures of people who were injured during gang fights. He stressed the harsh punishment. That was when I learnt there is such a thing as detain without trial under our laws.
  •  A rep from a healthcare organization came to educate us on STD and AIDS. He warned us there was no cure for AIDS. He also showed us some very gross pictures on human body parts that were infected. That sort of spoilt my appetite that day.






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