The Education Ministry has set the right direction, with some schools having special fields to focus on, to meet the strength and interest of our students.
My son, Mark Sim Ma Ke, scored an A for physics at the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) level, the equivalent of the O levels, when he was eight years and three months old.
He was not the top student in his class, but is believed to be the youngest to score an A in IGCSE physics.
In terms of the stress our children experience, a lot of the cause lies with us, parents. We like to compare our children's performance with that of other children's.
No matter what the Education Ministry does to lower students' stress levels, it will not work if we, the parents, continue to put pressure on our children.
I had tried to register my son for the Singapore O-level physics exam but was rejected due to his young age. In my interactions with the Education Ministry over this matter, I can tell that the ministry has no intention to put undue stress on our children at all.
Parents are the ones pressuring their children.
When our children are successful in managing stress, we say nothing. But when they fail to do so, we put the blame on the education system.
This is a dangerous mindset. We need to look at our own role, as parents, in contributing to the stress.
Sim Lim Onn