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 Mum worries over son, JC anxious about exam

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horer1



Posts : 13
Join date : 2008-10-16

PostSubject: Mum worries over son, JC anxious about exam   Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:05 am

ST Forum 7 Mar 2009

I WAS saddened by the news on Tuesday of a bright Nanyang Technological University (NTU) student who stabbed his professor and fell to his death ('NTU professor slashed on campus; attacker dies in fall'). I would like to relate my story in the hope that something can be done to help students under stress.
I am a working mother with two sons. One month ago, my older son, who is studying in a prestigious junior college, lied to me that he had headache, diarrhoea and all sorts of sicknesses, just to get a medical certificate (MC) in order to stay at home.

At first, I did not sense anything was amiss but when, a week later, he still did not attend school, I sat down and talked to him. He confided that he had lost interest and motivation in studies. He was very tired of the whole process and did not wish to continue any more. Hearing this, my husband and I were shocked and tried to find out if something had happened in school to make him feel so down but he said no.

Without further ado, I talked to his civics tutor and classmates, hoping to find out more. I arranged an appointment with the school counsellor and accompanied my son to school, but the counselling did not help him - the counsellor was resigning and there was no replacement.

We tried to talk to our son again and give him encouragement through some extended family members, and he seemed to listen and agreed to continue school. My husband even took him to school every day, but after a few days, his mood swung again and he did not go to school at all but took the bus home.

We knew it was no use forcing him to attend school. We arranged for him to see a psychiatrist. He is currently on two weeks' MC and has been prescribed anti-depression medicine.

We met the school principal and civics tutor again and explained our son's situation. To our disappointment, they insisted that he return to school after the MC expires and stressed that there were only a few months left to the A-level exams.

We were so disappointed to hear this. We worry about the well-being of our child, but the school is concerned only about study and the A-level exams. What has happened to the school system?


Karen Ong (Mrs)
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horer1



Posts : 13
Join date : 2008-10-16

PostSubject: A tale of surviving the darkest hours at JC   Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:07 am

St Forum 13 Mar 2009

I REFER to Mrs Karen Ong's letter, "Mum worries over son, JC anxious about exam", last Saturday. I have had a similar experience.
Three years ago, I was in a prestigious junior college. Initially, I studied hard for my tests and exams. Fresh from my success at the O levels, I had high expectations of myself. However, when my hard work did not translate to As, I became demoralised. Soon, my life was spiralling out of control. I lost interest in my studies, became withdrawn and was an outcast in class. I allowed the situation to get the better of me. Soon, I had no friends and wandered around school alone.

The second year was the worst time in my life. I was afraid of going to school, afraid of failing again, afraid of the loneliness. I cooked up reasons to skip school. When the reasons ran out, I acted nonchalant in school. However, deep inside, I was very sad and lost.

My parents could not help me, the teachers in school disliked me and I had no friends to turn to. I did not see the counsellor as I did not want to appear like a freak. I was angry. No one cared or extended a helping hand.

In hindsight, what would I have expected them to do? Ultimately, it was a challenge life had thrown to me. Sometimes, it is only in the darkest times that we learn to treasure what we have. After doing terribly in my prelims, I decided to pick myself up. I studied for two whole months, starting from scratch and went for my A levels.

Today, I am an undergraduate at the Nanyang Technological University. I managed to walk out from the darkness.

Life has its ups and downs. I believe there are many people suffering in silence. For them, life would be more bearable if someone extended a hand. However, while waiting, why not try to do something first?

Barbara Yam (Miss)


horer1 wrote:
ST Forum 7 Mar 2009

I WAS saddened by the news on Tuesday of a bright Nanyang Technological University (NTU) student who stabbed his professor and fell to his death ('NTU professor slashed on campus; attacker dies in fall'). I would like to relate my story in the hope that something can be done to help students under stress.
I am a working mother with two sons. One month ago, my older son, who is studying in a prestigious junior college, lied to me that he had headache, diarrhoea and all sorts of sicknesses, just to get a medical certificate (MC) in order to stay at home.

At first, I did not sense anything was amiss but when, a week later, he still did not attend school, I sat down and talked to him. He confided that he had lost interest and motivation in studies. He was very tired of the whole process and did not wish to continue any more. Hearing this, my husband and I were shocked and tried to find out if something had happened in school to make him feel so down but he said no.

Without further ado, I talked to his civics tutor and classmates, hoping to find out more. I arranged an appointment with the school counsellor and accompanied my son to school, but the counselling did not help him - the counsellor was resigning and there was no replacement.

We tried to talk to our son again and give him encouragement through some extended family members, and he seemed to listen and agreed to continue school. My husband even took him to school every day, but after a few days, his mood swung again and he did not go to school at all but took the bus home.

We knew it was no use forcing him to attend school. We arranged for him to see a psychiatrist. He is currently on two weeks' MC and has been prescribed anti-depression medicine.

We met the school principal and civics tutor again and explained our son's situation. To our disappointment, they insisted that he return to school after the MC expires and stressed that there were only a few months left to the A-level exams.

We were so disappointed to hear this. We worry about the well-being of our child, but the school is concerned only about study and the A-level exams. What has happened to the school system?


Karen Ong (Mrs)
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horer1



Posts : 13
Join date : 2008-10-16

PostSubject: Love of learning, not exams, is what matters most   Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:08 am

ST Forum 13 Mar 2009

PRESIDENT Barack Obama lauded Singapore's middle-schoolers for outperforming those in the United States three to one. Although our achievement is laudable, we should not let the compliment go to our heads.
While some of the worst students may be in America, so are some of the best. The number of Nobel laureates there is proof of this. America is also attracting foreign talent like bees to honey.

In the case of other nations like India and China, even if only a minuscule group of their students do well, they can still produce enough talent to drown us.

Good results in examinations and competitions augur well for a country, but they are not enough. How many scholarship holders retain their love of learning - if they ever had it - after they finish formal schooling? How many become avid readers instead of simply burying themselves in their careers?

The desire for material benefits and exhortations to work for the national good may force a person to excel in his studies but they do not necessarily impart a lifelong love of learning or a passion for knowledge. It is these that make a country great.

Take language, for example. Undue stress on the values of English in commerce and science discourages the study of English literature and, as a result, many never appreciate the pleasures of good novels or inspiring poetry.

Practising any musical instrument for hours just for a certificate will not necessarily produce a virtuoso who can move an audience.

Examinations serve only as signposts in life. It is the love of learning and the skill to pursue lifelong self-study that will propel our country to greatness.

Ee Teck Ee



horer1 wrote:
ST Forum 7 Mar 2009

I WAS saddened by the news on Tuesday of a bright Nanyang Technological University (NTU) student who stabbed his professor and fell to his death ('NTU professor slashed on campus; attacker dies in fall'). I would like to relate my story in the hope that something can be done to help students under stress.
I am a working mother with two sons. One month ago, my older son, who is studying in a prestigious junior college, lied to me that he had headache, diarrhoea and all sorts of sicknesses, just to get a medical certificate (MC) in order to stay at home.

At first, I did not sense anything was amiss but when, a week later, he still did not attend school, I sat down and talked to him. He confided that he had lost interest and motivation in studies. He was very tired of the whole process and did not wish to continue any more. Hearing this, my husband and I were shocked and tried to find out if something had happened in school to make him feel so down but he said no.

Without further ado, I talked to his civics tutor and classmates, hoping to find out more. I arranged an appointment with the school counsellor and accompanied my son to school, but the counselling did not help him - the counsellor was resigning and there was no replacement.

We tried to talk to our son again and give him encouragement through some extended family members, and he seemed to listen and agreed to continue school. My husband even took him to school every day, but after a few days, his mood swung again and he did not go to school at all but took the bus home.

We knew it was no use forcing him to attend school. We arranged for him to see a psychiatrist. He is currently on two weeks' MC and has been prescribed anti-depression medicine.

We met the school principal and civics tutor again and explained our son's situation. To our disappointment, they insisted that he return to school after the MC expires and stressed that there were only a few months left to the A-level exams.

We were so disappointed to hear this. We worry about the well-being of our child, but the school is concerned only about study and the A-level exams. What has happened to the school system?


Karen Ong (Mrs)
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