Former Teacher And NIE Lecturer: Youths Must Still Be Encouraged To Do Embrace Knowledge

I am going to humbly go against the grain here and state that I don’t think sharing our past PSLE scores and telling kids what we are doing/where we are now is helpful. I think every kid’s performance in PSLE should only be compared to their own past performance or to targets they have set for themselves. I think sharing our PSLE scores forces a comparison between the kids and ourselves, which is terribly unfair because we did not go through the same education syllabus nor the same exams as they did. Our context and upbringing were different. Our circumstances will be different from theirs. Our measure of what success is will also be very different from one another. So why limit their possibilities by projecting ours?

I also find telling kids that PSLE scores don’t necessarily impact your future is misleading, because to an extent it does. Kids need to know that their actions (choosing to study/ not study) will have consequences (which school they go to/what courses they take) but what’s important is that they know we are here to help support them so together we can deal with situations where the consequences are not ideal. For the kids who may not have done well…hug them, kiss them, tell them it’s alright and you love them, and help them reflect on what is it that they thought went wrong. Empower them with skills and abilities they need to be autonomous learners who know their own strengths and weaknesses. For the kids who have done well, again, hug them, kiss them, tell them well done on their efforts and it is well deserved. And empower these kids too so that in case they find themselves facing failure in the future, they will be resilient.

My concern is that that in our attempt to convince some kids that “results don’t matter”, we belittle the efforts taken by other kids, educators and parents who believe in achieving academic excellence, with much grit and determination.

We have to tell our kids…YOU need to study. You need to learn and love learning. Be disciplined. Continue to put in the effort. Don’t use examples of people who have made it without doing well academically as an excuse to slack off. They charted their own journeys, good on them. But as for you, while you have the ability, the capacity, the chance to study… give it your best and aspire to achieve your dreams and plans you have for your own future.

The pursuit of knowledge is not a choice. It is incumbent on you. On all of us.

May Allah swt protect our children and make them intelligent, learned and compassionate human beings always.



Source: Cikgu Roszalina Rawi

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