Parents can refocus children's priorities, Singapore mum says

Parents can refocus children's priorities, Singapore mum says

I refer to the article "Wisdom of the masses or just plain kiasu?" (The New Paper, Nov 27).

Singaporeans like to be ahead of everything, especially in education.

So it is not surprising that was set up, to serve the needs of such parents, to give them a forum where they discuss topics such as the best tuition and enrichment centres, PSLE T-scores, selection of secondary schools and so on.

When the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced last week that the highest and lowest T-scores will no longer be printed on the PSLE results slips, it sent many parents into a frenzy as they could no longer benchmark their children's results against the top scorers in Singapore. With MOE and schools tight-lipped about the highest T-score, social media and online forums became a valuable source of information.

But as a parent of two school-going children, what matters most to me is not where my children stand among their peers, but whether they have performed well enough to enter a reasonably good secondary school.

What purpose does it serve to know how well other children are performing since it is not going to affect my children's PSLE results anyway?

To select a secondary school, one needs to know only the previous year's cut-off points. This provides a good gauge of the average T-score that is accepted by each school.

MOE may revamp the educational system into one that is less competitive, taking away some of the emphasis on academic results.

But such policy changes work only when parents change their mindsets to focus more on their children's personal development, rather than the figures on results slips.

Being competitive is a trait learnt from parents in most circumstances. If parents keep stressing that their children's successes in life is based on a high T-score and entering a top secondary school, it will obviously shape a child's perception that "getting good results is everything" in school. But if parents devote time to holistic development, their children will learn to focus on developing their talents while trying to do well in their studies.


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