Like most parents with young kids in Singapore, I am concern with the stress of our education system.
The Singapore educational system like all things in life, has good and bad points. If you are a pessimist, you tend to focus only on the bad points and grumble. If you are an optimist, you tend to focus on the good points and ignore the bad points. We will try to be neutral and focus on both the good and bad points.
The good points of the Singapore educational system:
We do not claim to be an expert in education, Daddy felt that having taught or still teaching in 4 universities in Singapore (NUS Medical Faculty, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, SIM University and Medical University of South Carolina Singapore campus) and conducted many educational workshops to teachers, parents and students in the various secondary schools in Singapore, we can at least qualified to comment on
High standard of education in our public schools. The academic achievements of our students are generally better than students from other countries. Now, there are private schools in US and Malaysia among other countries which are adapting the Singapore syllabus as our syllabus are seen to be of a very high standard
Even poor students could afford good education in the public schools. The neighbourhood schools in Singapore are also producing top students in the PSLE exam, and many of these students come from poor family background
The bad points of the Singapore educational system:
Too stressful for children and parents. Parents are seen engaging home tutors or sending their children to tuition centres or doing both at the same time, so that the kids can cope with the academic lessons and do well in the exam.
Too many enrichment classes, remedial classes in the school, the focus is on academic results and neglected the fun part of education.
I know many parents are stressed with their children’s education, and I do not deny that we will also be stressed when Gor Gor joined in the rat race of primary school next year. But my advice will be do everything in moderation, do not stress your child too much, let him enjoy his schooling life and keep a regular schedule so that he has some allocated time to do his study. Do not pressure yourself and your child too much, otherwise you and your child will suffer from mental breakdown. This is true, as I have seen patients (both parents and child) having burnout syndrome from the stress in our education system.