Finding the child, meeting the teacher

Adrian Loo was at a meeting last week with primary school kids.

A parent himself, he wrote,

“I was asked by a P6 boy recently what I would do if I had a chance to change the education system – I looked at him squarely in the eye and told him I would do away with homework and let him study anything he wanted and make classrooms open so that he could meet the teacher more often.

He beamed and became a child again.

I could feel the weight fall off his shoulders.

We need to stop robbing our children of their childhood.”

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The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore and primary school kids

Of all the things we need to introduce in primary school, how critical is this?

We should teach the fundamentals well – a value system, the ability to question and seek information. Tools which will allow then to navigate most things in life subsequently.

We should promote discovery.

Promote an appreciation of the potential which the internet provides, how to search, cite (which empowers you), share and circumvent limitations imposed by agendas in the guise of friendly services. Wait – like IPOS coming to teach primary school kids about copyright!

I think the people behind Creative Commons Singapore are better suited to promote a positive, empowering message which includes respect for the value of works by others and how to contribute meaningfully to the pool of shared information.

To see this facet of commercialisation thrust down the mouths of babes so early makes me wonder, who does this benefit, really?

“Intellectual Property Office reaches out to primary schools,” by Walter Sim. The Straits Times, 24 Jul 2013.

“Primary school pupils will soon learn about copyright protection and how it is illegal to download songs from unauthorised Internet sites.

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) on Wednesday launched a new programme targeted at primary school students.

The programme primarily involves a half-hour interactive skit that they hope to perform at 150 schools by the end of 2014.

At the launch of the programme at River Valley Primary School on Wednesday morning, Senior Minister of State (Law and Education) Indranee Rajah said: “Singapore’s economic growth will be increasingly driven by innovation and knowledge creation. This makes the protection and exploitation of IP all the more relevant and important for our future growth.”

See the IPOS Media Release, “School Children Learn about Copyright the HIP way,” 24 Jun 2013.