Date of Article : 6th June 2008

I would like to add my personal opinion with regard to what the writer Mui Hoong has stated about schools using scare tactics of setting extremely difficult papers before national exams in a bid to 'motivate' their students.

As having undergone the primary and secondary levels of the Singapore Education system myself, I too have come across such 'scare tactics' in the schools set by the teachers and the difficulty of the exam papers. I still remember vividly a few of my teachers comparing my class's results to that of the top schools and said that in this national exam we are competing against them and we must work very hard because we are up against the best. While it may seem as a rudimentary motivational speech, I believe that it sounded to the extent of 'scaring' the students to work better.

I believe that it is the norm for schools to set difficult exam papers before the examinations, but from the schools where I come from, most of us understood this concept. However, maybe it is the nature of my school being a mere neighbourhood school and not those in the elite where if they do badly for their mid years and preliminary examinations, a state of panic will ensue as they are expected to do well for the examinations. I must say that these are my opinions and just a gauge of what I feel on what is happening.

Nonetheless, to what the writer has said about students being embattled in their self esteem, I believe that it does occur. However, if on the first hand, the child or teenager is strong enough in his will power and determination to make a change better for himself, I do not see the reason on why he or she cannot accept the failures. If because of the failures that a person's self esteem is destroyed, then I truly wonder what kind of system are we growing up in where we are not the tough kids from before but rather those who feel everything should flow smoothly in our path. Hence, the real question here is not about the difficulty of the education system, as I believe standards must be improved each year, but rather are children becoming more and more pampered by society each passing day such that they easily lose their self confidence?

While I condone the 'scare tactics' because of what they are, I believe that sometimes they are a necessary evil that needs to be done to jolt students into waking up and discover that you can fail too. Therefore, from what needs to be done is to work hard at the examinations. Perhaps a solution will be not to have difficult examination papers throughout but maybe a difficult paper for the Mid Years, an equivalent standard to the Major Exams for the Preliminaries and finally sitting for the Major examination. In that way, both negative and positive motivational tactics are used to push the student forth to do their best for the examinations and show the student that they can do it. Of course the assumption is based on that students will work harder after their failure in Mid Years and that they do not become complacent after their Preliminary Examinations. Hence it is necessary to instill the right mindset in them after each examination on to work harder (encouragement) and not to be complacent (advice).

My, I have said alot about examinations. Have we become a society to concerned about examinations in life? Hmm...that will be a topic for another day =) Till Then!

3 comments:

At June 5, 2008 at 10:04 PM Wee Liang said...

Wonder if they learnt that from track and field where the coach keeps raising the bar in training...then on the event day the athlete makes the grade.

 
At June 6, 2008 at 2:06 AM silverzerox | justin said...

Haha, that will surely be original. Maybe maybe, you never know....;)

 
At June 7, 2008 at 7:47 AM xXxXZHAOZHENxXxX said...

FAILING IS THE MOTHER OF SUCESS (THATS WHATS THE CHINESE PHRASE SAYS!)I WONDER WHY CHILDREN OR STUDENTS PERHAPS WILL FEEL NERVOUS OR SCARED WHEN THEY SIT FOR EXAMINATIONS.WHATS THE DIFFERENCE?IN THE END ALSO TAKE THE PAPERS!I THINK THEY SHOULD HAVE A THOUGHT TO GIVE THEMSELF TIME TO RELAX AND TIME TO WORK LIKE A MACHINE BUT NOT TO STRESS OUT!THEY SHOULD HAVE A SCHEDULE OR TIMETABLE TO HELP THEM ARRANGE THE THINGS THEY WANT TO DO!THINKING OF THE DIFFICULT PAPERS WILL ONLY MAKE THEMSELF LOSE CONFIDENCE AND GET CARRIED AWAY FROM WHAT THEY REVISED AND STUDIED.AND IN THE END ONLY NEGATIVE RESULTS WILL COME OUT.THEY SHOULD NOT ENGROSS IN PLAYING OR STUDYING ALONE AS THEY WILL BE COPE UP.THEY SHOULD HAVE A TIME TO DO WHAT THEY LIKE.TO KEEP THEIR MIND CLEAR AND HAVE THE ENERGY TO THINGS WISHED FOR!WHAT A SILLY THOUGHT TO AFRAID TO BE BEATEN BY THE PAPERS.SO FOOLISH!UNLESS YOU HAVE A SCREW IN YOUR HEAD,I MEAN YOU HAVE BEEN TELLING YOURSELF THAT YOU WILL NOT DO WELL AND YOU DIDNT' EVEN PUT IN THE EFFORT!PAPERS ARE JUST A SMALL THING TO TEST YOUR PATIENT FOR IT.BEACUSE WHEN YOU ARE SOING IT.IF YOU FEEL NERVOUS,YOU WILL KEEPING THINKING YOU WILL FAIL.AND YOU WILL NOT CONCENTRATE ON IT THEREFORE YOUR RESULTS WILL NOT BE AS WHAT YOU THOUGHT TO BE.IF YOU JUST DO IT SMOOTHLY AND FEEL RELAX,NOT AFRAID AND TREMBLE LIKE A JELLY,YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO IT!AND YOU WILL BE HAPPY FOR IT!WHATEVER THE RESULTS IS,JUST CARE ABOUT WHETHER IF YOU HAVE DONE YOUR BEST AND PUT IN YOUR BEST EFORT FOR IT!!!ANYWAY USING A METHOD LIKE TELLING STUDENTS THAT IT IS A HARD A NOT EASY PAPER IS JUST DECREASING THE STUDENTS'CONFIDENCE AND THEY WILL NOT CARE ABOUT IT!AFTERALL,IT DOESN'T MATTER THE TEACHERS!THEY ARE NOT THE ONES SITTING FOR THE PAPERS.HAHA!TALK SO MUCH ,I THINK I CAN'T STOP TO TALK ABOUT IT.TELL YOU MORE ON THIS TOPIC NEXT TIME!HEHEHEHEHEHE!<3 THIS STORY SO MUCH.YUOR WAY WRITING IT IS GOOD MAKES ME THINK THAT YOU ARE SUCH A BRILLIANT STUDENT!SHOW THIS TO ALL AND THEY WILL KNOW THE OPINION OF YOURS!

 

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