Don't let grades define one's formative years

We should recognise that we have students from less-advantaged families who cannot academically excel at a similar pace as their peers (Grades are necessary, by Yang Yizhen; Nov 5).

Although the Government is now actively shoring up the early education system to ensure that no child is left behind regardless of family background, richer parents can still afford supplemental classes for their children so that they won't lose out in the grade race.

Adequate nutrition also affects a child academically.

For example, numerous scientific studies have concluded that the brains of babies in-utero develop in relation with the amount of taurine consumed by pregnant mothers, a nutrient abundant in high-quality meats such as pastured cattle and poultry, which the better-off can afford but may be a rare treat for the less privileged.

So we should not let grades discourage potential late bloomers during their formative years. Perhaps we should also do away with the Normal stream at the secondary level.

I am not saying that we should abolish examinations, but introduce the grading system at a later stage when students are more mature and know which path they want to take.

Lim Chee Khiam