AYER HITAM: School students were given a special treat when they gathered at SK Kota Dalam here to welcome actress Lisa Surihani, whose visit was in conjunction with the #StandTogether National Kindness Week campaign.
The affair had a carnival atmosphere but it was the event theme and the message that Lisa delivered that caught the attention of all present.
“The message is not to go up against the bullies – we are only against the act of bullying,” she said.
“Kindness is about rising above and going beyond the negative.”
It left an impression on those present – students, ex-students, teachers, parents, Ayer Hitam Umno division chief Datuk Samsol Bari Jamali and even those from the district Education Department – and all pledged their support for the April 2-6 National Kindness Week.
Batu Pahat district Education officer Md Said Md Daimon said he had read about the #StandTogether campaign in The Star, and when he heard the team was coming to Ayer Hitam, he invited students from more than 20 schools to attend the event.
“I was very excited when I read about #StandTogether. I think it will bring us back to our national identity of politeness and kindness.
“Through this programme, schools will become a social institution to create model students out of every child, in line with the vision of TN50,” Said said after the event yesterday.
He said he had sent out circulars to all 174 schools in the district to implement the programme, and will meet with the principals to keep tabs on the programme.
“Physical bullying might not be common in primary schools, but there’s some form of emotional bullying, so we have to address it early, and I want SK Kota Dalam to be one of the ‘showcase’ schools in this effort,” added Said.
The #StandTogether campaign was initiated by property developer SP Setia and R.AGE in response to the spate of horrific bullying cases last year.
It aims to turn the first week of April into an annual National Kindness Week across all Malaysian schools.
SP Setia chairman Tan Sri Dr Wan Zahid Mohd Nordin, a former Education Ministry director-general, was also at the event, and he was impressed by the initiative shown by the district Education Office.
“The officer here is really good, very open to ideas. I hope other PPDs (District Education Offices) will follow his lead and get their schools involved,” said Wan Zahid.
Schools can register for, and download the #StandTogether National Kindness Week programme at www.standtogether.my.
The five-day programme, approved by the Education Department, includes manuals, classroom activities, and games which all teachers can implement with their students.