Competition among primary schools

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Competition among primary schools

Postby cloudy » Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:00 pm

Hi Parents,

I'm just another worried mum who is now worrying about P1 registration for my girl next year.

As quoted by ChiefKiasu, "Students and outsiders love to lambast parents for being kiasu and creating the competitive culture in Primary school....... So who's fault is it that the Primary schools are so competitive?"

How do we as parents, label a school being "good", "average" or "not so good" ?
From a parent perspectives, why do (must) we, by all means try to get our children into "good" school ?
Will my child "suffer / lose out" in terms of learning if he/she study in a "not so good" school ?

:?: :?: :?: :?:

If I will to co-relate a school to the corporate world, the profit of the school will be the no of top students it generated yearly. We define the principal as the "CEO" who implement the right management procedure plus motivation of teachers & students to get the school up the ranking level..... , right ?

How long will a principal stay with the school ? Are they rotated on regular basis ? How does MOE assign the principals... ?
Will good principals be assigned to good schools, to keep the schools in "good" ranking ???

Maybe i'm just being silly :oops: , just want to vent out some of my thoughts.

cloudy
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Postby tamarind » Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:24 pm

I think most parents assume that

Famous schools = Good schools

Is this true ? It is a fact that famous schools produce more students with good results. But is this because famous schools have very good teachers ?

In this forum, I have read that the teachers in famous schools do not teach. They expect all students to have tuition teachers. The Learning Lab is proof, that even students from the top schools need tuition. The top schools simply have to set very difficult papers, and that will scare the parents into hiring tuition teachers. I have even heard in this forum, that in a famous school, the teachers asked all those students who scored less than 90 marks to go and get tuition teachers.

Personally I think that a school that expects students to have tuition teachers, is not a good school.

I feel that a good school is one that has caring teachers who will do their best to teach their student. The teachers should see it as their own responsibility help weak students improve, as well as ensure that bright students can do even better.

tamarind
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Postby BlueBells » Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:53 pm

Haha ... my initial reason for wanting my kids to be in the school of my choice is really quite silly - I like the primary school uniform alot :oops:

And then I realised that it is actually quite a good school, and all my nephews and nieces are either already in the school, or will be registering at this school. So after checking around, I made up my mind to register my girl at this school too.

The main reason being the family network that's available to me and my cousins in that if one of us can't make it to fetch the kids, there will always be backup.

How do we classify good schools and mediocre schools? Again I think it is very subjective. No doubt that school results play a big role, some parents may also consider the exposure and values imparted by the school to be an even greater influence on their decision.

The influencing factor of your decision should really be your understanding of how well your child can cope in the environment that you would like to enrol him in. It's a big fish in small pond, or a small fish in big pond kind of scenario.

I have seen kids who are struggling in my daughter's school and I often wonder if they might perform better if they are enrolled in a school that is better suited to their learning capabilities. For example, if a child has learning difficulties, and his parents are in denial and insisted that the child be registered in a top school, how will the child fare? What will that do to his self-esteem? What are the long term effects of this emotionally and psychologically for the kid?

Gees ... I think I am a little off-track, but that's my $0.02 .

BlueBells
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Re: Competition among primary schools

Postby ChiefKiasu » Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:58 pm

Hi cloudy, it is very difficult to label schools as good or bad because there are so many factors to consider. Some parents like schools with good academic records, others think character development and aesthetics is more important. Yet, the most important thing we parents must consider is the suitability of the school to their children.

There is a fine line between pushing our children to grow bit by bit out of their comfort zone so that they can improve and do things beyond our expectations, versus throwing them in the deep end of the pool to take on things which WE as parents want and expect them to do. While it is true that we should not impose our own concept of how difficult it is to accomplish certain things on our children - just because it is difficult for us doesn't mean it should be difficult for our children, we should also be mindful that humans perform best in things which they personally WANT to do. Our duty as parents is to observe our children for their affinity to certain things and try to help them develop competencies that will help them achieve excellence in those things. If we observe that our children love singing - maybe it's time to look for some choir to help them grow that skill. If we note that our children love football and swimming, find some way to let them practice and excel in that.

To do this, we need to expose our children to as many things as feasible within our means. That is the value of enrichment courses, which we should take as introductory lessons to determine the level of interest our children have in them. Stop the ones where our children show no interest in. Give more focus to those that our children look forward to going to.

The more difficult issue pertains to the academic competencies which all children are expected to have and which will be used to compare their abilities amongst their peers. Parents with children with natural affinity to these competencies, eg. math, science and languages, can breath a huge sigh of relief because it means their children will most likely do well academically since their interests match the requirements. Such parents should then choose schools with more challenging academic programmes so that their children better use their talents to grow more effectively. Parents with children that don't have such interest in academics could send their children to schools that develop strong character and leadership qualities, or those that have special programmes to develop the specific talents of their children.

I'm not saying that schools with good academic records do not have good character development programmes or vice-versa. I'm just pointing out the fact that schools generally specialize in certain niches to differentiate themselves beyond the academics, since they are all supposed to be teaching the same syllabus so that all their students can take the same final exam for streaming into Secondary schools. So the thing that most parents do not realize is that if we want our children to succeed academically, it is not just the about the ability of the school's teachers to teach and encourage our children to work hard, but whether the schools' educational system is conducive to the specific learning needs of our children, which are as varied as the children themselves.

We can have very bright students in top schools but who don't do well because they
- hate the tedium of doing worksheets after worksheets
- feel inferior to other better students because no matter how hard they work, they don't seem to be able to top the class, etc.
So such students would probably perform much better in less challenging classes and build up greater self-esteem, which should never be underestimated as a necessary ingredient to a healthy mind.

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Postby jedamum » Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:58 pm

How about this argument...

Kids in competitive schools are so tied up with catching up with school work and performing better than their peers that they don't have time to idle around and mix in bad company?

i don't know about pri school, but i sure believe that it happens in secondary schools.

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Re: Competition among primary schools

Postby tamarind » Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:12 pm

cloudy wrote:How long will a principal stay with the school ? Are they rotated on regular basis ? How does MOE assign the principals... ?
Will good principals be assigned to good schools, to keep the schools in "good" ranking ???


I know that my neighbourhood school West Grove, have a change of principal this year. I assume that MOE does rotate the principals.

tamarind
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Postby caroline3sg » Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:41 pm

When applying for a job, employer would look at paper qualification first as this is stepping stone. Working backwards, to chase after paper, one would have to be exposed to difficult questions and these are found in good schs.

Though all schs teach the same syllabus, it is the exposure to the difficult questions that is lacking in neighbourhood schs. Of course, one can buy good sch papers outside but who is doing the coaching? What if parents do not know how to attempt?

Principals rotate for their career exposure / advancement. Some teachers teach for passion, some for money, some for annual leave. Policies / programmes are directly or indirectly set by MOE & schs. Look at the programmes: EM1/2/3, Foundation vs Normal vs Enrichment, Streaming, Modular etc etc, aren't all these promoting elitism? If not, standard MOE replies on identifying cream of the crop when parents complain of tough PSLE questions.

Parents have to catch up with the rats' race, it is natural that we don't want to lack behind, at least not too far off. It is a cycle.

Let's be truthful. How many of us sincerely feel or say to our children, it is okay if you don't do well? Are these parents rich enough and have already set aside a sizeable amount of money for their children to set up their own business?

It is noble to say have interest in arts, character development. But these can't put food on the table. Things are so expensive. Last night news on many old folks can't cope with inflation that they approach CDC for jobs.

caroline3sg
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Postby raysusan » Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:26 pm

lol hi BlueBells
i am curious to know which is the school uniform that u like so much :oops:

raysusan
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Competition among primary schools

Postby cloudy » Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:36 pm

Hi Parents,
Thanks for sharing your sentiments and not to forget Chief, thanks for your wise comments (enjoy reading that :wink: ).

It sadden me when I see that today children lost their "innocent".
They are buried under tonnes of homework and attend so many tuitions & enrichment courses.... and they put the blame on their parents for being KS.
Every child only goes through one childhood and I will want mine to have memorable one that they can share with their offsprings.

Its a learning process, we learnt to be a better parent and understand the child better as they grow, isn't it ?

cloudy
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Postby heutistmeintag » Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:21 pm

Having been to a good school in my younger days, here are my thoughts on what a good school means.

A school is invariably a community and an environment. What it means to me is
1) Peers with similar academic standards and we motivate/guide each other. For sure, there is competition but I see it as the motivation to stretch myself.

2) Good teachers who perhaps know better techniques and can motivate better. After completing my PSLE in a neoghbourhood school, I was placed in the last class in sec 1. I struggled and slogged my way thru. In sec 2, I had a few extremely good teachers who happened to be old boys who returned to teach. They were genuinely passionate about teaching and contributing to the school. In that year, I came within top3 and went to the top class in sec 3. All credits to my teachers! In sec4, the same thing happened again, I scored <10 pts for ''O' level which was beyond my imagination then.

3) The history, culture and glory of the school makes me proud. I felt compelled and motivated to uphold its traddition to do well in what we do. We were taught to be loyal not only to the school but friends, country etc. We were drilled that nothing can be achieved without putting in effort. The fact that it is a boys school also highlighted the element of brotherhood and comradeship beyond just teamwork. The teachers I mentioned above are clear role models of what loyalty means.

That said, there are of course blacksheeps but very few and they are more like educated ah bengs. LOL

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