The Possible Solution
To solve this issues of being an over-competitive and ungracious society, we must begin with the youths. The youths are the future of our country, and having grown up in a global city, are well interconnected worldwide. They will reflect what our country is like and by beginning with them, we can drastically improve this situation.
1 . Character Learning Education
The Ministry of Education could improve on the current CLE classes already implemented by placing more emphasis on them. In Raffles, we already have CLE classes but once a week. By placing more emphasis on them, students may begin to take it more seriously than they do now.
Schools could place just a little less emphasis on academics and a little more on a more holistic education for students where they can pursue their other creative goals. I do understand that competitiveness is what gives us an edge over others but sometimes, it’s good to have a more holistic education as this will make students far more compassionate as they learn not more about themselves and practical life skills. A holistic education is not about getting good grades but about helping others and learning together rather than constant competition.
In order to be effective, these lessons must involve everyone – teachers, students, and parents. It must be a part of everyday life and not just something we breeze through once a week. In school, teachers must understand that this is not a typical lesson but something the students must thoroughly understand and embrace. Parents need to encourage their children to apply these character skills taught in their daily lives by setting a proper example themselves. Students must not take this lesson lightly as building character is the key to making Singapore a gracious society, which will reflect better on the country.
However there are limitations to this solution. Students may not be receptive towards these lessons and may find them a waste of time. They may not take these lessons seriously, which defeats the purpose of introducing the lessons in the first place. They must understand that while good grades are definitely appealing, they must learn to empathize with others and be compassionate as well instead of being too competitive. Also, schools cannot simply drill these values into their students but find ways for them to understand that it comes from within them and that this will help make Singapore a more gracious society. Also, the teacher will have to be more than just a figure of authority but also someone the students will be able to relate to and look up to as a mentor.