Post-primary educational pathways – What are my best options?
A recent article in The Straits Times entitled “Why Study?” explores the proverbial question – students should ask themselves whom they want to be, not what they want to be. For the rest of us who have ‘been there’ and ‘done that’, it is indeed easy to focus on the ‘how’. How do I get my child admitted into the best school after the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), and more pertinently in ultra competitive Singapore, how do I get him or her ahead of the pack?
The local education landscape has evolved over the years. Students embarking on post-primary educational pathways are spoilt for choice, so to speak. Way before attempting the PSLE, parents and children are already plotting their next educational move that would put chess champion Garry Kasparov in the shade. Everyone needs to stay ahead of the game, and parents and students are inundated with an educational buffet, a conveyor belt of choices to influence and develop a passion for learning, to determine how characters are moulded, to shape career aspirations, to be responsible global citizens and to be able to overcome the challenges in life and to become a success story.
So what then, is the ‘best option’ for my child? Again, it is easy to prescribe the best medicine, but all consultants intuitively understand that no two body types are similar. While academic counseling can only go so far, students need to articulate their skills, talents, competencies and dispositions and to reflect on how their innate abilities can best serve the curriculum in a secondary school environment. I believe that no education system is perfect. However, I am also aware that it is very easy for someone to be brow-beatened by the system. In other words, greater diversity may or may not equate with more opportunities.
Let us look at the tailored learning journeys available to students.