Another dot in the blogosphere?

Suffer the little children 2

Posted on: January 11, 2012

Kids can suffer because of decisions that adults make.

The New Paper reported how an Indian girl studied Mandarin in kindergarten but had to take Tamil in Primary 1 simply because her father was Tamil [archive of full article].

Some might blame the parents, an Indian father and a Balinese mother, for encouraging their daughter to pick up Mandarin even though she might have trouble speaking it at home.

The father reasoned that this move would help her in Singapore’s context. You can see how this might help her in a more global context too. Furthermore, the report indicated that the girl was interested in Mandarin.

Thankfully, there is a way out. The parents have to apply for the change in second language.

I cannot blame the system for being inflexble now. But I can be critical of the reason for dissuading the parents. The article reported that:

the school has advised Ms Agustina [the mother] that “without good support in the language at home, it might be difficult for the child to do well in the subject”.

Ah, so doing well in the subject was the focus. What Singaporean parent would not want that? We might as well quench the fire for learning something purely out of interest and make it a rat race from the beginning. Why effectively educate someone when you can efficiently school them?

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