Over achieved and over stressed

That is the impression I get from the discussions in the ST on the way the students are pushed. As a generalisation, our Primary One starts at kindergarten now. And by Pre university the students are actually doing undegraduate works. The question is what for? So what if our PSLE students are taught at the level of Secondary students? So what if our A level students are taught at university level? Did they shave off a few years in the education system? Or did they becomes smarter than the cohorts in other countries? They are just learning ahead of their time. A simple analogy is for a young person to start dating. Some start at 12, some at 20. What is the big deal if they ended up in a mess? We either derive some goodness from increasing the pressure or else we should let things cool off a little. The pressure can be selective, only for those who are good enough and wanted it. The PSLE and O level should be flexible to accommodate the different standards of knowledge acquisition. Forcing all students to attempt unusually tough questions is wicked. The A level only allows the exceptionable students to do more papers and H3. So the less gifted need not be put through the pace and be unduly stressed. Have mercy on the primary and lower primary students. They cannot be cooked in the same pot.


Anonymous said...

Unlike my generation and those before me, we had a happy childhood where life was unfettered and free. We roamed our neighbourhood, climbing trees and plucking fruits, catching tadpoles and rainbow fish in the nearby pond. When it rains we were splashing about in the puddles, caring not a whit about getting wet or sick. There were frequent trips to nearby Marine Parade beach, where we swam and our parents scrape the sand for shells and all search the mudflats for mussels and other shells. There were fishermen in their boats returning from their trips selling their catch. These are things our children and their children will never experience.

What has become of us that we need our kids to start school at such an early age? To grow up to be part of the workforce and begin paying taxes and add to the nation's wealth. Are the children of today and soon to be the parents of tomorrow better off than say, those rural children I see playing on the banks of a remote river, having the time of their lives? I just wonder.

Anonymous said...

Those of my generation entered Primary school totally ignorant in ABC's and Numbers, because we never went to kindergartens. But the strange thing is we managed to cope pretty well and as Anon above said, we really enjoyed our childhood with the kind of activities he mentioned.

Do you really believe that children nowadays enjoy their early years or that they have a better childhood than their grandparents? Sure, they may have all the technological wonders of science to fiddle with, all the junk food to consume, but apart from that it is a continuous pressure from nursery, kindergarten right up to university and then it is another life struggle to earn a living. Hardly time to smell the roses, so they say. I still relish my childhood days.

Matilah_Singapura said...

What's the point of this madness? The kids still come out of it STUPID. so what if they can regurgitate data and pass exams higher than the grade they are in?

If these pussies tried to climb trees they'd hurt themselves. Have they caught guppies in the longkang, or played in the rain? do they even know what "play" is -- without an XBox or Nintendo.

Pursuing knowledge for the sake of "being #1" is madness.

However, I'm against interfering with people doing stupid things -- even if they will harm themselves in the long run, Staying indoors and studying too much with out going outside and playing has SERIOUS long-term consequences.

So if the children want to be stressed, let them. If their parents send the message that "life is an endless ZERO SUM GAME competition which you must win", and the kids swallow this bullshit --- because they have not been taught INDEPENDENT critical thinking -- so be it.

Hey, they migh even be able to drive up the teenage suicide rate!

Now won't that be fun! We'd have something else to talk about in social situations...

Anonymous said...

i dont know what these anonymous "elders" are trying to portray to the readers. they seem to be so willing to place the blame on "youngsters" or "children" for the difference in lifestyles, and reminiscing on the "good old days". dont forget that it is the generations of these "elders" who brought the changes upon the youth of today. certainly it wasnt today's youth who invented the nintendo, or today's youth who carried out today's education policies, or workplace competition. its not the kids who are clamouring for more piano classes, computer classes, mandarin classes, ballet classes and the like.

on one hand, parents or grandparents can complain "kids these days...", on the other hand, they bark at their kids/grandkids "if you dont get higher marks than mr chong's son, then dont come back and see me!"

Matilah_Singapura said...

anon 700:

Hah, the irony and contradictions of human life on planet earth. And no one wants to rock the boat for fear of being marginalised...

Well, to add to your points, many of these "elders" support the public ed‭ucation system -- or state run institutionalised child brainwashing, as I call it.

‭To treat kids the way they're being treated suggests to me that these "guardians" (the state, parents, teachers et al) have such a poor view of the human race and a sad view of themselves.

‭Bringing up a kid is not as hard as some of these presumptuous asshole yuppie parents make it out to be. No one disputes that one has to have some sort of "training" to engage modern life as a full-functioning, emotionally mature and economically productive adult. However from my observations, most parents today are FUCKED in the head. A great majority of them can't even keep their man-woman relationships in order... and yet, these emotionally unstable losers expect to be role models for their kids -- kids who are increasingly becoming more docile and less rebellious.

‭I don't trust "conformist" children. I think they are BORING. And because they cannot or will not think for themselves, they are also STUPID, imo. god only knows how their parents are [shudder]

Anonymous said...


"i dont know what these anonymous "elders" are trying to portray to the readers. they seem to be so willing to place the blame on "youngsters" or "children" for the difference in lifestyles, and reminiscing on the "good old days"."

I think you got it all wrong here. The OP subject is "Over achieved and over stresses"

Was there any statement by any Anonymous here pinning any blame? How did you managed to reach that conclusion?

The elders are just reminiscing and lamenting that today's children are being over stressed in education. The question in the OP was "Starting at an early age does not mean the child can shave a few years off at A Levels or University. In other words, do we need our children to begin school even before kindergarten? Can they still do well in their studies if they start later?

So I would ask this Anonymous writer not to jump to conclusions. There is no one to blame as this is the price we pay for progress.