Another dot in the blogosphere?


Posted on: November 14, 2016

Splash Productions recently released a short film on YouTube that focused on the stresses of the PSLE from a child’s point of view. [News article]

Video source

The creators of the video, Mr Jerome Lau and Mr Stanley Yap, made reference to Pokémon Go because they “thought the initial hype of the game in Singapore reminded them of the paper chase”.

Why did they create the video in the first place? According to the news article:

The idea for the film was sparked in early February when Mr Lau and Mr Yap found out from a close friend that the daughter of someone he knew had committed suicide.

Concerned, they decided to find out more about teen suicides.

They were shocked to find out from a Samaritans of Singapore report that teen suicide rates in 2015 were the highest in 15 years, with 27 people aged 10 to 19 committing suicide.

“Our first thought was, wow, there are actually a lot of young people committing suicide, it’s just that they are not made known to the public,” said Mr Lau.

Then in August, two students from a top JC killed themselves within 10 days of each other. This provided the impetus to start.

Mr Lau, who is married with two children, a 12-year-old son who has just finished his PSLE and a nine-year-old daughter who is in Primary 3, became the executive producer of the film.

He said: “We thought that we really needed to do something about this.

“We wanted to start a conversation… To try and help parents manage their mindsets and expectations with their children’s results.”

The video features two kids and their families: One stressed and one much less so. Parents and teachers should watch this video, not just to start conversations, but also to reflect deeply on how the words and actions of adults affect children.

My son sat for the PSLE this year, so the video was particularly poignant. We took a very relaxed approach to this major exam because his school pushed — and I dare say over-pushed — so much that we looked for ways for him to have fun instead of doing more work.

Kids are more resilient than we give them credit for, but how much so depends on the emotional foundations that the adults around them establish and build.

I am sure that parents will see part of their children and themselves in the video. I hope that the video clicks and connects, and that adults take the PSLE as seriously as some of them take Pokémon Go.

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