This is commendable – a couple of schoolgirls take on the Ribena manufacturer and score points for consumer rights and protection. GlaxoSmithKline pleaded guilty and was fined in a New Zealand court for misleading advertisements regarding Ribena’s Vitamin C content. Schoolgirls Anna Devathasan (l) and Jenny Suo (r), first tested Ribena as part of a school science project in 2004 and discovered that it did not live up to its claims.Read the story here.
What lessons can we learn from this cautionary tale?
A real world education surely must develop the sort of inquisitiveness and determination that is exemplified by these 2 schoolgirls. Not the type that regurgitates dead facts for examinations, swallows government pronouncements whole, suppresses independent thought, dances blithely to the tune of ‘Malaysia Boleh’, and buys unquestioningly into advertising hype and pop culture. We have a school system that is sadly defined by slogans and racial quotas, taught through textbooks and tuitions, boxed in by parochialism, and emasculated alternatively by fear and despair. And we wonder about lack of political awareness, arts appreciation, creativity, and critical thinking.
It helps, I think, to name the faults, in order to work towards a solution. Then again, I'm a homeschooling parent, so what do I know?