Don't write off students' interest in a subject

I was saddened to read that schools in Singapore still decide whether students are good enough to take up any subject based solely on their marks, disregarding their interest in the subject ("'How can 97 marks be not good enough?'"; Jan 14).

This practice would have a lasting effect on the student's future.

Many years ago, my friend's son was interested in studying medicine.

He had to study biology in order to do this, but his secondary school refused to let him take the subject, saying he was not academically good enough.

It looked like his dream would be crushed.

Thankfully, his parents had the means to send him overseas, where he continued his secondary school studies.

He made it to medical school and is now a medical specialist.

My own school wrote me off when I told them I was going overseas to study, yet I came back with a postgraduate qualification.

I sincerely hope that schools today will be more accommodating and allow students to take any subject of their interest, and encourage them to do so.

Scoring good marks in exams should not be the focus in education; expanding interest is.

Lee Woon Kwang (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2017, with the headline 'Don't write off students' interest in a subject'. Subscribe