Netizens Cite High Stress Levels As Counter Argument
The first three rankings easily come as no surprise to Singaporeans.
But when Singapore was named world’s best country for children on Wednesday (29 May), many netizens are taking this glowing record with huge pinches of salt.
According to Save the Children’s 2019 Global Childhood Report, Singapore is the best country in the world for children to grow up in.
Being the only Asian country in the top 5, we scored higher than Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Slovenia for our exceptional ability to protect and provide for our children.
But, really meh?
Netizens were quick to bring their skepticism to the table. On Reddit, one user questioned the ranking because she found the education system here stressful for kids, and how work-life balance is abysmal.
It was the same on Facebook when Straits Times broke the news.
One user felt strongly that the report should take into account a child’s mental well-being as well, due to her stressful experience in school.
A mother shared that she was happy with her decision to move to Australia for “a more relaxing lifestyle”.
Hey, we’re doing great okay
There were those who greeted this news positively, reminding others of the opportunities and support Singaporeans have access to, especially education and healthcare.
This user seemed to have all her priorities in order.
How were we, and other countries, evaluated?
The annual report evaluated 176 countries in terms of a child’s access to:
- Protection from harmful practices, such as child labour and child marriage.
Singapore, along with the other top 10 countries, obtained excellent scores for children’s health, education and protection status.
Children need protection from “childhood enders”
If you’re unsure what childhood protection means, it entails a child being able to grow up healthily, safely, and with unhindered access to opportunities for self-growth.
The report listed some experiences that threaten childhoods, such as:
- Severe malnutrition
- Being out of school
- Shouldering the burdens of adult roles in work, marriage, and motherhood.
Every child deserves a safe, healthy & happy childhood
While the report highlighted how children today are “healthier, wealthier and better educated”, it also shed light on how millions of children in the world are still robbed of the childhood they deserve.
Despite being a high stress society as many claim, Singapore is in a far better position than many other countries to give our children the best possible start in life.
Let’s hope we retain our 1st place ranking next year too.