Secondary 5 Fiasco – My own reflections

The recent Hoo-Ha at the education scene is about the Secondary School Principal trying to tell her students to face their reality, and to choose to go to Higher Nitec because most of them wouldn’t pass O levels anyway, and in a very bad tone apparently. One of our *ahem* has also defended the principal, saying that we should see the meaning without the tone.

Honestly, I think that is bullshit. If in the army, I scolded my officer because he forgot something, should he look at my meaning and not at my tone and not give me a charge for insubordination? There is no such thing as selective listening, as I call it, selecting when to listen to the tone or not. Tone is important and it affects people and it should always be considered. Sentences sound differently when different tone is applied.

A simple “What are you doing” will do. Say it out in a concerned tone. Then say it out in an irritating tone. Are they the same? No they are different. But I do not know why our *ahem* wants to defend the principal who was obviously wrong.

Anyway that is not the main point of my post. I want to point out something too: Sometimes, teachers and principals are in the way of student’s progress. I do remember an incident and I wish to narrate it here.

When I was in JC, I formed a group of four with my classmates, and I emailed my ex teacher in my secondary school to try to get permission to teach Math in the school for CIP. I would say that it should be encouraged since I was taking initiative, and I was forming my own CIP which should be considered better than doing CIP which teachers initiate.

However, the process took too long for something which could be done simply. Then I wrote a letter to the principal explaining my cause and my request. The HOD emailed me back quickly after I sent the letter and I got a scolding for the apparent bypass. Perhaps I have been overly enthusiastic.

What I am trying to say is, not every school is encouraging people to take the initiative. In fact, different schools are under different systems, and one should take care when selecting a school to apply to. It is important that a student be given space to grow and take his own initiative, and it should be encouraged and not put down by dragging the matter on and on.

I believe schools should encourage students and not discourage them. No matter what, it is a personal development course when a student and tried and failed. I don’t think it is a good idea to demoralize and denounce them when they are just trying their best to aim for the stars. No matter what, schools should nurture and not hinder. Schools should only step in when things go wrong, and not hinder a student’s initiative.

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