Schools don’t celebrate Mothers’ Day

From ‘Mum’s schooling concerns’, 12 May 2011, ST Forum online. Thanks to ‘stupidsolutions’

(Sherley Servos): I AM an Aljunied voter. Since Nomination Day, I spent every single night sleepless, pondering what to do.

I considered many things: the nation’s desire for an opposition voice, the People’s Action Party’s good work in my GRC, estate maintenance, the possibility of losing a brilliant foreign minister, as well as my wish for a less stressful educational climate. I decided to let my interests determine my vote.

I almost backed the Workers’ Party after looking at its manifesto on education. However, I voted for the PAP when Mr George Yeo pledged to reform the party.

In the aftermath of this election, I hope the ruling party will examine the paper-chase obsession in schools.

For instance, my son did not know that Sunday was Mother’s Day as his primary school had never taken the time to impart that non-academic fact. In the United States, where we lived for two years, the children would draw cards for their mothers and make videos for their fathers on their special days.

It’s Aljunied citizens like these who would make Low Thia Khiang and his WP team wish they had remained in Hougang instead.  First, in spite of ‘sleepless nights’ and poring over the WP manifesto, she reversed her decision based on nothing more than a PAP minister’s pledge, which we now know won’t come to pass.  So now the WP’s got their work cut out for them, having to deal with people with the analytical depth of puff pastry, bringing incongruous American ideals to the table and advocating that schools cut some slack before Mothers’ Day weekend every year so that kids can design cards for their  mothers, instead of learning stuff. Perhaps it’s awkward for mothers themselves to drop hints about Mother’s Day to their own children, which is where Daddy, assuming he  himself remembers, comes in. Otherwise, there’s always advertisements on TV or hearsay from friends i.e the outside world, where kids are supposed to pick up ‘non-academic’ facts of life anyway, not from a Powerpoint slide titled ‘How to Show Mummy you Love Her’ during moral education class.

The element of sincerity and surprise is lost when mothers expect gifts to be crafted out of a classroom instead of  the priceless experience of  discovering that her kid had sacrificed the daily Barney just to fashion a surprise in secret. Any kid who has an aversion to anything Arts and crafts will resent Mothers’ day all his life if he’s being forced by teachers to handle so much as crayon or crispy coloured paper, when he would rather sing a song, or simply give Mummy a hug. Mummy could get the fanciest, intricately gold-dusted card one day, but summoned to the Principal’s office the next if her kid, artistic as he may be,  is essentially a troublemaker who fails to understand that love is more than just designated showering of affection on 1 out of 365 days a year,  but not being a let-down and a disgrace to the family for the other 364 days.  In fact, to even suggest that our children need teachers to tell them what Mother’s Day is, is an insult to motherhood in general. Seems like Mothers’ Day was never a priority in schools since the early eighties (See below, 18 May 1981, ST), but we haven’t all turned into ungrateful louts who dump their mothers in nursing homes, have we? And the fact that most mothers don’t complain  about schools not celebrating Mothers’ Day is testimony to how great and unconditional this love is, as it’s always meant to be.


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