Saturday morning is a great time to connect with parents over breakfast as I wait for the kids to finish their gymnastics. We exchange notes and talk about….raising kids.
There is a Chinese school in Subang that is obsessed with good academic results to the extent of having extra tuition (mandatory) for those approaching the UPSR (Standard 6 exams). They have their regular school classes in the mornings and then extra tuition classes in the afternoons everyday including Saturday. My family doctor tells me that there are many “black out cases” from this Chinese school when nearing exams. The child comes to her stares blankly at the wall and cannot say a word. I was told that ECA’s (Extra Curricular Activities) in that school is often cancelled in favour of studying for exams.
In case any kiasu parents read this, please think with me in a rational manner for awhile….for the sake of your children.
The standard 6, UPSR exams is only an assessment of the child’s progress before secondary school. Failure does not prevent him from moving on to Form 1…or does it? Getting a B or C is certainly not the end of his career or life which has not even begun. In fact doing well in exams is not any indication of a person’s success in life or in business.
Einstein’s early failures:
- In 1895 Einstein failed an examination that would have allowed him to study for a diploma as an electrical engineer at the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule in Zurich.
- Following the failing of the entrance exam to the ETH, Einstein attended secondary school at Aarau planning to use this route to enter the ETH in Zurich.
- While at Aarau he wrote an essay (for which was only given a little above half marks!) in which he wrote of his plans for the future.
In fact the very things that are important in a having successful career (assuming that is what we are after) are not taught in school. Things which Daniel Goldman calls the Emotional Quotient (EQ) are far more important in having a successful career. Character qualities like honesty, self control, patience, trustworthiness, meekness and benevolence etc...(www.characterfirst.com)
I think our quest to give our children a good future is now preventing them from having a meaningful childhood which is essential to their life as a responsible adult and citizen. We must relook at what is trully important in life and rethink how we shape this brief formidable years.