At My Little Gems Preschool, students learn to take deep breaths to improve their concentration. It is part of the curriculum for the children to meditate with teachers every day. Sessions go on for about 15 minutes, and children keep their fingers on their lips to help them focus on their breathing.

Said Mr Sim Chong, a father of three: “We found that there was a remarkable improvement in their ability to focus and concentrate, even if it’s for a family meal or in the evenings, when we sit down to read story books.”

Mr Sim’s daughter, Kay Ann, said she practises meditation as it helps her to think faster and clearer. “When mummy and daddy read story books, I can pay attention,” she said.

“Those children with training in mindfulness and meditation would be able to be more perceptive of the environment, and hence have a choice in focusing their attention in what they need to do,” said Mr Ben Lim, the principal at My Little Gems Preschool.

Singaporeans we spoke with were generally in favour of such alternative teaching methods. Said Mr David Chia: “I hope my daughter will be able to access more of such choices. Different ways of learning would be good.”

Said Ms Adelyn Chan: “I think that’ll be very interesting, like having yoga activities to take their minds off just memory work.”

Others said even with less-conventional methods of teaching, traditional classroom lessons are still important to them.

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