Primary Colours – Dispelling Myths About Primary Education – by Mr Hri Kumar

While the system of pre-school education featured heavily at the National Day Rally, the message which resonated most was a simple one: PM’s urging that pre-school should be more about developing social skills and that kids should be allowed to enjoy their childhood. Every parent I know wants that.

But the tail that wags the dog is primary school. We regard pre-school as a preparatory step to primary school. Mandating that pre-schools focus on soft skills may make more parents turn to private centres to coach their kids on the hard skills they think are necessary for primary school. That would make the problem worse.

I think there is a more fundamental question of what we want our primary school system to be, and whether we should allow more choices in the system. Minister Heng spoke of two different parents: one did not want to his child to have homework during the holidays, while the other questioned why his child was not given any. Perhaps the solution is for the two children to swap schools – in other words, allow parents to choose the kind of education which best suits their child. When government runs schools, it tends to result in a one-size-fits-all approach. This is not a criticism – it is a natural consequence of efficiency and fair distribution.

But so long as we maintain the current system, MOE can and should deal with parents’ concerns about Primary One education. They should start by addressing directly and clearly a number of questions which keep surfacing.

Myth or Fact 1: It is not clear what literacy and numeracy skills children are expected to have when entering Primary One.

……………..to continue reading, please refer to the source link : Primary Colours – Dispelling Myths About Primary Education

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