“I’m currently an assistant director for a kids’ show that’s coming out later this year. It’s bilingual, so there will be an English-Mandarin, English-Malay and English-Tamil version. It basically encourages kids to pick up their second language because mother tongue gets put aside in Singapore for some reason.
Before I got into kids’ TV, I was a primary school teacher for three years. I love kids, but the teaching environment wasn’t suitable for me. As I already had a Mass Comm diploma before going to NIE, I was able to land some jobs in TV.
I think NIE simulates an ideal environment for teachers, but it’s so different in the real world. Kids these days are expected to know so much more at such a young age, and the school that I was posted to was super academic. I recall how two of my P1 students cried when I gave the class homework. They had tuition later that afternoon and just didn’t have the time to finish it.
I salute my friends who stay on as teachers and try to change the system from the inside out, but I felt like I had lost the plot. I wanted to work with kids in a creative way that placed heavier emphasis on values; that’s why I left.
Kids have a natural sense of wonder about the world. We should encourage their curiousity instead of killing it in their pursuit of knowledge. That way, we’ll have kids who’ll grow into adults with a broader way of thinking.
I also feel that kids should not be made to feel like they’re either book smart or creative; they can be both. With TV as a platform, educators can be way more creative in how they get knowledge across.” – Dhaniah, 29
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