Direct School Admission: Consider whether child can cope

I strongly agree that selecting a school that best fits a student's talents and potential helps him to excel ("Choosing schools that best fit them"; Tuesday).

In Singapore, it is the norm for parents to put emphasis on the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), in the hope that their children will achieve stellar results and enter top secondary schools. Many feel this will lead to success in life.

When Direct School Admission (DSA) was introduced, some parents saw it as a channel to allow their talented but not-so-academically inclined children to gain entry into top schools.

They put their children through intensive arts and sports training prior to the DSA auditions, in a bid to ensure their entry into schools they would otherwise not be admitted into.

While I agree that the DSA is an excellent scheme for students with artistic and sporting talents to enter their preferred schools, parents should consider whether their children can cope academically in a school with a higher cut-off point than their PSLE scores.

These children may struggle in their studies and could even be forced to transfer out of their schools, affecting their self-esteem.

Students excel, both in their studies and in non-academic areas, when they are in an environment that suits their pace of learning.

Being exposed to a stressful learning environment could be detrimental to personal development.

Vivien Tan (Ms)

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