First day at Palm View Primary School

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Two and a halve years after attending the Palm  View Primary School open house, my wife and I eventually did enroll our eldest child in the school. Like all parents, we are excited on this day and hope she survive well.

(Not much pictures today as I didn’t bring my camera, so just make do with my tablet).

After some briefing by the principal and parent volunteers, we were allowed to see how our children did in their first recess… reminds me of feeding time in the zoo. 🙂

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No parents were allowed in and its actually pretty chaotic inside. Each child has 30 minutes to queue, buy and eat. Quite a number of parents actually brought food to give their children more time to eat instead of queuing.

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And finally by 2.30pm, we were happy to welcome her off the school bus… mission accomplished.

Compared to my time 30 years ago, the children now did much better for their transition from K2 to P1, probably due to the ‘training’ they had in childcare. I still remember my traumatic experience and crying for my mom… no cries today at all. 🙂

 

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Attending Palm View Primary School open house

My wife and I took leave to attend the Palm View Primary School open house. It is one of the few new schools in Seng Kang. Even though our eldest child will only enter K1 next year, as typical kiasu parents, it is never too early to check out schools.

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The principal of Palm View Primary School is Mr Clifford Chua, who was principal of Kuo Chuan Primary School for 6 years. According to my friends who were teachers, generally, good principals were tasked to start new schools.

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Principal of Palm View Primary School addressing parents of perspective students.

Other than the principal talk at the hall, the open house was organised as show cases of lessons held in various venues in the school.

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Dance class

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Singing performance

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PE lesson

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Story telling during English lesson

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Chinese lesson

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Messy outdoor art lesson that saw kids enjoying themselves while parents watch in shock.

Impression and feelings 

Even though the education minister tried to convince parents that every school is a good school, it is pretty clear to me most parents don’t buy that. Just look at the number of parents who continue to volunteer for ‘branded’ schools and the number of balloting necessary at the early phases of registration at these primary schools. If PSLE is the most important examination, then primary school registration is correspondingly the most important milestone when parents had to decide where to place their bet.

I can’t help but feel something is not right but not too sure what. Academic performance has become the ONLY success indicator in life and most parents seemed to dedicate all resources they could master to ensure their child succeed in this single measurement. Branded schools, enrichment classes before P1 and tuition lessons thereafter. When so much focus is placed on academic results, the resultant scenario becomes a stiff competition like 100m sprint in the Olympics, where the timing difference between the 1st and last is mere seconds. For students, score 90/100 would have been just the 50th percentile, and those in high percentiles did marginally better. What this meant is those who got below 90 effectively fail the subject and would be singled out for more attention to help them in their weaker subjects.

I’m not sure where we are going, but forcing everyone into the same filter and giving the impression those got sieve out risk becoming trash just don’t make sense to me.  Even the economy tried to diversify away from just one single sector, surely the society can diversify away from one single performance indicator.