Parents' mindset must change for new MOE policy to work

No amount of policy change will work if parents persist in sticking to old ideas, says the writer.
No amount of policy change will work if parents persist in sticking to old ideas, says the writer. PHOTO: ST FILE

The subject-based banding that will replace streaming in secondary schools is a golden opportunity for parents to reconsider their child's needs (Subject-based banding to replace streaming in schools, March 6).

It is time to shift away from the mentality of "making my children study hard to cope with school demands" to "letting my children pursue their strengths and interests to their fullest efforts".

While streaming is based on the premise that children learn best at a pace and rigour suited to their abilities, subject-based banding is built on the premise that children have varied abilities and should study at a different pace and rigour for different subjects.

Streaming and subject-based banding are, therefore, not mutually exclusive ideas.

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung rightly pointed out that this policy change retains the benefit of differentiated learning while removing the unintended consequences of stigmatisation.

But no amount of policy change will work if parents persist in sticking to old ideas.

If a parent continues to overlook his children's strengths and harp on their weaknesses, children will grow to dislike studying and, worse, their parents too.

William Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2019, with the headline 'Parents' mindset must change for new MOE policy to work'. Print Edition | Subscribe