This Thursday will see thousands of kids in Singapore going back to their primary school to find out how they performed for their Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE). With the results they and their parents will have to select a few secondary schools from all over Singapore. Entrance to one of these schools will depend on one's results, the number of places in the schools and the results of other students.
Many parents will be anxious to know if their children will make it to a prestigious school and if not, at least a school which will be near their home. We've been through this once and now its time for another, and thankfully a decade later another one. Frankly speaking there's nothing much we can do now since the exams were taken a month back. And we weren't the ones taking it.
5-10 minutes' walk versus a 20-minute drive or 50-minute bus ride is pretty significant over the course of 4 years. 80 additional minutes wasted in a day, 200 days a year, 800 days in 4 years and that's 64000 minutes! 1000+ hours can be better spent on so many other stuffs! I don't think I've spent that much time obtaining my JLPT1 certification!
But distance is not everything. Sometimes the quality of the education we receive and the people we meet in secondary school can change our lives quite significantly. I'm not saying it is impossible to get 8 x A1s from lowly-ranked secondary schools. But results have proven to us that our children will have a better chance of leaving secondary schools with high averages should they enter a prestigious school.
A better school means better classmates? Hmm... I'd say less chances of mixing with the wrong gang. I'm not in a position to discipline other kids but it's already tough raising children so its best they are kept as far as possible from potential criminals.
The people we meet, the teachers we encounter and the environment we live in all have a part to play in moulding our thoughts, character and ambition.
And so... we will know someone's future in another 40 hours...