SINGAPORE - It is not all doom and gloom even if you do not do well for your Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE).
That is the message of hope still emanating from prominent Singaporeans following the release of this year's results last Wednesday (Nov 25).
While a record 98.3 per cent of the 39,286 pupils who sat the exam passed and were eligible to move on to secondary school, only two-thirds (66.2 per cent) qualified for the Express stream.
Award-winning film director Royston Tan, in a Facebook post put up on Sunday night, joined the chorus of encouraging voices with an uplifting message for the students.
"One exam does not determine who you are as a person. Learning is a lifelong journey," he wrote.
In an earlier interview with The New Paper, Mr Tan, 39, said his PSLE score of 168 had left him "traumatised" and reminded him of a very low point in his life.
In a Facebook post addressed to parents, food personality KF Seetoh, 53, shared how he had scraped through his primary school years at St Michael's (now St Joseph's Institution Junior) and gave up on academia to tread the path less travelled.
"Please tell yourself and your kid, it's about how you want to make this world a better place, not make better grades in exams," he wrote.
"Encourage them to do something they like and admire, take them off those phone games and let them walk this earth and feel for Mother Earth."
Former entrepreneur Pamela Lim, who abandoned her high-flying career as a CEO to concentrate on taking care of her five children in 2004, shared a letter she wrote seven years ago - about her daughter receiving her PSLE results - that was published in The Straits Times.
Elaborating at length about her style of parenting, the 49-year-old wrote: "Some people believe that to get good results and motivated children, we have to 'drive' them beyond their limits.
"On the contrary, I want my children to find their passion and limits by themselves, guided by my husband and I as their parents, not dictated by our preferences."
Ms Lim's Facebook post published on Nov 24 - the eve of the release of the results - has since been shared almost 800 times.
Actors Ben Yeo, 37, and Irene Ang, 48, who also spoke to The New Paper, had words of wisdom for those who did not do well.
"The learning journey is a lifelong process and some of us might develop and reach our full potential later in life," said Ms Ang, who also heads her own artiste management company, Fly Entertainment.
The Straits Times had previously reported on Facebook posts by two Singaporeans, whose inspiring stories went viral.
Mr Derrick Lee, 22, revealed how he had scored 174 for his PSLE a decade ago and chose to enrol in the Institute of Technical Education instead of progressing to Secondary 5.
Lawyer Josephus Tan, 36, had a similar message - that their score should not define them. He had scored 183 for his PSLE in 1991 but went on to bigger things despite enduring a chequered past.