I don't know about the other parents, but this piece kind of left me speechless for a while.
Parents will play an increasingly vital role as the education system becomes more complex, but a side effect is that their varied backgrounds and means may widen social inequality, a National Institute of Education don said yesterday.
"It seems to me that instead of having a meritocracy, increasingly what we have in Singapore is a parentocracy," Associate Professor Jason Tan said at an Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) seminar on education.
At first glance, it looks like he has a point. But I cannot help having this feeling in the pits of my guts that there was something wrong with it.
Youngsters also get an edge when parents can tap a strong social network and devise strategies such as polishing extra-curricular talents and preparing impressive portfolios for their children.
So, instead of merit and a child's hard work, parents and the social capital they command now wield greater influence over their offspring's future, he pointed out.
This part is even more beguiling. It took me a long time to put a finger on what I feel is wrong with it. I find it difficult to articulate, but I try:
It is not the fault of parents to want to do what they can to improve their offspring's future. Heck, as far as I am concerned, it is my freakin' PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY to do it.
Don't get me wrong. I am all for levelling the playing field for children from less privileged families. However, this should never be at the expense of parental responsibility.
If a child's own hard work and ability is going to be the sole determinant of the outcome, then what are we parents - chop suey? Do we really want a society where the input of parents play no part in determining the outcome of a child's development?
If that is so, then instead of making sure dd does her homework, understands her schoolwork and practises her piano, maybe I should just watch TV and surf the internet the whole evening, or go out to the pub. Heck, I should just sell the piano and swap it for the latest 72 inch LED flat screen TV and use the change for an overseas holiday.
Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but to me, that is just plain stupid.
Here's a radical idea. How about we parents just accept the simple truth that what we do or do not do will have a direct impact on our children's welfare and children?
As for how the state should help children with less achieve more, that's for MOE to solve. Just stop insinuating that we are somehow giving our children unfair advantages, because it is our parental job to give our children all the advantages we can.