No guarantees for primary school parent volunteers
Find out why parent volunteering won't help you gain a spot for your child in primary school.
When it comes to the topic of education, Singaporean parents have endless issues to debate about. And setting standards for their young ones in school is a whole other level here in Singapore. Competition is no competition like a Singaporean parent’s strive to nurture their young cub towards excellence.
It is not surprising that anxious parents search every nook and cranny for the best tutors in town, even if they cost exorbitant amounts, while other over determined ones scout through the black market for those pirated past year exam papers, all in hopes of having their young ones make their mark in society.
To top it off, Straits Times also reported that some parent volunteers are spending at least 80 hours a week, while others are gathering community support from their churches or social groups, just to secure their children’s placement in popular prestigious schools.
Certainly, there is no such thing as doing too little for your child’s education. But heads up parent volunteers — all your hard work may amount to nothing in the end. Channel News Asia (CNA) has announced that parents who spend hours volunteering for their primary schools of choice may not get their child a spot.
Surely, many parents will be dismayed by the news. And yet, seeing as how the 21 popular primary schools have a whopping number of applicants, hopes will inevitably be dashed.
But CNA also reports that the popular primary schools are not the only schools that have been attracting more volunteers. Parents are also chasing after schools that are close to their homes, so as to ensure convenience for their young ones.
Schools have also reported that the role of parent volunteers has evolved in recent years. They have taken up the roles as co-educators and offered their expertise to the current primary school kids.
Principal of Concord Primary School, Tonnine Chua, says, “Parents are more involved in educating and helping the school nurture the children — not only in terms of academics but beyond academics, like value and character development.”
Schools usually conduct an interview session for every parent who wishes to volunteer. And before they are granted as parent volunteers, a panel committee comprising of school leaders and heads of department cast their votes.
Mr. Eugene Ong, principal of Rulang Primary School says, “Parent volunteer applicants, regardless of their profession, education qualification or social background have an equal opportunity to be selected to work with us.”
Not all parent volunteers are definite about their decisions on letting their child enrol in that particular primary school they are volunteering at.
On why she chooses to volunteer at Concord Primary School, Mdm Diana Loh says, “I don’t really want my son to go to a ‘brand name’ school and be under a lot of pressure. I want him to grow up in a healthy environment. I wanted to find more about this school by volunteering.”
For most however, the same reason still stands — with all the competition to get their children into a particular school, parent volunteers are ultimately in for the win.
What is your take on this situation? We’d love to get feedback from you! For more on this topic, watch this video: