Everyone needs to play their part

Dr Wan Mohd Zahid says the campaign is an extension of the Setia Caring School Programme but on a much larger scale.

Dr Wan Mohd Zahid says the campaign is an extension of the Setia Caring School Programme but on a much larger scale.

I am thankful that the Ministry of Education has stepped in to support the #StandTogether campaign with both the Deputy Ministers, Datuk P Kamalanathan and Datuk Chong Sin Woon recording their support for the initiative.

In fact, part of Datuk Chong’s statement hit the nail on the head, saying: “The ministry is more than happy to support the #StandTogether initiative because it means that schools nationwide will become safe places for our future leaders”.

The primary objective for this initiative is indeed moulding our young children, future leaders of the country, into good and useful citizens filled with empathy and kindness as we try hard to instil the awareness that a caring community will make our world a better place to live in.

I am thankful that Datuk Kamalanathan was open to a meeting to discuss how we can make an impact on a national level across all the schools. It was heartening to know that we share the same thoughts on the positive values that the #StandTogether campaign brings to the table.

We discussed the challenges in implementing a National Kindness Week in all schools as well as how to ‘recreate’ the sense of unity and respect we had when we were schooling many moons ago.

We agreed that kindness is something that has to be natural and a National Kindness Week will put us back on track to instil such related values among students.

While the deputy minister called on all schools to support efforts to promote kindness and curb bullying, he also said that schools who chose to sweep bullying cases under the carpet should be prepared for action. Thank you to both our Deputy Education Ministers for your support, and we look forward to making the #StandTogether campaign a resounding success with your influence and guidance.

I am glad that things are moving at great speed. Our engagement on social media is at its peak, especially with the celebrities sharing their own personal stories on bullying.

I was deeply touched to be invited to two of my alma maters to get the students to pledge with the #StandTogether campaign recently. I take my hat off to the principals of both schools namely Mohamad Hazawawi Yusof from SMK King Edward VII, Taiping and Zahidi Abd Ghani from SMK Anderson, Ipoh for embracing the initiative and for the support.

I also take the opportunity to thank Gunalan Tony, the principal of St. Michael’s Institution, Ipoh and its students, who opened their arms to welcome our Deputy President & COO of S P Setia, Datuk Wong Tuck Wai and pledged their unwavering support for the #StandTogether campaign.

To us, the campaign is an extension of the Setia Caring School Programme launched in April 2015 but on a much larger scale.

Through the #StandTogether campaign, we advocate that everyone has a role to play in preventing bullying in our society, and in amongst students as they will one day, become leaders of our nation.

This is why we will continue to work hard through partnerships with celebrities, social influencers and the media to shift societal attitudes and hold dear that one simple value that has been pushed aside for too long — Kindness.