Friday, 12 July 2013


The best advice I ever received as a 20something establishing a foothold in my career is from my 4th aunt.  I had received a not-stellar performance appraisal in my first year... and was moping about it.  4th aunt told me that labels are like Post-Its, if you like them, keep them around longer to remind you... and if you do not like them, why, just throw them away!
I learnt this lesson only as an adult.

I am thinking about this lesson in the context of the Singapore education system.
9 year olds take a national exam to determine if they are "Gifted", and hence to be put into special classes where they spend LESS time on the curriculum (the assumption is that these very smart children already have it down pat) and more time exploring outside the curriculum.

"Gifted" and Not-"Gifted" is a label bestowed onto the child at NINE years old.  Resources are then allocated disproportionately more to the Gifted.  Teachers with advanced degrees and diplomas.  Smaller class sizes.  More spruced up school facilities....

Nine years old.  I only have 4 more years to protect Medium Boy's childhood.  Sigh.

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