During weekdays, I normally park my van outside the school's back gate every evening, waiting for my youngest daughter to return from school. Yet that 15-20 minutes wait often filled me with emotions.
I see students hurry out with no considerations of the moving vehicles. They knock on vehicles with no fear and just smiling away. They run and race with the other students. Sometimes they shout and curse at one another. I wonder why children are so reckless and rude today.
I see students digging into their pocket and taking out packs of cigarettes. 13-15 year old teenagers puffing cigarettes in public. Some of them even walk around borrowing lighter.
I see students drinking low grade alcohol and wine behind the trees, talking foolishly and jeering at the people around.
I see girl students with the thick and heavy makeup and the latest hair fashion. I see them speaking into expensive and trendy handphones. But I am sad to see they bring along only a few books to school.
I look at the parents around with their younger children. Everyone is waiting with anticipation and anxiety. Some stand very near to the school gate because they have sick, retarded and problem children. Everyone is very keen to get their children home early.
The public seem not to care much about others. Some are smoking and cursing in public. Some are speaking with dirty language. Some are booing and jeering one another. Some just spit and urinate wherever they feel fit.
But no one will speak up about the social ills around us. Everyone is busy protecting their own children, making sure that they are not influenced.
The common response is always the same – "Who cares? They are not our children" .