Monday, March 23, 2015

Rest in Peace, Mr Lee

Woke up to the news that a man whom I deeply admire and appreciate, has passed on.

A nation mourns his passing. For all that he has stood for and done for the country, he truly deserves all the accolades given to him by many, near and far.

Funny, how many locals cannot wait to see him go, full of criticisms of his policies and the manner in which he ruled. But I ask, if he hadn't done what he had to do, would Singapore be where it is today? A first world country, admired by many,  from near and afar.

I have many friends from neighbouring countries, lamenting about how well we have done, progressed as compared to the situation in their countries. Like they say, the grass is always greener on the other side, that those on this, do not see it.

Our citizens live in harmony, despite the many different races, and religion. Our economic growth is the envy of many. We have a stable economy, good infrastructure, well educated citizens, and we have one of the highest percentage of home owners.

We can safely say that this was all possible only because of his vision for our country.

Let us take a moment now, to honour his spirit, and join his family in mourning the loss of a truly great man.

Rest in Peace Mr Lee. You will be missed.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The end of another chapter

Another chapter has closed for my oldest, with the end of the local education system for her.

She started in P1 about 13 years ago, with a slightly shaky start. She was identified for learning support by the school in the first few weeks of school - meaning she was found to be weak in her work. Believing in her, we opted out of learning support for fear that her self esteem would have been affected.

The first exam she took in that school, resulted in her being the only student in that cohort to have perfect scores in ALL her exam papers! What a joy, and relief too, it was for us. At the end of P3, she was one of a few selected for the Gifted Education Programme, and we opted to move her to a GE centre.

Over at the new school, my oldest was overwhelmed by the amount of work, but plodded on. She didnt really excel or shine, next to all those brilliant kids in her class. She just managed getting by, but did well enough in her PSLE exams to make it to one of the top girls school here.

At secondary school, with numerous scholars in her class, again she felt inferior to them, but she still worked hard. At the end of Secondary 3 when she had to select her subject combinations, she selected 2 science and 2 humanities paper to "keep her options open" as suggested by me. How she suffered!! She hated her science and math subjects and struggled with them, doing just well enough to get by.

After her 4 years, she moved on to Junior College with the dilemma of what subject combinations to take. We decided to let her go with her passion - meaning taking subjects which she didnt do in Sec 3 & 4, which was actually not recommended by the school. Literature was one such subject and we were wondering if she was going to be disadvantaged by it. But in God we trusted, and allowed her to take those subjects she felt would take her to greater heights.

Schools days were long in JC. She had to put in extra hours, but I could tell she was enjoying herself. Unfortunately, she wasnt fairing too well for Math, her weakest subject, but a subject everyone had to take. We were told that lots of Humanities students tend to not excel in Math, and not to let her slip too much in that subject. At the end of the first year in JC, the teacher even suggested tuition for the short term, just to ensure that the she didnt fall too far behind her cohort. However, she resisted. She wasnt willing to spend her spare time doing something she detested. Despite pleas and explanations on the importance of Math in life, she resisted. She promised that she would work on her math on her own.

We saw a slight improvement in her first exams in JC2 with a C for math. However, when the prelims came along, she scored an E.  I said it wasnt too late to get some help. Again she resisted. I was livid, from the frustration of not being able to convince someone who needed help to get it.

Well, the A level results were released just this week. And, guess what - her grades surpassed our expectations - straight As!!! Wooohooo!!  Praise the Lord from whom all Blessings flow!!

So with that, and her uni offers on hand, off  to the UK she will go to pursue her passion - History!