Thursday, November 21, 2013

PSLE Results tomorrow

Academically we are one of the peaks in the world and this allows us the flexibility to invest beyond books. We are finally taking advantage of it seriously under this minister.

Even if it is very slow to win many parents over to a more holistic education, it is important that they are prepared to endure with it long enough for superior results to show.

Now only the most kiasu parents would research the numbers which were once easily available. Tomorrow result slips will not print the lowest and highest scores.

I have gamed the system by sending my children to secondary schools where a significant numbers of them regularly score seven distinctions or more. In this way they do not need to be among the top few students to do well in major national exams, which is the sort of pressure they would feel if they had attended a neighborhood school. In their schools being among the above average is good enough. This has freed up so much more time for them to pursue other interests.

What I have done was just making the best of what was available and I think eventually parents will not need to strike the sort of balance I had. Many people are fuzzy about where all these changes is taking us as they are not easy to visualize but I am sure they are for the better.

So if you are no good with the academics, you must try very hard to do better. And if you are already more than competent, often it makes more sense to pursue other interests instead of trying to top many or any subject for the sake of a silly and transient trophy. Therefore I look forward to the day when MOE scraps T-scores for grades or bands like we have for the O and A levels. Make it so soon.

Update: 9:45pm

I happened to be reading "One good trade" which my brother pointed me to a few months back. Tonight I come across this from the book. Everything about this is familiar to me. Note the stuff you learn in school if you do not combine it with lots of experience and skills which is not taught and especially tested in school you would be very limited. Since many of the additional skills must be built upon knowing school work well the pupil must try to be good at them. However there comes a point when you can over work yourself for the best grades which is counterproductive. You must not spend all your time studying.

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