Education stress

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Education stress

Postby CarrotTree » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:07 pm

There is so much feedback given to MOE about PSLE stress but no one seems to comment on studies from O and A levels.
O level may seems to have less stress but certainly cant say the same for A levels. Just 2 years and the teenage have to cover so much and be active for CCAs. I understand that at JC2 many students face the stress and uncertainty whether they can get to local Uni.
It really makes be feel that with so much stress at JCs, would it be better we just advise our kids to go the path of poly route after O levels.

Any experiences to share?

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Re: Education stress

Postby slmkhoo » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:21 pm

CarrotTree wrote:There is so much feedback given to MOE about PSLE stress but no one seems to comment on studies from O and A levels.
O level may seems to have less stress but certainly cant say the same for A levels. Just 2 years and the teenage have to cover so much and be active for CCAs. I understand that at JC2 many students face the stress and uncertainty whether they can get to local Uni.
It really makes be feel that with so much stress at JCs, would it be better we just advise our kids to go the path of poly route after O levels.

Any experiences to share?

I dislike the Pr school system and the stress it creates, but that's because I feel that kids under 15yo should not face that kind of stress. I'm OK with 'O' and 'A' level stress as kids should be old enough to cope by then. Yes, there is stress, but we were stressed in our day too. I don't think a stress-free system is a good thing anyway - we don't want our kids to be too wimpy.

Wasn't the rate of entry to universities even lower in the past? I haven't got the figures, but my belief is that a higher percentage of students get into local universities now than in my day (30+ yrs ago). I think we all have to accept that getting into JC does not ensure a place in a local university, or any university at all. For those students who find a poly course that they enjoy, that may be better than taking 'A' levels. I have a daughter who we hope will be able to do 'A' levels as she is unsuited for the poly route, at least at this age (she is a late maturer and has other issues). If she fails to get in, we will have to rethink. However, although stress may be created by sources outside our control, how we deal with the stress is in large part within our the control. So we tell her to work hard, but we don't tell her that her future will be doomed if she doesn't go to university (which is what her grandfather says!). We just tell her that she will have fewer choices about jobs the less education she has, and she will have to live with that.

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Re: Education stress

Postby janet88 » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:26 pm

There is so much emphasis on PSLE, but O/A levels and U equally stressful if not worse. Must the education system be so ridiculous ? The kids are stressed even before entering the working world. All the stuff they study so hard for may not even be what they are doing when they go out to work.
I really pity them. What is life for kids now?

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Re: Education stress

Postby Bedokid » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:01 pm

My dd is in ip programme(jc1) she is very stressed with her work and also coping with the endless project work which needs to be completed by this year. All the subjects no jokes are so contents heavy and she did not do well in the recent common tests. She seems to develop a fear for exam which she told me that she always get nervous during exam. In fact, we tried not to pressure her too much but seemed that she just cannot relax so I quite worry for her. The promo is coming, just hope she can make it..... :smile: :smile:

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Re: Education stress

Postby Quintessential Mum » Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:01 pm

Bedokid wrote:My dd is in ip programme(jc1) she is very stressed with her work and also coping with the endless project work which needs to be completed by this year. All the subjects no jokes are so contents heavy and she did not do well in the recent common tests. She seems to develop a fear for exam which she told me that she always get nervous during exam. In fact, we tried not to pressure her too much but seemed that she just cannot relax so I quite worry for her. The promo is coming, just hope she can make it..... :smile: :smile:


I am sorry to hear that she is feeling stressed. However, most students in JC are quite stressed as they have to juggle many balls at the same time, such as school, tuition, cca, cip, new relationships, the dreaded project work. You should talk to her to find out the problem, is it due to lack of time or not understanding what is taught and what is expected for each subject or fear of failure etc. Once you know the problem, you and her can try to find a solution. JC 1 is important as it lays the groundwork for JC 2. As for PW, if the group members are not contributing and are not supportive, please focus on the individual portion as it can help pull her grade up later. All the best! :D

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Re: Education stress

Postby Bedokid » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:02 pm

Quintessential Mum wrote:
Bedokid wrote:My dd is in ip programme(jc1) she is very stressed with her work and also coping with the endless project work which needs to be completed by this year. All the subjects no jokes are so contents heavy and she did not do well in the recent common tests. She seems to develop a fear for exam which she told me that she always get nervous during exam. In fact, we tried not to pressure her too much but seemed that she just cannot relax so I quite worry for her. The promo is coming, just hope she can make it..... :smile: :smile:


I am sorry to hear that she is feeling stressed. However, most students in JC are quite stressed as they have to juggle many balls at the same time, such as school, tuition, cca, cip, new relationships, the dreaded project work. You should talk to her to find out the problem, is it due to lack of time or not understanding what is taught and what is expected for each subject or fear of failure etc. Once you know the problem, you and her can try to find a solution. JC 1 is important as it lays the groundwork for JC 2. As for PW, if the group members are not contributing and are not supportive, please focus on the individual portion as it can help pull her grade up later. All the best! :D


Thanks quintessential mum for your concern. I agree that some points which you had mentioned contributed to her stress. She knew that she was not doing well in the previous common tests and now trying to work hard. She gets teachers to give her consultations, stay late in school so she will not slack at home after school. I feel sad and worry is that she thinks even she works hard she still cannot excel....I don't want to keep reminding her about what she needs to do in case she gets more stress....
It is not true that students going through ip will be abe to cope well in jc. Some teachers just go on and on, ignoring weaker students who are lagging
behind....maybe ip students are always seemed as smarter?? :(

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Re: Education stress

Postby slmkhoo » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:06 pm

janet_lee88 wrote:There is so much emphasis on PSLE, but O/A levels and U equally stressful if not worse. Must the education system be so ridiculous ? The kids are stressed even before entering the working world. All the stuff they study so hard for may not even be what they are doing when they go out to work.
I really pity them. What is life for kids now?

Education is more than just learning what you need to use in work. The whole experience of being stressed with high workload, tight deadlines, the need to plan and organise, the requirements of thinking and debating, the skills of reading large quantities and extracting the essence etc is probably more important than the actual content which gets outdated so quickly. I think that kids in the late teens need to learn and practise these skills before they get into university or the working world. I am one person who didn't directly use a single thing in my 'A' level and university studies in my work, but I still think that it benefited me.

Edited to add: I think parents need to be realistic about how their kids rank too - the normal distribution is a fact of life, and once we face that, we will be less stressed. I have 2 girls, and one seems to be headed to be a high achiever, and we brought her back to Singapore in order for her to experience the stress. She was having it too easy overseas and we felt it was bad for her. Her older sister, on the other hand, is not a strong student and we have very moderate expectations for her, so it might have been better for her overseas, but we had make a choice. We know she can't take much, and although we worry about her future, we try not to push her so hard that she really suffers. If we set the same targets for her as for her sister, she would probably have a breakdown.

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Re: Education stress

Postby CarrotTree » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:20 pm

yes agree that some level of stress is good for their growth and be independent. The only concern is whether our system is too stressful and if this is necessary such that all they do is project work, study for exams and listen to music / or play computer games supposedly to destress.
A mother just related to me recently her story of own child ending up with a need for psychiatric treatment now at the hospital because of too much stress in the top school and now a good course in a local U. Totally agree with her advice that good result is not everything more importantly is the health and well-being of the child. So this prompts me to think and ask why then do top JCs and IP schools purposely set tough exam questions to ensure only the cream of the crops do well whilst the remaining average are demoralised. If my child in the top JCs is not doing well for the CT and premlim exams, it is difficult for parents to understand if the standard of the school too high or its the child's problem unless the parent knows that the child has put in his best.
Just my thoughts.

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Re: Education stress

Postby wonderm » Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:28 pm

CarrotTree wrote:There is so much feedback given to MOE about PSLE stress but no one seems to comment on studies from O and A levels.
O level may seems to have less stress but certainly cant say the same for A levels. Just 2 years and the teenage have to cover so much and be active for CCAs. I understand that at JC2 many students face the stress and uncertainty whether they can get to local Uni.
It really makes be feel that with so much stress at JCs, would it be better we just advise our kids to go the path of poly route after O levels.

Any experiences to share?


Is your child taking O level this year and you are considering different paths?

I think different kids have different experiences in managing their JC life. It is very hard to say whether Poly is a better route than JC. I can only share from our own experience, ds is in JC 1, enjoying himself, not feeling too stressed.

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Re: Education stress

Postby slmkhoo » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:10 pm

CarrotTree wrote:yes agree that some level of stress is good for their growth and be independent. The only concern is whether our system is too stressful and if this is necessary such that all they do is project work, study for exams and listen to music / or play computer games supposedly to destress.
A mother just related to me recently her story of own child ending up with a need for psychiatric treatment now at the hospital because of too much stress in the top school and now a good course in a local U. Totally agree with her advice that good result is not everything more importantly is the health and well-being of the child. So this prompts me to think and ask why then do top JCs and IP schools purposely set tough exam questions to ensure only the cream of the crops do well whilst the remaining average are demoralised. If my child in the top JCs is not doing well for the CT and premlim exams, it is difficult for parents to understand if the standard of the school too high or its the child's problem unless the parent knows that the child has put in his best.
Just my thoughts.

If the average realise that they are average (at least in that school), then they shouldn't be stressed when they have an average placing. If parents are concerned, speaking to the teachers should clarify those concerns. I speak from experience as I did very well in Pr school, less well in sec school, even less well in JC and then even lower in university. I can't say I wasn't stressed, but I don't think the stress was to an unhealthy extent although it wasn't comfortable. What helped was realising that at each new stage, I was entering an environment of increasingly more able schoolmates, not that I was getting stupider. I could see that I was still learning and growing, and not being able to remain in the top x% wasn't the be-all and end-all. Anyway, how is any school going to set meaningful assignments and exams if every student is expected to get top grades? Parents should realise that their child getting into a school which takes only the higher-achieving students is likely to have tougher exams, and that's something we have to accept. My husband was stressed in a different way - he went really high up before finding that he was being out-stripped, but at every stage, he went through the fear that it was going to happen until it finally did. I, at least, realised my limitations earlier and was less stressed than he was.

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