Wednesday, 10 June 2009


"DadEEE, DADEEEE!" screamed the small voice "Water, DAD EEEE".

The under-5 was putting powers of observation to the test from the upper deck of the 111 and informing all who cared (and many of us who didn't) that the water feature outside Takayshamaya had captured his interest.

There is a natural enthusiasm and exuberance about 'Small People' that should be nurtured. Unfortunately the meat grinder of most education systems ensures that these individual expressions of delight and observation are submerged by the weight of mediocrity.

For many years I was a teacher of visual arts and my primary role was to pry loose the jar of banality and allow creative expression to flourish once again.

In times of economic and political instability the world needs creative problem solvers not a flock of sheep all heading in the same direction.

Singapore has made a committmement to fostering the creative industries and art schools have been springing up like mushrooms over the past five years.

This, coupled with a committment to research is a very wise investment. Singapore's competitive edge is its people. The more creative problem solvers and visionaries the country can produce the more robust its economy and society will be.

Singapore does not have the acres of green pasture for sheep to graze, unlike the country of my birth. It therefore has no choice but to be creative and innovative if it wishes to maintain its status and standard of living.

A Small Person's powers of observation need to be nurtured - the country's future depends upon it.

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