Singapore may be globally known for its academic excellence but according to an international study done on students across 72 countries, Singapore students are the most anxious about tests and grades. Their anxiety levels were significantly higher than the average levels from the study.
SOURCE: PROGRAMME FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ASSESSMENT (PISA) STUDENTS’ WELL-BEING STUDY. SUNDAY TIMES GRAPHICS.
Last year in Singapore, there was a total of 22 suicides among those aged 10-19 years old, the second highest number of recorded suicides for that age group since 2007. Although there may be other reasons to drive them to take away their own lives, we cannot sit back and deny that pressure from education may be a possible contributing factor.
How many times have you heard parents sharing that they are sending their children for tuition? If the children don’t have tuition, it’s probably because the parents are looking for a suitable tutor or tuition center to enrol their children into. Aside from tuition, you can’t say that you’ve never heard the term of “tiger mum” or “tiger parenting”. If you really don’t know, it refers to a strict or demanding parent who pushes the child to be successful academically by attaining high levels of scholastic and academic achievement. Ever heard of the phrase “a B grade is an Asian F”?
Now, we’re not saying that it’s the parents’ fault but the parents or guardian of the child are one of the main stakeholders you look at when you analyze a young students’ well-being. Imagine all this added pressure combined with at least 6 hours of school from Monday to Friday, 3 hours of weekly extra co-curricular activities, 2 hours of remedial or supplementary classes on selected days, assigned homework (plus assessment books and practice papers), and tuition lessons per subject on weekday nights after school or over the weekends… Are we pushing them too hard? How hard is too hard?
TehTarik believes in balance. Just because you sign up your child for multiple tuition lessons, doesn’t mean they’re going to magically improve their academic scores. It might help but maybe that’s not the optimal solution for your child. Some pressure is good to motivate the child to do better but each student is different and it’s no longer a “one size fits all” solution. Sometimes, we think our local students just need to catch a breather. Education is important in Singapore, but it isn’t everything.
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