Sunday, September 23, 2012

For some, neighbourhood schools are the best option

A GOOD school aims to nurture a child to his fullest potential, and inculcates character building and values ("Acid test of MOE's 'every school is a good school' statement" by Mr Patrick Tan; Sept 14).
In neighbourhood schools, there are students who are not as academically inclined but have different strengths, such as in entrepreneurship, sports, music or the arts. Teachers in neighbourhood schools are equally dedicated and work as hard as those in "branded" schools.
Schools such as Raffles Institution, Hwa Chong Institution and Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) admit students who are academically inclined, and the programmes they roll out stretch these students and prevent them from becoming bored and under-performing.
These schools should not admit students with "normal" grades as their programmes may not be appropriate for them.
Even within these "branded" schools, there is a disparity in intellectual prowess among the student population. The acute stress of the paper chase should not be blamed on the existence of such schools.
Ultimately, parents should know the strengths of their children and ensure that they have happy school lives, by not comparing them to other children, or pushing them to enter "branded" schools.
Many students from neighbourhood schools have gone on to pursue tertiary education, and some have become entrepreneurs, teachers, musicians and so on.
More importantly, we should ensure that our children grow up with life skills and values such as self-discipline, a love for learning, respect for others, honesty, perseverance, kindness, compassion and an ability to solve problems. These skills will stand them in good stead well into their adult lives.
Once these skills and values are internalised, children will be able to face life's challenges positively and grow up well-adjusted and happy.
Ng Wai Meng (Ms)
Taken verbatim from:

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