I read with interest the exchange of views on whether the Ministry of Education should name top scorers in national exams ("Top scorers deserve praise too" by Madam Chong Sze Kah, last Monday; "Good to move away from academic focus" by Mr Ling Ming Hui and "What's wrong with celebrating success?" by Mr Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan, both published last Wednesday).
Success, big or small, should be celebrated, and recognition should be given to encourage the child to continue to excel.
I have no doubt that the schools, in their own ways, have given their top students due recognition.
Parents would also have recognised their children's achievements.
Therefore, the issue is not whether recognition should be given, but the type of recognition that should be given.
Are we imparting the right values and work ethic to our children if we narrowly define recognition as being in the media limelight?
Children should do their best, regardless of how they are recognised.
How we define success is also important. Success in the academic field is just one of many forms of success.
As we move towards being a more inclusive society, the definition of success should widen to recognise other forms of achievement, such as displays of resilience and noble acts of placing others before self.
Tham Tuck Meng
This article was first published on January 18, 2015.
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