Sunday, February 25, 2018

SEA, lessons hurting our young ones

Every few years the disturbing news raises its ugly head with reports that a pupil about to write the SEA (formerly Common Entrance) or who just received exam results commits suicide.

This is highly unacceptable and if it doesn’t send a message to the authorities concerned then nothing else will. The stress and pressure of this “very high stakes” exam is just too much for our young ones. It is much too much to bear for these young and innocent minds. What are we doing to our children and what are we doing to our nation? After all, don’t we all say that the children are the future of the nation?

Sometime ago, the Ministry of Education made a half step in the right direction by banning extra lessons in schools which compounds the whole issue of adding pressure and increasing the competitiveness of the process. However, the plan was foiled by lesson givers who found alternative venues to practise their trade. But worse than that, there are certain individuals who set themselves up as demi-gods or lesson experts and gave the impression that “your child will never pass” or “this is the only way to get your first choice”. Hence, preying on the worried parents who become nervous wrecks when SEA time reaches.

These lesson moguls have scores of children in one class on Saturdays and Sundays and fool parents into thinking that their children are getting “individual attention”. This is impossible. All this while they charge exorbitant fees and laugh all the way to the bank and no one is the wiser, including the innocent children. 

The Ministry of Education needs to look at this ongoing fiasco immediately and put a stop to it. These people grow fat while our young ones suffer. Are these lesson moguls paying taxes to the government?

WKS Hosein