Post-PSLE book-burning photo inflames netizens

Post-PSLE book-burning photo inflames netizens

While many families breathed a sigh of relief after the Primary School Leaving Examination ended last Wednesday, some took celebrations a step further - by setting their books on fire.

A photo of a group of children and parents burning what appears to be textbooks has sparked discussion after being shared online.

Some concerned netizens accused them of degrading knowledge and education, while others questioned why the books were not given to needy students instead.

After the photo was published in Chinese evening paper Shin Min Daily News, it made the rounds on Facebook and forums such as kiasuparents.com. Mrs Kelly Yeo, 40, who saw the original photo on Sunday, said she felt very sad for the children. "It shows how stressed they are and what kind of mindset they have (about) exams.

They don't see them as part of the learning journey.

"The source of it all is the great emphasis on exam grades in the education system."

The homemaker and mother of four boys aged eight to 14 said that after her two older sons sat their PSLE, their books were kept for the younger siblings and members of their extended family. "Some of the books my children have are also passed down from other friends," she added.

Another parent, Madam Lim Shu Min, 41, said of the children in the photo: "It's worse that their parents are there encouraging them. Education starts at home. There must be something wrong if children think it's okay to burn their textbooks."

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