20th March came and gone in a wink. Five years of secondary education summarised in a piece of paper. The muggings of a whole year and the waiting of more than three months....all in the past now.
This year I had the privilege to be the mother of a student instead of just being a teacher. I had the joy to be on stage with one of the top students in the school. It was a day of great joy for the two of us. But I was hit by many what ifs....
The names of the straight A+ were first announced followed by all As (combination of A+, A and A-). A total of 33 students. The sadness and tears when students who expected to be in the straight A+ category found themselves to be in the all As category. Even more tears for students who expected to be in either of the category and found themselves in neither.
I was busy giving out results that morning. All around me was chaos, noise and tears. When I looked at my students crying....I wondered how Lyn and I would have reacted if she was in their shoes. Tears...definitely tears too.
As I ponder on this for the past few days and every year when results is announced...I have only this to say...I hate this system. I hate to see what it does to the students' esteem. It's not that they are not good....but what we are doing is we are telling them that they are not good enough. Therefore they do not deserve such recognition. This whole system is making us drill As out of the students and if they do not achieve the As....they are just not good or smart.
Many students have all A+ but an A or all As but a B. They are no less better than those who were called on stage. This method is definitely not healthy to the child's psychology. Can we stop it??
I repeat it very often and I repeat it again. Life is not about making As. The As a student gets will not determine her success in future. Success and self worth is not equavalent to the As a student get. How I wish I can hold all of them in my arms and tell them....you've done good. You've done well. I am so proud of you.
Many students have shown their strength not in their academics but in their character, attitude, relationship with their elders. Are they praised for such fine characteristics? Do we shout to the world that here we have groomed students who are respectful, uphold integrity, kind and helpful?? No wonder the moral values of society has gone down the drain because it is of no importance.
So to all my students who are reading this...I apologise for the pressure I put on you to get As. I want all of you to know that you have done well, very well indeed for excellence is not measured by academic results alone. Think again....if I have taught you... what I said about success. If you have shown any kindness, courtesy and goodness to another fellow human today...you are a success and I am so proud of you.