Thursday, September 29, 2005

Expectations of our children.

I found this article by Zainul Arifin in the NST recently. It was yesterday's.

Well, I should not be surprised that Education Malaysia has commented on it as well. Well, they beat me to it. Nevermind.
In an age where six-year-olds are sent to mental arithmetic
classes, and Primary One pupils are expected to be able to read and write and
are given homework on the very first day of school, children are being forced to
carry a heavy burden of expectations. They live in a world where there is less
and less time for children to be children.
I can attest to that. Children as young as 5 in my school (FYI, it is ONLY integrated Montessori) already have mental arithmetic classes. Well, the classes are held twice a week. The youngest is 5. The basic requirements for entering a Mental Arithmetic class is that the child has to already know his numbers (1-10) and understand concepts of basic numbers, counting and subtraction. Well, at least!
But I am sure many of them have superior thumb-eye
co-ordination, owing to prolonged exposure to video games
Now, that is very funny. But that can't be avoided. Each generation has its own new set of gadgets to play with. Unless the parents themselves make it a point to do something about it.
I was ok at other subjects though!

When National Service was introduced, the volume of protest,
some of it very hysterical, from parents might have led one to think the
Government was sending the teenagers to the battlefield. In times of war,
18-year-old teens do get sent to the frontlines to die for the country. Here
some parents were crying buckets over what is essentially a holiday

If I had children, I may miss them? But I think they have to let go at some point of time. Just look at Singapore! The men went through National Service and turned out fine. Finer men, in my opinion! I can't very well say why the parents will object, being not a parent myself.

Well, it can't be helped that Asian parents want their children to do well academically. It is the way we live our lives. Chinese culture predominantly has placed much importance on education achievement. I am not too sure about the other ethnicity though, and it definitely is not so much the case in Western societies either.

But one thing I can say. There is definitely a need for more trained teachers to communicate across to the parents itself that academic achievements is not the only thing that we can judge a person by. Coz when a person starts working, people do not really care what happened to you in your childhood days, or how badly you fared.

What matters though is, your academics may affect your chances to get a good scholarship or places at the best university! That is reason enough that children should do at least, fairly well in their studies.
Well enough to proceed to the next level in life, equipped to face the real world, and not lacking in social skills. Most importantly, be happy and not lacking in manners. That is what I would aspire for my own kids anyway!

As they say, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

I don't want a dull Jack for any son of mine any time soon.

1 comment:

vincent said...

There is no difference between a 5 year old kid going for tuition and a 17 year old kid taking 17 subjects for SPM. Either way, they are throwing their childhood away.

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