Monday, July 21, 2008

Sending One's Child To An Elite School

Why are parents in Singapore so kiasu, nervous and panicky when it comes to sending their child into a primary school? Why do they insist on sending their child into a branded, elite school?

I have no problem if the parents are elite themselves who studied well in school and had received distinctions year after year. These parents are from good branded schools themselves and performed well academically.

But I think chances of ordinary parents begetting ordinary kids are higher and only logical.

As I’m not an “elite” parent myself, I’m not in favor of sending my son to a branded school. Whereas my in-laws are pretty much bent on sending my son to a branded school. I have my misgivings about son fitting into and exceling in such a school.

My reasons for not being keen on sending my son into a branded school are simple.

Firstly, it’s not easy getting my son into one since I’m not an old boy from any elite school.

Secondly, I’m not rich and certainly can’t afford to send him to an expensive classy school like ACS (Anglo-Chinese School).

Thirdly, my son has proven to be a non-conformist child. He doesn’t pay as much attention to the teacher in a class like everybody else. He may be bright and clever. But all his brightness and cleverness would come to naught if he doesn’t pay attention in class and does as the teacher instructs.

Fourthly, I don’t like the idea of subjecting him to all the pressure to perform in a branded elite school.

Fifthly, if a child is a non-conformist type, he might get discouraged every year as the yearly ranking of the students in his class would undoubtedly place him among the last few of his class. Such discouragement could well make him even more turned off towards his studies.

I think one of the obvious advantages of an ordinary neighborhood school is its more relaxed pace of study and ranking. A non-elitist, non-gifted child of a couple who are not elite and gifted themselves, would have less of a hard time coping with the stress that comes with studying in the school. In fact, he might be even ranked around 10th to 20th position of his class, somewhere in the middle, where it’s not so discouraging and stressful. No need to be gifted. Just study at a relaxed pace, try to pay attention in class, absorb as much as possible during each class. And get above average results in tests and exams. I'm not saying studying in an ordinary neighborhood school isn't stressful at all. I'm only saying it's less stressful than a branded school.

Isn’t that better than being stressed out in an elite school where the standards are invariably higher and getting results that are below average or only around the passing mark?

One's childhood of learning in school should be filled with enjoyment, fun, laughter. We can prevent our children from being subject to unecessary excessive stress that comes from studying in a branded elite school.

As for parents' concern about gangsters in neighborhood schools, the actual fact and truth of the matter is: Every school has its fair share of bad eggs.

Even so-called elite schools have gangsters too.


Blogger Las montañas said...

There's a lot of thoughts on this. People do need to be stretched to their potential for great things to happen. Above all, love is the basis here. We must show alot of love to our children despite their failings. A child growing up in an elite environment mixing with all the elite classmates but without family/parental love, is nothing versus a child in a neighbourhood school that grew up with love and a whole lot of support.

Monday, July 21, 2008 at 2:24:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Mockingbird said...

To Las Montanas: Amen.

Monday, July 21, 2008 at 2:27:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Lunch is Served! said...

Ermmm... I was an elite school "gangster" lah. I was always playing truant, amongst other things. But I think, on the whole, I turned out quite ok.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 1:39:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Mockingbird said...

To Lunch Is Served: i guess all of us went thru our phase of teenage angst and streak of rebellion against authority as we were growing up. i was quite anti-gangster back then though. i hated gangsters because i was extorted by them once in Secondary school. as i considered them as scumbags, i didn't find the thought of joining a gang appealing.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 2:17:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Lunch is Served! said...

LOL! That's what you mean by "gangster"! Hahahaha... I wasn't "that" kind of gangster, but because I hung out with a gang we did everything together, the teachers called us gangsters! OMG! That's a girls' elite school for you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 4:05:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Mockingbird said...

Ha, ha, ha..! :D If you meant having one's own "gang" to be a "gangster" then i was a "gangster" too since i also had my "gang" of sorts. Ha, ha, ha...! :D

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 4:37:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Singapore.Boy said...

It sounds like a cliche but it is true. School is only what you make of it. People like Bill Gates chose not to go to Harvard and he is the richest man on Earth now. George Bush went to an Ivy School, and what happened to him?

Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 3:46:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Mockingbird said...

To Singapore Boy: George Bush isn't exactly a very good example. Afterall, he did become the so-called most powerful man on earth, and one of the most hated men on earth too :p

Friday, July 25, 2008 at 9:34:00 AM GMT+8  
Blogger anon gal said...

u may wish to read the comment section of this post for additional ref.

Sunday, July 27, 2008 at 1:35:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger anon gal said...

Singapore.boy, what u mean waht happened to him? He became the president of the united states! (And his yale connection helps in his networking)

Sunday, July 27, 2008 at 1:37:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Mockingbird said...

To Anon Gal: Thanks for pointing me to Mr Wang's blog :) Yaloh. Bush is the president of the united states. he may be hated by a lot of people. But he's definitely not a nobody :)

Monday, July 28, 2008 at 11:05:00 AM GMT+8  

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