Saturday, December 16, 2017

SEA pupils continue to suffer in lessons fiasco

 Every few years, the distraught and disturbing news raises its ugly head that a pupil about to write the SEA (Secondary Entrance Assessment, formerly Common Entrance) or just received exam results commits suicide.

This is highly unacceptable and if it doesn’t give 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. This opens up a much bigger issue. 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?

Some time 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 lessons-givers finding alternative venues to practise their trade. But worse than that, there are certain individuals who set themselves up as demigods or lesson experts and give the impression that “your child will never pass” or “this is the only way to get your first choice”, hence preying on the unsuspecting minds of parents who become nervous wrecks when SEA time reaches for their kids.

These lessons 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. They

grow fat while our young ones suffer. Are these les­-

sons moguls paying taxes to the Government, anyway?

WKS Hosein