My daughter went to an NTUC childcare centre and then a PAP Community Foundation kindergarten for her pre-school education in the early 2000s ("High-quality pre-school 'critical for kids'"; last Sunday).
Thinking that these centres would do a good job, I didn't enrol my daughter for any enrichment classes.
When she had to be put in the Learning Support Programme in Primary 1, it was a bolt from the blue.
Fortunately, with her teachers' and parents' help, she was able to catch up. But I wonder about her former classmates, especially those who lived in the nearby rental flats, who might not have had the family support and resources to cope with the lack of preparation.
Yet I'm glad that my daughter had a carefree childhood. While other children I knew were busy with Kumon worksheets and the like, she went to the playground and places of interest, as well as spent hours doodling, play-acting and watching TV.
It was hard going against conventional wisdom but I stuck to my guns. Throughout my daughter's school years, I left her to study independently and develop self-discipline. Now, she declares proudly that she "had a childhood".
It turns out my daughter's none the worse for her slow start in primary school. She's doing well in junior college now and is a scholarship holder to boot.
Maria Loh Mun Foong (Ms)
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