M'sia cops seize Rolls Royce, Lamborghini
Survey to be formed to study suicides among young people
Coroner: Failures are temporary
State Coroner rules death of Primary 5 boy a suicide
Parents and educators should always remind the children under their care that failures are temporary.
They should also remind every child that their efforts in studying may not always yield a commensurate result.
State Coroner Marvin Bay said this as he delivered his findings yesterday, following an inquiry into the death of an 11-year-old boy who jumped from the 17th storey of a Sengkang block of flats in May.
Coroner Bay, who found the Primary 5 pupil's death to be a deliberate act of suicide, said: "Parents and educators should also constantly reassure them that they will always be there to help the child through each stumble, winding turn and setback in their education journey."
The boy is not named to protect his identity.
On Thursday, the court heard that the boy had never fared poorly in his examinations from Primary 1 to 4, and scored an average of about 70 marks.
His mother, a housewife, also expected him to score at least 70 marks for each subject.
But he failed two papers - Higher Chinese and mathematics - in his most recent mid-year exam.
Out of 100 marks, he scored 50 for English, 53.8 for Chinese and 57.5 for science. He fared poorly in two subjects, scoring 12 marks for Higher Chinese and 20.5 for mathematics.
Coroner Bay said: "(His mother) admitted to imposing corporal punishment of caning (the boy) on his palm 'lightly' for every mark he fell short of her stipulated standard of 70 per cent.
"She was flexible in this regard, and would set-off his higher grade in a stronger subject, against a grade below 70 per cent in a particular subject that he was weaker in, and only impose strokes of caning on the net deficit."
DIP IS COMMON
The boy's principal had said that pupils tend to see a dip in their results in Primary 5 because of changes in the exam format to prepare them for the Primary School Leaving Exam.
Coroner Bay said: "(The principal) had arranged for parent communication sessions on the first Saturday of Term 1, when parents would attend a briefing at school where the teachers would share with parents the 'expectations for the year'.
"There were also parent-teacher conferences conducted at the end of each term for parents to meet the teachers and receive updates."
These sessions were optional and the principal had noted that the boy's parents did not attend them this year.
The boy knew his results a few days before he died but told his mother that his results were average.
He was getting ready to go to school and was supposed to bring his papers home on May 18 when he decided to jump from his bedroom window.
A paramedic pronounced him dead at the scene around 7am that day.
The cause of death was found to be multiple injuries, consistent with those sustained after a person had fallen from height.
Yesterday, Coroner Bay said: "It is widely understood that exam and study stress play a significant role in the development of suicidal ideation among those as young as (the boy).
"It was most unfortunate in this case that (he) appeared to have difficulty in understanding, and coming to terms with his precipitous fall in his grades."
It is widely understood that exam and study stress play a significant role in the development of suicidal ideation among those as young as (the boy).
- State Coroner Marvin Bay
Come join the party
Enjoy music, food and crafts at Our Blocks Rock Party with free admission
OUR BLOCKS ROCK PARTY
WHERE: Hard court at Velocity@Novena Square
WHEN: Today, 4pm to 10pm.
TICKETS: Admission is free
Have a fun-filled family event at the hard court of Velocity@Novena Square.
From 4pm to 10pm today, Toa Payoh East-Novena residents are invited to the seventh installation of Our Blocks Rock Party - a hip and vibrant party jointly organised by People's Association Panel of Activists for Community Engagement (Pace) and The New Paper.
If you fancy having your name written on a painted bookmark, Madam Saripah Abu Bakar may just do one for you - at no cost.
She has painted about 300 bookmarks with various designs for today's block party, and will write visitors' names on the spot.
Madam Saripah said: "I just want to make people happy. If you think of art, you don't think of any negativity."
Being wheelchair-bound has not stopped the 64-year-oldfrom painting and she roves island-wide to sketch and show her art pieces.
COMMUNITY ART: Those at the party can get personalised bookmarks from artist Saripah Abu Bakar, soak up music by community band Novo Winds (above), and learn how to make key chains from clay. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF PEOPLE'S ASSOCIATION
The commission from her art pieces is used to fund her hand and spine therapy.
At 6pm, the brass ensemble from community band, Novo Winds, will grace the block party, playing a mix of oldies and popular tunes, like Sugar by Maroon 5, a theme song from Avengers, and Oteyawarakani - a popular Japanese disco pop song from the 1970s.
COMMUNITY ART: Those at the party can get personalised bookmarks from artist Saripah Abu Bakar (above), soak up music by community band Novo Winds, and learn how to make key chains from clay. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF PEOPLE'S ASSOCIATION
The music interest group from Toa Payoh South Community Club is a regular at community events since 2010, and holds concerts annually.
Novo Winds' president, Mr Ayden Oh, 25, said: "After secondary school, many people may not have the opportunity to play in bands anymore, and this gives them an opportunity to continue their passion."
COMMUNITY ART: Those at the party can get personalised bookmarks from artist Saripah Abu Bakar, soak up music by community band Novo Winds, and learn how to make key chains from clay (above). PHOTOS: COURTESY OF PEOPLE'S ASSOCIATION
Residents can also try their hand at making keychains and rings from clay.
Madam Chiam Miau Cheng, 57, who oversees Toa Payoh East Women Executive Committee (WEC) Clay Art interest group, said: "I hope visitors can learn a new skill, and (I hope this) makes them happy. If they're happy, I'm happy."
And if you're just looking for something to fill your stomach, there is always the fruit-based ice cream from Scoopz, which retails at $3.50 per cup, or frozen yoghurt from Coolgurt, at $2.50 per cup.