Yishun Secondary restricts Racial Harmony Day celebrations to only students eligible for JC

Apparently Racial Harmony Day has an acronym now.

Nyi Nyi Thet | July 20, 2016 @ 01:48 pm

[Update: Yishun Secondary’s Principal, Mdm Ng Shok Yan has given her statement on the matter]
[Update 2: Questions to Principal and her answer to those questions]

Tomorrow is Racial Harmony Day.

Most of us do not celebrate it much anymore, but back in the Primary and Secondary school phase of our lives, it used to be quite an event.

Yishun Secondary School is no different, but due to a rather odd regulation put in place by the administration, some students are being barred from celebrating it.

yishun edit

Junior College eligible students

It turns out for graduating students, only those who are eligible for Junior College (JC) at the moment are allowed to join in the celebrations.

From what we understand, that means students who are not doing well enough to gain a JC placing (Sub 20 points for 6 subjects), have to go through normal curriculum, instead of getting the usual half day break.

Image from Lut's Twitter
Image from BalochNum3’s Twitter

Which resulted in some tweets from frustrated students.

yishun break

yishun hurt edit

yishun phd edit

The protests by students seemed to do little to appease the teachers though, who questioned how deserving they were to celebrate.

yishun deserving

Essence of Racial Harmony Day

When confronted with some students who protested the idea, a teacher pointed out that the essence of Racial Harmony Day would be lost if it was centered on celebrations.

yishun essence

That is absolutely true. Celebrations aren’t the essence of Racial Harmony Day.

The essence of Racial Harmony Day is more about ensuring equal treatment, despite whatever arbitrary lines are drawn between people, like race, or JC eligibility.

Yishin Secondary School Principal’s statement

Mothership.sg contacted the school, and the principal provided the following statment:

All students are involved in a range of Racial Harmony activities which are held from 11 to 22 July. Students were also encouraged to attend school in ethnic wear today.

Yesterday, some students appealed to their teacher for half a day off from lessons to participate in Racial Harmony Day activities the next day (20 July). The teacher tried to explain that the commemoration of Racial Harmony Day went beyond just having fun and celebrations. She further shared that the school has already organised a range of Racial Harmony activities which run for a fortnight.

The teacher did not mean that only JC-eligible students could participate in the Racial Harmony Day activities. Nevertheless, the school acknowledges that the teacher could have explained herself better. The school has already engaged the students and clarified their misunderstanding.


Questions to Principal

1) Who were the ‘some students’ you mentioned? For example, what class or stream are they in.

2) What did the teacher mean in the text when she mentioned “Only students from 5/2 who are JC eligible at the moment can come and discuss with the teachers on celebrations”?

3) So did the whole school not get half day off for the celebrations?

Principal’s response

With regards to your questions, apologies as we are not able to share more.


Top image from BCA.gov.sg

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Thet has a chronic fear of teenage girls laughing at him. He sometimes puts on a cap in his room and yells “Gryffindor”.

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