Patriotism Should be Propagated in Singapore Schools Essay

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Introduction – Definition of Patriotism
Patriotism is the love of and devotion to one’s country that prompts a meaningful obedience and loyalty to its government (Saxe, 2003). K. Waltzer and E. Heilman (2005) extend this definition to critical democratic patriotism, where there is an inclusion of engaged critical thinking, on top of learning about the foundations of a singular American history. For this essay, I will fuse the two above definitions and apply it to the Singapore context.
Saxe, Waltzer and Heilman raised pertinent issues with regard to the Americans which Singapore can draw parallels from. Both are plural societies, made up of immigrant stock, and a mix of distinct cultures and ethnicities. During the Teachers’ Day Rally in
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Attention is also drawn to Singapore’s involvement in the war, particularly during the Japanese Occupation. Then, nation-building is taught at length right up till the end of Primary 5 where pupils should have acquired concepts and basic knowledge of national identity and formation of statehood. Through exploration of these concepts, it is hoped that pupils would have in them that sense of belonging and loyalty to Singapore after careful observation of hardship and sacrifice on the part of their forefathers.
The purpose of SS is therefore seen as a vessel to deliver the aims as spelled out in the syllabus. The teachers are the deliverers of these aims and are therefore responsible for imbibing pupils with the right attitudes and values that would deem them worthy of being Singapore citizens of the future. With these, it could then be translated to patriotism and loyalty to the country. A case in point is the celebration of commemorative days like Total Defence Day (TDD) and Racial Harmony Day (RHD) which are celebrated all throughout primary and secondary school life. During TDD, schools take part in activities like switching off all electrical and water points while others serve sweet potato soup and plain water during recess in the hope that pupils would realise the hardship and suffering their forefathers had to go through. From this realisation, pupils

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