Most Singaporean schools have strict rules regarding uniforms for conformity. It also serves the purpose of reducing any sense of unease on children when the wealthy children attend schools all dressed up to their nines, branded school bags, branded shoes, branded watches etc. This is what most schools have been doing. There are many wealthy parents who would not mind showering on their children the best they could afford to. But there are also many who are struggling even to buy a pair of decent shoes.
Schools intentionally play down on such flaunting of wealth so that the lesser beings do not feel so underprivileged and uncomfortable. Children are innocent and should not be exposed to such vulgarities of the adult’s world..
Thus many schools standardise the wearing of footwears to something simple, no expensive jewelry, no expensive watches or even handphones. And this code of practice has been in force, officially and unofficially, for a long time. The principals and the ministry must have seen some wisdom in this practice and rightly so.
Of late things are starting to change a little. The latest craze that schools have adopted for their rich kids is in the guise of greater exposure and education in the form of expensive trips abroad to the
But again, how will such trips do to the psychic of the poor beings who cannot afford them but only to ogle and envy at their more fortunate friends? Often only a small group will be able to afford such trips. Or maybe I am wrong and many can afford it. I surely would not be able to squeeze out that kind of money for a little escapee for my children. But then it is great news for the schools. ‘We sent our children on overseas education tour! To the
Schools may want to take a step back and try to understand the pressure being placed upon borderline parents who can barely afford them but have to cough out the few thousand dollars that they could have used for better and more important things. Or what about the young minds who could not understand why their parents could not afford to send them on such wonderful trips, and having to listen in awe, the stories from their close friends who went and returned and become so much more knowledgeable?
Our educators should be more thoughtful of what they are doing to their charges and not to encourage them to spend on expensive thrills which would not really do them that much good. Perhaps I may be wrong as I am not an educator and could not see the great benefits that such trips bring to the children. Maybe these children would eventually top their classes and become worldly wise adults. Who knows? The educators are the experts in these areas. I am just looking at the slightly negative angle which may be something that the schools have considered.
Anyway, I still believe that schools should leave the expensive pampering and indulgence to the parents in their private time and minimise the pressure on other children and their not so well off parents as well. Schools may unconsciously inculcate such values of snobbishness and keeping up with the Joneses at such tender age when the children could not appreciate how difficult it is for money to come by. Poor parents and poor children should not be made to feel that much poorer and deprived.