The Lessons Behind a Botak Head

The school's rules do not allow "punk, unfeminine or sloppy hairstyles". Said principal Marion Tan: "It's very clear in our mission: it's about their turnout as a young lady." [link]

And if the girls were allowed to go bald, others might take advantage.

"Can you imagine if I were to say yes, I'd have everybody coming to school with a bald head. Sometimes it's a fad, so they would take advantage of the situation."

Yes, I can imagine if principal Marion Tan were to say yes, St Margaret Secondary School would have to be renamed to St Margaret Nunnery. Alright, she was exaggerating of course. There would probably be a couple more punky funky girls who may shave their heads bald because no boys would stroke their abundant silky hair. That would be about it, no? "Everybody coming to school with a bald head?" Nah.

In this case, even one more botak would be one too many because the principal could not even tolerate 3 botak head girls which made up less than 1% of her cohort. You have to understand it is extremely difficult for a principal to answer to her fellow principals during social meetings if any were to ask, "Eh, why your school so many nun ah?"

It is no longer fashion to aspiring to be an Er Mei sect leader in this modern era. Going by the same principles, it would be understandably illegal for girls to let their long nice hair down in school because no principal would want to be known as the 姥姥 among the 倩女幽魂. Basically, girls should wear their hair neatly like any professional Office Lady would. After all, don't schools function to prepare youth for work rather than providing them an education these days?

Sometime ago, a little boy created news by getting his hair cut by teachers before he was allowed to enter the examinations hall. Funny that schools frown upon long hair in boys but no hair in girls. But rules are rules. Rules are made to be followed, no question about it. That probably explains why the MOE chose "Moulding the future of our nation" as their motto. Ideally, every little one should be manufactured out of the mold so that they could contribute as functional future economic numbers when the current batch of old farts finally call it a day. So that during the school assembly, the cohort must look uniform. Anyone who stands out, is the sore thumb.

So much for cultivating thinking individuals. So much for promoting creativity. So much for creating a gracious society. Our distrust in human decency makes it impossible for us to tolerate the good, bad and the ugly. Unfortunately that is the Singaporean way of solving problems. We do not nip it in the bud. We simply cut down the entire bush.

Outside the education realm, the authorities work with similar mindset. For example decades ago, someone claimed that old folks emptied their CPF stash not too long after they withdrew everything. Based on the antics of the minority, the CPF withdrawal was limited to 50%, then withdrawal age was increased umpteen times, before the Minimum Sum policy was created.

I'm not sure what values are we instilling in our youth by insisting on girls who shaved their heads for charity, to wear wigs to school. Was it about discipline or vanity? There is a thin line between maintaining an ideal turnout and judging an individual by appearance. There are so many teachers or ex-teachers around me. Tell me, is education about following the rules or learning?

No comments:

Post a Comment