Let's make school fun

Let's make school fun

I caught a glimpse of the future recently and I didn't like what I saw.

More specifically, I didn't like hearing about what upper primary might be like for seven-year-old Jason and four-year-old Shannon.

I was at a children's forum recently, where upper primary pupils shared their views on five topics: education, family, money, friendship and security.

Over several hours, we heard the views of articulate child panellists from a diverse range of schools. I also read the wishlists of dozens of 10- to 12-year-olds, written on note cards and displayed outside the auditorium, and I spoke to some of them.

What stood out for me at the forum, which was organised by the Singapore Children's Society, were their candid thoughts on education.

Their honest expressions made for a sober look at the lives of Singapore tweens, a stage that Jason will reach in three years.

Here is the gist of their thoughts on education:

On school: "I wish my teachers wouldn't take away Physical Education lessons and replace them with English, mathematics or science lessons just before the exams, or if they do, keep to their promise of making up PE after exams", "I wish school is more fun and less stressful" or "I wish school hours are shorter and learning is fun".

On Primary School Leaving Examinations: "I hope I can get 225/260 (from different kids) for PSLE so that I can live up to my parents' expectations".

On homework or tuition: "I wish I didn't have maths homework every day even though I can cope" and "If only I didn't have so much tuition".

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