Singapore — The Ministry of Education (MOE) is proposing a buddy system that can allow students to share their problems with a peer and allow them to cope with their issues better.
Following the River Valley High incident, there has been a shift of focus to mental health issues. There have also been more talks of what can be done to help students who are struggling with mental health and wellness.
Having recognized that students prefer to confide in peers rather than their teachers or parents who they feel have different perspectives, MOE suggested that a buddy system should be implemented such that every student will have a peer who can place their trust in.
However, some netizens are having doubts about just how efficient and reliable this proposed system would be.
The main concern among netizens was that friendships need to be authentic and allowed to grow of their own accord. While it is good that students will have someone to talk to, they might not be willing to share their personal issues with others, especially one to who they are not yet close.
Others questioned the objective of the initiative and were worried that the students would have to depend on themselves now for such issues instead of approaching an adult figure.
Another netizen stated that such a system would not work, simply because students would lack the commitment to abide by it. He added that the best long-term solution would be to reduce the stress load on students, especially those caused by studies, exams, and Covid-19 restrictions.
A netizen suggested that instead of implementing a buddy system, reducing the size of classes and increasing the amount of counselling support available to students would be more effective. If both students who are paired together are stressed, a buddy system might not prove to be very useful.
You Zi Xuan is an intern at The Independent SG. /TISG
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