#133 June school holidays

“How was your field trip to Beijing and Shanghai?” I asked my niece who is at primary 5 level at school.

She replied exasperatingly, “It was sightseeing.” 

I was flabbergasted. The school made her pay S$1500 for a 7-day trip to Beijing and Shanghai…making teachers and senior staff to tag along or be nanny during the long school break in June.

It was presumed this was a field trip in understanding how schools operate and perform in other parts of the world…and to give primary school level students exposure to Chinese language learning. They only spent 30 minutes in a school lesson. Naturally, one so young were not able to understand or grasp that the China teacher was saying.

I said, “If that was sightseeing, then you should be spending time with your parents and sister to go on tours! Surely not with your school friends and teachers during the long June holidays.”

What was the purpose of the ministry of education allowing the schools to bring students on the primary level giving parents the impression it was a field trip when that was for sightseeing?

What is the value to this 7-day trip to Beijing and Shanghai? If this was for sightseeing, surely parents would gladly tag along to take care their child — rather than having many teachers and senior staff spending their holidays with school students for such!

Besides $1500 spent on a trip with little value and purpose is extravagance…this sum could be a parent’s earning for a month!

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#44

“Arghhh…vandalism! I exclaimed when I saw the “O$P$ followed by a mobile phone number” while descending the public lift.

‘O$P$’ stands for ‘owe money pay money’ — a slogan of warning by the loan sharks.

Why go to loan sharks? Out of desperation? A result of overspending? Or a case where banks do not lend to those having little means?

There’d been situations when a new homeowner met with nasty words painted on the walls outside their door. Obviously the loan-sharks are not smart people who know not how to monitor their lenders! These loan-shark scoundrels want to make easy money yet fumble this folly and exploiting the weak!

In this day and age when at every turn we are bombarded to living on credit card. Unwisely many are sucked in and are never able to get out unless one receives a windfall!

Gone are the days when children are taught to put money in a piggy bank — save 5 cents for 10 cents given or, to set aside from pocket money received regularly.

Parents who live on credit cards will inevitably impart this same value to their children. So spins the sad tale of the have-nots. Eventually one puts the blame on society and bad governance and so forth and so forth!!!

Glad my parents taught me never live on borrowed money — if I don’t have, I must not hanker. Parents who had gone through war generation knew how to skim and save! Unfortunately today many are influenced and stimulated by being ‘in’ or follow the fashion and trend of the West or the US?! This one exposure I can do without…globalisation?!