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Publication: The New Paper, p2-3

SMU
Date: 25 July 2007
Headlines: He just couldn't take it anymore
b+

1,
8v Veena Bharwani
anymore "Then suddenly, (Adam) got very
angry at the other boy and ran straight
at hi111 and attacked him."
According to the student, there was

H E has been bidlied daily ever


since he rnoved to Singapore
three years ago.
To the teenagers in the all-boys
school, Adam (not his read name) was
a scuffle between the mro.
"The other boys in the class tried to
restrain (Adam), but he was too
strong and pushed them off," said
the perfect target - a foreign student the witness. "He was so angry that
and a loner. it was rather scary. He was
They would tease him about his scre,ming."
foreign accent, taunt him and By this time, the boy who
sonletimes throw objects at him. was scratched had blood
One day last year, he snapped for streaming down his face.
the first time. The ~%ltness said he
The school's principal confirmed called a teacher, who
that Adam charged at the bully and also failed to calm
started hyperventilating. Adam down.
Teachers managed to calm hiril "The teacher asked
down. The bullies me to call more teachers
were punished, and and they too
dam started regular couldn't
counselling sessions to restrain him,"
manage his anger. said the student.
All ;f this, h;owever, ) "He continued
screaming at the top of

I
does not seem to have
made much of a his lungs and wanted to
difference. charge and attack the
The bullying 155 bully again."
continued. Findy, the principal
was called in. He too
EXAM-DAY could do nothing to calm
lNClDENT Adam. It was only when
Adam started
On 16 lul, the day hyperventilating that the drama died
of an 0-Level oral exan1 which Adam doL % r l.
u7asexpected do well in, he was The school called an ambulance and
taunted as usual. Adam was taken to h o s ~ i t d .
The teacher had left the classroom He was admitted for'four days .
just before recess and the boys were Later, he returned to Indonesia to local students, who would rather play his actions affected not just one person
getting restless. be with his parents for a while, the soccer or Xbox games, according to but the whole class."
One boy threw pens at A d a n while principal said. As a result, Adam Adam's classmates. Since Adam had missed his exam,
the rest laughed. missed his oral exam. Another student said Adam often the school would write to the
Then, Adam snapped again. The bully was given treatment at acted strangely in school and kept to Examinations Board to ask for due
He charged at the boy who was school for the scratches on his face. himself. consideration for what had happened,
throning pens at him, and scratched Students at the school confirmed "I have seen him going to the back he added.
him on the face. that Adam was often teased because of the school and sitting in a yoga He said the school has about 10
Several classmates told The New he's different. position and meditating all alone." foreign students per level, and they
Paper they were shocked when their A classmate said: "He always talks The school principal said the teen generally don't have problems fitting
usually quiet and reserved classmate about funny things like magic. has had problems with anger in.
went berserk. Everyone likes to tease him because management. SchooIs keep a close watch on
One of them said: "1 saw the boy he's different and has a strong He said the classmate who provoked foreign students being bullied and go
making fun of him and throwing pens Indonesian accent." Adam will be punished. the extra mile to help them mesh with
at him. The class was also laughing at His accent and his fondness for "He will have to tell his side of the local students.
them. They ought it was normal fun. writing poetry set him apart from the story and we will explain to him how The biggest barrier for most of them

Source: The New Paper O Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.
Publication: The New Paper, p2-3

b..LE SMU
Date: 25 July 2007
Headlines: He just couldn't take it anymore

IChina student drops out of NUS


s I- and she's not coming back BY Andrew Chin This means foreim scholars do not de~rive

f i Pit; achin@sph.mmsg
STANDS for h e
People's Republic of China.
locals of places in j h o r college.
Sometimes, she would hear hurtful
comments being spoken in front of her by
Singaporean students who ignored her
It's a standard acronym, not Dresence.
biased, chauvinistic, or The comments would poke fun at the way
discriminatory. PRCs dressed, their nerdy looks or their
Or is it? "Chinaman"accents.
One girl from China, who studied here for Once, she claimed she hemd about a
four years from the age of 16, hated being derogatory song being sung about PRCs in
called "a PRC" by local students. another school.
Two years ago, midway The song had an army
through-her firit year at the tune to it and it went: "I
National University of wanna be a PRC,1 wanna
Singapore, she decided she had talk and act funny..."
had-enough of all that, and left. I She said she wasn't
Now 22, she is majoring in I sumrised.
r - -
economics at a university in "Hurtfultalk like that... is
the US, and has no plans to quietly tolerated by ,everyone
come back. in Singapore," she said.
"I do not want to go back to What hurt her most was
being labelled as a PRC,"said that people seemed to judge
the high-performing student, her even before they got to
who did not want to be named. know her, just because she
a- to her, the label a lo& was a PRC student.
Yonspeakbad~,haveaweird She agreed there were those who behaved
accent, and are antl-sodat. and acted the stereotype, which rubbed her
Never mind if you're a hardworking genius the wrong wa too.
at mathematics and science. 9
"But not of us are like that," she said.
Another student from China said life was
Indeed, that may just draw more negative
reactions. hell for the first two years.
Michael Damhg, 17, said he was bullied
JEALOUS L O C A B on a daily basis after he arrived in Singapore
five years ago.
She studied in top Singapore schools from m e y d e d me rude MIUCB every
Secondary 3 up to JC2on a scholarship. day and pushed me amand every day,"
When she topped the cohort once in the he said*"It was became I coaldn't
exams, a classmate went up to her said English at alLn
something like: "Why do you foreigners come He Wasinprimary six at that
here? You're doing so well in school and He wanted to scold them.
because of you, I can't go to the top JCs." "But I couldn't. I didn't know any words. I
She was viewed as competition and had to walk away before I lost my temper and
hit them," he said.
disliked for i t "I didn't want to get thrown out of school.
"There's the pressure to do well in school "It was the language barrier that made it so
to keep our scholarships," she l e d . hard."
For the record, junior colleges have Now, five years later, things are much
separate quotas for foreigners and better. Michael has both local friends and
Singaporeans. foreign friends and mingles well.

is WPW. them things they don't understand rendering some students


Said Dunman Secondary principal
Edehveis Neo: W e have about 30
during lessons, as they can't speak
EIlgMI well.
...
handicapped putting them at a
disadvantage when it comes to
foreign students and those horn China "I don't allow them to calI these homework, examinations or the simple
struggle most with the language. But students China students or China bogs. act of socialisation," said the article.
they make an effort to blend in. They have to learn from an early age The 'centre conducts workshops and
"TwoChina students have even that it's wrong"she said talks to help students deal with the
taken up English Literature to improve It's not just a problem plaguing issues.
in the language." primary and secondary schools. Even The counselling centre has started a
She added that she encourages all tertiary students face a hard time 24-hour hotline for students in
students to keep her in the loop if adjusting, it seems. life-threatening situations.
there is any bullying. The April edition of The National Meanwhile, a Singapore
"Theycan SMS me to inform me University of Singapore alumni Management University graduate
and we will take action immediately," magazine, AlumNUS, ran a story on
she said. their counselling centre and problems decided to take a lighter approach, and
One secondary school teacher, who students face on campus. published a handbook called Not The
has five foreign students fiom China in The article sdd that some 60 Stuffy Guide, which is described as a
her Secondary 1 form class, said she per cent of students umnselled at "Lonely Planet guide for international
enforces a strict "no teasing" policy in t h e m f 3 C o ~ ~ a r estudentsu.
her class. -anal students. The book educates foreign readers
*Mystudents are very young, and I Not surprisingly, the article added on the quirks of S i o r e life,
make sure they take this very that language barrier ranks as as one of touching on local English and Singlish
seriously," said the 28-year-old, who the more common problems faced by and the various festivals celebrated
declined to be named the foreign students. here.
She added that each foreign student "Lectures and tutorials are It is to be distributed free to all
in her class has a "buddy" to explain to conducted in the English language, incoming foreign students this year.

Source: The New Paper O Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.