Sunday, 22 June 2008

What's going to become of our children?

I made a trip to JB yesterday with my parents for as usual seafood and foot reflexology :) We made our way there by a private-operated bus from Queen Street. The whole journey was a breeze until we reached the former 'Woodlands Point'. The lane on our left was forming a queue so long that the drivers were coming out from their vehicles for toilet breaks as well as a quick puff. That lane is for the trucks, trucks that were probably making deliveries of food, etc. Fortunately the buses were travelling in a bus lane hence not affected at all.

When it was time for dinner, we headed to Taman Tebrau Pasar for makan. While we were waiting for our food to arrive, besides the usual Chinese Nationals walking around to sell pirated DVDs, this time I saw something different.

There were groups of students in 3s, consisting of mainly gals walking around from table to table in their school uniforms. One of them will carry a donation tin and another held onto a plate of 'Rojak' while the third one looked on.

I wondered what was going on but it does not take me too long to find out, soon they were at our table. The children were raising money for the less fortunate children in Malaysia. That explains the donation tin but what about the plate of 'Rojak'?

The 3rd girl who had nothing on her hands went on to explain that, I can make any amount of donation I want to, in return I will have that plate of 'Rojak' her friend is holding onto. In other words, its for me to judge how much that plate of 'Rojak' its worth and I can donate accordingly.

I was amazed by the childrens' creativity. I had seen many donation drives organised by schools in Singapore but nothing like this type of creativity. Guess what? The 'Rojak' were made by the students themselves. I can see that they had a made-shift stall and 2 students were making 'Rojak' and one can see that people are queuing up to buy it. All sales proceeds will be donated.

On top of that, paper plates were used instead of styrofoam. The students will then collect the used plates and put them into a box, labelled ' To recycle, please do not throw'.

I gave the girls a RM$10 note which is about S$4.20... normally when I make coins donations in Singapore it will not exceed a dollar. But this time its different I can feel their sincerity. The 'Rojak' of course did not taste excellent in fact is was a bit wet which I suppose the girls had been carrying it with them for quite a while. But who cares!

When we see Singapore students going onto the streets to ask for donations were they made to do so or they wanted to do so? Why students who participated in such donation drive were not involved in coming up with ideas on how to get people to donate? Were they not given the chance to do so? They just had to do as they were told to? Or this was the best idea that they can come up with?

I do see some students coming up with balloons for children in exchange for a donation other than the usual stickers. But balloons are only for children...in this case, its 'Rojak', which is suitable for people of all ages. I have to say its an excellent idea!

Our students nowadays are confined to only studies and more studies as Singapore had become quite a 'paper-oriented' society. Parents are loading children with more work and activities such as tuition, speech & drama classes, ballet, piano, taek-wondo, judo, swimming, computer classes and the latest I heard was yoga classes too. I can understand that as parents they want to give the best to their children. However, as children they still need to play.

Long gone were the days where children were playing games such as hop-scotch, zero-point, five- stones marbles, playgrounds, catching, hide-and-seek, etc. I missed the days where we would eat 'ding-dang' candy and the boys will catch spiders and climb trees. I bet our children nowadays will never get to experience anything as such.

I remembered having read an article on Straits Times Forum.. The lady who wrote in was hoping that the playgrounds like the ones she saw during her childhood days will be preserved and not replaced (eg: Those with the dragon head). Even finding a picture of this playground on the internet took me quite some time and I still cannot find it :(

The other day I happened to be waiting for a friend at theplayground near my place, I was saddened by what I heard....

"Mummy, its boring and hot here, can we go home so that I can switch on the air-con in the room and carry on with my online game?", a boy who looks barely 7 years old said this to his mum.

1 comment:

Yoong Kheong said...

Well, I don't think it's all that bad. Although there are many students that do flag day because they are bound by the compulsory CIP that their schools cater for them, there are many students who go on to volunteer on their own accord.

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