the real problem of PSLE book-burning.

I’m sure you have seen the photo of the bunch of kids/parents standing around a bonfire of…..textbooks. If you have not, here’s the photo again –

credit: to originator and Straits Times

While walking back from buying lunch today, my colleague and I met another colleague and somehow, we started discussing about this.

The colleague was saying that Straits Times didn’t present the TRUE story behind the photo. Apparently, according to Kiss 92FM, the truth is that the kids are not burning textbooks but assessment books instead. He then brought up 2 points that a) since it’s assessment books and cannot be re-used, hence, it’s somewhat okay and b) Straits Times did not present the true story and did not do their job as the main newspaper of the country.

I was tired and didn’t really think much about it but while stoning in front of the TV, it hit me and well, I have to say it out.

1. Textbooks or otherwise.

Be it textbooks or assessment books, I think it’s just wrong to encourage the kids to burn them. Recycling, passing it on and etc aside….

What are the parents telling the kids?

“Son/Girl, exams are over! Come! All the knowledge that you have gained and all the stuff that you have studied for PSLE…Guess what? THEY ARE USELESS! Let’s burn the books!”

I mean, honestly. Think about it.

Yes, I know some knowledge we learn for PSLE are really useless (like models. who the hell use models in real life?!). But, we shouldn’t let the kids have that impression! Yes, seeing your books and notes go POOF before you is the best way of destressing but…erm…what’s wrong with packing up the books and bringing them to a recycling place or just throw them away? Or maybe tear the pages? Same effect, less dangerous, more environmentally friendly and send a better message to the kids. I had great satisfaction tidying up my notes and selling them to karang guni when I was in university.

So, just because it’s assessment books, it doesn’t make it alright to burn them.

We should be teaching the kids that books are not just for exams. they are a great source of information and knowledge. it’s just unfortunate that for school purposes, there’s exams. something like that.

2. Straits Times

I didn’t read the full article from the Straits Times cos I don’t have access. But while I agree that Straits Times could have done better and present a balance view of the story behind the picture, I think it’s still okay. It was just a factual report. Of what was perceived and presented online. They didn’t exactly say that it’s true.

Look at it this way, if they took the time to investigate and report this a day later, I bet people will say why our main media so slow -.- So how now, brown cow?

Plus, I think Straits Times was also coming from the angle that regardless of the truth behind the photo, the idea of burning the books is wrong. You know what I mean?

So yeah.

4 thoughts on “the real problem of PSLE book-burning.

  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 9 Oct 2013 | The Singapore Daily

  2. There will be the usual polarised views from netizens on a subject let loose by some loose nothing-better-to-do cannonball netizens. Life must be pretty boring in Singapore when any news is net-worthy.
    It’s meant to be a family affair. Should we not just leave it at that? Give them some space.
    btw, “throw away” also means they will be burnt.

    • for this issue, while it may have started as a private family event, it gained “traction” and more joined in. i think in this instance, it’s just unfortunate that the event got a little “out of hand” and what might have been a good intention, is misconstrued.

      Yes, “throw away” may mean to burn as well. However, the message sent to the kids is very different. But different people have different views. So let’s agree to disagree (:

      • I agree. No need for any sanctimonious chicken little over reaction. It’s THEIR property and they can do as they please. There is NO law against burning your own books if it give you some relief. Same as some people burn hell paper isn’t it to exorcise spirits during the seventh month isn’t it! 😉
        Burning something that have been literally giving you hell is perfectly ok in my books. It does not signify burning of knowledge, but it does indicate the need for relieve from the pent up tension created by the PSLE that the MOE should take note.

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