Exams over, it's time for life lessons

Nur Asyiqin (face covered), a Primary 3 pupil, tries to avoid the 'mines' at the free-of-charge minefield game stall at Park View Primary School on 1 November 2013.

SINGAPORE - Exams were over last month, and school holidays are starting next week - but the time in between is not going to waste at primary schools. Instead, it has given them a chance to go outside textbooks and let children learn life skills, from cooking and money management to running a bazaar.

South View Primary's principal, Ms Jenny Yeo, said she starts training her pupils in simple cooking skills when they are in Primary 1 as part of their post-exam activities.

By the time the children reach Primary 6, they are ready to move on to lessons on how to prepare a full meal, including rice, potato carrot soup, soya sauce braised chicken and even pizza.

The lessons are not just about whipping up a dish but also teaching children about the types of healthy food they should be eating, said Mrs Yeo.

"It also encourages creativity as they have to create an improved or innovative recipe from the ones they are given," added the principal of the school in Choa Chu Kang.

Meanwhile, Park View Primary in Pasir Ris usually organises a children's market for its pupils at the start of November every year.The money raised will fund the school's graduation night.

But this year, the school decided to let its Primary 6 pupils attend a a week-long course on financial literacy first. The children were taught by their teachers, who had taken part in a financial literacy course run by Citi-NIE, a tie-up between Citi Foundation and the National Institute of Education.

They learnt the 4Ps of marketing - product, price, place and promotion - then applied the concepts to running the children's market on Nov 1.

"In the past, the kids will bring things from home and just sell them at the market," said Chinese teacher Pamela See, in charge of coordinating financial literacy programmes. "This year, they were taught to survey what their target audience likes and sell things that would appeal to them."

For instance, Jovan Wong, 12, decided on a photo booth station, where pictures were taken using a Polaroid camera, after a survey of his schoolmates.

"Polaroid camera is the 'in' thing right now," he said, adding that the booth was "very popular among girls".


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