Friday, January 06, 2017

TOTD: The Misguided Education System

Thought of the Day - The Misguided Education System

I could really empathize with Aqil's family in not getting a place for his son in the nearby school.

When I was young, I face similar problem of not able to get a place in the primary schools in Toa Payoh basically due to the Two is Enough policy. As the 8th child of the family, I was systemically discriminated by the various institutions, including the schools.

My parents were worried that their young son could not get education and will end up as road sweeper one day. After the neighborhood schools have rejected my application, even though my kindergarten result (not PAP kindergarten!) was above average, my parents have to go all the way to upper paya lebar road Elling North Primary, to enroll me. Students at my age had already started school but I was still knocking door.

This school was the Primary School which brothers and sisters studied while we were still living in Tai Seng almost 7 years ago.

I was lucky that the Principal Mrs Chiang had agreed to accept my application. Though this was just a village school with limited resources and hardly a good reputation but quite a lot of "Sam Seng" or gangsters, I am extremely grateful to my Principal for accepting me despite the fact that the classes were full. This is despite of the fact that I needed to travel by bus to and fro for 45 min each on my own at the age of 7.

An education is an important start for any child in his or her long life journey. To deprive a child the BASIC education is just like taking away his future. Even more so for those with special needs.

I won't be what I am, going through the SAP school and graduating with an Honours degree if it was not for the grace of my Primary School principal, Mrs Chiang.

Thus whenever I see schools rejecting students for whatever reasons, forcing them to be out of education, I felt extremely sad and angry. Especially for those schools which reject or getting rid of students for fear of affecting their KPI, I just find it totally unacceptable. Those principals and teachers have basically lost sight of what education is all about... It is not about KPI nor plainly following rules. It is about helping to build someone's life.

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