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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Are You SURE??

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The National Library Board (NLB) recently launched the SURE Campaign, which I thought was a pretty interesting campaign. Using the acronym of S.U.R.E - Source, Understand, Research & Evaluate, NLB hopes to encourage everyone to rethink about the huge load of information we receive on a daily basis from the internet, mobile devices and social media, and decide if every piece of information we receive is authentic and trustworthy.

SURE infographic

I thought this is a really cool initiative. We should be building a generation of people who are thinkers, and not simply accepting every piece of information that gets thrown at us as FACTS. Sometimes, we are too lazy to spend time researching or ‘dig deeper’ beyond the initial source of information; Other times, we are overloaded with all kinds of information that we either choose to ignore or get intimidated by them. However, accepting any kind of information at face value can be dangerous and misleading. If this carries on, our children and our children’s children will lose their analytical minds and keen sense of judgment – Certainly not the future I want to see!

Now that I am a mother of a Primary school-going kid, the idea of sifting out facts from hearsays and unfounded claims seems all the more crucial. I do not want my kid to become a blind follower or believer of anything she hears from either the social media, or even her textbooks. It would be great if Joey can learn how to develop an analytical mind when it comes to learning new things and gaining new knowledge. It would definitely be a bonus in her learning journey – After all, it is usually during the process of ‘digging’, investigating and questioning that most of the learning takes place.

It’s also a strong reminder to myself not to take everything at face value. In order to raise kids who apply the SURE principles in their daily lives, need to set the right example as a mother. I’ll be the first to admit that this is not easy to practise at all – We Singaporeans are sometimes too used to ‘not asking anything’ or just believing everything that we are told. But I’ve come to realise that even in the very small things in my daily life, the SURE principles work fine and are great for decision-making.

Just recently, I was considering whether to enroll my daughter in an enrichment centre for Mathematics near to my home. I checked out the centre and had a quick chat with one of their customer service officers, who was very eloquent and explained about the classes in great detail. I left the centre feeling very good about the class that I would likely enroll my kid in. When I reached home, I thought it might be a good idea to check out online reviews about the enrichment centre and perhaps speak to some friends whose kids were having classes there as well. It was only when I did my research and dug deeper, I found out that there were many negative reviews about that particular enrichment centre, with many claiming that the teachers were always changing due to high turnover and the explanations in class were not always clear, resulting in many students feeling more confused than ever. A personal friend also shared with me that she withdrew her son from the class because she felt that it didn’t help him much academically. I evaluated the pros and cons, and eventually decided against enrolling Joey into the school. This thinking process of ‘digging deeper’ and not taking everything I was told at face value certainly saved me from making a wrong decision and burning a hole in my pocket.

Living in a world where we are bombarded with new information left, right and center every day, it is so important to cultivate a thinking and analytical mind so that we are not swayed by anything that comes along. It might take a certain amount of effort for me to incorporate the SURE principles into my lifestyle, but it is definitely easier for my kids. By teaching my kids the SURE principles from a young age it becomes a part of their lifestyle and thinking process, I believe this will be a great stepping stone in their lives.

To keep yourself up-to-date on SURE-related events, Like the SURE Campaign FB page or check out the official website. Let’s all be SURE, shall we? :)

P/S: This is a collaboration between The J Babies & NLB to spread the message of SURE Campaign. However, all opinions and experiences shared are my own.

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