I get it. It’s all about perspective. The PSLE system could be flawed and parents should not condemn their kids just because of a singular examination in a period of one’s young life. Just because a child scores poorly doesn’t mean the end of the world.
What I don’t think we should start glamorising is this increasing attitude of “deniability”. Millennials have been accused of having feelings of self-entitlement and this is another example of “oh, it’s no big deal. One failure does not define me.”
On the contrary, every single thing we do defines us – till the very last day we take our final breath. Every challenge and every action allows us the freedom to redefine ourselves thus we should be celebrating the ones that are working hard at in school, putting in the effort to pay attention in class, sticking to the program and gutting out a good result, these are the attitudes we should celebrate.
It’s not ok for kids or adults to think that it’s ok to fail as an excuse to not try harder.
Character is formed through many ways, sometimes failure is the best teacher and yes many successful adults have had setbacks in their own past but perseverance and determination is not to be confused with “It’s just an exam, look at Benjamin Kheng now!”
Don’t feel like doing your homework? It’s ok, look at Benjamin Kheng now!
Don’t agree with the syllabus? Its ok, look at Benjamin Kheng now!
What message are we also sending our kids and even to parents? That it’s ok to fail? That we want to celebrate the mediocre and the underdogs? This is not Hollywood; this is real life. Not every kid who has a bad start in his tertiary education ends up a celebrity. Not every janitor is a genius, not every ghetto kid is a football miracle. (By the way, see which movie references did I drop?) But I digress, yes the system is flawed, the process is unfair, there is a lot to be debated on how and why examinations are conducted the way they are, but while we are still in the system and it’s a level playing field for most, don’t say it’s ok to fail just because it worked out for you.
Don’t glamorise the result, encourage the process.
I scored 195 myself and I’m full of contradictions.