Chan Chun Sing calls for ‘whole-of-society’ effort to prevent repeat of River Valley High School incident

Chan Chun Sing calls for ‘whole-of-society’ effort to prevent repeat of River Valley High School incident

Yesterday in Parliament, Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing gave an update on the incident that occurred in River Valley High School on July 19 which resulted in the death of a student.

In case you’re too busy following the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, here’s what he spoke about in his almost 50-minute-long ministerial statement.

A summary of Incident at River Valley High School

By now everyone should roughly know what happened liao right. If you still don’t know, you can read about it here.

The support and assistance which has been rendered to those affected by the incident

Minister Chan also shared that on 20 July (Hari Raya Haji), a “Caring Actions in Response to an Emergency” (CARE) Post at RV was set up to provide psychological support to students and staff who needed immediate help.

When school resumed on 21 July, RV teachers, supported by MOE CARE officers and counsellors, conducted check-in sessions with students to provide them with a safe space to share their thoughts and feelings.

Students who wished to could return home. Students and teachers who needed time-off were granted leave as well.

Teachers called those who were not in school to check on how they were doing. Master teachers from MOE were deployed to take over some classes.

Whole-of-Society effort needed to avoid such tragic incidents from repeating

Other than sharing MOE’s ongoing efforts on mental health, new measures to be taken and the whole-of-Government approach to address the mental well-being issues, Minister Chan also noted that a whole-of-society effort is required to prevent such tragic incidents from happening again.

To simply put it, it is to be kind with your words be it offline or online, because our actions or words can build or tear people down one leh. And also, to show care and concern for the people around us, especially our youths, and to constantly remind them that no one will ever be alone or need to go through life’s toughest moments alone.

He also reminded all of us to look within our own social circles and start from there, and don’t judge people who are going through or struggling with mental health issues because mental health issues are real issues hor!

For parents who want the best for their children, spend more time listening to their thoughts and feelings. Let them share what they find stressful about, give them the space to process their emotions, walk alongside them as they resolve their problems.

Have more frank conversations with children and families on the definition of success, don’t a bit a bit become defensive and angry. Like that how to expect them to open up and talk to you leh?

Not everyone must be smart and be good at studies to be successful one lah. Successful is not defined by grades, but by helping children to realise their own potential, developing their own strengths and helping them to be confident with themselves.

Don’t keep comparing your child (or yourself) with someone else lah. Got hear before a not? 人比人,气死人, which means if you keep comparing oneself to others will only make one angry.

As a parent, the greatest gift to give to your children is to accept and love them unconditionally and help them be at ease with who they are. Give them assurance, give them the confidence they need. Afterall, health is wealth!

And to those who are struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out for help ok. Reaching out for help is a sign of strength, not weakness!

Minister Chan then concluded his speech by cheering on River Valley High School,

在此,愿立化 屹立不倒, 悲化为强! 立化加油!”

Which is basically he wishes for River Valley High School to stand strong and unwavering, and for RVians to overcome sadness with strength lah.

Yah lah yah lah, I know a lot of people don’t like Minister Chan and like to mock at him but please ah, tolong can? This is not the time to laugh at him lah. Have some 良心 (heart), a tragic incident just happened leh and we all want the students, the teachers and those affected to be able to have the strength to overcome this incident and come out stronger right?

Don’t be so 低级(low-level) ah please.


If you or someone you know are in mental distress, here are some hotlines you can call if you need to speak to someone:

  • SOS 24-hour Hotline: 1800-221-4444
  • Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
  • Institute of Mental Health: 6389-2222 (24 hours)
  • Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788 (for primary school-aged children)

If you’d like to contribute your story to us, drop us an email at [email protected] and we’ll review it. We read each submission that comes to us within two weeks of receiving it.


Written by:

131 Posts

View All Posts
Follow Me :