Reduce school curriculum for new initiatives to work

I am glad to hear the Ministers for Education talking about a slew of initiatives and the importance of creative thinking, entrepreneurship, sports and physical education, character building, resilience and team spirit (Pragmatic generation must let young chase their passions, and Wanted: Joy of learning, entrepreneurial dare in students; both published on March 9).

But schools are already dealing with a full plate. New initiatives will not work if the academic curriculum is not reduced.

Added to the problem is the practice of schools to try and complete the syllabus in double quick time, so they can spend more time revising for the final exam.

When my daughter was in Primary 6, her school cancelled all PE, art and social studies classes months before the final exam to help the pupils prepare.

This obsession with academic grades, exams and continual assessments is a reality in our schools.

The Ministry of Education needs to scrutinise what is happening on the ground if it hopes to introduce change.

Principals and teachers need to embrace the initiatives. Once the academic curriculum is reduced, there will be time for creative teaching and character building.

If not, we can forget about the new initiatives and developing a "future-ready" generation.

S. Suresh