What success in education should mean

Our education system has evolved into one which aims to optimise everyone's potential (Time needed to redefine success in education: Ong Ye Kung; Oct 18). It even allows students who develop at a slower pace to advance from Institute of Technical Education and polytechnic courses to university courses, including medicine.

Love of learning must be one of the measurements of success in education.

However, many of our students suffer burnout - some before they graduate - while others develop an aversion to learning upon graduation.

In today's fast-paced world, no one can afford to stop learning. Almost every profession is experiencing such rapid change that much of what we learn in school becomes obsolete after a few years.

Students' mental well-being must also be factored in. We have seen an increasing number of students and parents coming under stress and seeking medical help. Sadly, there are young people who have attempted suicide as well.

A good education system should not push students so hard that they feel cornered and seek desperate measures. It also should not add undue stress and burden on them, school staff and parents.

The Singapore education system is known to be supported by a well-oiled tuition industry that covers levels ranging from pre-school to even university education.

It is also not uncommon to find that many in the Gifted Education Programme score well with the help of preparatory classes.

Many in the programme also require much help from their parents and tutors to complete projects assigned to them.

Success in education should mean that our creme de la creme can perform well without such additional help.

Leong Choon Kit (Dr)

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