25th June 2018
Mr Ong Ye Kung
Dear Mr Ong,
NUS students alleged stripping and Ngee Ann Poly questionable lap dance
Schools and tertiary institutions must provide moral education and inculcate good vales in students: An open proposal to Education Minister Ong Ye Kung
I refer to the press reports on the above incidents and have analyzed and come up with some possible solutions. NUS and Ngee Ann Poly are reputable institutions and we should not just criticise the wrong doings, as anyone can do that.
Rather, we should, as active citizens, contribute useful ideas to make our home a safe, healthy and conducive environment. We need to build a culture of thinking ‘out of the box’ and have the mindset to engage in creative thinking and problem-solving techniques to help the government of the day build a bright future for all of us.
The highly improper behaviour displayed by some students from the National University of Singapore during an unofficial orientation outing at Sentosa and a video recording of two students from Ngee Ann filmed in a less than desirable lap dance places these two educational institutions in the spotlight – but for all the wrong reasons as reported in The Straits Times and The New Paper.
Such unhealthy behavior that has the tendency to promote sex outside marriage, encourage cohobating, promote wrong values, demean women and have adverse psychological effects on the students who were unwilling to participate in the activities must never be condoned. Some people who are under stress find engaging in sexual behaviour a way to release their pent-up emotions.
While we can allow some form of expression, we should not blindly ape western lifestyles as there must be some levels of decency in the upbringing of students.
Parents invest a great deal on money on education and thus need to be assured that their children are learning the right values.
All schools and tertiary institutions have a role to play in passing on common morality. To do this, they must provide moral education which should be part and parcel of the curriculum.
There must be discipline and self-regulations during school terms.
Educators, through the direction of the Ministry of Education must give moral guidance, rewarding students for doing the right things and punishing them when they step way out of line, as well as modelling good conduct and modelling appropriate reactions to the conduct of others.
Both students and parents need to come together with the educators for open and frank discussions and reflection on the nature and justification of moral values.
Even though it’s a challenge with our youths wanting more freedom, promoting the moral development of the young is vital as relationships handled poorly can lead to much bigger social problems in later life – be it at the workplace, in homes and in the community.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO
MOE Ong Ye Kung
Minister has responded positively.
Dear Mr Fernando
Thank you for sharing your views. The IHLs draw a clear line between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors during orientation. The students can have fun, but activities must always be carried out respectfully and in good taste. For the NUS incident, the students organized the activity outside of campus and it was not part of the orientation program. Notwithstanding, NUS felt that as freshmen were invited to the event, it will take the necessary actions to send a clear message that the activity conducted was inappropriate, and in fact, illegal in Singapore.
MOE Ong Ye Kung