PUTRAJAYA: Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching has pledged to walk the talk when it comes to spreading kindness in schools, starting with the #StandTogether Kindness Challenge during National Kindness Week (April 1-5).
Teo not only agreed to sign up for the five-day WhatsApp-based challenge but called on her colleagues in Parliament to do the same as well.
“For this kind of campaign, it’s always the more the merrier!” she said, before nominating Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim and Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto to take up the challenge.
Participants of the Kindness Challenge will receive “Kindness Missions” every morning during National Kindness Week via a WhatsApp chat bot, and they will have to complete all five missions to unlock a special surprise.
The challenge is part of the broader Education Ministry-endorsed #StandTogether campaign initiated by R.AGE and SP Setia, which aims to empower students to create a new culture of kindness in Malaysia.
“There’s always room for us to be kinder to other people,” she said.
“That’s why (Education Minister) Dr Maszlee Malik wants to bring back a value-based education system that emphasises love, happiness and respect – we must have a friendly environment for students.”
Teo added that she hopes the relationship between students and teachers will improve.
“I think some teachers would be happy to befriends the children.
“We have to nurture happiness, which means children feel comfortable coming to school,” she said.
Admitting that cyberbullying is on the rise in schools, Teo said she believes it comes down to examples being shown by “adults”.
“I think we can do better. There are a lot of irresponsible statements made by ‘unknown’ persons online.
“Therefore, Malaysians have a role to play in restraining ourselves from spreading lies,” she said.
The #StandTogether National Kindness Week is open to all schools in Malaysia.
Teachers or principals can register their schools at www.standtogether.my, after which they will receive a Kindness Week programme and educational material.
A series of #StandTogether workshops is also being run nationwide by campaign partners Digi and the International Medical University, to equip schools with anti-bullying knowledge and counselling skills.