A class in session at SK Taman Bayu Damai in Johor Baru. There is a need for a more democratic school system. FILE PIC

THE lack of a nurturing environment, where it is okay to fail (or not do well), and role models are hindrances in tackling these two issues (being timid and introverted), says Corporate Coach Academy chief executive officer and International Coach Federation master certified coach Dr Michael Heah.

“A lack of free-expression exposure in front of individuals and groups makes it frightening when the time comes for them (youths) to do so.

“A lack of role models, who inspire and guide them to be courageous, is also a key factor. Unfortunately, many teachers do not live up to this role.

“Teachers should speak English more often in class to diminish this fear. A culture of speaking English will emerge when doing this is normal practice rather than a ‘crime’. The same goes for parents and relatives at home.

“The school environment exerts the biggest influence, with the availability of campaigns, competitions and a good library.

“Efforts to reduce racial polarisation with more inter-racial exchanges can also do wonders in drawing people out of their comfort zone.”

Heah says there is a need for a more democratic school system, instead of an authoritarian one.

“Students should have greater autonomy on how they want to learn. For example, a more engaging classroom environment where teachers ask more questions instead of telling them what to do will nurture confidence and creativity.

“On the home front, unfortunately, many parents are too domineering.

“Children are taught from young that they have to ‘blindly’ respect their elders no matter what. A controlled home environment, coupled with dominating parents, has great influence in stifling the free expression of youths.”

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