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Saturday, 9 January 2010

Do not put too much pressure on them la!

Reading the article below reminded me of my own experience with my own daughter. I admit that I put pressure on her to do well in her UPSR in the years before, but in the exam year I backed off and told her that this is it, it is now all up to her and the only thing I did was send her to a few examination seminars to motivate her and teach her some exam taking techniques. The fact is that even though I was no slouch myself in my own exams, I personally do not believe in last moment cramming for exams, as consistency in studying would do you better in exams was my personal philosophy. In fact my own UPSR equivalent exam was a blur to me, as I do not remember making any special effort to ace the exams, except later on I with my other class mates was called up during assembly to receive special awards for acing the exams as a special occassion for my primary school, as my batch was at the time the first group to have so many aces. This finally made me realise this exam was something special. But still this do not merit to me the pressure I see some parents put on their children, as although I was not there a similar incident to what happened in the article that was related to me by my wife shows that even with the best of efforts your kid cannot guarantee that they will ace the exam even when they are one of the identified potential scorers. Thus I do no mind my daughter was called Puteri Tak Disangka (The Surprise Ace) by her teacher when her name was called up as one of the scorers, but I pitied her potential scorer classmate named Puteri who stood up when that name was called, as Puteri herself was not called up finally. Imagine what went through her when the fact sunk in at the end.

The sadder fact is that of the 39 aces in her school, only two managed to get into residential schools, so what basis do you put pressure on your kid to struggle for good results at this age. My non bumi school mates scored aces at that age even though they didn' have a chance to get a similar reward of going to a residential school as I did, but when I asked them what motivated them their basic answer was that studying was a responsiblity to their family and not a chore in the sense of not being pressured, so they could actually realise their potential while still being kids. I quote from the article "I don’t remember going through all that in Year Six. I ran, played and learnt how to cycle. I rode my mum’s big bicycle till I fell and hurt my knee. And I still can laugh about that. My parents never put pressure on me to score. Whatever the grades on my report card, they just smiled and signed it. They knew I studied hard and played like mad, too …. just like my peers then." In fact I believe we all took a modified view of our school motto where instead of "Pray Hard, Study Hard" it became to be "Play Hard, Study Hard". So to parents of upcoming UPSR taking kids, why don't you pause a moment and consider this other quote from the article;

" Comparing my days and now, I see so much has changed. Society looks up to top scorers without realising we are actually creating unbalanced pupils. At Primary level, why can’t we just let them enjoy their life, like we used to?

To those who got straight As, congratulations. But what about the others who did not? Their self-esteem would have dropped a notch and this would affect with them throughout their Secondary school life. And we’d start blaming them again. Is that fair?"

Our kids will have their SPM and Uni days to prove their worth in exams, so try to avoid making them exam or study phobic in the preceeding years is my advice.

So if you would like to read the article, click this.