GEP just another way to develop potential

Being part of the Gifted Education Programme (GEP), I feel compelled to offer a GEP pupil's view of the debate on admitting GEP pupils to secondary schools through the Direct School Admission (DSA) scheme ("Schools, stop the 'kiasu' practice of using DSA to 'chope' bright kids"; March 31, and "Don't shut bright kids out of DSA" by Mr William Tan Whee Kiem; April 8).

All pupils in Singapore have the chance to realise their full potential. For example, the less-academically inclined can go to specialised schools, such as Crest Secondary, Spectra Secondary and NorthLight School, where teachers help them discover their talents and interests.

For the more academically inclined, there is the GEP.

Of the six GEP goals, only one is related to academic achievement. Pupils in the programme pursue a lot of interests which are not related to academic achievement. Most of us have our own talents, just like other pupils.

It is an assumption that gifted pupils are also exam-smart. The GEP goal of developing intellectual depth and higher-level thinking covers a range of topics not tested in exams.

In fact, the GEP selection test does not take into account the pupil's examination scores at all ("A gifted child may not be academically talented" by Miss Zhao Jingjing; Forum Online, April 21).

Thus, there is no reason to stop considering GEP pupils for the DSA.

Darrius Tan Wei Liang, 12,

Primary 6 pupil