Stop Undermotivating The Kids


By: B Goode


If I had scored a 221 for my PSLE and grew up to be a loser blogger, would I want to post it in the internet to let everyone know? Oh wait. I just did that.


So some guy had scored a 221 for his PSLE and because he is now an associate professor he decided to brag about it on Facebook. Maybe just maybe if he had studied a little harder for his PSLE he might now be a Dean of a Faculty. Hah!

Jelly aside, why stopped at PSLE? What about his `O’ levels results? His `A’ levels, diploma or whatever? His degree? The thesis that he wrote that must have been very outstanding for him to get the associate professor post? During the course of his life, he must have upped his game to get to where he is now.

Remember folks. For every successful associate professor with mediocre PSLE results, there are hundreds of Deliveroo riders.

I know where he is coming from. And he is not the only one who try to destress our kids by saying that PSLE is not a life game changer even to the extent of listing millionaires and billionaires who had not done well academically. But please for Zeus’ sake, don’t overdo it to such an extent that we will undermotivate the kids into believing that they need to fail academically in order to be successful.

You think that will not happen? Really? We are talking about 12 year olds here. They are at a tender age when their minds and bodies are still developing, and when they need guidance, lots of it to prepare themselves for adulthood. So if you told a 12 year old that academic success in not really important in Singapore, chances were, he’d believe you. Heck! When I was 12, I still believe in Santa Claus. I still do, to be honest.

For a 12 year old living in Singapore, sadly, there are no other realistic goals for them to achieve other than to tell them to study hard and do well in the PSLE. If not that then what? To be a champion in Pokemon? Hah!

That is the reality in Singapore. We live in a system where meritocracy is based largely on educational qualifications. Unless that is changed, and it should be changed, we must continue to motivate our children to study hard and to continue the learning journey way into their adulthood.

You want to be a Minister? You jolly well have a double honours and not only be good at taking selfies or walking with your eyes covered pretending to be blind.

You want to be an associate professor? You jolly well submit a freakingly awesome thesis that you wrote after months of research and burning the midnight oil.


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