Learning for the sake of curiosity, not exams

I am glad to know there is more focus being placed on students' talents and interests nowadays ("Polys, unis to take more with talents and interests"; April 9).

Of course, academics are important but a healthy balance should be struck.

The academic-oriented mindset prevalent in our society has been reflected in how students' academic success is viewed as an indicator of how successful they will be in the future. However, when students place so much emphasis on academics, they limit themselves to learning what is in the textbook.

As a result, it is hard to cultivate or inculcate a love for learning when all that matters to the majority is the score from a series of high-stakes exams ("3 unhealthy trends plaguing education: Denise Phua"; Jan 28).

The large emphasis on academic success results in students only learning for the sake of exams, and not for the sake of personal achievement and cognitive development to constantly better themselves.

Also, students' learning will only be short term because they will study for the sake of passing examinations instead of studying to satisfy their curiosity.

When more focus is placed on students' talents and interests, they will have more time to pursue what they like.

As a result, a love for learning will be inculcated since students will enjoy the process of learning.

This will encourage students to learn for themselves and not for examinations, which will be beneficial for their character development.

Therefore, as a society, economy and nation, we need to recognise and celebrate different forms of successes, and embrace a culture of lifelong learning ("More time and space for students' interests"; Jan 20)

Koh Tingyuan (Ms)