Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Chen Liping and Xiang Yun’s earliest classroom memories

SINGAPORE — It has been a while since veteran actresses Chen Liping and Xiang Yun were in school, but they still have unforgettable memories of chalk-throwing teachers, boy problems and sports day victories.

SINGAPORE — It has been a while since veteran actresses Chen Liping and Xiang Yun were in school, but they still have unforgettable memories of chalk-throwing teachers, boy problems and sports day victories.

The two star alongside Julie Tan, Aloysius Pang and Zhang Yao Dong in the Channel 8 drama My First School, which debuts tonight. The eight-episode drama, jointly presented by NTUC First Campus and the Lien Foundation, takes a look at early childhood education.

For the two, working on the show brought home how different schools are today, compared to the harsh methods used in their day.

“Teachers were very fierce,” Xiang Yun explained. “They would throw chalk at us. Back then, it was about physical punishment. I think the communication element was lacking.”

Chen agreed: “Back then, teachers used the cane. Everyone got it at some point — often, the whole class was punished. That was just the method employed by that generation. It’s different from how it is now.” But, she added, “There were also teachers who were very patient. I was lucky; I went to a good school — River Valley — and I had some very good teachers.”

Xiang Yun recalled: “I was a very quiet student. And I was very small, so I always sat in the front row, from primary to secondary school. My fondest memories were of recess time, when we would have Milo and soda crackers. That’s what I looked forward to every day!”

Did she have any schoolgirl crushes? “No,” she said, firmly. “I am the type who, if I realise that someone is being especially nice to me, will panic and run off. Even in high school, when cute guys would follow me to and from the bus stop, I would be terrified. I would look at other people’s romances and think, ‘It looks very blissful,’ but once anyone tried to get close to me, I would panic! I was very shy.”

Chen was a little more outgoing, participating in annual Sports Day events such as shotput, high jump and basketball. “Every year, I would look forward to Sports Day, and I was part of many events. I did very well, too — I always went home with trophies,” she laughed. “Those were all happy, healthy activities.”

After leaving school, though, it seems as if she has had “teacher” status all her life — even though she has never actually been one — thanks to her memorable turn as “Miss Aiyoyo” in the 1989 drama, Good Morning, Sir!

“After all these years, people still call me by that name. You could say it has become my name. Even colleagues call me that,” Chen said.

And that’s fine by her. “It feels good, because after all, it represents my effort and hard work,” she said. “People may have forgotten what happened in that show, but they still remember the character. That’s rare. It makes you feel that, having been in this industry all your life, you have many beautiful memories.”

Catch My First School starting April 12, Tuesdays at 8pm on Mediacorp TV Channel 8.

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa