NA students - how can we help each other?

PSLE marks the graduation of Primary school students and their entry into Secondary schools as teenagers. Discuss all issues about Secondary schooling here.

NA students - how can we help each other?

Postby PhysicsTeacher » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:28 pm

Any parent has something to share about learning in NA1?

I have some NA1 students. Many of them went home with little homeworks, and the pace of lessons is at snail speed. I believe most parents of NA1 or NA2 students are earnestly looking for opportunity for their sons or daughters to be promoted to 2E or 3E, but this needs extra ordinary effort. The slow pace and relaxed mode would certainly set NA students back quite a bit.

Personally I hate NA and NT system as they prematurely put students (especially boys) in a sub-bar path. Yes, no matter how they glorifies one or two outstanding achievement of NA5 students (our government are excel in this!), the fact is NA students face significantly higher barriers to move to mainstream throughout Sec 1, J2 and to U. In JC, NA students are limited to offer certain H2 subjects, which effectively deprived them any chances for scholarships. In U, many courses are not amenable to NA students, again limit them to some highly unpopular courses and later to some low-pay jobs. Some may differ that poly is a good way for jobs or to U. How many poly graduates are like Prof Shi, who graduated from Harvard after poly, and was the past President of NUS and Abu Dhabi University?

Given NA students learning environment and expectation by the teachers, and the scantily few study guides, this is almost an impossible fight.

I met a sec5 student during a Taekwondo grading last week, who told me that his class had only three managed to move to E2 and E3. Apparently the barriers is high. I think it would be beneficial for us in the NA circle - parents, educators, or students, to share insights and help.

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Re: NA students - how can we help each other?

Postby TheWriter » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:03 pm

I am confused with the help you are looking for.

For starters, you've got to be more specific - "help" is very vague and in between your rant (which I won't say I disagree with since I went through the exact same thing), I still don't get a clear sense of what you're looking for.

Support group for parents to encourage N(A) kids? There's one on this forum.
Or looking to help N(A) students develop intrinsic motivation to progress to E? Or looking to help them succeed in spite of the system? Or looking to help them progress faster with schoolwork?

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Re: NA students - how can we help each other?

Postby sushi88 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:29 am

PhysicsTeacher wrote:Any parent has something to share about learning in NA1?

I have some NA1 students. Many of them went home with little homeworks, and the pace of lessons is at snail speed. I believe most parents of NA1 or NA2 students are earnestly looking for opportunity for their sons or daughters to be promoted to 2E or 3E, but this needs extra ordinary effort. The slow pace and relaxed mode would certainly set NA students back quite a bit.

Personally I hate NA and NT system as they prematurely put students (especially boys) in a sub-bar path. Yes, no matter how they glorifies one or two outstanding achievement of NA5 students (our government are excel in this!), the fact is NA students face significantly higher barriers to move to mainstream throughout Sec 1, J2 and to U. In JC, NA students are limited to offer certain H2 subjects, which effectively deprived them any chances for scholarships. In U, many courses are not amenable to NA students, again limit them to some highly unpopular courses and later to some low-pay jobs. Some may differ that poly is a good way for jobs or to U. How many poly graduates are like Prof Shi, who graduated from Harvard after poly, and was the past President of NUS and Abu Dhabi University?

Given NA students learning environment and expectation by the teachers, and the scantily few study guides, this is almost an impossible fight.

I met a sec5 student during a Taekwondo grading last week, who told me that his class had only three managed to move to E2 and E3. Apparently the barriers is high. I think it would be beneficial for us in the NA circle - parents, educators, or students, to share insights and help.


While I understand your frustration, I would not put it entirely on the system. The system allows the children to pace themselves in the way they want to learn. However, to see any miracle happening, it first has to start with the kids. The willingness to put in extra hours to compensate for the lost time in learning to play catchup back to express. If that willingness is not there, then the pace set for them in the stream system will allow them to flow through. However if the ambition to move back to a more competitive environment is there, it is the individual's credit, the system gives the support of an opportunity to move to express.

So while parents and tutors are anxious to get these kids back on the express stream learning pace, first you need to reach out to their ambition to burn stronger in order to make that difference. Just allowing them to stay in the express system has other repercussions as well if they are not ready to surge forward if there is no streaming.

I know it is easier said than done but instead of using the system to put pressure on these kids to have a higher ambition by using the environment, perhaps it is better to help them see the light to want to channel themselves back to the competitive landscape to get their dreams fulfilled, then this is even more sustainable as it is driven from inner self. Which is why those you see make it, they realise that they want to start driving themselves and they become successful in their dreams when they see the light.

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Re: NA students - how can we help each other?

Postby rains » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:17 am

sushi88 wrote:
PhysicsTeacher wrote:Any parent has something to share about learning in NA1?

I have some NA1 students. Many of them went home with little homeworks, and the pace of lessons is at snail speed. I believe most parents of NA1 or NA2 students are earnestly looking for opportunity for their sons or daughters to be promoted to 2E or 3E, but this needs extra ordinary effort. The slow pace and relaxed mode would certainly set NA students back quite a bit.

Personally I hate NA and NT system as they prematurely put students (especially boys) in a sub-bar path. Yes, no matter how they glorifies one or two outstanding achievement of NA5 students (our government are excel in this!), the fact is NA students face significantly higher barriers to move to mainstream throughout Sec 1, J2 and to U. In JC, NA students are limited to offer certain H2 subjects, which effectively deprived them any chances for scholarships. In U, many courses are not amenable to NA students, again limit them to some highly unpopular courses and later to some low-pay jobs. Some may differ that poly is a good way for jobs or to U. How many poly graduates are like Prof Shi, who graduated from Harvard after poly, and was the past President of NUS and Abu Dhabi University?

Given NA students learning environment and expectation by the teachers, and the scantily few study guides, this is almost an impossible fight.

I met a sec5 student during a Taekwondo grading last week, who told me that his class had only three managed to move to E2 and E3. Apparently the barriers is high. I think it would be beneficial for us in the NA circle - parents, educators, or students, to share insights and help.


While I understand your frustration, I would not put it entirely on the system. The system allows the children to pace themselves in the way they want to learn. However, to see any miracle happening, it first has to start with the kids. The willingness to put in extra hours to compensate for the lost time in learning to play catchup back to express. If that willingness is not there, then the pace set for them in the stream system will allow them to flow through. However if the ambition to move back to a more competitive environment is there, it is the individual's credit, the system gives the support of an opportunity to move to express.

So while parents and tutors are anxious to get these kids back on the express stream learning pace, first you need to reach out to their ambition to burn stronger in order to make that difference. Just allowing them to stay in the express system has other repercussions as well if they are not ready to surge forward if there is no streaming.

I know it is easier said than done but instead of using the system to put pressure on these kids to have a higher ambition by using the environment, perhaps it is better to help them see the light to want to channel themselves back to the competitive landscape to get their dreams fulfilled, then this is even more sustainable as it is driven from inner self. Which is why those you see make it, they realise that they want to start driving themselves and they become successful in their dreams when they see the light.


Wow, that's a lot of wisdom there! I wanted to say something to defend the system or the schools but couldn't find the correct words to express my thoughts.

The threadstarter sounded a bit right to me yet something was not adding up, but you really nailed it.

:goodpost:

rains
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