Lower expectations to let kids experience joy of learning

A Facebook post by a teacher, who was shocked that a Primary 1 pupil could not read, sparked a debate on whether the responsibility of teaching a child to read should fall on teachers or parents (Who should teach kids to read: Teachers or parents?; Jan 28).

The post even angered some members of the public.

The bottom line is that such high expectations have been placed on children here that neither teachers nor parents can keep pace with the demands.

There is so much pressure that these two groups have resorted to blaming each other.

In Singapore, people have embraced the "kiasu" culture to the fullest in education and want their children to learn earlier, better and faster.

To ensure that they are balanced all-rounded students, we expect them to do well in sports, art or music in addition to academic studies.

How about grooming them to be good, community-minded citizens with a resume to show for it?

The truth is that creativity cannot be taught. To be able to think out of the box requires our children to have time to think in the first place.

When our children have to do so much, why are we surprised that they want to indulge in passive hobbies such as playing computer games in their free time?

Back to the question at hand: Who should teach kids to read? Teachers, parents or tutors?

The answer is all of them or any of them.

However, when adults pose so many demands and expectations on children, they do not experience the joy of learning.

We all learn best when we want to learn instead of being expected or forced to learn.

So it is high time we adapted, narrowed and lowered the expectations on our children.

Clara Yue (Ms)