Sunday, September 29, 2013

PSLE conundrum

The PSLE has been in the news lately, following complaints from parents that the questions - math being notoriously so - are too tough and it is stressing pupils too much.

The Sunday Times today has published the article by Zuraidah Ibrahim, "Parents, it's fine to let go of hang-ups". In which, she shared her idyllic school days and let on that she might not have survived the ruthlessly competitive system of the 1990s.

Then there was a recent commentary by Chua Mui Hoong who pointed out the stance taken by the Education Ministry that there was no need for tuition, was out of touch with reality - with the tuition being a multi-million dollar industry. Most parents would want to send their children for tuition classes in a bid to help the children top their cohort.

One key reason as per echoed by parent Wong Siow Yuen in The New Paper was their own education experience. She wrote about her anxieties and her son's seemingly relaxed attitude:"I had been influenced by the enormity many parents and educators accord to the PSLE. It is as if I've been loading him with my failures and inadequacies."

As for me, I have now switched to a low gear and am no longer pushing my elder boy to practise yet another paper. I can see his anxiety though he tried to look nonchalant.  In this last lap, I am constantly giving him my encouragement. I do not want to add to the strain.

As for the results which are supposed to be his future in the making, let's say I am at peace with myself for helping my boy to stretch his potential. Whatever the results, his future is yet to be written. He still has a long way ahead. 

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