PSLE is only the first milestone in a Singaporean child's course of education. The result of a single exam does not determine their whole future, as proven by these four success stories.
Out of the 39,286 pupils who took the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) this year, 98.3 per cent of the cohort will be moving on to secondary school. This is an improvement from the 97.6 per cent last year.
Knowing how intense Singapore’s education system is, it is no surprise that the kids feel a lot of pressure to achieve outstanding results. Parents will stop at nothing to prepare their child for PSLE, hiring private tutors, putting incentives and punishment systems in place and even resorting to aromatherapy.
Students who excel made their parents proud, while those scored low were left disheartened. With not many options of which secondary school to go to or which stream to be posted to, it might feel like the end of the world for those who did not do as well. But is it really?
Following the release of the results, The New Paper on Sunday spoke to four successful individuals who shared about their PSLE aggregates.
Royston Tan, 39, film-maker
PSLE Score: 168
“My results left me traumatised. Even now I think about it sometimes because it reminds me of a very low point in my life. But I also learnt that one exam does not determine who you are as a person.”
Josephus Tan, 36, lawyer
PSLE Score: 183
“Even before I got my results, I knew I would not do well. The pressure is tremendous – you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders at the age of 12. Children that age should be enjoying their childhood, and we should encourage a thirst for knowledge instead.”
Ben Yeo, 37, actor and television host
PSLE Score: 188
“My score was not very good. Singapore education is very stressful, it is not just stress from school but also from society. You are only young once and children should not be so stretched like that. It is not the end of the world if you didn’t do well.”
Irene Ang, 48, actress and CEO of Fly Entertainment
PSLE Score: 217
“I don’t believe PSLE scores determine our future. The learning journey is a lifelong process and some of us might develop and reach our full potential later in life. It is our passion and our outlook on life that guide us. I believe in nurturing young talents and guiding them so each and every one of them can eventually reach their fullest potential. My advice is don’t ever give up.”
“School is not even about learning anymore; it is about passing.” Parents, share with us what you think of this quote in the comments below!