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     FrontPage Edition: Mon 10 February 2003

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Monday with the Editor: Are teachers always right?

Hallo everyone

Just last week, a nephew of mine asked for help in his school science homework. He's in Primary 3 at Sengkang Primary School. The question asked in the workbook was: Describe two differences between a zebra and a tiger. I told him one of the two differences was that a zebra had a mane whereas a tiger did not have one. He wrote down the answer accordingly.

The next day, he came to me with the following remark: My teacher says that a zebra does not have a mane. Only a lion has a mane. My nephew further volunteered that he had erased the answer on the zebra's mane and written the teacher's CORRECT answer in its place.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Immediately, I went onto the Internet and surfed to sites with pictures of a zebra's mane using the Google search engine. I showed my nephew these pictures and pointed to him the mane behind the zebra's head.

Granted his science teacher might not have seen a zebra before. I thought perhaps the teacher should get back to my nephew after getting the facts first, but instead she took it on herself to assert that a zebra had no mane.

I am relating this incident because I know children at Primary 3 tend to be impressionable. And they tend to think that what their school teacher says is always right - after all she's a teacher at school! And those at home can't be more knowledgeable than their school teacher!

I am sure such incidents are commonplace. At least, now, my nephew knows I was not pulling a fast one on him.

Do have a wonderful day!

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Public Holidays HARI RAYA HAJI is the next public holiday. It falls on 12 Feb 2003.