more to schools than results.

I have said this on my Facebook and my Twitter. I’ll say it again here –

PSLE scores don’t really matter that much. It’s what the kids and their parents do during the bumpy teenage years that does.

That’s what I believe in.

And I honestly believe in that. While most kids and parents are probably frowning over which schools to choose, I thought I will write this post to share my experience and thoughts since I’ve gone through the entire education system. If you know what I mean.

What I got for PSLE

I didn’t do very well for my PSLE scores. I scored 229 and got a B for my Mathematics. My mum wanted me to go to Anderson Secondary School but it was apparent that I can never make it. But, instead of scolding me, my mum told the neighbours how proud she was of me. In the end, I went to a notorious neighbourhood school well-known for their ah-bengs and ah-lians (back then) – Deyi Secondary School.

Oh yes. One of my ‘best friend’ back then told another classmate that (and I quote), “…her future is doom.” And we were only 12. ANYWAYS!

Studying at Deyi

Deyi turned out to be the best thing that happened to me. Instead of being a small-fish in a big pond, I was a big-fish in a small pond. I am finally in an education landscape that fit my pace of studying. I started excelling in my studies.

On top of that, I learned alot of things. Things that are not related to academic. I learned about discipline, teamwork, perseverance, determination and integrity. 

This values stuck with me. Even till now. There are loads of examples that I can provide but at the same time, there are also those not-so-obvious instances where these values are taught to me without me knowing. The 4 core values of Deyi – Determination, Diligence, Discipline and Dedication – are very ingrain in the way the school functions.

Also, I had really awesome teachers. Teachers who believed in me. For example, back in Secondary 2, I went through a rebellious phase. I will make up all sort of reasons to skip my CCA. The teacher in-charge came and lectured me. She couldn’t figure out well I was behaving like that (till now, I have no idea too-.-) I thought that with this “truant” episode, there’s no chance that I will be promoted to Patrol Leader (kind of like committee member). But I did. I got promoted to Patrol Leader in Sec 3 (: My teacher didn’t use that episode against me!

Oh yeah! Another incident is during Sec 2 streaming. Because I got a B3 for my science (As for the rest of the subjects), I was allocated a Home Economics class. Now, I am not saying the Home Economics class is not good. It’s just that…I have no interest in Home Economics. It was my last choice! So, I appealed to be changed to either an Accounting Class or a 2 Pure-Science class. My appeal was rejected in the beginning. But I don’t know what happened but…a few days later, I received a call to tell me that my appeal was successful (: Maybe my teachers spoke up for me? I don’t know. But yeah! (:

At Deyi, I got to develop my leadership skills. I was selected to be a Peer Support Leader and a Councillor (and went on to become a committee member in both groups). I don’t think that would have been possible in a more “renowned” school where the look for those who have innate ability and not really those who have potential. I went for camps, organised camps and even went to Taman Negara for leadership camp!

Other things I gained in Deyi, a lot of friends, a lot of memories and I think most important of all…I gained confidence.  

I saw this banner hanging outside Deyi, “Today, I’m proud to be a Deyian. Tomorrow, Deyi will be proud of me!” That made me smile (:

History trip to Beijing in Secondary 2.

I guess what I am trying to say is that…

It doesn’t matter whether if your kid goes to a branded school or not. It’s really about the culture of the school. Look at the culture of a school. Is it suitable for your kid? Look at the motto, the values and the principal messages etc

And also, look at your kid’s ability. Do you want him to be a big-fish in a small pond or a small-fish in a big pond where he/she might have to struggle to keep up? And maybe develop a sense of learned helplessness?Not good.

Yes, you may reason that going to be a branded school will help him/her greatly when it reaches O’levels cos they teach stuff that are slightly more than required. Well…NOT TRUE! Schools exchange test papers, so your kid will still be able to do those papers. And for the record, when I was doing papers from branded school, I scored. So this issue is really not an issue. Plus, plenty of my classmates made it into universities too!

And school asides…Wherever your kid end up in, PARENTS are the one who really make a difference. Don’t scold them just because they didn’t go to a school that you want them to go to. Or scold them when they score badly now or in the future. ENCOURAGE THEM. My parents were so proud that I went to Deyi and encouraged me whenever I meet a road block at school.

So yeah. That’s about it.