This June school holiday is no fun because my 12 years old genz kid will be sitting for his PSLE end September this year. He is very busy …. busier than me with days packed with school supplementary lessons, revisions, homeworks, etc.
After his SA1 results was out in mid May, the school had a Meet the Parent Session (“MTP”). His form class teacher feedbacked during that session that my genzkid has commented he wanted to go to a good secondary school. When asked what is his definition of a “good secondary school”, he couldn’t answer that question. So my first mission after the MTP was to sit down with him and set out his goal; define his definition of “good secondary school”.
The outcome – he was aiming to get into Dunman High School or Victoria School – both IP schools in Singapore. Coincidentally these two schools were having open house to attract students for their DSA admission exercise that weekend; hence we decided to visit the two schools to find out more about what they are offering.
That Saturday, our first stop was Victoria School; followed with Dunman High School. Victoria School is a “all boys” school. Both schools look impressive and students are well mannered (IP schools – what do you expect rite !)
At Dunman High School, we managed to catch the principal speech and to our surprise, my genz kid was actually qualified for the DSA Admission Exercise via the academic results route. According to the principal, the school was offering 410 seats for 2013 intake and half of the seats will go to DSA Admission Exercise. Ratio was 1 out of 5 applicants will get a seat via this exercise. My genz kids’ jaw immediately dropped as that would mean there will only be 205 seats available based on PSLE results. Sensing his uneasiness, I told him to just try his best for PSLE and works towards getting the results that would get him into the school (i.e. a minimum aggregate score of 260 – easier said than done rite !).
That afternoon, we met a relative whose genz kid will also be taking PSLE this year and applying for 3 schools via DSA Admission Exercise – CCA. She encouraged my genz kid to do the same since he is qualified and the belief is it would be easier to get into your dream school via DSA Admission Exercise than relying on PSLE results. That evening, my genz kid told me that he would like to give it a try – i.e DSA for DunmanHigh School. I explained to him the whole exercise could possibly take months and he would need to sit for test, go for interview on top of preparing for his prelims and PSLE. This could lead to lots of stress. We discussed and after due deliberation, we decided to give this a miss and just concentrate in preparation for the exams.
Aftermath thoughts – Kids go to school today to enjoy learning or compete with each other to get into niche schools. Seriously, I don’t recall myself studying that hard for PSLE when I was just 12…. Educators always advocate that we should study for knowledge not results! However, in this society, can we really study for knowledge and not results?
DSA Admission Info: http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/admissions/dsa-sec/
List of IP Schools in Singapore: http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/programmes/gifted-education-programme/integrated-programmes/