There was a news commentary that holistic assessment in schools may add to the stress of our school-going children.
The commentary written by a founder of a “tutorial school” pointed out that
The MOE’s tweaks to primary school registration rules and secondary school posting rules are all designed to defeat the resourcefulness and ingenuity of parents who will pull every string and extract every advantage they can to get their kids into that one elite school.
No policy can underestimate the power of the obsessive-compulsive, hyper-competitive parent…
His point (as I understand it) being that changing to a holistic assessment will now mean that parents will add to the stress of their children by “spreading” the stress to all aspect (holistically) of their child’s “development”.
So this was my comment in response:
We think too much, we worry too much, and we stress out our children.
Do you not have stress at work (if you don’t lucky you!)?
So how do you cope with work stress when you are at home? You come back and yell at your partner, your children, your maid, your family members? Or abuse them?
Or do you find solace and comfort and joy and love with your family?
Do you leave your stress at work, and come home to your sanctuary of love and safety and acceptance? Or do you bring it home and let it wreck the peace of your home?
You have work stress. Your school-going children will have shool-related stress. What do you want to teach them? Do you feel like you need to stress them out at home as well? In partnership with the school? Or do you think you can help your children cope by giving them a release valve?
We all have stress and we can all deal with stress – as long as we have an escape valve, a place of safety, a place of love and acceptance. It should be the home and family. If your home and family is not that stressfree zone, your kids will find other stressfree zones – with their friends, for example. You know – the ones with dubious values, and bad habits that you don’t approve of.
The world will always present challenges and risks and dangers. You can go and try to childproof every damn thing out there for your child. Or you can prepare your child for the world.
I look at Z and I smile to see her happy and carefree. When she goes to school, I want school to be, on the whole, an enjoyable, fulfilling, engaging experience. If she comes back stressed out, I think my role is to help her cope with it, not add to it.
Of course I realise this is all premature. Let’s see what happens when she starts school. Hopefully I will still be… holistic.