I’m sure you have seen the photo of the bunch of kids/parents standing around a bonfire of…..textbooks. If you have not, here’s the photo again –
While walking back from buying lunch today, my colleague and I met another colleague and somehow, we started discussing about this.
The colleague was saying that Straits Times didn’t present the TRUE story behind the photo. Apparently, according to Kiss 92FM, the truth is that the kids are not burning textbooks but assessment books instead. He then brought up 2 points that a) since it’s assessment books and cannot be re-used, hence, it’s somewhat okay and b) Straits Times did not present the true story and did not do their job as the main newspaper of the country.
I was tired and didn’t really think much about it but while stoning in front of the TV, it hit me and well, I have to say it out.
1. Textbooks or otherwise.
Be it textbooks or assessment books, I think it’s just wrong to encourage the kids to burn them. Recycling, passing it on and etc aside….
What are the parents telling the kids?
“Son/Girl, exams are over! Come! All the knowledge that you have gained and all the stuff that you have studied for PSLE…Guess what? THEY ARE USELESS! Let’s burn the books!”
I mean, honestly. Think about it.
Yes, I know some knowledge we learn for PSLE are really useless (like models. who the hell use models in real life?!). But, we shouldn’t let the kids have that impression! Yes, seeing your books and notes go POOF before you is the best way of destressing but…erm…what’s wrong with packing up the books and bringing them to a recycling place or just throw them away? Or maybe tear the pages? Same effect, less dangerous, more environmentally friendly and send a better message to the kids. I had great satisfaction tidying up my notes and selling them to karang guni when I was in university.
So, just because it’s assessment books, it doesn’t make it alright to burn them.
We should be teaching the kids that books are not just for exams. they are a great source of information and knowledge. it’s just unfortunate that for school purposes, there’s exams. something like that.
2. Straits Times
I didn’t read the full article from the Straits Times cos I don’t have access. But while I agree that Straits Times could have done better and present a balance view of the story behind the picture, I think it’s still okay. It was just a factual report. Of what was perceived and presented online. They didn’t exactly say that it’s true.
Look at it this way, if they took the time to investigate and report this a day later, I bet people will say why our main media so slow -.- So how now, brown cow?
Plus, I think Straits Times was also coming from the angle that regardless of the truth behind the photo, the idea of burning the books is wrong. You know what I mean?